Happy New Year, my loves!
On the first of this month, I celebrated my 8th year as a blogger. Yeah, 8 whole years.
It is hard to describe what these past 8 years have been like, let alone feel like but I can assure you that I’ve come a long way from the 17-year-old that used to go by Kween K.
I’ve changed. And if you have been a reader of mine for a while, then you know this blog has changed too.
Sometimes we reject change. Sometimes we are resistant to it. But when it comes to this blog of mine, I embrace the changes. My words have helped me navigate and (sometimes grudgingly lol) embrace the changes of life and womanhood in general.
My words have healed both you and me these last few years.
My words have been a power source of motivation, inspiration, tenacity, and authenticity.
My words have helped me grow more comfortable with being myself.
My words have taken me places.
In year 7, I quietly accomplished a lot yet was the most visible and vulnerable I had ever been in years.
My annual self-love workshop was sold out.
I was a guest on 2 really great podcasts.
I published 1,000 blog posts.
I finally started selling merchandise.
I struggled and overcame and started healing for real in year 7.
I’ve always been a person who was aware that she had a voice, unafraid to share her opinion. But year 7 helped me step into my power.
I’ll be honest with you all: Sometimes, I feel like I am behind. Managing your own brand and constantly growing it year after year isn’t easy. Sometimes I feel like I should be “much further along” and that has been said to me before.
But…. when I tell those negative voices to be quiet, I understand that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. This journey is mine, and no one else’s.
The number 8 represents balance, wisdom, and expansion. This is what year 8 for me is all about. 8 years in, how can I expand what I already have, yet gain more?
More importantly, what can you all expect from me this year?
The first thing you all should know is: This is my LAST blog post for a while. At least until my book that I am currently writing, is published. Stay tuned for more updates about that via my email list and on my social media. My book is slated to release in March and it is a part manifesto, part journal prompt about the journey of self-love. I am looking forward to becoming an author this year, it has been a dream of mine for as long as I could remember.
The second thing you can expect from me this year is another annual #WriteYourselfALoveLetterChallenge self-love workshop, coming in March. Every year it gets bigger, better, and more impactful and I am excited to share what I’ve been working on.
The last thing you can expect from me this year? Expansion.
Thank you God for the blessings in advance.
Cheers to year 8! Let’s make it great!
Being told to trust the process is one of the most annoying things I’ve ever heard.
I’m not sure if this is because I grew up in the boom of the social media age but when I want something, I want it instantaneously. I put my work in dammit, now where is my reward????????????????????????????
But, that only works on Instagram.
Instant gratification is defined as the desire to experience pleasure or fulfillment without delay or deferment.
And we all deal with it at some point in our lives, whether we realize it or not. For example: I once knew a guy who started a t-shirt line this summer. He had all these big plans about how he would sell out instantly, because so many people knew him and were already familiar with him because of his photographer/videographer skills. Well, when he released the shirts, imagine his shock, surprise, and denial when he sold not one shirt. I mean he was pissed! He started calling people around him unsupportive and instead of brainstorming ways to market his shirts better or find his niche audience, he quit.
He and I had a talk about it, and I told him “Ya know if you gave up your need for instant gratification, you’d enjoy this process much more.”
He wasn’t trying to hear all that though!
He felt like if he wasn’t selling out from day 1, then he might as well quit while he was ahead. He considered himself not good at his new business venture, and then he started comparing himself to other entrepreneurs who were not only popular on social media, but had also been in the t-shirt business for years.
Raise your hand if the need for instant gratification has ever made you give up on something because you didn’t see instant results.
Anybody else guilty of comparing ourselves to others when we don’t even have even half of the work ethic? Or talent? Or clout?
The reason why we do all this is because of instant gratification.
I remember a couple of years ago, my dramatic ass considered stopping as a writer because I once had a blog post go viral and then everything I wrote after that didn’t go viral which led me to believe that no one was paying attention to me or my content.
Instant gratification had me thinking that after blogging for 5 years at the time, all my content needed to have a big reaction because I had been working hard for yearssssss and dammit I wanted that validation. The applause.
People posting me all over their social media. All that.
But again, that’s not how any of this works.
When something is created to last, there’s never a moment when you’re not working hard.
I saidddddddd: WHEN SOMETHING IS CREATED TO LAST, THERE IS NEVER A MOMENT WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING HARD.
It’s like I told my friend with his t-shirt line, once we get past our need for instant gratification, we can then enjoy the process even more.
Also, did ya’ll know that instant gratification is a form of self-sabotage? For example: You might procrastinate on completing a task or goal because you don’t see the immediate pay off or you might get distracted by the short-lived attention you receive from something and then don’t have a clear plan on how you want to expand upon it.
But I guess you’re wondering, how do I get over my need for instant gratification? For me, I’ve tried:
- Unplugging from social media ~ Sometimes you just gotta delete the apps from your phone for a few days and just get to work. When used responsibly, social media can be a fun place to connect with others. When you spend too much time scrolling, you’ll find yourself consciously or subconsciously comparing yourself to other people and you still not getting work done. Unplug, go outside, and sit with your thoughts for once. You’d be surprised on how much clarity and direction you can gain once you sit with yourself.
- Remember that everything is a stepping stone ~ This is something I struggle with. The process truly fucking sucks at times, yet we are still supposed to find joy in it?? While I could dwell on that, the truth is that struggle is temporary. Trust that whatever roadblocks you had to endure is absolutely necessary, so no sense in resisting it.. even though you’re not wrong for wishing things could be easier.
- Think about what type of success you want~ A Drake song once said: All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow” so think about what type of success you want! Do you want timeless success or do you want overnight success that’s here today and gone tomorrow? As I said, when you are creating things to last a long time, there’s never a moment you’re not working hard.
With that being said, instant gratification is nothing more than another distraction, sent to see how you are simply gonna act. Are you gone push pass this distraction? Are you gonna fold and succumb to the comparison trap? Or are you gonna get caught up in wanting things now that you don’t even look at the blessings in front of you?
Trying to turn dreams into realities is not easy, but I do know it’s worth it.
And if you wanna build something that’s gonna last, just remember:
All that other bullshit is here today and gone tomorrow.
Have you ever had a moment where you’ve wanted instant gratification? What was it about?
How do you overcome or manage it?
What advice would you give someone that struggles with instant gratification?
Accountability only sucks when you aren’t ready to own up to your shit.
I learned this lesson the hard way when a home girl of mine called me out on some shit I was doing and instead of deflecting and trying to bring the attention back on her….. I had to sit with that shit.
And reflect some more.
And then make the necessary changes.
And lemme tell you, my ego was bruised and pissed!
Cuz what the hell you mean I ain’t perfect and I be fuckin’ up and sometimes I lack self-awareness, and my actions don’t only affect me?
But yeah, it’s true.
And I do be fuckin’ up. Like a lot.
And sometimes I am so focused on me and what I want and how I feel about things, that I rarely take the time to pause and think about how my actions impact others.
But one thing I do know is this: when people take the time out to hold you accountable, that means they love you. Because if they didn’t give a fuck about you, they wouldn’t say a word. They would continue to watch you self-destruct and mind their business.
So the next time you find yourself getting defensive because someone is calling you out on your shit, or making sure you finish what you start, or even asks you to pause and reflect on your behavior, remember this:
- You are NOT perfect.
- They are NOT wrong for saying something to you.
- It is better to be corrected by someone who cares for you than to be corrected by someone who doesn’t.
Accountability is what separates the adults from the children, even though there are some incredibly childish adults out here.
It’s easy to blame everything and everybody else for your fuckups but if you truly want to grow, you have to cut that shit out eventually.
Self-accountability is not something you develop overnight. Like most things, it starts with you having a particular mindset. Once you are able to program your mindset from victim to a more mindful person, everything starts falling into place.
As I’ve said throughout this series: You cannot run away from yourself forever. Holding yourself accountable may uncover some harsh truths about yourself, but I’m learning that it makes you better in the long run.
- Would you rather hold yourself accountable or would you rather have someone else close to you do it?
- What about accountability is hard for you?
- What tips would you give someone trying to develop accountability within themselves?
Have ya’ll ever met a mf that no matter what, it’s ALWAYS some shit going on in their lives? Like no matter what, you can always count on them for a wild story, wild situation, just complete CHAOS?
I got a confession though:
It’s me. I’m that person I just talked about above.
My name is Kia Smith, and I am addicted to creating chaos in my life.
It’s like when my life is a bit too peaceful or “boring” I’ll do shit just to keep it spicy…. which is well, sick.
Cuz what sane person would just purposely try to create mess in their lives as a form of entertainment and excitement?
Me and my therapist discuss this often….. I was born in chaos. Lived through chaos. Never really knew what peaceful times were and deep down inside, I may or may not be afraid to figure out what peace looks like for me.
So when things get a little too quiet…. I’ll purposely shake shit up.
But that creates an unhealthy cycle because once the fire burns everything, it is me who has to pick up the pieces. Ain’t no superheroes coming to save me.
One would think that if I know that, I wouldn’t create chaos.
But ya’ll know how the saying goes: A hard head creates a soft ass.
But…. I wanna do better. I wanna be better. My life is already difficult enough at times…. No sense in making it even harder right?
So where do I go from here, is the million dollar question.
A while ago on my Instagram, I posted a graphic about how peace is my new normal. This is a concept I learned in therapy. Essentially, it relates to this: Just because you’ve been accustomed to doing something a certain way or living your life a certain way, does not mean that you can’t change it whenever you want. This is called “creating a new normal”
Another thing I am learning is that I am deserving of a peaceful life. I don’t have to settle for the chaos I’m used to. So many of us choose to engage in chaos because deep down inside, we feel like we don’t deserve good things. But that’s simply not true.
It all starts with our beliefs, we have to change them in order to change the trajectory of our lives.
We do deserve all the goodness life has to offer us, we just have to actively choose it.
Speaking of choices, this brings me to my last point: I have to remember that I ALWAYS have the power to choose. I am in control of where I go, who I allow in my life, discussions I engage in, boundaries I want to maintain and cross, etc. It’s all on me, no one else. Every choice I make is followed by a consequence whether good or bad.
Breaking addictions is hard, doing the work is fucking hard.
All in all though, you gotta know that life doesn’t have to be chaotic all the time, it can be chill too and still worth living.
Since I wrote all this down though, I am committed to kicking this crazy addiction to chaos once and for all. Wish me well on my journey, I’m gonna need it.
- Are you guilty of creating chaos in your life? If so, why do you think you do it?
- If you removed all the self-inflicted chaos in your life, what would you replace it with?
- Do you think someone can actually kick an addiction to chaos? What are some tips you may have to manage it?
It was once believed that to have someone was better than having no one. Because, who wants to live and die alone?
This is a society that prizes partnership and being with someone, and truth be told, we do need people. I personally don’t think that life is meant to be spent alone.
When the desire to not to live or die alone is powered by fear, that’s when it becomes a problem.
That’s when you start accepting just any-old-body into your life, because for some reason you believe that having someone in your life is better than having no one– and not just for romance but all types of relationships– friends and family members too.
Fear of being alone creates a lack of boundary setting.
Fear of being alone creates the inability to do things by yourself.
Fear of being alone can cause you to settle.
Fear of being alone can prevent you from developing self-awareness.
To keep it real with you, nobody really LIKES to be by themselves but its necessary at times.
If you fear being alone, how you gone find out what you do and don’t want?
If you fear being alone, how can you develop discernment?
If you fear being alone, how can you decide what type of people you want in and out your life?
You cannot be dependent on other people to help you figure out who you are. You can only learn that by being alone.
We all have fears, but being by yourself shouldn’t be one of them.
- Are you afraid of being by yourself?
- If yes, what scares you the most about it?
- If no, what makes you comfortable in your loneliness?
- Do you think there is a difference between being alone and feeling lonely?
We all have vices, especially when we want to escape ourselves.
One thing for sure and two things for sure, you can’t run away from yourself forever. When the realities of our life get too tough, we turn to different methods to cope — most likely drugs, alcohol, or even sex. How we abuse those things is called escapism, which refers to purposely finding things to distract you from the unpleasant realities of whatever you’re facing.
Keep in mind: I don’t think alcohol is bad.
I don’t think sex is bad.
I don’t think drugs are bad. (Well, I don’t think weed is bad. All that other stuff ya’ll do, I’m not sure about that pal lol)
But, the way we indulge in these things matter. It is not inherently bad or good, but more of a fact of what is the WHY behind all of this? Why do we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms? Isn’t there better options out here to help us deal with our shit?
The short answer is yes, but because I don’t speak for everyone on this earth, it varies on who you ask.
The reason(s) behind why we choose unhealthy coping mechanisms varies, too.
Some of us may be trying to heal from a traumatic event that’s happened in our past.
Some of us may be really thrilled by engaging in risky behavior.
But all of us are seeking to fill a void.
You know that the mechanisms you use to cope are becoming unhealthy when they no longer help you feel that void.
When even the drugs enhance how shitty you feel.
When the bitter taste of alcohol won’t even make you forget what happen.
When you internally scream whenever you sexually enter someone or when they enter you.
The adrenaline rush of chasing whatever made us temporarily feel better is what makes us keep coming back to the unhealthy coping mechanisms. The cycle continues over and over and it’s not just through drugs, alcohol, or sex. Unhealthy coping mechanisms can also be seeking social media attention, dealing with toxic people, and even overeating.
I say all this to say: I’m not here to judge you, because we all have vices.
Eventually, drugs and alcohol and sex and whatever we use to cope won’t be enough to distract you from the pain you’re feeling. At some point you have to stop escaping and actually focus on actually healing.
I know it’s not easy. But you must gain the strength to try anyway.
With love, I wish you well on your journey.
“Why can’t you see yourself that way that God sees you?” was a question once asked of me that still haunts me to this day.
To the outside world and online, I am seen as confident and well put together, courageously smashing her goals and always ambitious AF. Behind closed doors and in the depths of my mind, I struggle with a lot of crippling self-doubt.
I mean we all do, don’t we?
The answer is yes, but at what point does self-doubt become a problem?
Even better question: Why do we doubt ourselves in the first place?
Furthermore, what is self-doubt?
According to Collins Dictionary, self-doubt is the lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities.
Well damn. What a way to make me feel shitty.
I’m not sure where self-doubt comes from nor how we develop that lack of confidence. Some may point to childhood, and say that if you had parents or other close acquaintances around you that criticized you quite often, then its likely that you would struggle with self-esteem.
But me personally, I wasn’t overly criticized by either of my parents. I was always praised for my performance academically or otherwise. But I know many of you reading this may have not been so lucky.
I really only received criticism from classmates and grew to hate the attention I received for being “so smart” because while I was not boastful about it, people still had something to say to me. So it was like a catch 22– at home I received support and reassurance but at school I was being teased, isolated, etc. On top of being an only child, it was hard for me to consistently believe in myself.
Like, I know I’m highly intelligent and gifted in a lot of areas, but when it comes to putting myself out there and letting people know, I get anxious about it.
What if they think I’m cocky?
What if they think I’m annoying?
What if they think my work is not all that cool?
Are these people laughing at me?
What if I’m not that great?
Am I really acting like a know-it-all?
What if I can’t pull this off?
And the questions continue.
Self-Doubt shows up in a number of ways, such as:
- Never finishing what you start
- Not being able to praise yourself for even the smallest things
- Not pursuing opportunities
- Talking yourself out of trying new things
- Fear of rejection, so you don’t try anyway
- Not trusting yourself
- Feelings of imposter syndrome
- Low confidence, so you look to others for constant reassurance
- Automatically thinking you can’t do something
- Actually being afraid that you are good at something because you don’t want the responsibility of maintaining it.
Imma stop right here. Because you know how we play ourselves.
I don’t think there’s a way to completely eradicate self-doubt because I don’t believe that there is a person on this earth who 100% believes in themselves and all their abilities…. unless you’re K*nye W*st of course.
Anyway…. I do think there are ways to control frequent feelings of self-doubt. Here’s a few methods that I try:
Alright so boom, there’s nothing wrong with seeking reassurance from others. There is something wrong when you seek it from people who don’t give a damn about you or if you do it too often. Who you have around you is important. The only cool thing about being an adult is that you have the power to choose who can be in your life. If you came from an overly critical family that did not speak life into you, choose friends who empower and uplift you. My group(s) of friends are honest with me and extremely supportive and encouraging. My wins are their wins and vice versa. We aren’t meant to do life alone and life is already tough enough, find a tribe of people who believe in you even when you struggle to believe in yourself.
As a writer and even as just a regular person, how you talk to and affirm yourself is important. To help control my self-doubt, I write down positive things about myself starting with “I am” even if it has not happened yet or I don’t always feel that way. Once I write them down, I keep them in places where I can see them such as the door of my bathroom, on my phone as reminders and the names of alarms and in my journals. By seeing these positive words every single day, my mindset begins to shift and I start to believe it. Once I start to believe, it becomes easier for me to kick self-doubt to the curb.
For example, self-doubt will be like: “Girl you are not even qualified for that opportunity, I don’t even know why you try.”
My affirmations counters that by saying: “I am confident in all my abilities. Why wouldn’t I try?
Start writing positives things about yourself, and see what difference it makes.
Let Fear Be a Motivator
Okay so, a large part of why we doubt ourselves is because of fear. This can be fear of rejection or fear of responsibility that comes with being good. Either way it goes, we have to learn how to let fear motivate us instead of hinder us.
Secret about me: 70% of the things I do or want to do, I be scared shitless. But what’s even more scary is staying stagnant and not being happy. So even though I’m scared, my impulsive side kicks in and I just do it anyway. Ya’ll know how the saying goes, it’s better to try some shit and fail than not try at all.
With that being said, I wanna stress a few things to you:
Overcoming self-doubt is indeed a journey but it is not impossible.
Sometimes you just gotta say “fuck it!” and do it anyway
There’s never a room you don’t belong in. Imposter syndrome can kick rocks too.
If you’re worried about not measuring up to others, please remember that you’re in competition with no one but yourself. Strive daily to be better than you were the day before.
Don’t listen to people who never accomplished shit. It’s a reason they’re projecting their insecurities on to you, and it has zero to do with you.
- What do you doubt yourself about?
- What does your own personal self-doubt stem from?
- What steps can you take to overcome self-doubt?
“You make me wanna come thru, quarter after 2/just to put it down on you” ~ Summer Walker and Usher, Come Thru
The song was on repeat as I waited on his call, letting me know he was outside…. ready to enter into my home, enter into my bed, and into me.
“I shoulda known better…..” Summer sang through my speakers as I walked down my stairs to open the door for him. As he walked towards my door, my body felt tingly from head to toe…. let’s say it’s a feeling you get right before you know you’re about to make a bad decision.
Considering all that I’ve endured with this person, it was sick that I allowed him into my home again….. but I was a slave to self-sabotage. Whenever I felt like life got a lil too easy and and peaceful, I regressed back into my familiar, yet self-destructive patterns.
What are these patterns you may ask? Simple:
- Fuckin’ with people I ain’t supposed to be fuckin’ with
- Not staying disciplined to certain routines
- Staying committed to detrimental routines
- Purposely placing myself in tempting situations to satisfy my need for thrill
- Not going after certain opportunities out of fear
- Not walking away from certain people/things/situations that no longer serve me
- Procrastinating on important things
The list goes on. This is self-sabotage.
Self-Sabotage is like opening Pandora’s Box…Once you start succumbing to certain habits, it’s hard to break them… and I be feeling like a reformed crackhead every time.
And truth be told, the addiction never really goes away… you just learn how to manage it.
But what happens when you can’t manage it anymore? When you don’t wanna manage it anymore? What happens to you when you keep repeating the cycle? Then what?
I’ll tell you what.
You and self-sabotage gone be staring at each other like:
And then you’ll question yourself, like damn…. why DO I keep doing this dumb ass shit? Ask yourself, am I engaging in this behavior because….
I feel like I don’t deserve better?
I actually fear a peaceful life because I am accustomed to dysfunction?
Do I actually have low self-esteem?
Is this behavior powered by another emotion that I’ve yet to address yet?
At this point of the story, I’m supposed to tell you how you should stop engaging in self-sabotaging behavior and work towards being your best self.
But honestly, I’m in the same boat as ya’ll…. or maybe not. Maybe you’re reading this and judging me. But I will say that over the last 5 months of consistent therapy, the only answer I have in regards to self–sabotage is that awareness is key. Now the step after recognizing?
Well, that’s up for you to decide. We gotta look in the mirror first.
Get out your own way. Stop self-sabotaging.
- In what ways do you often self-sabotage?
- Why do you think you engage in that type of behavior?
- What do you think the next step is once you acknowledge your behavior?
I was 18 years old when I realized that I needed to address my mental health.
Freshman year of college kicked my entire ass and honestly, I wanted to die.
Honestly, I tried to die. But, that Spring of 2013 I finally said to myself that I needed to do something about this.
I remember leaving my dorm room and venturing off to the health center, whose walls I had been in numerous times between that first and second semester of freshman year, but this time was different.
I wanted to conquer myself.
But things didn’t quite work out that way.
I walked into the counseling center where I had to fill out paperwork, then they had me sit down with someone who did what is called an intake interview, where she asked me a series of questions about my background, my family’s background, and ultimately what brought me there.
I answered her questions as honestly as I could, but then was cut off. This white girl, who I later found out was a graduate student in the counseling program, looked me square in my eyes and said, “Well, it doesn’t LOOK like anything is wrong with you.”
I got quiet and I remember my stomach twisting in knots.
At 18/19 years old, I didn’t have the language to describe that I was processing trauma and that regardless of how strong I looked on the outside, I was hurting bad on the inside.
That’s the problem. We assume that black folks, especially black women don’t hurt. They assume we don’t suffer from trauma or pain. They assume we can endure so much and not break.
But there I was, in that office, trying my hardest not to break. When she said that, I couldn’t help but think to myself “Well damn, maybe I am making this shit up in my head…..”
Needless to say, I left that office. I never went back.
And I just thugged it out with my mental health for the rest of the school year, then the summer, then the fall and winter, and then for about 3 or 4 more years until 2017.
Those years saw a lot of pain.
I’ve never been diagnosed, but maaannnnnnn those depressive episodes I experienced often took a huge toll on me mentally and emotionally.
A couple of emotional breakdowns and rounds of self-sabotaging destructive behavior later, I figured I needed to try counseling again.
This time though, I wanted to try spiritual counseling with the pastor I had at the time. Every week for a couple months, we would discuss my issues and he advised me on how to approach things from a spiritual standpoint.
In our sessions, I learned a lot about building an authentic relationship with God and how to turn to prayer more often rather than unhealthy coping mechanisms. It was during this period that I started keeping prayer journals and casting my cares on the Lord (1st Peter 5:7)
I’m not sure when I stopped going to spiritual counseling, but I do think the decision to stop was a mutual one.
Everything was fine for a while, but towards the end of 2016, I had another emotional breakdown.
The irony in this is that I am known as someone who keeps a smile on her face and is somewhat known as the life of the party. People typically come to me for encouragement, so it was mind boggling that I had sunk so low.
But I did. And once again, I had to figure out how to pick myself up again.
During that time, Solange released A Seat At The Table and those mornings and nights when I couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t eat, wasn’t sleeping well, damn for sure wasn’t cleaning my room it was that album that pushed me to keep going and do something about this.
But, I didn’t do anything. At least not right away.
Senior year of college rolled around and I anxious as hell about life post grad. However, it wasn’t just the future I was stressed about, I was also exhausted by the toxic relationships I engaged in, my self-destructive behavior, and struggled hard with loving and accepting myself fully.
By then I had figured out that I wanted and needed a Black female therapist in my life and if I had to walk my ass back into my school’s counseling center then that was what I was gone have to do.
Now most people, (self included) tend to stay away from places where they had a negative experience. But my school’s counseling center was convenient, affordable, and plus the white girl who judged me freshman year no longer worked there, so it was a win.
Things had changed. First of all, the assessment they had me take was online now and I now had the option of picking the race/ethnicity of the therapist I wanted to see. Talk about autonomy and control!
A couple days later, I was back in therapy and went every week up until I graduated.
I learned so much about myself during those 5 months AND it was refreshing to connect with a Black, female, therapist.
I learned that the key to peace is acceptance.
I learned what boundaries were and how to set and maintain them.
I learned the importance of being present.
After I graduated, things took a toll on me mentally.
Post grad blues, working jobs I hated, a pregnancy followed by an abortion, more self-sabotaging and self-destructive behavior. I didn’t take the time to stop and process anything. All of those different things going on affected me greatly. But always the one to never stop smiling, not many knew what I was going through at the time.
The unfortunate part was, I knew I needed therapy but what stopped me was that I couldn’t afford it. The health insurance offered by my job at the time was public aid health insurance and I wasn’t sure if I could get a black therapist again and didn’t wanna risk it. In hindsight, doing some research would’ve saved me from a lot of suffering.
Instead of going back to therapy, I self-helped as best as I could with:
- Books on self-development
- Podcasts, such as Therapy 4 Black Girls
For a while, it worked. I learned how to name and regulate my emotions.
I learned why I acted the way I did in certain situations.
I learned healthier coping mechanisms for those anxious and depressive moments.
I got comfortable talking to myself + trusted friends.
I still would’ve rather been talking to a therapist, but getting in debt behind my mental health wasn’t something I wanted to do. And that fear, along with the stigma of seeking mental health services is what stops a LOT of us from going.
2019 came around, and everything was fine at first.
But then May came and I knew I had to stop putting it off and go talk to somebody. I was watching myself slip back into self-destructive behavior, my attachment style to certain people was getting out of hand, I was self-sabotaging and bending boundaries, and to put all that simply, I was sick of my own shit.
So, I took to Instagram and found a therapist and had my first session on May 15th and have been going as consistently as possible every 2-3 weeks.
Life since May has been a damn roller coaster, and if you read Exploring Celibacy then you know why.
Therapy is helpful when you do the work. And you gotta be committed. And you gotta be disciplined cuz this shit is not fun, not easy, and is exhausting. But, I am thankful for therapy. Being in control of my mental health both intrigues me and makes me feel liberated.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me that my mental wellness is important.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me that I truly do deserve peace and should not have to fight for it.
Thank you, therapy for giving me safe spaces to process trauma and cry about it.
Thank you, therapy for letting me know that there is strength in vulnerability.
Thank you, therapy for showing me that I have the power to create a new normal.
Thank you, therapy for showing me that mental health is not cookie cutter or black and white.
Thank you, therapy for helping me forgive myself.
Thank you, therapy for helping me strengthen my self-love.
Thank you, therapy for helping me become secure in my decision making and to trust myself.
Thank you, therapy for giving me the tools to have those difficult ass conversations I’ve had to have with people all year long.
Thank you, therapy for teaching me the importance of boundaries and how to respect others’ boundaries as well.
Thank you, therapy, for helping me gain clarity on what I want in a partner, out of a job, out of my life.
Thank you, therapy for making me feel empowered enough to write, tweet, text, talk, and Facebook about my experiences with you. Those messages I get often about how I inspired someone to take control of their mental health never get old.
Thank you, therapy for making me no longer ashamed of what I’ve been through.
Needless to say, therapy is awesome to me.
I think everyone should go at some point in their lives, even if you think nothing is “wrong” with you.
If you’re thinking about getting some therapy in your life, here is your confirmation that you should go.
There’s nothing to be ashamed of, and even though processing trauma can be exhausting AF, you can take a nap afterwards.
Take care of yourselves, loves.
- Have you ever been in therapy? What was/is your experience like?
- If you haven’t been to therapy yet, what is stopping you?
- If you’re currently in therapy or have been in the past, what are some things you’ve learned about yourself.
- Why do you think there is so much shame associated with seeking help with our mental health?
- What can this world do to make mental health services more affordable and accessible to all?
- Have you experienced any negativity from friends or family for seeking help about your mental health?
- Leave a message for someone who is struggling with their mental health.