Anxiety, black moms, depression, Family, Friendship, Inspiration, Loneliness, Marriage, melanin, Mental Health, Relationships, Uncategorized

Solitude VS Lonliness

As an extrovert I feel safest surrounded by other people. Socializing is an escape from my never ending thoughts. A distraction from myself. I’ve never been a home body or one to cancel plans just to be alone. But recently I did some self reflection and ask myself “Why do I need to be distracted from myself or my own thoughts?” “Do I dislike myself, are my thoughts of myself unpleasant and something I need to be rescued from?”

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Those are some tough self reflection questions huh? Well, my conclusion was that, in all honesty, I’m not where I’d like to be within life. What I mean by that is I realized my thoughts mostly consist of, “I’ll feel better about myslef once I lose this excess weight. I’ll be satisfied once I get that degree etc.” As if I cannot love myself where I am right now today. As if I have to avoid myself until I obtain everything that will give me satisfaction.

Once this epifany was transparent to me it revealed even more unhealthy mental vices I’d always been guilty of. For one, people who find their safety and happiness in others, usually find their worth in others as well. We begin to care more of what others think of us versus what we think of ourselves. Our satisfaction within ourselves is contingent upon others acceptance VS our own. That is why many of us stay in relationships that are toxic, keep friends around that are toxic, and lose ourselves in the thick of it all. Once all of those things are removed we realize just how numb we were not only to the toxicity around us but the lack of solitude within us.

Solitude- the state or situation of being alone

Lonely- sad because one has no friends or company

Just take a moment to let these definitions sink in. I know once I did my chest tightened and my eyes finally felt OPEN to the true meaning of solitude. Both definitions are defined with the state of being alone. Only one definition expresses the emotion of sadness. Our emotions are a choice, we can choose to marinate ourselves in our feelings and situation or we can change our perspective and change our actions.

Realize that time alone is an opportunity for self reflection, self acceptance, self care and self L.O.V.E. When we drop the toxic baggage or unplug ourselves from the hustle and bustle of life and even our relationships, it is a time for recharge and rejuvenation of SELF.

This realization has changed my life, and how I manage my relationships. I used to not want to go to the gym alone, to dinner alone, to the mall alone etc. Literally EVERYTHING had to be done with a companion. And most of the time since my motivation was contingent upon their presence if they canceled I’d stay in and not go alone anyways. That habit can be toxic to ones self cause you’ll miss out on amazing experiences also you may keep people around who showed themselves to not be true to you because you rely on them and their company.

As a military spouse, moving often and being soo far away from my close friends and family, I need acceptance and companionship where ever my husband’s job takes us. But that need for companionship can’t be the cost to losing myself or my inner solitude and motivaton. Now don’t get me wrong I’ve met some AMAZING souls, friends I’ll cherish for life. But usually those spirits are rare, like 1 in every 20 people I encounter.

Recently, my reliance on others has changed so much. I workout alone, shop alone, found ways to socialize my baby alone etc. What I do for me is not contingent upon others presence. And let me just say the solitude is liberating. I am no longer sad nor lonely. I no longer look to others for motivation, it comes from within.

We just recently moved to Mississippi for my husbands training, we’ll only be here for a few months then we will be packing up and moving again. This time around I realize having free-time to myself is a blessing. I am ahead in my classes, and using my free time to love and care for myself mentally and physically. The more free time I have to more time I have to LOVE me. When I’m not caring for my home, my husband and my son I’m caring for me.

Some ideas of things you can do in solitude:

1.) ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! This one is my favorite, I pour a glass of wine and binge on my favorite shows. Or light some candles, put on soothing music and just sip.

2.) Selfcare- paint your nails, watch make up or hair tutorials and try them on yourself.

3.) Read- I recently started back reading and LOVE it. My goal is to read 10 books in 2k18.

4.) Meditate- I for one suffer from anxiety, mediation and yoga are a great help. I knew I should make it a part of my everyday life but never made the time for it but now it’s on the top priority.

5.) Exercise- I actually now love to workout alone, it’s something I like to do for myself by myself. When you workout alone you can go at your own pace, don’t have to to worry about conflicting schedules, being late, or anyone canceling at the last minute.

I hope this was a good read for someone and you can try to embrace solitude and yourself. If you are one of self avoidance I promise you once you face yourself and your thoughts of yourself they can and will change, cause your actions will change. You will feel more confident in yourself by yourself and know the true meaning of intrinsic motivation. Learning to embrace solidarity is liberating and full of lessons and growth.

Zen vibes to you all ✌🏽

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Anxiety, depression, Family, first time mom, Inspiration, Mental Health, Motherhood, Parent Category, Postpartum

Farewell to 2k17 (Postpartum Anxiety)

Putting 2K17 into words is a difficult task. I became a mother, went back to school, and became a stay at home mom, AND moved 3 times by the time my son was 9 months old thanks to the military. Giving birth to my son was pure bliss, the best gift life could give me, a family! ❤️ But the birth of my family was also the birth to anxiety, feelings of inadequacy, fear and doubt. How can the best moment of your life be the scariest.

As I went thru the year masking and covering my anxiety it just grew larger, deeper, and louder. I was only aware of postpartum depression and didn’t know it can also manifest as anxiety. I wasn’t depressed I was happy and blissful, but underneath scared to death of some of the most irrational/unlikely things. Thinking that life was ready to snatch away my happiness the moment I let my guard down. I’d hold my baby so tight and never want to let him go, stay up all night to watch him sleep in fear that his heart would miss the next beat and I wouldn’t be awake to catch it. My hands and feet were constantly cold and sweaty, my heart beating fast, and I’d be in a panic for not apparent reason. Even though I had everything I ever wanted, I for the life of me could not relax and enjoy it.

Not wanting to take the joy from my husband or worry him, I was never truly transparent about my anxiety with him. I instead spoke to my Dr. he recommended medication but I am breastfeeding and didn’t want to taint my bf journey, and felt a referral to counseling would suffice. Now medication may be the answer for many moms out there but for me, I refused and honestly it did make recovery harder. But I started counseling and tried to muscle thru it. Engulfed myself in selfcare, tried to get active, lose the baby weight, go out, and do things that made me feel grounded; like I was myself again. But the anxiety still crippled me. Tried marijuana, it only masked it for a few hours. Drank wine once the day was done and the house was quiet, but the anxiety just patiently waited for me until the morning.

Being a first time mom you want to exude happiness and do everything perfect, people may judge if you reveal you’re scared, feel inadequate, anxious or depressed. We put our best face on in front of our own spouses, family members and friends but our stomachs are turning inside, our chest is weighed down with pressure but we still smile. We hide our struggles in fear of judgement. “What if they think I’m ungrateful, or I regret my baby”

My biggest lesson this year was “Safe Havens” They are people and places that make you feel safe, a judge free zone. My husband is my safe haven, my mother, and a select few of my friends. I realized that I need to tap into my safe haven to release and recharge in order to gain strength through my struggles with anxiety and that there was no reason to be ashamed.

My safe havens have tremendously helped me with my postpartum anxiety. Stepping into 2018, It’s still there, a little quieter than before but definitely still there. As I begin 2018, my goal is to continue to be the best mom I can be, continue to love my husband, and most of all love myself, take care of myself, mentally and physically. Let go of ANYTHING that isn’t bettering me and blocking those who are NOT rooting for me.

I know I’m not the only mom who is in a battle, whether it be mental battle, financial or physical. That’s why I share so openly, I thought I was alone but when I reached out I found out there were others who were struggling just like me. Understand that you are not alone, tap into your safe havens how ever much you need, they are rooting for you, they accept you and won’t neglect you. Tak to your Doctor. Find resources, support groups locally and through social media. But most importantly be patient healing takes time and a lot of trial and error.<<<<<<<

Anxiety, black moms, depression, Family, first time mom, Inspiration, Marriage, Mental Health, Motherhood, Parent Category, Postpartum, Relationships, Uncategorized

Mom Needs Cuddles To

I’ve been on a good streak lately, defeating my anxiety and depression. My main ways that have helped are, eating healthy and exercising, getting outside more, and me time. I felt like I was finally on a good streak then it hit me like a ton of bricks tonight.

I’m up late (currently 2am), my heart is racing, my chest is tight, and I feel very uneasy. As my husband sleeps peacefully in the next room, I’m up riddle with anxiety and depressive thoughts. I most times envy him for his mental clarity. Oh how I wish I can unplug from the hustle of my daily, escape my thoughts and fall into slumber within the matter of seconds. It’s amazing to me how peacefully this man can sleep.

This anxiety has to go away one way or another. My husband has to be to work at 6am so I must not bother him. Instead I grabbed my son out of his crib and held him close, sat him on my chest listened to his breathing focused on his breaths and my breaths. Inhaling and exhaling. His warmth on my chest, his innocent face, is so calming to me. He sleeps so much better in his crib but sometimes mommy just needs the cuddles.

I have no idea why I fall back into this feeling so deep, and so unexpected. It’s an overwhelming thought that I’ll have to battle this for the rest of my life.

But I made it through tonight. I’m holding my son tight, taking in the moment, thanking God for his life, and the breaths that he takes. Thanking him for giving me reason. ❤️❤️❤️

beauty, black moms, hair journey, melanin, natural hair

Quick Review of my hair journey and product list

This photo was taken in 2013, the year I decided to go natural. My mother began perming my hair at the tender age of 5 years old. All of my family got perms, I never really knew what it meant to be “natural” until I began high school. But I didn’t decide to GO natural until a year after I graduate in 2013.

My hair could NEVER go past my neck, it was brittle, dry and stiff most of my life. I always thought that’s just how it is, and never embraced that my body was naturally regenerating beautiful lengthy exotic kinks. I continued to fight the kinks and straighten my roots as they continued to plague my scalp.

But in May 2013 was my last perm, I started to wear protective styles such as quick weaves, braids and eventually learned how to do my own sew ins. Fast forward to April 2015 I decided to do the big chop, I could not manage the two textures anymore.

The big chop honestly wasn’t very liberating for me, not going to lie I wore protective styles and rarely showed my natural hair. That is around the time I discovered U-part wigs and crochet braid hairstyles. I’d spend hours upon hours on YouTube finding styles to cover my short 3b textured hair.

About a year later, my hair had finally reached my desired length that I felt confident enough to wear it more on a daily basis.

Now this is when the liberation hit! I am not one to be patient and wait for anything but I continued to care for my hair underneath my protective styles and finally felt like my hard work was paying off. In all honesty I believe that my hair grew so healthy and thick cause I left it the hell alone. It was always washed, moisturized and covered with a weave or wig for a good year and a half. These are my go to products, they are nothing special, very affordable and keep my hair moisturized and soft which prevents breakage.

I WORSHIP the Shea moisture Jamaican black castor oil shampoo! Also coconut oil isn’t in the picture but it’s a part of my daily regimen. As well as the Shea moisture coconut hydration conditioner. It literally only last me for a couple weeks cause I use soo much of it. My hair is very thick and difficult to keep moisturized, so combining them both daily does wonders.

My hair has done a complete 180 since retiring the creamy crack and I’ll NEVER go back. Shea moisture as been my favorite product so far. But I have been dealing with extra breakage since I gave birth in March 2017 and still trying to find a product that combats that and will restore the hair strength I once had. I hope you enjoyed this little recap of my journey subscribe and follow my blog for more in depth details on my regimen, affordable protective styles, and hidden gem u-part and lace wigs that look completely natural and cost less than $40. (I never spend more that $50 on protective styles or wigs) What’s the point in spending soo much money on hair when I have a head full of it that I can wear for free.

I hope this encourages someone to continue or start their hair journey and give hope that you can achieve thick lengthy kinky hair!

Here’s a picture of my first silk press and trim! November 2017

Family, first time mom, Motherhood, Parent Category, Postpartum

10 Tips to Recover Intimacy After Baby

Wives with kids, we all know first hand babies can be straight up cock blockers. But you ever have one of those PERFECT nights! Baby goes to bed early, sleeps thru the night. You and hubby actually aren’t exhausted, y’all stay up share a bottle of wine, laugh for hours, & get it on ALL night long & the D got you feeling EXTRA domesticated 😂 I woke up this morning, ran this man a bath, cooked a full course breakfast, ironed his shirt and pants. 🤣 Ladies we’ve got to cherish these nights of quality time.

Cause let’s be real, nights like these are rare and it takes more effort to maintain an active exciting sex life once you become parents. From raging hormones to decreased sex drive to insecurities of baby weight and feeling genuinely exhausted most days how do we maintain a sexy exciting sex life.

Every household dynamic is different, both parents may work full time, or one says home with the baby, either way everyday life of a parent can be an exhausting routine. For me and my house, my husband is in the Air Force and he’s currently in Grad school getting a dual masters degree. I am a stay at home mom and go to college full time online. I also breastfeed on demand. Most of my days consist of nursing, dirty diapers, laundry, running errands, washing dishes and cooking. When my husband returns home from work, if he isn’t swamped with homework, he usually just wants to eat, sit on the couch, watch EPSN or play PS4. It took some time for us to realize that our intimacy was lacking. It got a bit routine, “opp, it’s been a week since we had sex, guess I’ll give him some tonight.” Or you’re both exhausted so it’s just a routine quicky and then off to bed. If things continued at this momentum I knew that it would manifest into even bigger issues in the future.

So here are some tips that helped us spice things up a bit.

1.) Get baby on a strict night time routine. Feeding, wind down time, then bed. My baby goes to bed between 8-9:30pm. I feed him a hearty dinner, followed by nursing. Read him a story or sing a song. Put on some white noise, and put him to sleep.

2.) GET YOUR BED BACK!!! We co-sleep and our son HATED his crib he’d always wake up after a few minutes, so we started putting him to sleep in our bed, hubby and I would stay up and end up uncomfortably trying to make love on the couch cause baby took over our king size bed. No more of that! We set up the baby monitor and He now starts the night off sleeping in HIS room in his pack and play.

3.) DON’T WASTE TIME, get it on when and where you can! Ugh! This is a big one, the transition from relaxing on the couch to intense love making was difficult for my husband and I. We both knew we wanted to make love, but for some crazy reason wouldn’t just get to it, we’d actually finish the movie and by the ending one of us is dozing off to sleep (usually him) 🙄 And we miss the opportunity. Don’t finish the movie, don’t be passive with your advances, pounce on the opportunity in the moment you feel the urge. Cause either 1 of 2 things will happen, someone gets tired or baby will wake up and the moment is over.

4.) PRACTICE SELF-CARE. I know mammas, most days we’re lucky if we get to wash and style our hair on a weekly basis. How are we going to find time to shave, wax, beat our face; paint our nails and toes, and smell like flowers and honey 24/7. But hubby coming home and I’m in walking around in a night gown with stains from leaking breastmilk, legs unshaven, hair in a bonnet does not make him nor I feel sexy, kinky and in the mood! I’m guilty of showering and then putting on a new pair of pajamas. But now I at least put on an outfit, put on mascara and draw my eyebrows in daily. I don’t doll myself up for him, I do it for ME! Let hubby know you need time to pamper yourself, go to the salon or paint your own nails, shave those legs at LEAST twice a week, and get active. My husband is attracted to confidence and I notice a difference in our intimacy when I practice more self-care and got active because it boosted my self confidence.

5.) THE GIVER OR RECEIVER RULE. Communication is key. Hubby and I read a book titled Wake Up or Break Up by the author Leonard Felder. He touched on the struggles of relationships lacking equal efforts toward intimacy and differentiating sex drives. His rule was if you’re tired or not in the mood and your spouse is, be honest with them that you’re exhausted, tell them you can you be the receiver or they’ll just have to take a rain check. And if you’re in the mood but hubby isn’t you be the giver and let him receive, vise versa. This rule tremendously helped my husband and I. I could be lazy in bed and not feel guilty for it lol. You can lay back while his tongue goes to work or lay on your back and let him do all the work. Plus it’s pretty exciting to switch up and be the submissive or dominant role every now and then.

6.) SEX TALK THROUGH OUT THE DAY. My husband and I used to do this all the time in the beginning of our marriage, now not so much, especially now that he can’t have his phone at work. But we discussed how much I missed it and he admitted he did too. I usually initiate it (baby steps) but he does play along and says the right things to get me excited for him to come home. Flirting is always a good way to let your partner know you’re in the mood. Married couples don’t do it enough, it falls at the waist side when you wake up to the same person day in and day out, then add babies into the mix and it cane become even more scarce. But trust me when you put the effort towards it, it’s fun and becomes a more natural dynamic of your relationship over time.

7.) TEASE HIM! Let’s be honest here, men get comfortable when they no longer have to chase a woman. Their efforts die down and become more laxidazy when waking up to the same person day in and day out. I realized that if I want my husband to chase me I had to do a little extra work. Instead of throwing myself at him, I was subtle and patient. I’d stroke and tease him while sitting and eating dinner, stroke him while driving in the car, push up on him in the grocery store etc and by the end of the day he was craving for me. He began to fall asleep less and initiate intimacy more.

8.) SCHEDULE DATE NIGHTS. Being a military family we live far from our family and close friends so help with the kids is slim to non. But we found amazing friends who would trade off date nights free of charge (I scratch your back you scratch mines) Alone time tremendously helped us keep things exciting. Going dancing, vibing to music at a hookah bar, or going to dinner was a great way to recharge and focus on US outside of parenting. Schedule at least 1 date night a month

9.) TAKE SHOWERS TOGETHER. I for one suffer from hearing phantom cries when I take a shower but the baby monitor is a big help. We shower when the baby is sleeping or We set baby in his high chair with some snacks turn on baby tv and take a 10-15min shower together on the weekends. It is an exciting way to get in a hot steamy quicky.

10.) THERES ALWAYS TOMORROW. Now don’t get too caught up on this last tip cause it can do more harm than good if utilized too much. But basically if a night turns out sour, one of you fall asleep, or one of you give max effort to initiate intimacy and the other partner does not reciprocate and the whole night falls at the waist side don’t get discouraged or put your partner down, communicate on where you think you both went wrong and try again tomorrow. ❤️