One of Those Days

First, I want to say that I always write and blog when I am happy, and things are going well.  As a blogger, I always want to be truthful, transparent, intentional, and upfront. Most days, I am upbeat and ready to conquer the world. There are also “One of Those Days.”  Well, I am having one of those “Other of Those Days.”

I am having one of those days where I want to crawl back into bed and have a good cry.

I am having one of those days where everything seems to go wrong. 

Woke up late.

Trash all over the yard from the animals.

Slow cars

Back up at the gate

&

I left my glasses at home.

I am having one of those days where right now, I don’t want to look on the bright side.

I am having one of those days where although it is sunny outside I feel like it is raining.

I am having one of those days where life does not seem fair.

I am having one of those days where I question my past, and every decision I have made.

I am having one of those days where I question my purpose and my existence.

I am having one of those days where nothing at all seems clear or make sense.

I am having one of those days where I don’t want to be strong.

I am having one of those days where I feel that I am not good enough.

I am having one of those days where my dark safe place starts to look good again.

I am having one of those days where I think, “What is the true meaning of life.”

I am having one of those days where old thoughts and fears want to creep back in my head.

I am having one of those days where even though I am having “One of Those Days,” I can’t reside here.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t allow the enemy to disrupt my progress. 

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t give the enemy any victory over my day.

Even though I am having one of those days, I won’t fall back into the enemy trap of depression.

Even though I am having one of those days, I can see past the enemy distractions and illusions.

Even though I am having one of these days, I DO know where my help and strength comes from.

Even though I am having one of these days, I am here, surviving, thriving, and I am living.

Even though he may have gotten a moment, the battle is still won by Jesus. Therefore, I am still winning!

Blessings and Love to you all!

Purging my Life: Part 3 (continue..) Mentally Learning How to Breathe Again Purging the Toxins Out of My Mind and Finding Joy Again

July 5, 2019

My Therapy Experience

My experience with therapy has been nothing but awesome and positive.  God had led me to an amazing therapist, which I connected with, and I started my journey to healing and wellness. 

Remember those stages of grief I told you about earlier, I have hit them all and I sometimes bounce back and forth between them depending on the triggers or what is going on in my life at the time. In February of 2017, when I sat down with my therapist the first thing she said was, “Lolita, tell me what is going on with you.” I started to tell her all the things that had been going on in my life thus far. After about 30 minutes and many Kleenex later, I finally let her speak.  She said, “Lolita, I first want you to know that you have done nothing wrong and God is always with you.”  I knew that because she first acknowledged God before anything else I knew that I was in the right place and that God had led me to the right therapist.  

I started out seeing my therapist twice a month.  I had a lot of things I needed to work out and my emotions, my moods, and my thoughts were all over the place. My therapist was able to give me the tools I needed to combat and battle depression.   After attending a few sessions, I knew that there was no way would I be able to do this on my own.  Yes, I did pray and I prayed a lot.  My village was praying for me and getting therapy was the answer to our prayers.  However, I had to get off my butt and seek help instead of sinking deeper and deeper into depression.  God would not let me give up, so off to therapy I went. 

Session after session I felt myself becoming stronger and coping with my emotions. I was able to be a strong mother for my daughters and others who were grieving along with us. I remember after one of my sessions I thought to myself, “I am going to make it,” “The enemy will NOT win,” “I will survive this,” “Victory is mine because I have victory in JESUS.”  

It was because of my therapy that I am writing this blog.  It is because of therapy I am alive to write this blog! I wanted others to know that therapy is not a bad thing. Therapy is not the taboo or this evil that has been wrongly categorized in our community for years.  Therapy is very healthy and I believe that for me it is essential to my self-care.

I have been in therapy for over two years now.  By now, monthly sessions have been crucial to my overall well-being. My head is clearer, I can think straight, and my therapist is helping me to work on future goals, now that I know that I still have a future.  Yes, I believe the Lord always had a plan for me but I also know that I could not see past my own hurt, pain, misery, destruction and whatever negative word you can insert, to accept and embrace HIS plan.  

Therapy for me is a gateway to help me see past any negative thoughts or perceptions I have about my life or myself.  This has enabled me to see the bright and prosperous future that the Lord has intended for me. Remember you are stronger than you think you are. Do not be afraid to seek the help you need. Make that appointment with a therapist today.  You should be afraid if you do not seek help and end up staying in the same depressive state you may be currently experiencing, and THAT is NOT healthy!

It is not about “telling your business,” or “keeping things in the house”. It is about making sure you are mentally healthy.  It is about taking care of yourself. It is about self-motivation, self-care, and self-preservation.  It is about learning how to breathe again and discovering that joy again in your life. 

I know that if I can do it so can everyone else!

 

I love you all! 

Be at peace & Have a Beautifully Blessed Day!

Purging my Life: Part 3 (Continued)

Mentally

Learning How to Breathe Again

Purging the Toxins Out of My Mind & Finding Joy Again

 May 20, 2019

When you are finding it hard to take your next breath, you have to find a way to move forward and breathe again.  Finding the RIGHT therapist was the next move for me.

Finding the Right Therapist

Finding the right therapist is a process and it is not an easy process.  You should meet and talk with them to get a feel for their methods and to see if they are the right fit for you.  If you can find the right therapist the first time around then you are blessed!  I talked with a few therapist before I found the right person. They were all very nice people, but I prayed for God to show me the right one.  I was very meticulous, so I also had a few criteria’s that I was looking for in a therapist.

I needed someone objective who could listen.

I needed someone who would teach practical solutions and help me clear my head.

I needed someone to help me find my courage to fight and not to fear going forward with my life.

I needed someone to help me find my way back to my source of power.

I needed someone who would respect my belief system.

I needed someone to help me pick up the shattered and fracture pieces of what was left of my life.

 A faithful God believing, Bible believing Christian.

“Listen to advice and accept discipline, at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:20-21)

My faith is very important to me, so I know I needed a therapist I could learn to trust, who was like-minded and has a similar belief system as I do.  I knew that God was the source and power of my strength, but the grief and pain in my mind was not allowing me to connect.  It is as if you know your cell phone is dying and you need to find a charger for your brand of phone. However, you cannot use any charger, you have to find the right charger for your phone, or it is not going to work. This is why I was having such a hard time dealing with my struggles in my life.  I was plugging in to grief, pain, misery, and to an enemy that not only did not care about me but also hated me with every ounce of his being!  Who is the source nothing but calamity, chaos, and confusion!

I needed to reconnect to the source of my strength.

I needed to reconnect to the Lord.

What I was not going to do was:

I was NOT going to entertain anyone that went against the word of God.

I was NOT going to entertain anyone that went against my belief in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

I was NOT going to entertain anyone that challenged my faith as a believer.

I was not going to compromise or settle because I knew that my soul would not be satisfied until I had gotten my connection to God back.

Specializes in grief therapy and the processes of grief

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)

How can a therapist give me the proper tool to deal with my grief without having the proper training in grief therapy? My girls and I were deeply grieving and dealing with anxiety regarding our future.  I was dealing with depression and suicidal thoughts. We were broken hearted and our spirits were crushed.  We needed someone who was going to be able to deal with every spectrum of our grieving process. In my own research, as I looked for a therapist I noticed many standards that classified grief.  According to Psych Central, there are five stages of grief:

Denial and isolation

Anger

Bargaining

Depression

Acceptance

“People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.” (Psych Central)

However, I think that I more related to the article from Proactive Change, which stated, This is not a mechanistic model — the stages do not occur the same way for all people; they can last very little time, or a lot of time; and they can be inter-related.” (Proactive Change)  These are the seven stages of grief that they list:

Shock or Disbelief
Denial
Anger
Bargaining
Guilt
Depression
Acceptance and Hope

I know that some people do not hit all the stages of grief but I know that I went/going through them all and not in this order.

I will go into my experience with this later but this site gives you the breakdown of each stage if you want to read more.

https://proactivechange.com/stress/grief-stages.htm

new-understanding-the-stages-of-grief-1

https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/grief/understanding-the-stages-of-grief/

My therapist Dr. Jacqueline Pfeiffer has been helping my daughters and myself on all these aspects of this grief journey/process and it has changed my life.

 

My daughters HAD to be comfortable with the therapist as well

It was important for the continuity of our care that my girls saw the same therapist.  She does not discuss our issues with the other, but she use our sessions to help us as a family unit.  That is why I needed for each of them to see the therapist as well and get their input and their thoughts.  God placed an awesome therapist in our lives.  We all liked her and seemed to open up to her easily. It is very important for me to pray for God to send me the right therapist.  If you cannot open up to your therapist about what is going on in your head or be able to tell them your deepest darkest secrets, then you are wasting theirs and your time. Therapy only works if you put your all into the sessions.

My daughters were dealing with their own set of issues and they needed someone other than mom to talk about what they were going through.  I lost my husband but my daughters lost their Daddy.  They will have to deal with the fact that he will not be available for all of their firsts that will continue happened in their lives.  This is something that they could not nor could I navigate on our own.  We needed help and sound advice on how we could take the next steps to the new chapter of our life.

All those stages of grief we experienced and we still experience are the steps we need to take toward our healing process. We took a giant leap of faith in trusting someone, a stranger at first, with the sanity of our minds, and the fragile contents of what was left our hearts.

Once all the key elements were in order and in place, we were able to go forward with our healing and rejuvenation process.

  1 Axelrod, J. (2019). The 5 Stages of Grief & Loss. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 14, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/lib/the-5-stages-of-loss-and-grief/
2 2019 Proactive Change and Proactive Coach https://proactivechange.com/stress/grief-stages.htm

Grace not Perfection

May 13, 2019

I am taking a little break from “Purging My Life” series to write about my experience this past Saturday.

I love when my jewelry speaks for me. The bracelet I choose to wear today just set the way I felt when I woke up this morning.  God will speak to you in the most incredible but yet simplest ways.

“I will hold myself to a standard of Grace not perfection”
(1 Corinthians 15:10)

https://www.premierdesigns.com/101/retail-catalog/shop-by-type/bracelets/more-grace#

Human beings seem to strive for this unattainable perfection. It seems to be embedded in all of us to strive for impossible perfection.  Yes, I did say unattainable and impossible, because I believe it is unattainable and impossible for us to reach perfection outside of the presences of God.  I do not think that we should ever strive for perfection, but until I am with the Father in heaven, I will strive for Grace.

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Ephesians 2:8-9: “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God; not by works, so that no one can boast.

Growing up I was always told, “Practice makes perfect.” What does that mean?  I played violin from 2nd grade to 11th grade and we were told this quote repeatedly. I can tell you I practiced all the time and I was good but I was far from perfect.  That was very disappointing to a child to play all those hours and I never reach the perfection that our Orchestra Director told us we should achieve.  However, practice does make better or practice does cause improvement.

So whenever I had to speak in front of a group of people I would get very anxious and nervous, because I was striving for this notion of perfection! I know I will not be perfect and I was always afraid of messing up. I was always told more about what I was doing wrong than what I was doing good or right.  Some believe all this toughness will make you stronger.

It does not make you stronger it rips you apart little by little and you are then afraid to strive for the greatness that God has planned for you. Worst more of this negative talking and thinking will cause depression and then the thoughts of suicide can follow.

On Saturday, My chapter, The Leavenworth Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma, Theta Sorority, Inc hosted our 1st Annual Behavioral Health Fair. I was asked to tell about my journey with depression.  I said I would need to pray and think about it but later I reluctantly said yes, because I was immediately convicted and was told that words I speak can inspire others. God reminded me that He had greater things planned for me; I just need to continue to step out on faith. I needed to step out of my comfort zone!

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I have been asking God to use me so I knew that I could not pass up this moment to tell my story. Therefore, I stood up in front of an audience of my sorority sisters and members of the community and told my testimony of how I live with depression.  Yes, I did say how I live with depression. I am not over anything, but what has happened is that I have learned to live an awesome life despite any depression. I know what my triggers are and I stay on top of it to counteract the negative and minimize the damage. I was very nervous but I needed to tell my story with the hope that others might be able to tell their own story one day.

I want to be a voice for those that cannot or are not able to speak for themselves until they are able to speak up and tell their own stories. You do not need to wait until you achieve what you feel is perfection to have your words heard. If you are scared, do it scared. Just go for it! I started writing while I was a broken mess.  My therapist suggested I start writing, journaling, and starting this blog page.   The more I wrote about my depression, grief, brokenness, and the goodness of God through it all, the more the pieces of my shattered life starting mending.  I was encouraged to write but more God encouraged me to live., and starting this blog page.   The more I wrote about my depression, grief, brokenness, and the goodness of God through it all, the more the pieces of my shattered life starting mending.  I was encouraged to write but more God encouraged me to live.

We have to change the narrative.  It is no longer acceptable to keep berating anyone and pouring words, criticisms, and negativity into people’s lives. Yes, we should be able to accept constructive criticism, but we also have to look past the errors and reinforce each other with some positive God led affirmations.  I would 100% guarantee for every negative we find in someone, we can find a positive.  I believe that there are more positives then there are negatives. We need to build each other up not tear each other down.  We need to strive even more for GRACE, not perfection.

I love you all,

Have a Beautifully Blessed Day

Purging my Life: Part 3

Mentally

Learning How to Breathe Again

Purging the Toxins Out of My Mind & Finding Joy Again

May 10, 2019
Good Afternoon Lovelies!!

Here is part 3 of Purging my Life.  Sorry for the long break, my life got very busy. Between church and my sorority, I did not have time to blog, but I did write and capture thoughts of how I was feeling.  I am continuing in this journey of purging my life to my mental health.  I think this blog comes in handy as May is Mental Health Month, and if you have been reading my blog you know, I am a big huge advocate of therapy and taking care of our mental health.  Remember if you even think you need to talk to a therapist, do it anyway.

I know my last post was super long so I am going to break this one up because it is getting long as I write. 

You have to know that during this time of my Spiritual renewal I was in therapy.  Michael transitioned on October 25, 2016 and I went into therapy in January 2017.  This was not so hard for me.  I have already talked about the need for therapy when you are depressed, near depression, or even thinking about depression. I am and I have always been an advocate for therapy!  I believe that God has people he has gifted in this area in dealing with our minds and how we think and act.

I can only speak for me, but I needed someone to help me sort through all the pain, anger, sadness and grief I was experiencing so I could SEE and KNOW that God was still with me.

The pain I was feeling He was feeling as well.  Yes, prayer changes things and prayer works.  I did pray, however, how could I sincerely pray to God when I was holding Him responsible for not answering my prayer, the prayers of many, and for “taking away” someone I loved?  I could not hear from Him because I was closed off.  I did not want to hear from Him because I was angry and hurt. I went through all the motions but my mind was everywhere but on God.  My prayers were empty prayers that derived from my traditional needs and not from my heart.  It was like a muscle reaction, something I always did.
 String

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

What is Grief?

According to Merriam-Webster, “Deep and poignant distress caused by of as if by bereavement; a cause of such suffering; an unfortunate outcome” (3Mar2019)

Greif through the ages:

Latin – gravis-to weight down; gravare- to make heavy

Old French – grever– to burden, afflict, grief – oppress, injustice or misfortune

English – grief – mental suffering & deep sorrow (Loveliveson.com)

For me grief is the painful, emotional, agonizing, loving, heartfelt way to show how much you care for a person that has transitioned out of this life.  If you grieve for a person you truly care of loved that person.

I believe how you grieve depends on the person you are grieving for…

My mother Betty Florence (Shaw) Williams died when I was very young from Cervical Cancer when I was 5.  Sadly, I do not remember much about her, just few memoires here and there.  However, I do remember grieving for her especially in my teen years where every girl wants her mother.  Therefore, that grief was situational.  My grief for my mom depended on the situation.  Some of her Birthdays and many Mothers days were hard and people could be so insensitive.  I have heard everything from “Well you did not know her” to “It has been long enough for you to be over it”

My grief for my Grandfather and Grandmothers, Lister Shaw, Hunter Florence (Heath) Shaw, Mary (Hayes) Williams and my Mother in Law Hattie Law (She passed at 55 in 2002), was deeper because I had a relationship with them, but you always expect them to pass before you do.

I cannot imagine the grief of a parent and I am not going to compare it hers, but I did witness it first hand when my mother passed I experienced the aftermath of my Grandmother’s grief.  She never got over my mother’s death.  She coped with it the best way she could and some ways were not healthy. She would drink her sorrows away, so I lived with a grandmother/caregiver who was an alcoholic.  Of course, this had an adverse effect on my life growing up because I never outlived my mother’s shadow and I had to help my grandmother deal with her grief.  I knew that I needed help because; I was not going to put myself, or my daughters through this nightmare.

The grief of a spouse at a young age is also an unbearable pain. You expect to spend your life together, you have hopes, dreams for a future, and then in an instant, it is gone and you are left with nothing but a heart that was broken into a million pieces and a broken fractured future. I knew I had to pick up the pieces of my life, and try to put it back together again. This is where I needed therapy. I could not pray, drink, or ignore these feelings away although I tried nothing worked. Therefore, I HAD to seek help but I had to find the right therapist.

Be Blessed and
I love you all,
Lolita