The Downfall of People Pleasing

I discussed the importance of self-care and self-love openly on this blog page. Honestly, at times I feel like a fraud because I’m not living up to the truth that I preach. One issue is that I tend to second-guess myself and scrutinized everything. I’m so concerned with making mistakes that not only do I still make them but they are worse than I could even imagine. The reason for this stress is due to my issue of people pleasing.  I get so worried about what my family may think or believe. I know it doesn’t matter what others say and it’s important to live your life for you. Trust me I get it, and I heard all those reasons before. However, when you’re always in your head none of that matters. You believe that no matter what decision you make it’s still the wrong one. If my choices are going to cause harm to those around me, then it’s best to avoid the risk. That is a horrible way to live and not the best way to view things.

I wish that I could say that I don’t care what family thinks of me, but it’s not true. I get down on myself because I want to be happier in life. Delighted people don’t focus on the opinions of others. Their primary objective is to ensure their happiness supersedes everything else around them. I can’t wait for that to me as I’m continuously struggling with this daily. The next few paragraphs are an open letter to myself about how I’m going to not only love myself more but how I will implement these changes. I hope that reading this will help others out there learn to do the same.

Thkeya what can I say we have been on this beautiful journey called life together for the past 33 years. You have made such a positive impact on the lives of so many around you. The sad part is nobody understands the pain that you deal with on the daily. You go from happiness to sadness as the wind blows. All of this nonsense is due to you not being happy within yourself. Your wants and needs have fallen to the wayside to help those in need. Especially if it pertains to your family, you will go above and beyond to help them. There’s nothing wrong with being there for them but what about you? Are your desires not of great importance? At some point, you have to take a break from saving the world and focus on you. Since you’re responsible and reliable, your family will often overlook being there for you. They don’t believe that you need assistance. Therefore, it’s hardly granted or asked.

You’re still human at the end of the day and not a superhero. You need to take your cape off to rest and regroup for your mental wellbeing. I know you’re worried because every time you do you feel like you’re selfish. In the famous words of  Iyanla Vanzant, “It’s selfish not to put yourself first.” I understand hearing all this is a lot for you. You’re most likely furious with me for even bringing this up. I don’t care what you want to hear because you need to listen to this. If you don’t make changes NOW, it will have dire consequences for you. Resentment is close to creeping in, and that’s a horrible sign. Some changes need to occur, and I’m begging you to make them sooner than later.

Of course, I would never leave you with all this to unpack and not try to help you implement changes ASAP. The first solution is to continue with therapy. I know it’s scary and you felt like you can do all this on your own. Well, therapy will help with these new demons that are coming to the surface. You need the proper tools to help deal with the range of emotions that you’re experiencing. I know you want to say you got this, but it’s a more prominent sign of strength to say I need help. Anyone who puts you down about this decision doesn’t need to be in your life period. You will gain more confidence, and that radiance that is inside will be shining out even more.

The second solution is following your heart and trust your instincts more. You know what’s best for you so stop doubting yourself. It’s exceptionally frustrating to watch you go over and over a decision when you got this. Kill the self-doubt and follow your first mind. It’s boring not taking risks anyway. The third solution is to stop waiting for a mythical time in the future to do something. The best time to do it is NOW! If you hold on for a great time to happen in life then literally nothing will ever occur. That’s not how life works. You don’t get to follow down this smooth path with rose petals. It’s bumpy, messy, confusing and filled with heartache along the way. The best you can do is pray for a perfect outcome and figure it out if it doesn’t happen. The fourth and final solution is to stop caring about what others have to say. I don’t care if it’s your 4th cousin twice removed let that negative energy go. I know it feels like you ‘re getting picked on and that’s why you take it to heart. Stop allowing it to affect you and see how quickly those opinions dissipate. The reason why they are so prevalent is due to you giving it attention. Once people know that you aren’t breathing life into their views, then there’s no reason to share them.

That was a lot to handle so take a few deep breaths. Meditate and get yourself ready to tackle these solutions head-on. The best way to implement these changes is to start small and work your way down. As you get through the first solution, then the next will be much easier to follow. I want the best for you, and I can’t see you hurting anymore. Please do yourself a favor and choose happiness always. Like Anthony Hopkins said, “None of us is getting out of here alive.” Based on that notion living in true happiness is the only way to go.

I love you, and I’m very proud of you. I choose you forever and always without question nor hesitation.

Xoxo

Me, Myself and I

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)

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse

With the growing acknowledgment of the “Me Too” movement, it has brought to light the injustices that many people face on a daily basis. Of course, this is a great thing that the issues of the “Me Too” movement are coming to the forefront. Comprising positions can hopefully be avoided in the future. Unfortunately, there are still a few issues that haven’t seen the light of day. One problem, in particular, is when a sexual violation occurs at the hands of a family member or friend of the family. One thing that I would hear often growing up (and I’m sure you overheard this as well) is don’t leave your child around so and so. I understand rumors and how you don’t want a rumor to destroy a person’s reputation. However, for speculations to grow over time, there has to be some validity to the whispers going around. Case in point look at Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. Those rumors followed them for years, and now years later we are discovering that indeed they were correct. There were many women impacted by both these men, and if just one person would’ve spoken up, it could’ve prevented so much anguish.

It is incredible that people are finally speaking out against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby. However, we all need to speak out even if it’s someone close to us.  We need to protect our women and children better. It doesn’t matter if you knew this person for years. Once a sexual violation has occurred the moral thing to do is call the authorities. I’m aware getting the police involved particularity when it pertains to Black people can have dire consequences. Honestly, this type of matter shouldn’t have the appearance of being seen as being nonchalant. By protecting the abuser and shunning the victims, there is a horrible message that is coming across. We are telling the victims to keep their mouths shut as what they say isn’t important. Also, we are allowing the abuser to continue hurting other people. Psychologically this will have lasting effects on the victims. Victims may feel suicidal, withdrawn from society, perform self-harm, and struggle with intimacy. Depending on how young the abuse starts this will impact their development as they will be conflicted about what occurred. Their body will respond differently from their mind. Unfortunately, this type of confusion will lead them to feel like it is their fault for what happened. If the abuser admits their wrongdoing at all, it comes with an idiotic statement about being enticed. We need to change our approach to discussing topics such as this to help the victims move forward with their lives.

I understand the touchy nature of this topic makes people want to shy away from it. However, this is important enough that it needs everyone’s full attention. There are many people out there who are impacted by this cycle of abuse. One of the worst things you can do is tell someone they are lying. Please understand the amount of courage that was taken to come forward. When someone is describing in great detail what transpired, they are not lying. Keep in mind if you are telling the truth you never have to remember a lie. Also, not believing someone when they tell you what happened to them is terrible as well. It, unfortunately, relives the whole ordeal all over again when nobody trusts what the victim says. The idea reinforces the belief that the victim is at fault for what occurred to them. Giving support to this situation and being there as a shoulder to lean on is essential. Most importantly please stop protecting these abusers! Speak out and get the authorities involved as soon as possible. You will help to save someone from a lifetime of grief that some take years to overcome if they do at all.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Congratulating Yourself

For me, one of the hardest things to do is be proud of myself. I am my own worst critic. I am always looking for the next thing that I forget to stop and smell the roses. I hear all the time from family and friends about how well I’m doing. Unfortunately, I don’t feel the same way they do. I feel as if there is more I should be doing and I have to stop procrastinating to get it accomplished. In my own eyes, I don’t feel like I have accomplished much and there is much more for me to do. I had a conversation with my best friend the other day, and I realized that I am extremely strict with myself. I rarely give myself credit for anything, and I’m always trying to see what I could’ve done differently. The goals I have accomplished I failed to pat myself on the back and say a good job. If you don’t toot your own horn then who will? To be happy about where you are going, you have to acknowledge where you been.

I took time away from blogging to focus on the goals I set for myself so far this year and what I completed. While I had this time to reflect I realized that I cultivated a lot in short amount of time. I got a promotion; I started this blog which I wanted to do for years, got my savings up, and started traveling again more regularly. There are more goals on my list for this year, but so far I’m doing very well. Had I not stop to think about what I accomplished I would’ve missed out on all that I did. I must say it felt pretty good knowing what I’ve done so far this year. I finally patted myself on the back, and I deserved the recognition. Taking the time to reflect on my goals helped me to see that I am not doing as horrible as I thought. It also helped me to stop being so hard on myself. I have to stop and appreciate things more as life is too short not to.

My best advice to anyone that is in the same boat as me is to enjoy life as it is happening. Don’t be so caught up in trying to get to the next thing that you stop appreciating what’s in front of you. It is essential to stop and admire the beautiful things currently in your life. You work so hard for what you have, and it is critical to enjoying the fruits of your labor. You owe it to yourself to congratulate yourself on your current successes while looking forward to the future.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

The Price of Motherhood

During this past week, Cardi B announced her pregnancy with her first child. Congratulations to her as babies are an incredible blessing. The comments that I kept seeing online were appalling to me. Many people were saying that it’s too early in her career to have a child and others were saying that her career will fail once she gives birth. These comments sadden me as comments such as these are never told to men when they become fathers. A man’s career, as well as his life, isn’t impacted at all when becoming a father. In fact, children are not only seen as a blessing but as a way for a man to mature as well. I believe the way that society views men are the reason why their lives don’t change when they become fathers. A man is supposed to be a provider, and if that role is lacking, then he is seen as a deadbeat. Whereas if women have a career and aren’t home, she is looked down upon as an awful mother. Therefore, this way of thinking reinforces the view that women should be in the house with the children. There is nothing wrong with being a stay at home mom. However, women shouldn’t be made to feel that still pursuing a career after a baby is wrong to continue.

Due to societal woes and what family may say many women will put their family plans on hold for their careers. I am one of those women as I keep waiting for a perfect time to start a family. I want to make sure that I won’t be an absentee parent. Another major factor is the financial aspect as it is very costly to raise a family. Then you want to be in a two-parent household as it’s essential to raise a child with both parents. The list goes on with how many reasons I could come up with for the waiting game to continue. Of course, waiting too long comes with its own set of challenges, but that’s another post for another day. My main point here is that women feel the need to compartmentalize their entire lives before starting the family. There are no issues with that, but one must recognize that life doesn’t fit neatly in a little box. One must be flexible as life takes on many shapes and sizes. You have to be able to roll with the punches and have faith that everything will work out. If things don’t work out as planned, you will figure out what needs to occur to get you back on track.

What I learned from this Cardi B situation is that there is no right time to do anything. Honestly, if you are waiting for a proper time, you will be waiting forever. Yes, there may be an ideal time to do something, but the way life goes who knows when that will happen. If you are ready to start having your family, then go for it. Others may feel that you are making the wrong decision, but it’s yours to make. Also, don’t believe that you have to give up your hopes and dreams just because you are a mother. Children are a blessing and not a burden. Children can be a great motivator and will energize a woman to work even harder to support her family. Salute to all the women out there who are working hard to take care of their children while still pursuing their dreams. I am proud of you and continue to shine on all these haters out there. Your motherhood is a strength and not a weakness. View motherhood as another form of representation of you but not all that you can do.

Until next time,

Thkeya Life (1)

Being Present in Dating

I always felt as if I put my career before my love life. Not on purpose but this took up space in my life when other things were missing. Then at one point, I was pursuing my Master’s degree while working full time. I tried my best to date, but I didn’t have much time to dedicate to developing a relationship. Instead, I turned to dating emotionally unavailable men as a short time solution to having companionship. Of course, this is not to say this was the best option but this is all I could commit to at the time. Now I’m starting to notice that despite the change in job title my dating life stayed the same. I am currently in a better position to date. However, I am still running into emotionally unavailable men. I am upset that this keeps occurring as I’m ready for a more meaningful relationship. For the first time, I am looking at myself to examine this issue. The only thing that these men have in common is me, and I have to look at myself to figure out what I’m exuding to the world. I don’t like the current picture, so I have to change the channel so to speak.

I have to change my current behavior if I want to experience better results. For example, due to my work schedule from a few years ago to just a month ago, I was only able to dedicate about two days a week to a relationship. To develop the type of relationship I want more time is needed to care and nurture it. In the past, due to work obligations, I wasn’t able to accomplish more than this. However, this is no longer the case and my attitude towards being present needs to be updated. I’m currently struggling to be more available and open to letting someone in my life. All this time I thought I was open when it was a façade that was coming across. You can’t just say the words, “I’m available” but you have to be open and willing to let love into your space. Nobody wants to feel as if they are wasting time while dating you. If you are unable to make the time, then you can’t expect someone to stick around waiting for you.

My ultimate goal is to not only have a lasting relationship but a deep one as well. I’m looking forward to the day of sharing my life with my husband and children. Before I get to that aspiration of mine, I must realize I am my own biggest obstacle. I have to be more open and ready for love to come my way. Due to past hurt, this has been challenging, but since real love is what I’m looking for, I have to put those fears to the side. I can’t let my fear of the unknown keep me from love. If you are the opposite of the type of mate you are seeking, then you will stay in a constant cycle of confusion. Be ready, open, and willing to let that special someone in your life. You never know what may happen and the person of your dreams will be prepared to love when you are. Hurry up you don’t want to keep them waiting any longer.

Until next time,

keya's life-001

 

Overcoming Heartbreak

This past weekend was a whirlwind of emotions. I found out that an ex-boyfriend from a few years ago was cheating on me with his best friend. I was inclined to believe that something was going on between them, but I never had any proof to validate my feelings. Not only did I discover that he had a relationship with her, but I was the other woman the whole time. Isn’t that a strange revelation to have to understand? I have moved on from this relationship I can assure you, however, to learn this information started to put a lot of things into perspective for me. It helped me to understand better how things played out the last few months of our relationship. I seriously thought there was something wrong with me and that I did something inaccurate to cause our breakup. The truth of the matter is that I wasn’t who he wanted to be with romantically. There was another woman in his life that I could never compete against because his heart belonged elsewhere. I honestly felt like why even bother to date me if you knew this already. It was at this moment that I realized I made the right decision to end that relationship. At the time I wasn’t sure if I made the right choice, but God always has a way of bringing information to the forefront. All I have to say at this point is thank God things ended when it did. I believe that the conclusion of this relationship was the best thing that ever happened to me. I am in a much better place, and I have that relationship to thank for it.

I learned to never settle for something just because you are lonely and think you will never find anyone. Please never do this ever in your life. One of the worst mistakes you could ever make is by staying with someone for these reasons. Realize that as lonely as being single maybe being with the wrong person could feel much worse. Don’t waste the best years of your life on someone who doesn’t deserve your pretty as it’s entirely not worse the hassle. If you are in a vulnerable state, it is even more imperative that you stay clear of entertaining any relationship. Until you work through your issues, you won’t be of good use to anyone. It is not fair to ask someone to deal with your past issues from another relationship. Yes, that person can help you work through those problems, but they can’t help you fix them. That is your job and do yourself a favor and work on that before getting into a relationship. Jumping from relationship to relationship is unacceptable as you need time to heal from one situation before moving on to another one. Being a healthy and happy person entering into a new relationship is the best way to be.

Another valuable lesson I learned during the ending of that relationship is never to ignore the glaring red flags that are in front of you. Sometimes we want something to work out so much that we discredit the signs that are in front of us. There are no benefits to overlooking this information as it will only hurt you in the end. Please follow your gut instinct as it will not steer you in the wrong direction. If you get an atrocious feeling about something, there is a reason for that. The idea is that you need to step away from the situation as it is unhealthy and damaging for you. I’m speaking from experience as I didn’t follow any of the red flags and I ended up staying in a relationship I should’ve. This relationship caused me a lot of unnecessary heartaches. I should’ve followed my instincts once I felt that things were taking a turn for the worse. Yes, I realized things eventually, and the relationship ran its course. However, if I would’ve listened earlier, then I wouldn’t have wasted a year of my life with this person. The cookie crumbles this way as they say and I became a better person on the other side. I am in a much happier place in my life, and I owe it to that failed relationship that not only helped me restore my faith but forced me to love me again as well.

I’m a much stronger person now than I was a few years ago. I’m ashamed to admit the things that I allowed to occur in the past. You live, and you learn and let me tell you I learned a whole lot. I will never allow anyone to bring me down as I have done in the past. I know what I want and what I won’t  tolerate from any relationship regardless if it’s romantic or friendship. I know my worth now, and you should know your worth as well. Don’t settle for less and never let anyone make you feel inferior to build themselves back up. If you see that you are leaning too much on one person, then you should realize that you are becoming codependent on that individual. That is absolutely the wrong way to go. Once you do this, you are giving someone too much control over your life. Being single does have its periods of loneliness, but nothing is more lonely than being in a relationship with the wrong person. Embrace your single season and work on becoming a better you while you are rolling solo. This way once the right person comes along you will be ready for them to be apart of your life.

Until next time,

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