Lonely and Alone

This one is tough guys. This one is hard to write. Last week, much to my amazement, I heard myself saying, “I’ve changed this year. I feel much lighter.” It was strange but I’ve never thought much beyond the changes that I had felt in my gut needed to be made. Neither did I examine the emotional reasoning behind logical actions such as leaving my former church. I guess you could say that in that moment, examining the situation too closely would have revealed truths I was in no way ready to handle. It was time for a self-discovery.

As I thought back on last year, I could clearly hear myself questioning the reason why I had so many people around me but only few realized I was stressed and unhappy. A lot were quite happy to add more drama to my plate. I looked deeper and realized that at that moment in my life, unhappiness was too mild a word, I was depressed.

Acknowledging depression is a hard pill to swallow because when you generally think of depression, the image of the girl with the bright aura and smile doesn’t readily come to mind. Instead, we generally visualize the emos, dressed in black, sullen, and looking for all the world to see “depressed”.

I remember a few years ago, I saw the story of a young woman who was dead in her apartment for two entire years before any noticed. I remember thinking, “How could that situation have happened? Didn’t she have friends, family, neighbors, etc.” I am afraid of getting there. Dying and no one noticing. At the time, I thought to myself, that could never happen to me. I have way too many people around me.

Yet, last year, I remember sitting down in church and on the choir, and wondering how could I be surrounded by so many people and still feel so alone. Aren’t these the same people who hugged me on a Sunday and called me “daughter”? Why did I feel so alone?

Why was my phone full of church contacts who, for the most part, only called or messaged me when they needed something? Why these numerous contacts only seemed interested in the wide white smile but none took the time to look beyond and see the sadness in my eyes? These were the persons I prayed with. These were the persons I sang on the choir with. These were the persons I joker around with. These were the persons I spent a large percentage of my free time with. These were the persons I thought of as friends yet when I needed, no one knew me enough to see.

Where were all my friends? Why didn’t my family notice something was off about me?

Honestly, I felt betrayed by God too. Where was He when I was internally screaming loudly? Begging Him for a physical sign that He had heard my cry? Begging Him for someone to speak directly to me, to my feeling during one of the Sunday messages. Where was He? Why didn’t he give me the sign I needed?

I can remember thinking to myself, “So many people but only a handful.” It was amazing that despite me knowing so many persons, only a few thought to check if I was okay when I went MIA. Even fewer thought to push deeper when I gave my regular “I’m okay” to the general polite question, “How are you?”

A part of me recognized that I wasn’t needed. I didn’t want to be in such an environment where everybody looked but few really saw. I recognized I couldn’t stay. My mitigation action was simple. I let go of my “BIG” church and a lot of acquaintances. I chose a smaller church and began focusing my energies on building strong relationships with the few friends who have shown themselves as being worthy of the title. I gave myself the permission to be free of the things I didn’t believe in at heart and focused on ensuring my emotional health. Eventually, I felt lighter.

In retrospect, I wondered how I got to the point of being depressed and yet no one or myself seemed to notice. The answer hit me. I was always the one who could fix it. Most of my acquaintances believed that I always had it together. I didn’t need help, instead, I was the one capable and always willing to offer the assistance. It just didn’t cross their minds that maybe I needed help of a different nature.

Guys, I hope my blubbering makes sense. I want to call you to action. I came close but I escaped from the clutches of depression. Don’t be one of the persons who looks but do not see. Care enough to stop and take the time to see beneath the surface. Care enough to ask deeper questions.

XOXO,
Chañel.

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My Perfect Mistake

​Headiness was catching
Talking, laughing
Mind alighting
Yearning…
Touching?
Forced to face
You weren’t surface but buried flesh-deep
A thorn, you are
My perfect mistake.

Ravaged by a few
Perfect-imperfect moments
Lolled into a false sense of security.
Awakened with the knowledge
Nothing is as it seems.
I was the surface
Just goosebumps, I am
Your unacknowledged mistake
While you were buried flesh-deep
A thorn, you are
My perfect mistake.

Distracted. 
Lost to space and time.
While wise mind screams, “Let it go.”
Hurt heart wonders, “Why?”
And worries bout you.
Body and soul steels and suffers
Forced to face each day
The evidence of my perfect mistake.
The thief? The deceiver?
Buried flesh-deep
A thorn, you are
My perfect mistake.

XOXO,
Chañel.

What Letting Go Has Taught Me…

After a long week, I took some time to just reflect on life and where I’ve progressed to since the year began. I realized something about myself. Many of the persons I had started the year with, has disappeared. This made me pause and reflect on how I felt about their disappearance. I realized I was okay.

A few months ago, I wrote a post about keeping persons to your standards. A confession, sometimes I write very good advice but I am generally the last to take it. What do they say about the counsellor? They need the most counseling… For weeks after that post, I would find myself getting annoyed with myself when people walked all over my standards and I kept them around. Frankly I was miserable and I decided to actively do something about it. I must say that once you begin to stand up for yourself, you will be amazed how quickly persons either pulled up their socks or disappeared.

Some of these persons tried to reappear later but I stuck to my mantra and eventually they would leave for good once they realized what I now stood for. I can’t moan about the disappearing acts, frankly, good riddance.

Another thing that changed was that I stopped allowing persons to drag me into their drama. I am a regular Miss-Fix-It. Maybe that is why I make such a good Project Manager… It is simply amazing how much energy it takes to deal with other persons’ drama. What makes it worse is when sometimes, these are the persons who you can never depend on. It made me wonder, what was the use, if these persons were only in your life to drain you. Now, whenever I want to say something or intervene, I beg the Lord to hold my tongue or simply walked away.

My final habit that changed was my “Superwoman mentality”. This on many occasions caused me to burn out and persons often took advantage of my inability to say “no”. I have begun to say “no”. Frankly, it feels good to be able to have time to myself and be able to do the things that I want to do. This meant that a lot of people walked away once they realized I was no longer available to be twisted around their fingers. Frankly, that set leaving was a breath of fresh air.

Friendship, I found, is never about quantity. It’s simply the quality. I would rather have a few good friends who look out for me than an entire army of friends whose actions are a guarantee to my destruction. I prefer to walk into my peace. Don’t you agree? Let me know your thoughts on the subject in the comments area below.

XOXO,
Chañel.

Speak in Haste, Repent at Leisure

While I am a very laid back individual, I happen to have a temper button that few people know how to hit the right way. Over the last few years, I must admit that I have become a bit complacent as I went through life without coming across anyone who disturbed my gratifying peace.

The last two weeks found me under some immense stress. A lot of things were happening on all levels of my life and I had began short-changing myself in order to get them done. I felt weary and out-of-sorts. This was when the attack came.

Someone made some really snarky comments to me. In the moment, I read, put in the to-be-processed-at-a-later-date queue and went on with my life. That later date came Sunday morning, I re-read and felt annoyed to my core. I tapped out a response in seconds. Now let’s just say, when the old me (the fool) gets mad, her aim is generally to wind the other person up and make them madder by telling then the truth in blunt terms in a condescending manner. The old me (the fool) emerged in scathing form and succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. This verse was proven true in a negative way:

A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver. – Proverbs 25:11

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Je Ne Regrette Rien! (I Don’t Regret Anything!)


I sat at my desk working while listening music and the strangest thing happened! James Blunt’s You’re Beautiful started playing and immediately I had a flashback concerning my ex that left me with the hugest grin on my face.

It was two weeks before my 18th birthday at 2am. We were up on the phone again after I had weaseled him into staying up, for the third night in a row. I still can’t believe how he always yielded to me. This time, he was the one asking me to do something. He wanted me to sing him something before we headed to bed. I refused as a plan formulated in my head. The next morning, as I headed off to school, I called him and sang him a rendition of “You’re Beautiful.”

In the early stages of the last few years, my brain focused on the ugly aspects of my past relationship. I was hurt and angry and so, my heart focused on all the reasons he was the enemy. I forgot our good times and the lessons these experiences taught me. Here are a few lessons these better moments taught me:

  1. He gave me my first impromptu driving lesson although, I didn’t get far before he started yelling at me to turn the wheel correctly and I yelled back. That was my first and last lesson from him but it taught me the importance of helping your partner in anyway you can. This means that you should always be open to teaching your partner because neither will know everything.
  2. The first time we met, he tried to flirt with me but called me the wrong name. I ignored him. Later in the day, being the tomboy I was, I climbed up to a cliff only to realize that I couldn’t get down by myself. He ended up being the one to lift me down. That bit of kindness opened my mind to him. This taught me the importance of being careful of how you treat people. You never know when you will need their help.
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Relationship Security should be the New Rage

I had a conversation with one of my best friends the other day. During this conversation we touched briefly on the fact that while I was heading towards broke, he was at broke. When I heard, I had no qualms or reservations about offering my aid until he got paid. What struck me was his reply, “No man, I’m good. *Name of fiancée* has got me.”
You can just imagine my wide-eyed response. I was shocked! I found myself musing over that response for a few days and even now I am still shocked by it.

I have always said that I would never choose a partner on the basis of his wealth. In fact, I can honestly say that I find the idea of gold-digging quite distasteful. Having a partner who you know has you locked spiritually, mentally, emotionally and financially, if needed or he/she wants to, should be the rage.

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Maternal Instincts Re-Instated?

Today I had a moment. No, it was not just a moment, it was an epiphany of a moment. You know, like the epiphany of moments that probably resulted in J.K. Rowling visualizing the Harry Potter series while broke and on her way home on a train? Now I had a epiphany of a moment today which totally opened my eyes to exactly how I feel about kids.

My mom had my youngest brother when I was seven years old. To me, he was my first child. I fed him. I changed him. I gave him baths. I combed his hair. I punished him. I comforted him when he was hurt. I helped him with his homework. I chastised him out when he is rude. We have our movie nights. He is very protective of me. He is my baby! Sure I didn’t give birth to him but he is still mine.

I don’t know how or when it happened but somewhere along the way I grew scared of babies. I had mental panic attacks when I held them and so, couldn’t hold them for long. No matter how cute they were, I preferred them big. I hated the thought of giving birth and found myself vowing I would only have one unless I ended up with twins. I couldn’t imagine having anymore. If I was honest to myself, I would have realized in that moment that I was fine not giving birth to any. I only started making those vows because it was what persons expected me to say. They had no meaning behind them.

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