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

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 ™

redeemedgirlministries-com

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.

 

The Right Thing. The Write Thing.

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Photo by energepic.com on Pexels.com

I have no idea why but I’m feeling so anxious right now.

Like, I can’t get still. I can’t get my mind still. I’m physically uncomfortable sitting in this chair, trying to adjust my position, shifting my weight, changing the setting on this heater beside me. My focus is out of focus and the only thing that feels right is to write. Continue reading “The Right Thing. The Write Thing.”

Daily Affirmation

I’ve always believed in the power of words. I’m a writer, after all, it kinda goes with the gig. My life is filled with hand-written inspirations of yellow sticky notes in my home, in my car, in my office. In my purse.

For no apparent reason yesterday, everything was going well when suddenly, I felt uninspired and overwhelmed. I wallowed in it for a moment before quickly deciding to change my own mind.

I woke up this morning, unsettled. For whatever reason, he was on my mind. My thoughts almost held me hostage again until I said this aloud, “If it brings you happiness, then it brings me peace.” I like the idea that whatever is bringing joy into someone else’s life brings me a sense of peace, despite the fact that it may hurt or inconvenience me. I’m choosing to put my feelings aside for someone else’s happiness, creating a peace within that. To some people, that may sound extreme. It may seem like I’m choosing them over me. But I find profound strength is choosing to be at peace regardless of someone else’s choices even if it hurt.

-TheRealBlackCarrieBradshaw