The 6 Lessons I Learned On My Healing Journey

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I’ve been on a healing journey for the past two years. It’s been one of the most challenging things I have ever experienced. Going down this path is not for the faint of heart. You’ll face many demons, and the amount of self-reflection will make you question your sanity. However, the payoff is rewarding in that all the unpleasant spots make the journey that much sweeter. You have to complete your shadow work to get the most out of this healing process. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it means the unconscious side of you that’s hidden and represents the darkest side of your personality. For example, secretly being jealous of a friend/family member or self-sabotaging because you don’t believe you deserve something. Throughout the rest of the blog post, I will discuss the 6 things I learned on my journey that I wish I had known in the beginning. I hope that having this information at your disposal will aid you in this complex undertaking.

Create Clear Objectives

The objectives that I created, in the beginning, had no depth to them. I would make statements such as I want to be happy and stop self-sabotaging my happiness. Those are great things to say, but it doesn’t give me much to work with in determining what needs to happen. An example of a better objective is why am I self-sabotaging, and how do I recognize when it’s happening to counteract it? The first step is to get to the root of the issue and then create solutions around correcting it. I spent extra time unnecessarily because I didn’t have clear objectives on what I needed. It’s difficult to ask for help when you can’t articulate what you need. You’ll have to have a heart-to-heart and iron out these details. You won’t be able to start nor get the most out of this process until you do. 

It’s Lonely

I stated earlier that this journey isn’t for the weak. It’s because most of it will be solo. You can have a life coach, therapist, spiritual advisor, etc., guiding you. However, you still need to do the individual work, which means you’ll be on your own. I lost count of the number of uncomfortable moments I experienced. I wanted to give up so many times. I cried to my therapist about why am I even doing this to myself. She repeatedly reminded me that I wanted to break old habits and create a more fulfilling life. I held up a mirror to myself and called out patterns that kept me from being my highest self. I had to learn not only to take accountability, but I had to fix the problem once I acknowledged that it existed. I’m much more self-aware, and my communication has vastly improved. It was a process to get to this point. 

Don’t Quit

When you get to the shadow side of the healing process, let me tell you, it’s a doozy. The things we leave to our unconscious mind that stays buried until we’re triggered are astonishing. These are the things that represent the worst parts of ourselves. It’s hidden because we don’t want to share it with anyone. However, you can’t miss this part when you need to heal. Honestly, I wanted to quit before; that was nothing compared to when I had to complete the shadow portion of my healing. I highly recommend not completing this portion on your own. Seek out a therapist or spiritual advisor because what you unearth here can scar you if your mind isn’t receiving adequate care. I went through this, and you can do it too. It will get you to where you want to be, but don’t quit no matter how difficult it gets. Remember why you’re doing this healing to help you get through the shadow portion. 

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Relationships Will End

One of the trickiest parts of this healing journey is the number of people you lose. I had to end relationships between romantic and non-romantic. Unfortunately, there were people that I couldn’t take along with me. I thought I could, but my healing made me realize how toxic everyone was, including me. Seeing things in a new light offers a different perspective. Previously, I had difficulty seeing self-destructive behaviors because I was a part of them. I don’t want to be a part of that behavior anymore. There’s the price you pay when the other people in your life don’t feel the same. Once you reach an impasse, the only thing left to do is part ways. You’ll feel that person(s) is holding you back and not supporting you. They’ll develop resentment and eventually ghost you as they don’t want to bring you down with their negativity. Outgrowing people is a normal part of life, but it accelerates when you decide to begin this process. 

Get A Support Group

Just because you’ll lose people along the way, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to find your tribe. There are other people out there who are on a healing journey. Those are the people that you will have to connect with going forward. They’ll have your best interest at heart. They’ll also let you know when you’re falling off track. That is the support you’ll need to help you as the temptation to fall back into old habits comes around. Of course, old friends/family and lovers will come back to disturb your peace. Your support system will step in and provide you with that extra boost to get you through it. I’m not sure why or how, but when you’re healing, evil spirits want to through you off your game. It comes as a test to see if you’re committed to this long-term. You’ll pass as long as you keep the right people in your corner. The old saying, “Show me your friends, and I’ll show you your future,” is the most accurate statement, especially in this phase. 

Healing Is An Ongoing Process

I saved the most critical lesson for last. The healing process never stops. I know you thought I went through all of this, and I still have more work. The answer to this question is yes, you do. You have to make sure that you maintain all the tools you learned. The only way to achieve this is by continuous work. The bright part here is that the hard work is behind you. Once you reach this phase, it is all about maintenance. If you feel compelled to go back to the complex stages, by all means, do what you must. Otherwise, stick to focusing on the upkeep as this is called a journey for a reason. You got this, and I’m rooting for your continued success!

I’m the best version of myself, and I never imagined I would say that out loud. My younger self would be proud of the woman I’ve become. Standing up and saying I could be better is not something many people do. I’m in awe of anyone who wants to take the necessary steps to improve their life. I understand how powerful it is to take charge of your life in that way. Every day, it amazes me how I not only said I would do this, but I also stuck with it. I’m saluting everyone else on this journey. We are the best and the biggest Queens ever to take on such a task!

Are you on your healing journey now, or are you interested in starting one? What have you learned on your journey, and could you apply anything in this post to yours? Please share your thoughts and comments below. 

I’ll chat with you in the next post!

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Battle with Depression

I’m writing this in complete shock of what transpired with Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. My thoughts and prayers are with their families at this difficult time. I’ve been reading a lot of comments regarding this situation, and everyone keeps saying how they don’t understand how Kate and Anthony got to this point. The comments are beyond hurtful as many people don’t know how mental illness and depression can alter your emotions. You will have mood swings, and thoughts of suicide can occur. These thoughts take place over the course of days, weeks, months, and even years. It is a constant battle of trying to get better and pretending that you’re okay. It is a private hell that I don’t wish on anyone. My intention with this post is to shed some light on this subject. The insensitivity I’m seeing is all the more reason why it’s essential to have this conversation. With many prayers and conversations with myself, I decided to share my own story. I have reservations about it, but I think it’s critical that I put my feelings aside. If this story can save one life, then it will be all worth it. Most importantly I hope that someone out there will think before they bully or judge someone. You have no idea what that person is dealing with or if the night before unsuccessfully (Thank God) tried to commit suicide.

My first experience with depression started when I was a teenager. I experienced a traumatic event in my life which prompted this. I didn’t properly learn how to process and deal with my emotions. I sought help, but the first therapist that I interacted with wasn’t helpful. She made me feel as if the situation was my fault. I was already blaming myself, so this situation just pushed me over the edge. I had so much pent-up aggression inside that I just wanted it to be released. I begin to self-harm as a way to cope with my emotions. Of course, this didn’t help at all, and my pain only intensified as time went on. The pain was becoming unbearable to the point where suicide was viewed as the best option. I didn’t feel comfortable discussing my struggles with anyone. When I would explain my issues with family, I would hear you don’t have anything to be sad about, or you need to pray more. Not sure why people think hearing that would be helpful in some way. Of course, this does nothing to cure your depression or boost your self-esteem. I kept myself busy with school and extracurricular activities. All I did was mask the pain I was dealing with, but it did nothing to cure the depression I was feeling. My family and friends thought I was okay because I did an excellent job of hiding my emotions.

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I am a very great actress, and I hid it very well. I don’t want to come across as weak or complaining, so I keep things to myself. When I did open up to the family, I didn’t get the support I was seeking. They were listening to me, but they didn’t understand what I was feeling. In their mind, I was a teen, and this is what teens deal with, so you will grow out of it. This thinking was wrong as I didn’t grow out of it and it only became worse. When you first open up about your feelings and don’t  receive a heartfelt response, you decide to not speak on it anymore. Everybody wants to be understood so when that doesn’t occur it’s easier to keep your thoughts to yourself. Depression followed me well into my adulthood, and I still struggle with it daily. Happy events were occurring in my life, but I was battling my own demons that I couldn’t enjoy it. I know I wasn’t the most relaxed person to date during that time as I was suffering in silence. I was going through the motions of life and being miserable at the same time. I got to the point when ending it all was the best option just to alleviate the noise in my head. This is when I unsuccessfully attempted suicide, and I’m so incredibly grateful it was unsuccessful.

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I went to work the next day as if nothing happened the night before. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. I had a horrible day at work, and my coworkers had no idea the previous night I had. At that point is when I decided to seek therapy again. I know you are wondering the first attempt didn’t work out so why try it again? I knew that I couldn’t do this alone and who better to see but a professional. I met an excellent therapist and credited her with helping to save me from myself. I had been a broken person all these years. My inner child never fully healed, so she became an adult without the emotional coping skills necessary in life. Even though I was an adult emotionally, I was still a teen, and that version of myself was the one making the decisions. Until I learned to heal that inner child, I would never be able to move forward. Those were the skills I learned in therapy, and that’s why I’m here today. With her guidance, I was able to finally heal my inner child and gain the closure I desperately needed for that chapter in my life.

I am a stronger, healthier person now because of therapy. I am a massive advocate for treatment, and I encourage anyone who needs healing to get it. After speaking about my struggles, I noticed that some family and friends are going through similar issues. Being preoccupied with how I came across, I never thought that maybe there are people who understand me. When you are in your head too much, you don’t reason with reality. My family and friends are more than willing to help me if I would let them in my world. Therapy taught me that I need to stop building walls around myself and be open to people as everyone isn’t going to hurt me. I don’t want anyone to read this story and feel sorry for me. I’m in a much better place, and this experience has only made me stronger. I hope that you read this story and it opens your eyes that depression doesn’t have a look. Anyone at any given time could be experiencing depression. If you have a loved one that is struggling even if they give hints, please don’t ignore them. That is their way of asking for help.

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Unfortunately, there is a still a stigma associated with mental illness and depression. Due to that people are still afraid to come forward with their truth. If you are struggling, please feel free to email me even if it’s to vent. I don’t want you to feel alone. Seek treatment and speak to a trusted friend or family member. Use this post as a way to help facilitate a conversation if necessary. Don’t let your struggles get the best of you. There is a way that you can overcome your obstacles don’t be afraid to ask for help. If one person doesn’t listen or give you the response you are seeking keep trying. There are others out there who do so don’t give up. Please share this on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and leave your comments below. Let’s continue to add commas to our lives and not a period.

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Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Removing Baggage

Once you reach your thirties, it’s difficult to experience life at this point without baggage. You can’t escape it, but you should be open about it. Being honest is even more critical when it impacts your dating life. You should be as truthful as possible as the choice to be with you should be a mutual decision. Don’t ever take the option out of the hands of your potential mate. Eventually, that person will develop resentment and mistrust if you do. I understand being skeptical about revealing too much as it can work against you. However, if that person is ready to leave, then they aren’t meant for you. Do you want someone who will give up easily and not stick it out? I didn’t think so. It is better, to tell the truth as a way to weed out the wrong individuals. Be sure to prepare for a relationship before getting involved in one. Please review the items below before jumping into a relationship. I understand the need for companionship/love, but if you genuinely aren’t open (i.e., emotionally unavailable, rebound, baby mama/daddy drama and lack of time) it’s not fair to invite someone into that drama.

Emotionally Unavailable

If you are dealing with past pain, mistrust, or stuck on an ex, then you aren’t ready to date. Please don’t use someone for companionship or be prepared to have the windows busted out your car. That other person has emotions, and it’s unfair to allow someone to fall for you when emotionally you can’t commit to a relationship. Be open and honest about where you are and let that other person decide to continue to deal with you.

Rebound

I know the old saying is the best way to get over someone is under someone new. I completely disagree with this statement. That new person again has feelings, and all you will be doing is toying with them. Your new romantic partner will be under the impression that you are ready for a relationship just like they are. They will feel that way because you lead them to believe that. Getting over an ex is not the new person’s responsible it’s yours. Take the time to be single and work through your issues before a new relationship. Of course, you should continue to improve yourself while in a relationship. However, it’s vital that significant problems like your previous relationship ending should be worked out before starting a new one. A long-term relationship ending doesn’t mean jumping into another relationship a few months later. You aren’t ready nor have you healed. Don’t use someone else to mask that pain. You will end up on an episode of “Snapped” if you aren’t careful.

Baby Mama/Daddy Drama

If you are dealing with a crazy ex who happens to be the mother or father of your children, please work through that before starting a relationship. Everyone needs love which I understand entirely, but that’s a lot of drama to ask someone to take on. If there are child support and custody issues, get that together beforehand. Your new relationship shouldn’t now be the time to want to work on those issues. The ex will feel that your new relationship is causing problems and they will start to become angry. The ex may, unfortunately, begin to take out their anger on the children. The way this can occur is by seeing the children less and in some cases stop paying child support. Also, if your new significant other doesn’t have children the expectation of time will be required. If you don’t have a visitation schedule in place how can you properly develop a relationship? Save everyone the heartache and figure out any loose ends before starting a new relationship.

Lack of Time

If you are too busy due to work, business travel or whatever your reasons are be upfront about it. Don’t start a new relationship if you will not have the time necessary to dedicate to it. Things become even more complicated if the other person is fully present and ready for a relationship. If you don’t have the time to commit to a relationship, then you have to let the other person know that. Allow the other person to decide if this relationship is right for them. You may not want to hear if the answer is no, but you don’t have the right to make decisions for others. It’s not fair for a person to get involved with you under the assumption you can commit to a relationship. Due to your lack of time, you most likely want something more casual. There is nothing wrong with this, but you have to be forthcoming about it.

I know this sounds like you can’t be in a relationship ever and I hope that’s not the message you’re getting. The purpose of this is to remind you of the importance of being a healthy and happy person before a new relationship. You want to come into a new relationship ready to start fresh and be open to new experiences. You can’t do that with the baggage I just described. The types of baggage discussed in this post doesn’t allow for a sustainable and prosperous relationship. It is imperative that these types of baggage be nonexistent before starting a new relationship. Otherwise, you will be in a never-ending string of bad relationships.  All because your past issues are still present.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)