Happy Freakin’ New Year

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I honestly didn’t expect it to happen this year. But on the eve of New Year’s Eve as I drove home, on a cold, rainy night no less, I felt the pressure rising up in my chest. To be honest, I felt it early Saturday morning when I woke up in a beautiful suite that overlooked my city, all alone.

When I got to my mother’s house just 4 days after Christmas, there was no more smell of pine because the tree that we’d cut down just a month before was now sitting on the curb. It was all quiet, mainly because when I arrived everyone was still in bed, but still. No more obnoxious family or friends to stop by, everyone, at that point, had left to return to their respective domiciles. I tried to play it cool with my mother who’d gotten up to make pancakes on this unusually cold Saturday morning. She insisted that she was kinda grateful to get back to her “regular routine”. For both our sake, I nodded in agreement.

The truth is I figured out why I get anxiety around this time. It’s because leading up to the holidays, I have so much to look forward to, in being with my family & friends. But once all of that is gone, I feel empty inside. Like there’s nothing immediate for me to look forward to. Everyone is always so nice around the holidays, it just seems for a small moment, a happy place. While I understand that New Years is supposed to be filled with hope, I couldn’t help but feel…anxious. Sorta hopeful, though. If holding your breath while hoping that some ridiculous stroke of luck falls your way counts…

The truth is that I’m probably so emotionally fucked up from 2018 that I’m afraid of what the new year may bring. The truth is while I want to be over my breakup this year, I’m still not all the way over it. And unfortunately, it’s not as simple as the turn of a page on a calendar.

That’s the thing about New Year’s. It’s so overrated. But in keeping with the spirit of the optimism that comes along with this day, I’ll indulge. The truth is that when you’re really tired of….anything in life, be it a job, a relationship or even a feeling, you’ll do something to change it. And it doesn’t take a whole new year to do it, but there is something magical in the symbolism of it all. The truth is I’m so over certain people and certain situations in 2018. My capacity to even give a fuck has been exhausted. This New Year’s Eve will be more than just a metaphor.

Happy Fucking New Year,

TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

My Apology to The Other Woman

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I owe you an apology.

Although we’ve never met, I feel like we know each other. Probably as much as anyone can know through the superficial scrubbing of one’s social media profile. I made judgments about you based on your name, pictures & posts, the same way I’m sure you did about me. I clung to assumptions of who I imagined you to be. I side-eyed your pics and trolled your comments. And I questioned some of your hair pieces, as well. And I know that may sound like shade, but it’s not.

I said that to illustrate how my insecurity manifested as an attack on another woman. A woman, who is probably more like me than I’d care to admit. A woman who if I met under different circumstances, I’d probably enjoy having a few drinks & sharing a laugh with.

If you’re anything like me, then you probably enjoy red wine & live music. You’d rather stay in than to go out, but you also love getting dressed up. You’re educated, independent & I’d imagine involved in your church or community, in some way. You see, I’ll bet we have more in common than just his penis (& frankly my dear, I’d like the record to reflect that we no longer share that).

Men are usually attracted to the same type of woman. I didn’t understand that when I first saw you. Initially, I sized you up, wondering how someone could compare apples & oranges. Again, my Sister, this is not an attempt to throw shade, but rather a simple observation of the differences that you & I have.

I apologize for being short on the phone with you that day. And while I’m still going to advise that you never…ever call another woman about your man, I could have and I should have handled it differently. I’m sorry.

In that moment, all I could think about was how you had the audacity to call my phone, private – no less, address me by name and ask me anything, when I didn’t even know that you existed. And before you fix your mind to think that I’m letting him off the hook, I’ve got some choice words for him as well. Thank you. Next.

They say everything in hindsight is 20/20. Upon reflection, I realized that instead of checking you on the phone that day, I should have checked myself. Before I was the woman on the receiving end of that call, I was once the one who made it, so I can empathize with you. What I should have done was what I wish the other woman did to me: assure me that there was nothing going on. Because at the present time, there isn’t. Yes, we have a past & we’ve remained friends. There were even times that I believed we could’ve tried again, but we didn’t cross that line. I think my reaction was more so confusion due to the fact that I didn’t know that he was as serious with someone as the two of you apparently are. That coupled with the fact that I do still care for him was the reason for my reaction. Again, my Sister, I’m sorry.

You should know that I’ve seen your pictures & I think you’re beautiful. I can see why he was attracted to you. You should also know that I haven’t taken his calls or texts & don’t plan to. And this is not out of anger, but honestly, out of respect & (because frankly my dear, I don’t want anymore more drama). If your relationship goes south, it shouldn’t be on any account of me.

I wish you both the best,

TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

Time to Wake Up

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God spoke to me early this morning.

And I know it was nothing but Him because it was before 6am when I was laying in bed, deciding that I was going to snooze for a while. I tried to resist the inner voice that was speaking to me when it grew stronger to the point where it was beyond a metaphor, it was physical. “Get out of your bed and get down on your knees,” He spoke. I didn’t want to do this right now. Then the Lord said, “The day you hear my voice, harden not your heart.”

I kneeled beside my bed with gratitude. Tears streaming down with the coolness of The Righteous One. God wanted me to surrender. At this point, I was exhausted, but not defeated. I was tired of doing it things way, after all.

Unlike most of the time when I come to Him, I’m the one doing all the talking, but today, God spoke to me. He told me that I was forgiven. He told me that He chose me. He told me to embody the spirit of yes. I told Him that I really wanted to—I told Him, yes.

It’s crazy because I consider myself to be a flawed person & it baffles me as to why God wants me. I understand that it’s not by doing or because I’m just so awesome, but by His grace & His loving mercy & His love that is able to cover a multitude of my sins.

At this moment, I’m preparing to do that today. To embody the spirit of yes, starting with the simple things. Like if someone at work asks me to do something that I really don’t want to do, even if the answer is no, I still want to have the spirit of yes.

I feel like I’m walking into a new season of my life so I want to be reminded of what God said to me today, “It’s not going to be easy, but it will be worth it.”

TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

Note to Self

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Dear Self,
Before you start to doubt yourself, thinking “If only I looked like…” remember who tf you are. Show me the baddest b**** on tha Gram & I’ll show u a b**** thats had her 💔 too. Social media will have you thinking that THIS will make him stay when in reality this chick has been cheated on, too. It’s not what you look like that determines whether or not you’ll get cheated on–its the man you’re dealing with who decides that.
You were created by the Most High. You are beautiful. You are enough. And anytime giving your ALL isn’t enough then you’re giving it to the wrong person.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw

On Bended Knee

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I eased into the conversation like, “Hey, I know it’s been a minute since we’ve talked and I’m sorry I haven’t made time for you, lately. I really don’t wanna cry & be all dramatic about this…but,” I began.

God answered, “It’s okay. I’m here.”

As the words began to get stuck in my throat, I decided that this prayer would be straight from my heart to God’s ears. Ordinarily, when it’s been this long since I’ve prayed, I try to be a little more formal with it. You know, get down on my knees and speak to Him aloud. But since words seemed to escape me, I settled on this method.

Before I knew it, my tear ducts runneth over and the only thing I could muster up to say to Him was, “I’m sorry.”

I continued in silence, speaking through only my tears, “I feel like I’ve failed You. I’m so ashamed. It’s not even me this time saying that I want You, God, but I need You. In every area of my life. I want to surrender everything to You.” The tears that were once silent erupted into a desperate weep.

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God said, “Is that what you really want?” Yes, I nodded, then no. “I do, God… but I don’t know if I can,” I bargained, as if He weren’t the Sovereign One who knows all. “God, I do, You know I do, but I honestly don’t know if I’m ready,” I struggled to negotiate. He replied, “Well, take your time. I won’t beg you and I won’t make you choose, but I’ll be here when you decide.” Almost as if He were saying, “I don’t want you if you’re not ready because I have plans for you that will require your full, undivided attention.”

Lord only knows how tired I am of going back & forth, straddling the fence. I’d heard this notion before, of God wanting us to choose Him, but I’d never understood the weight of that idea until this precious moment.

What was I “afraid” of anyway? What was so great in my life right now that I wasn’t willing to give up for something better? The reality is there isn’t anything in my life so wonderful that it couldn’t be improved. I’m not exactly thriving in any particular area of my life. At best, I’m comfortable. I couldn’t name one thing that I was truly afraid to let go of. I don’t go out, as it is. I don’t like the taste of alcohol. And I’d much rather save myself, my body, for someone who really deserves that sacred part of me. I mean, by no means am I a saint or the virgin Mary, but what I mean is, sex is a highly intense and intimate act that I truly believe should be reserved for someone who values you, rather the few, pardon the phrase here, “nothin ass niggas” that I’ve regrettably & irresponsibly given it to. Ugh.

Before I could get into a lengthy monologue about all of my transgressions, the Tamela Mann tune that was playing when I first started had stopped. I sat there in silence. A few short moments later, I felt a physical peace come over me as a smile donned my face. I nodded. Yep. Then I nodded, once again just to confirm.

 

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw ™

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Lessons Learned.

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If there’s one thing 2018 has taught me it’s how to let go.

This year has shown me that holding onto things that aren’t meant for you will cause more harm than good. I know this is as cliché as it gets, but this is more for me than anyone else. This is my lesson, albeit a lesson that I’m still learning.

I wanted to scream so badly, “Don’t be the girl who never leaves him alone.” We all have that friend. Some of us have been that friend. You know the one. The one who is loyal to a fault and no matter what that no good ass ninja does, she still won’t leave his ass alone. I don’t mean this as a diss. I don’t know a woman alive who hasn’t had that one who took her down through there.

I had a revelation this week, as I was in route to do a drive by on my ex. I argued with myself while heading home only to make a detour that was out of my way because “I just had to know.” “Know what,” I answered out of my mouth. Whether he was home. Whether he was alone. Whether or not I’d see that same car that I’d spotted him get into before. I went back and forth with myself, out loud inside my head.

“What difference does it make, D? Even if you do see the car there, what’s that going to prove? Furthermore what’s that going to change,” I asked myself. My heart pounded, the closer I got, almost like I could hear it in my ears. I turned my radio down, as if that made a difference on whether or not  he could see me if he happened to be outside. A brief moment of logic almost made me change my course and just go home. But I decided against it. After all, I was there now.

I think I was actually shaking as I turned onto the street. My stomach was doing flips. And even though I seemed over him on most days, the thought of seeing that car parked there again made me sick. “Why are doing this to yourself?” I searched myself for a valid answer until I came up with this.

The reason we put ourselves through what seems to be a torment, is actually a necessary evil. I concluded that while I didn’t want to see that, maybe the reality of it would bring my heart to the realization that our relationship was over. See apparently, my heart & my head were still in disagreement. I feel like maybe it was my head that led me there, in hopes of proving to my heart the evidence of what the mind already knew. I know it sounds crazy, but when women continue to stay with a man who has broken her heart, it’s not because she’s stupid or oblivious to the facts of what he’s done. In her head, she knows what it looks like, but that doesn’t negate what she feels.

A Word on Mental Health

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There are days when I look in the mirror & don’t like the woman I see. There are some days when I don’t even recognize myself.

Two days before my 35th birthday, I had an emotional crisis that was serious enough, for the first time in my life, to make an appointment with a doctor because I was afraid of what would happen if I didn’t. I remember calling my friend, Hope, into the bathroom stall at work and literally crying, hysterically, on her shoulder & I couldn’t even tell you why. I went home and in dramatic fashion, laid on the bathroom floor, weeping.

Depression is real.

I’ve had friends ask me, “But DeJa, why are you sad?” Depression is so much deeper than sadness. For me, it’s an unexplainable sense of hopelessness. “But DeJa, what triggers it?” I don’t know. But I do know depression is real.

I know what you’re probably thinking, I don’t “look” depressed. I’ve struggled to come to terms with this myself. After all, nobody wants to be depressed. “You know what, I’m just having a bad day,” I told myself. But how many days go by before it’s more than just a bad day? For the longest time, I refused to keep the appointment because I didn’t want the confirmation of knowing that something was wrong with me or the stigma that came along with it. But the alternative was to suffer in silence.

My personal journey has led me to the place where I am now, an advocate for raising awareness & destigmatizing this disease. I’m currently pursuing my Master’s degree at UA Little Rock so I can educate communities on what mental illness looks like and the resources that are available.

If you are feeling depressed or suicidal, you can text 741741 a crisis worker will text you back immediately and will continue to text with you. Many people don’t like talking over the phone and would feel more comfortable texting. 
This is a free service for anyone. 

#youAREloved #youAREenough #youareNOTalone 💚✌🏼😘

If you would like to join me in raising awareness for mental illness, please share this information.