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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Serotonin

“I never want to come down from you.”

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter primarily found in our Gastrointestinal tracts (GI tract), platelets, and Central Nervous Systems (CNS), is popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness.  Who doesn’t just absolutely love it when they are experiencing the wonderful feelings of sheer bliss? I took some time out to meditate today and recall a few different happy moments throughout my life.  It was nice, I’m all smiles today. We know that negative moods are associated with negative outcomes, and in the words of the wise Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

We have to keep our mind, body, and spirit up! That is if we are planning on making it in this world. So, brothers and sisters,

#1 – Turn them frowns upside down – Get your mind right!,

#2 – Let’s get up in the gym and work on our fitness – Come on now, Beer and Wings are only going to get you but so far…, and

#3- Give it up to your higher power – Do what you want, but my HP is the Holy Trinity.

We “goin’ up, on a Tuesday!” LOL Happy Tuesday followers! I challenge you to take a holistic approach to your life….. Being great isn’t easy, is it? But, we got this!

Best wishes,

The Greatest
…JK, but not really. Lol… 😉

The Silver Lining

I woke up this morning extremely angry. Without getting into too much detail, a close friend acted in such a way that had left me feeling unappreciated and disvalued. Those two emotions were intense for me. What I was actually feeling was HURT by it, but it was displayed as ANGER. #TeamAries, SMH; them damn Aries.

Anyway, as one could imagine, I woke up on the wrong side of the bed and chose to start my day, another day the Good Lord has allowed me to see, terribly wrong. It’s amazing how we allow others to occupy our mental spaces. I chose to fill my mental space with negativity; I internalized my friend’s actions and viewed myself negatively.

I started doubting myself and told myself that I did something wrong. I told myself I was getting what I deserved, because, I mean, why else would my friend treat me that way? Then I started questioning whether or not I brought value to anyone’s life. Sounds dramatic, right? But, keep in mind that I’m just sharing my thoughts. Those were just thoughts that I’m not afraid to admit having; we all have thoughts.

Before you judge and start formulating your feedback, remember that in spite of my profession as a behavioral health therapist, I am only human, far from perfect, and totally not above experiencing emotional pain. I checked my BS quickly, however, turned it around, and went on about my day. I had to snap out of it I guess. So, the morning progressed, I put my jams on; I was good. WOOSAH!

Now, getting to the point of this blog post…I received an email from a former client I worked with about two years ago. In all honesty, I barely remembered her as I see a lot of people where I work. But, she definitely remembered me and wanted to share her wonderful story with me. Please allow me to paraphrase some of what she wrote.

She pleasantly and casually addressed the letter to me and indicated she wanted to thank me. My eyes filled with tears as I read on. She goes on to say that though she was mandated to attend the program I work for, the group therapy sessions she attended with me helped her to change her outlook on life. She mentioned that while participating in the program she was in a long term and long distant relationship with a guy who was living outside of the country, who she was planning to marry. Also at that time she was working as a room attendant at a large hotel chain just to pay for her therapy and court fines, all while attending classes at the community college.

The good news she wanted to share is that she’s currently a junior at a four year university, got a promotion at her current job to an assistant manager, and is now married to a man she met online! She described her husband as “right” for her and she’s happy. At the end of her letter she reflected on an exercise I provided to the group in which I asked them to complete a Vision Board (from the Oprah website). I provided all of the materials. The last paragraph of her letter is as follows: “I did an exercise in your class which I think was called a vision board. I cut out pictures of the magazines, and wrote on the back of the pictures what I wanted, and provided details as to how long I wanted to accomplish these goals, and what I wanted for myself. This made me re-evaluate what I wanted in a true relationship for my life, as well as career, and spiritual life. These cut outs were placed on my door to my room, and Although a portion of them have been completed, I am now working on a vision board with my husband, and I wanted to share this brief story with you. I am thankful for the way in which you provided the experience.”

WOW! I was incredibly touched and happy for her successes. I thought to myself that her letter couldn’t have come at a better time. It reinforced that I do have value to others and though it’s not always revealed to me, people do appreciate me. It’s obviously a bit self-defeating to put myself down and discredit my worth, but hey, it happens sometimes. Her letter really helped to lift my spirits. Looks like things went full circle, huh? Today I was reminded of how grateful I am for the career I’ve chosen, and honestly how proud I am of myself and my accomplishments. As the saying goes, we are our own worst critic.

May we all continue to be blessed! Note: this post was written on 10/14/14, but posted today. As always, thank you for reading.

Sometimes when it rains, it pours, but when it clears, you really appreciate the sweet sunshine. 🙂

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Foto found online……..

Moments In Love

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Your relationship has you stuck? Try asking yourself three questions:

#1 – What do I want?

#2 – What do I need?

#3 – What will I settle for?

Feel free to write out your answers and reflect upon them.  This may help you to increase your insights.

Good Luck! And enjoy this jam, it’s one of favs…..

We Are Resilient

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“Falling down is part of life. Getting back up is living.”, Anonymous. 

Be easy folks! Let’s not over complicate things. Wise folks say, if something in your life is not working, try a new method. What a freaking concept!!!

Know that you are resilient. Know that you are a survivor. Know that if there’s a will, there’s a way.

DP:HWC

Get Back to the Basics

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**foto cred to @ttinphotography at http://www.tweakedcity.com**

When things start to get a bit hectic in your life, get back to the basics!

Make sure that:

#1 – you have a healthy mind, body, and soul;

#2 – you treat others how you want to be treated, (respect is one of the basic things all people should have for each other);

#3 – you never take anyone or anything for granted (when when you have good people in your life, keep them);

#4 – you give back (positively contribute to the world, as we have enough useless folks running around).

Just a few simple things to live by….

#randomthought

Don’t Bother With Fluff

“And time won’t heal a thing.  It’s just something you say when you don’t know where to begin…”.

I’m totally digging this jam right now.  The lyric above definitely caught my attention.  As a mental health therapist, I tend to describe myself as a “realist”. Though I am very empathic, I simply do not believe in fluff.  Fluff may be ok for very young children, but for the adults I work with, if you are coming into therapy with me, work is what we will do. 😉

Time is going to pass regardless… Consequently, I always encourage the individuals I work with to use their time wisely.  Remember that you cannot undo the past, but you can live and enjoy the present moment, and look forward to a more promising future.  I encourage all of us to live by the previous sentence, gain acceptance, forgive, let go of resentments, build and maintain healthy boundaries, and learn how to love yourself so that you may love others.

Hope you enjoyed yet another jam I’m hollering about. I also hope you have a wonderful day!

**As always, thanks for reading**

At A Loss For Words….

I look into your eyes prepared to utter my truths, but the tight lump in my throat obstructs the words.  

I take a deep breath while my thoughts fumble and jumble and eventually convince me to refrain.  

But, wait, I’m determined to express how I feel!!!  Oh, who am I kidding?  My cognitions are so commanding.  

They manage to silence my feelings by way of intimidation.  Somehow, all that I wanted to say sounds like, “Yea, I’m ok”, followed by a faux smile.    

What’s That Saying Again?

Wise men and women across the earth have exclaimed that one cannot have his or her cake and eat it too. I use to wonder, “Well, why the hell not?” However, as an adult women who has had intimate relationships, I now fully understand. If you’ve made the choice to establish a relationship with another, in other words, if you have decided to share some of yourself with another, then things are no longer all about you. You must be considerate of both you and the other party’s desires. At any time you are unwilling to do so, then that’s the time you need to make the decision to leave the relationship and keep to your damn self. Once I notice that any of my relationships are too one-sided, I’m on it. If things do not improve, I’m out! I have had a few opportunities to turn my back on inconsiderate pricks….just packed up my baggage, slipped into my flip flops and I’m out the door. Feels good to know your worth! #0FKSGVN.

Hope you enjoy this jam as much as I do. 😉

DP:OddTrioRedux

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