Zero F*cks Given

Often, our blogs have taglines. But, what if humans did too? What would your taglines be? 

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I’m actually so random and unpredictable that several different taglines could be used to represent me, but at the time of seeing this writing prompt, “Zero Fucks Given” is what comes to mind. I’m counting down to the wonderful age of 30; 14 more days; OMG exactly 2 weeks from today, eeeeeek! And do you know what’s funny? I actually feel different. Though it’s been a gradual uphill struggle getting up to this point, I feel like only within the past 3 – 6 months have I realized the many significant changes within my mind, body, and spirit. Some people may share my sentiments and some people may scoff and think that my age ain’t nothing but a number. Shrugs, I dunno, I’m just going by how I am currently thinking and feeling. 

These days I am less anxious, more calm, and easygoing. I have more understanding and acceptance, especially of the people, places, things, and events that I cannot change. I love myself more and appreciate my true beauty. I feel more confident and have the motivation and courage to do what I want. My people-pleasing days seem to be coming to a close. Regardless of the fake ass, hardcore bullshiggity people spit from their mouths about not caring about what other people think about them, we all want to be liked/loved, valued, and appreciated. Me included! But, as I’ve mentioned in a previous post, this is less important to me than it was in my previous years. I figure that as long as I like me, God has my back, and I’m ok with my thoughts, feelings, and actions, then I’m good to go! 

I want to share something with you… Given my unconventional upbringing in a substance abusing household, I have developed what those in the mental health profession refer to as  dun, dun, duuuuuunnnnn, “codependency issues”. According to merriam-webster.com. codependency is a psychological condition in which someone is in an unhealthy relationship that involves living with and providing care for another person (such as a drug addict or an alcoholic); as a psychological condition or relationship in which a person is controlled or manipulated by another who is affected with a pathological condition; dependence on the needs of or control by another. According to Codependency for Dummies, symptoms are as follows:

Low self-esteem

Not liking or accepting yourself

Feeling you’re inadequate in some way

Thinking you’re not quite enough

Worrying you are or could be a failure

Concerned with what other people think about you

Perfectionism

Pleasing others and giving up yourself

Poor boundaries

Boundaries that are too weak and there’s not enough separateness between you and your partner

Boundaries that are too rigid and keep you from being close

Boundaries that flip back and forth between too close and too rigid

Reactivity

Dysfunctional Communication

Difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings

Difficulty setting boundaries — saying “No” or stopping abuse

Abusive language

Lack of assertiveness about your needs

Dependency

Afraid of being alone or out of a relationship

Feeling trapped in a bad relationship and unable to leave

Relying too much on others opinions

Intimacy problems

Avoidance of closeness

Losing yourself

Trying to control or manipulate others

Feeling trapped in a dysfunctional relationship

Denial

Denial of codependency

Denial about a painful reality in your relationship

Denial of your feelings

Denial of your needs

Caretaking

Control

Controlling your own feelings

Managing and controlling people in your life; telling them what to do

Manipulating others to feel or behave like you want (people pleasing is a manipulation)

Obsessions

Addiction to a substance or process

Painful emotions

Shame

Anxiety

Fear

Guilt

Hopelessness

Despair

Depression

Um, well damn! As a mental health therapist with a specialization in working with individuals with co-occurring disorders (i.e. someone with both a substance use disorder and at least one other mental health disorder such as bipolar disorder), I am fully aware of those who present with codependent behaviors. I’m actually well-versed in the subject matter, but for years I felt as if I was above those issues due to my studies and career in the field… How foolish! It wasn’t until there was a major crisis within my immediate family 1.5yrs ago, the heart breaking end of my last relationship 6 months ago, and my participation in brief outpatient therapy which ended about 3 months ago, before I realized that a lot of my stress and depression was directly related to my freaking codependency issues!!! Cue the cartoon light bulb above my big ass head!

Therapy brought me back to life. It helped me to get centered and put my life into perspective. It helped me face my denials and hold myself and others accountable. It helped me deal with my extreme feelings of guilt and shame. It helped me gain the strength to say “NO!” and feel ok about it. It helped me to loosen my death grip on everything and everyone because, can you believe this?, I actually don’t have all the control in the world. It helped me to recognize where I was being taken advantage of. It helped me to simply let go and forgive myself and others.

I still care about other people and some things, but not at my expense. I do what I want and drop whatever gets in my way. I thank God that I have peace today… #ZeroFucksGiven

Thanks for stopping by, feel free to comment.

DP:Tagline

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Procurement of Fruit

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So exactly two weeks ago, after church class (RCIA), I went to the grocery store to pick up some last minute food items in order to complete my prep cook for the rest of the work week.  I typically do this on Sundays, but I had a lazy Sunday after getting into some shenanigans the Saturday before and opted out of my normal prep cooking ritual. I recall being extremely tired as it was almost 9:30pm when I was walking into the local whack ass Food Lion (I was definitely too lazy to drive out of the way to Safeway or Wegmans). I skimmed my list as I darted thru the produce, meat, and frozen food sections.  “I just want to get the hell home”, I thought repeatedly to myself.  I spent all of 10/15 min gathering my necessities in that bad boy before heading to the checkout line. “Almost there!” I thought to myself.

While the young kid is scanning and bagging my items, I have him stop to scan my discount card so I can throw my keys back into my pocket. I also swipe my check card so I can put my wallet away. I’m telling you I was focused on getting home asap! The kid seems nervous for some reason.  He’s smiling awkwardly at me and trying to make small chit chat, but I’m thinking, “Look man, not today, because you are not focusing on the scanning and bagging”. LOL. I’m not rude, so of course I indulge him. We get to the last item, my pink lady apples…Three of them in the bag, ready to rock. But, of course we run into an issue where all of a sudden the scale isn’t working so he’s unable to price the apples.  He tries a few tricks to get the machine going, however, all failed.  I tell him, “Don’t worry, thank you.  I can leave without the apples.  I’m ready to pay”. He apologizes and I smiled politely while thinking, “Damn, I will have to return to the store another time”, because there was no way I was going to complete that transaction and start a new one in another line.

Now while this is going down, the patron behind me sparks up conversation. I did recognize him from the week before when he was actually behind me in line when I came to the store for items after church on Ash Wednesday.  He said, “Excuse me Miss, don’t I know you from somewhere?”. Sigh…..I replied with, “No, you don’t, but I do recall you being behind me last week when we were shopping here”.  His face lit up as he said, “Yes, that’s right, and you are looking beautiful as ever”.  Sigh…… “Thank you sir”, I said.  He’s an older gentleman probably in his late 40s, a little heavy set, with kind eyes. He was appropriate and polite, but since my last break up I have been turned off from other males trying to holla and/or even give me complements (Idk, I’m in a weird place at the moment), I’m just not ready to entertain all of that yet.

Welp, my transaction is complete.  I say goodnight to both him and the young employee and I’m out. It was cold as a mutha out, but I was excited to be closer to being home. I pop open Lucille’s trunk (She’s my car) toss them groceries, push the cart to the cart holder, and jump in my car. As I was jumping in, the gentleman that was behind me in line briskly walked over to my car with a skimp bag.  He’s says with the biggest, and no lie, kind of creepy grin ever, “Miss, here’s your apples!”. I smiled and even felt a little moved.  I said, “You purchased my apples? Wow, I appreciate you doing that”. He said, “It was my pleasure, have a good night”. He turned, walked away, and got into his car.

I took a second to thank God for that moment, but keep in mind it was a short second because I had to dip out of that parking lot and make sure I wasn’t followed. I’m hypervigilant. I appreciate any acts of kindness I receive, because for some reason I don’t get them often (Perhaps I’m too independent for my own good sometimes). Hmmmm….

Thanks for reading.

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