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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Don’t Be Discouraged


“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.”

-Psalm 42:5

I’ve been reading “Battlefield of the Mind” by Joyce Meyer for a couple of weeks now. She was discussing the topic of Chapter 4 “Little By Little” which is simply saying that the renewal of the mind is a process that will bring forth progress…and it happens LITTLE BY LITTLE. In further discussion she added a sub-topic “Don’t Be Discouraged” with the scripture reference Psalm 42:5.

My mind travailed and I started thinking deeply of myself, within myself and how much I overthink, how much my mind strays, how often I get discouraged, how much I let the wind of a lie disquiet me and I was deeeeeply and honestly disappointed with myself. That simple thought alone, told me that my mind needs renewal.

Then I started thinking about my actions, “life’s” disappointments and all the things of the world that DRAGS ME DOWN & is DROWNING ME. Yes…DROWNING ME! It’s not easy when you can’t slide your troubles to the back of your mind without those dirty little mood killers and, depression setters finding their way back to the very surface and stifling all the positive thoughts that you had.

BUT…there’s hope yet. I was encouraged to NOT BE DISCOURAGED. Probably you’re saying to yourself, what is she talking about! How can I elevate myself to be encouraged when I’m caught up in all of this negative web. That’s because you CAN elevate yourself. Remember you are “drowning” in your thoughts….you have not “drowned”! There IS still hope. Drowning means to be overwhelmed by, while Drowned means to be totally submerged with or under and to die. You are not dead! There IS still hope.

I will leave with you a two simple passage of scripture, Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” and Proverbs 18:21 – “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.”

Be not conformed to lies, to the thoughts that will bring about actions that will hurt you…but be overcome with peace. Be not discouraged, whether in thoughts or in life. Conquer every bad thought with something good. No matter how much retrieval from archives you have to do within that mind of yours…DO IT and OVERCOME!

XOXO,
Mahogany

I will wait for you

For the past few weeks, much to my chagrin, I’ve found myself in a couple conversations that run along the lines of:

Person: Hi!

Me
: Hey what’s up long time don’t seen!

Person
: Girl, you nuh married yet? When you planning to tie the knot?

Me
: *speechlessness*

OR 

Random Person: Girl you so busy chasing you career, yuh no want a man?

Me
: Obviously I am sporting a “I NEED A MAN” sign that I’m not aware of.

It seems persons are under the impression that this is the 1800s and so, if at 23, I don’t have a man in the wings or I am not preparing to get married and heralding the bells, I am weird and abnormal.

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Overcoming is Possible!

I still remember my first major habit or should I say addiction. Sucking my fingers! Anywhere I went, I could be seen with my fingers in my mouth. My mother had already moved past the stage where she had threatened, cajoled and expressed despair at this unhealthy habit but I didn’t care one bit. My fingers were my comfort, they were my go-to and I wasn’t going to stop! Dirty and unhealthy or not!

Something happened the year I turned 12. I decided I was a big girl and needed to stop. I came to that decision and need for action all on my own. From that experience, I can definitely say that I underwent the whole withdrawal symptoms from drugs. I would break out in cold sweats when the need arose to stick my fingers in my mouth but I refrained. Sometimes, refraining meant sitting on my hand but I was determined to win the battle between my mind and my will. It took me months but eventually, I won and the urge to stick my finger in my mouth went away. Now I wonder how crazy I was to ever have had that disgusting habit.

My second case of bad habit was a relationship which began when I was 17. Although, over time things soured, I was intensely involved in the situation and thus, my mind refused to let go. “You can change him.” “Things will get better.” These were some of the thoughts my mind told me as I experienced some of the most miserable days of my life.

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The Subject of Crying

Maybe no one told you that there was strength in your tears. – Kelly Clarkson

I used to be one of those females who believed that crying was a sign of weakness. Well, it should be the flip as crying doesn’t show that you are weak but rather that you have strength. It takes strength to show others that you are vulnerable. One of the things that have really struck me is that although tears show considerable strength, we tend to apologize anytime we become emotional in the presence of a group or others – especially if we don’t know them well. I had to ask myself: ” Why do we do that?  Why is it not okay to become emotional whenever we want?”

Here are a few reasons why tears, whether in public or private, are okay.

  1. Tears enable us to get in touch with our deepest feelings. Unless you’re putting on a really good act, eating onions, or acting in a movie scene, tears express the rawest emotions within. We have all had moments when a really amazing gift or gesture had brought tears to our eyes. We cry when we share moments of great elation with others. There are many times, I’ve laughed until I began crying. Tears are also an expression of grief at endings or the loss of those who are precious to us.

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I Didn’t Know My Own Strength

I came across this song today and it opened up a lot of memories for me. I must say that in many ways, the first time I heard this song turned out to be the turning point of the downward spiral I was on.

I’ve been an avid fan of the series Being Mary Jane since it started. I don’t know how to explain it but she is someone that most, if not every female, can relate to in some manner. The struggles she face. Her fears that she is getting older and whilst she has a great career, her personal life is in shambles. For me, when I started watching, these were struggles and fears I could relate to.

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