Tuesday, October 20, 2020

This Is Exhausting.

pandemic, exhaustion, COVID-19, Corona times, hammock life, so tired

Everyone, hi.

Hi, hello, all the greetings. 

I've been missing for months. 

Only I have been right here. 

Exactly here. 

Exactly where most of us have been for all the days since March. 

March 13th, to be precise. 

March 13th was the last normal-ish day. 

I went to my doctor.

I went to the grocery store. 

I picked up my daughter from school.

And then. 

Everything changed. 

For all the f*ckers out there who don't think anything has changed?

You. I have issues with you. 

For anyone who is confused as to what my life has been like all these days, weeks, months?

It's been quiet.

And different.

And yet, a new normal. 

One nobody wants to accept.

And yet, I do. 

I accept it.

Because I have concerns and I think it's important to acknowledge that.

And because I think it's important to remind ourselves that not everyone is living their normal life.

Because.

This.

Is. 

Exhausting. 

Friends. 

We're STILL in a pandemic.

We're still wearing masks. 

Many of our children are still in school at home.

Many of us grown-ups are still not returning to our offices. 

Me?

I always work from home.

It's something I've answered repeatedly since March.

Yes. 

Yes. 

I have worked from home for over seven (SEVEN!) years.

Y'all.

Guess what, though?

I could leave my house after my work day.

I did the school transport back and forth.

I lived in Lyfts.

I went on dates (don't gasp, there were so very few).

I went to Starbucks (I miss you so!).

I went to dinner with friends (I miss y'all more!).

Weekends were busy. 

We did things.

We saw people.

I lived a normal life. 

We lived a normal life. 

And now?

This?

This new normal?

This.

Is. 

Exhausting. 

Monday, June 15, 2020

Is It Time To Find A New Therapist?

therapy, mental health, find a new therapist, mental health providers, how to get help


Recently I was reading some comments on a friend's Facebook wall and I noticed someone mention that they had been working with their therapist for six years, and felt some sort of loyalty to that provider. 

But the tone, and the comments? Left me (and other therapists) thinking that perhaps this relationship was not the best for this person. 

And that got me thinking.

And thinking. 

And thinking some more. 

How many people out there are seeing their mental health providers for what might just be too long?

I would liken it to your hairstylist. 

I know many people who are very loyal to their hairstylist.

They feel that to go see someone else would be cheating on them.

I've actually heard the words said. 

I've heard of people switching salons to avoid coming face-to-face with their last stylist. 

I don't have that kind of loyalty, mostly because, well - have you seen my hair? I don't exactly have a stylist like that. 

But that's besides the point. 

Would you return to your stylist repeatedly if they guided you to a style you hated?

Would you go back more than once if they messed up your hair to the point of unfixable? 

Probably not. 

So. Why would you remain loyal to a therapist who has given you all they have for you? 

Why would you consider seeing them, week after week, month after month, year after year - when their words don't seem to be helping you lead yourself anywhere? 

Would you? 

Have you? 

Are you? 

I'd like to remind you that it's okay to find yourself a new provider. 

And I encourage you to consider these five things when you're trying to decide if it's time to make a change. 

Five Signs It's Time To Find A New Therapist

1. You dread going to your sessions. 

Granted, early on in therapy we can find ourselves wishing we didn't have to go. These are the days where we need it the most. We fear our therapist is going to call us out on something. Dredge something up we're not sure we're ready to talk about. But that's not the same as actual dread. Feeling like you'd rather do anything else besides go to their office, take their Zoom or phone call, whatever that feeling is? Speak it. Acknowledge it. There's a reason for it, and you're not going to benefit from forcing yourself to go when you don't want to talk to this provider. 

2. You repeatedly walk out of sessions with no action items. 

You don't have to have a list of things to do or think about every single time you leave your therapist's office. But if you haven't come up with new things to focus on for - well - a long long time? It's probably time to let go. Your therapist should be supporting you, giving you space, but also, offering you ways to help you guide yourself towards your goals. You can't reach them if you're not taking steps towards them. 

3. They're flat out unsupportive.

It's one thing to find yourself facing a challenging therapist. Many of us ARE that way. We're challenging you to find your best self. We're bringing you to those points where you may hate us for what we've said to you - but usually you'll find your way through that and realize where we headed is where you needed to go. So. If your therapist is not supportive? It's time to find a new one. Period. 

4. You're going in circles. 

Again, this is something we all experience. As clients. As therapists. Sure. But if you find that you can't break the circle, you can't find a way to shatter that box that holds you in? Make a change. 

5. You don't like them.

This sounds like the most obvious of reasons, doesn't it? But this should probably have been the first one I pointed out. Because this can happen right off the bat. If you go to a therapist and immediately have a bad feeling, or if you are quite certain, after leaving their office, hanging up the phone, or whatever type of communication you just had, that you never want to talk to that person again? Please. Don't go back. 

You're under no obligation to do so. Every therapist knows they won't be a perfect match for every client they meet. And that's okay. 

Because YOU have to be comfortable. YOU have to feel like you're okay with talking to this person. YOU have to feel heard. And YOU need to know that it's right. Because if it's not - you're not going to get what you need out of it. Don't go out of obligation. Don't go out of worry. Concern. It's not your job to protect your therapist's feelings. They'll be fine. I promise. 

Have I missed anything? Let me know if you've had this kind of turning point with your mental health provider and how you broke through it. What did you do when you realized it was time to move on? Are you in that space currently and find you need help processing? Give me a shout. I'm here to listen. 

For more information on mental health, consider these posts:




Sunday, June 7, 2020

I Turn To Books: Reading Black Authors

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


The world is aflame.

People are in pain.

Lives have been lost.

It's impossible to verbalize things.

Repeating 'I'm sorry,' only goes so far.

I have spent much of this last few weeks responding to people on Facebook. Explaining things like "all lives matter is NOT an appropriate thing to say," and "there's no such thing as reverse racism!".

I've typed until my brain was tired.

And still. I've not done enough.

So, this weekend? I turn to books.

Here are some Black authors who have created the work we need to be reading.

Some books you need to buy, borrow, listen to, whatever you prefer.

I have decided to include links throughout this post to a number of Black owned bookstores throughout the United States. I've done the legwork. You make the purchase.

Friends. Join me. Learn all you can. Then? Take action.


11 Books By Black Authors White People Need To Read




* Purchase at: St. Hope Underground Books *

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Sankofa Video, Books, and Cafe *

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Brain Lair Books * 

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Ashay By The Bay *

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors



books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Pyramid Books *

This book is on backorder nearly everywhere you look - 
so you may need to find an ecopy!

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Brain Lair Books * 

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Brain Lair Books * 

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors



books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


* Purchase at: Ashay By the Bay *

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors

PRE-ORDER (COMING OUT IN EARLY JULY 2020)!


* Purchase at: Brain Lair Books * 

books, reading, nonfiction, goodreads, Black authors


So, friends, tell me - which book will you pick up first? 

Thus far (at the time of this writing/posting) I have read So You Want To Talk About Race and I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness. I'm currently reading What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker. I have a few others on hold at the library and a few on their way to me, with another book directly geared towards reading with my teen. It's critical that we educate ourselves, my friends. 

An important note: Teach yourself, your kids, your friends, your family members why saying things like "I don't see color" is unacceptable. From one white person to another? Those four words can hurt.


Saturday, April 18, 2020

You Don't Have To.

mental health, COVID-19, Corona virus, Corona times, pandemic, stress, emotions, anxiety, overwhelm, overload, parents, motherhood

Friends.

I keep seeing people posting about how they don't understand why they ...

Can't focus enough to even read a chapter. 

Is that you? I'm an AVID reader friends. But this is me.

Aren't cleaning their homes from attic to basement. 

Yeah. No.

Didn't start a work out routine that leaves them feeling fitter than ever. 

Any guesses on my success there?

Don't cook meals from scratch 3x/day. 7x/week. 

If you can even GET groceries it's a big deal, friends.

Haven't started that - what? - garden? hobby? blog? book they have always wanted to write?

Gentle breaths, please. Let's take several steps back here.

Now.

You know you've said it.

I've been home for (fill in the blank because we're all quarantined a different number of days at this point) however long and I haven't done diddly.

Y'all?

You don't have to.

That book isn't going anywhere.

It's okay if you haven't read it from cover to cover yet.

You don't have to.

It's okay if your house looks like a tornado blew through, whether or not you have kids in your home with you. Clean it in sections, if you're motivated to do so. Wipe off surfaces. Lysol whatever you need (you know you've done or are doing that much!). But clean every single room? Surface? Floor? Wall? Baseboard and trim?

You don't have to.

As for working out? I've always said I need more time to fit that into my days. And guess what? As someone with a fenced in yard who takes her dog for way too few walks? We're getting out more often. Am I running a virtual 5K or marathon? Have I started PIYO or Peloton - pssst. thanks for those free workouts, truly, I know somebody's using them! Me? Is it me? No. I haven't. It's not me. And it's okay if you haven't, either.

You don't have to.

And the cooking.

Don't.get.me.STARTED.on.the.COOKING.

Y'all. The cooking. I have been cooking for about 957 days and nights, and it's only me here in my home 50% of the time. When my daughter is here, ssssh, don't tell anyone - tell EVERYONE. Some days we opt for soup or Ramen or Taquitos for her and I decide if I'm hungry at all. SOME days. On other days? I cook. Like actually find myself being a complete grown-up who thawed some meat in advance, or pulled together ingredients from the 500 grocery orders I've attempted and the three (yes, three) I've succeeded at, to create an actual beautiful glorious MEAL that we both enjoy.

But y'all.

You don't have to.

If you find yourself feeding your family with frozen waffles and pancakes, Pop Tarts (generic or otherwise), and a whole lot of chocolate milk? It's okay. You're allowed. I'm not baking everything from scratch. I'm not pulling all of those beautiful cookbooks out of my cabinets and diving right on in. As much as I adore Chrissy Teigen.

And you?

You don't have to.

So please.

Cut yourself some slack.

Give yourself a little grace.

This is pandemic living.

We have no idea what we're supposed to be doing.

There. Are. NO. Shoulds.

You don't have to.

You just don't.

And if you need me to tell you this directly? Message me. Let me help.

I'm more than happy to.

Because beating ourselves up, especially now, during crisis living, quarantine life and these Corona times? That's absolutely something you don't have to do. Absolutely something you need to NOT do.

Take good care of you. Please.

Looking for more resources on taking better care of yourself, your emotional and mental health, and/or how to find support?

How To Keep Calm When Everyone is Freaking Out

Home Alone: Check On Your People

Feel All The Things

5 Steps To Take To Protect Yourself in the Current Political Climate

11 Inspirational Books and Journals


Friday, March 27, 2020

Home Alone.

COVID-19, Corona virus, pandemic, stay-at-home, community, connections, introverts, extroverts, staying home, solo, single parents, solo mom

Oooh, friends.

What a time it is to be alive, don't you think?

It's so overwhelming.

So exhausting.

So draining.

So confusing.

And so so very - strange - especially if you live alone.

Now, granted, I have a daughter, so my first week of "quarantine" was not solo.

But she has been with her dad for a few days - and wow - it's really really different being here by myself.

I'm not writing this for anything along the lines of: oh, you poor thing.

That's not why I'm writing about being home alone.

I'm writing because I want you to consider your surroundings.

I want you to consider your family members, your friends, your neighbors. I want you to consider all of the people in your circles who live alone.

Again. I'm not asking you to worry about me. Have you SEEN my Facebook wall lately?

I'm fine.

* Plus I am working so much right now that if you call me I am 99% certain I would not have a moment to answer - so - really - I'm okay, I promise. Also, update: My daughter is now home with me. Yay! *

But there are so many people out there who aren't.

Isolation becomes a joke when we talk about it with respect to introverts.

Oooh. They love this! They work from home! Live at home! They totally prefer their 4+ walls to anywhere else!

No, friends.

If you have an introvert friend who lives alone? Please check on them.

See if they need anything.

See if they want to video chat with you.

Because 4+ walls and no other human faces?

That's not exactly introvert life.

Because even your favorite introverts leave their houses now and then.

Even your favorite introverts have people they enjoy being close to.

And right now - during this pandemic time in the world we're living in - unless those people live in the same homes as they do? They're not getting to see those people. No smiling faces. No collaborative laughter. No arguing over the remote. Deciding where to grab lunch.

None of it.

So. Please, if you would.

Check on your people.

*The extroverts, too! Because they are for SURE struggling.*

They're home alone.

And they are struggling.

Remind them that they're home alone - but they're never ever truly alone - okay?

Just those few words will mean the world.

Trust me.

Stay safe and healthy and hydrated, y'all.