REJECTION 101

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               Over the past year I’ve been slowly putting the broken pieces of myself back together. This eye opening journey thus far has been painful, scary, tough and confusing at times. When I made the decision to walk blindly into the unknown truths of life, is when I faced with my biggest obstacles. I am currently in the midst of a severe storm; one in which has no boundaries. I’m being hit hard in every single direction. This storm is called rejection. And since everything has a name, apparently I have Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, or RSD for short; which basically means I don’t handle rejection well. What guided me to this conclusion is the overwhelming feeling of being stagnant. I literally had to sit down and ask myself “what more can I do?” I’m the queen of self help books, and living a healthy lifestyle. I felt like I’ve tried EVERYTHING from learning how to meditate, journaling daily, changing my diet, stepping out of my comfort zone, eliminating toxic people; if you can name it, I’ve done it. So I couldn’t understand how come I’m still in the same place I started. How come I’m not getting any answers, or at least moving even an inch towards the right direction?

In the midst of having a mental breakdown, it finally hit me. I’ve been playing it safe this entire time. I’ve been doing the things that I’m comfortable with doing in hopes that it will change my situation. Yes, those things I’ve mentioned have helped me in a lot of ways, including bringing me to this point. But none of it had the power to push me forward. None of it had the strength to break the last chain that has prevented me from moving towards my greatest potential. The only thing that holds the power strong enough to set me free, is me. I’ve went in every single direction except for one, and that’s facing the fear of rejection. I’m the youngest of five siblings on my mothers’ side, and the only girl. As a child I felt invincible. I couldn’t relate to my brothers and they didn’t relate to me, which led me to feeling like the only child. In the midst of feeling like the only child, I still had people surrounding me, but no one actually SAW me. Every time I spoke they would say I was too “emotional,” which stopped me from expressing how I felt for a very long time. I felt constantly brushed off, overlooked, and discounted. Even during the holidays I felt like I was only around to babysit my nieces and nephews. They automatically assumed this responsibility for me, even without asking me. I remember being 7 and 8 years old crying so hard in my room cutting my wrist. I never cut to actually kill myself but I would cut in the hopes that someone would notice the marks, therefore they would notice ME. I use to write in my diary at 9 years old saying things like “I wish I didn’t exist because no one notices me anyway. No one cares about how I feel. My mom works all the time, and my brothers have their own kids so they don’t care about me. My father (who I haven’t met at the time) doesn’t even care about me or his family (who I’ve never met, ever.)” I truly felt rejected, unworthy and small for my entire childhood. Little did I know that I would carry this feeling into my adult life. I’ve been subconsciously sabotaging myself before I could even get the chance to blossom.  Every single time I walk into something that could potentially lead to something great for me; I reject myself. No matter what the situation may be, when I walk into a room filled with powerful people, I feel small. I feel like that little girl who is unworthy of getting attention. I feel like no one cares about what I have to say. I feel like I DON’T BELONG. I feel like I made a mistake, and I would never be enough. So when I feel this way, I automatically reject myself. I tell myself that I need to be seen and not heard. I convince myself that I should’ve never put myself in this situation to begin with. I ALWAYS FEEL LIKE THE LITTLE GIRL WHO CUT HER WRIST IN THE ROOM BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. I immediately feel intimidated by people in power.

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WOW! It took a lot for me to admit this to myself. I literally had gone back to every single situation where I felt powerless. Then I had to go back even further to remember where this feeling stemmed from. It hurt to think about it; it brought tears to my eyes because for years I tried to forget that feeling. Even right now typing this message is hard because in the back of my mind I can hear my brothers telling me “You’re way too emotional, man up!” My first instinct is to click backspace. My first instinct is to crawl back into my bubble that’s been keeping me “safe.” My inner child is currently telling me that no one cares about what I have to say, and to continue existing without making any NOISE. I am TIRED of feeling worthless. I’m tired of shrinking in a room filled with powerful people. I’m most definitely tired of denying myself access to the greater things in life. Today I’m breaking the last chain, because I AM WORTHY, I AM ENOUGH, AND I MATTER. I deserve to take risk, and follow through without having the fear of rejection. Rejection is not something to be avoided; instead it’s a step towards the right direction. If I allow myself to take risk without having the fear of rejection; I’m also granting myself the opportunity to grow. It was never because I’m not worthy of greatness; it was just because I couldn’t see my worthiness.

Here’s my advice to myself, and you: Whatever it is that’s holding you back from reaching your fullest potential, challenge it. Face it, and heal from it. In order to have the future you desire, you have to revise the story you’re telling yourself. Your story didn’t end with whatever it is that’s holding you back. You still have time to turn the page.             

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Love, ELLiE

POTENTIAL

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What will it take for you to just go for it? Whatever “it” is, what needs to happen in order for you to push yourself just a little harder than you pushed yesterday? Most of us need to hit rock bottom before we have no choice but to go up. If you’re anything like me, then you need to hit rock bottom a few times before you decide that you never want to go back there ever again. My nickname should be “Crash dummie” for all of the times I hit rock bottom. I think they have a name for someone who keeps taking the same action over and over again, and expecting a different result. Yup, that’s totally me; ignorant as fuck. Well anyway, you have no idea what I’m talking about, so please allow me to elaborate…

It was a cold and gloomy night. Okay, it was really summer time, but I swear it feels cold and gloomy in this location no matter what the season may be. Anyway, It was a normal day at work fulfilling someone else dream. Once again I lost sight of who I am, which left me feeling like a mobile shell. Sound familiar? I have two words for you, Crash Dummie. I neglected the only thing that gives me life for months now. Do you know what happens when you hit rock bottom a few times? My body began to feel numb to the pain. This, my friend is called misery. As I roam the halls of this unfulfilled, cold, dark, and gloomy environment, I came across a short little nuisance; my boss of course. He frequently goes above and beyond to make another person feel small, mostly because he’s actually the tiniest little man I’ve ever met. It’s safe to say he loves to knock people down to his level in an effort to make himself feel big. By the way, he admitted to me later on that he “suffers from napoleon syndrome” so I can’t make this shit up; which I think was very big of him to admit, so cheers to you! So, all day this man has been harassing me about anything he could find to complain about. I usually just abide by whatever nonsense he says, just so I wouldn’t cause a conflict. You know being a tall female in a small mans world can be a threat on its own. But this day was too much for me. One of my coworkers accompanied me during my walk, because we were assigned to the same project. Coincidentally he doesn’t like this coworker as well, so we were essentially walking into the fire. As we made our way down the hallway, he rushed over to us and told us to “Separate, while doing the project we were assigned to do.” He doesn’t want us socializing while working, even if only for a brief moment. WOW! My coworker decided to ignore him, and didn’t budge, so I made the decision to relocate myself. As I was moving my items away from him I informed the other two coworkers, who he walked pass, that they should separate. I mean since we can’t socialize during working hours, right? Do y’all know that this man chased behind me and asked me “Do you have an attitude?!” Okay, I’ll pause the story here, because I need y’all to know that he literally ran behind me to ask me if I had an attitude. You have to be very determined to reflect your own feelings on another person, for you to chase behind them and basically ask them “Did it work this time, are you bothered yet?” I mean, that’s what it felt like he was asking. He wanted to know if his misery had company. I didn’t let him get to me, but I did inform him that I’m a grown woman, who was given a task that I was currently working on. Unless I was going against the work policy, I would appreciate if he’d give me the same level of respect that I give him. I walked off, and went straight to HQ about this incident. Later that day he came and apologized to me (which is when he admitted to having napoleon syndrome). I accepted his apology, and then he said “I see potential in you. This is why I pressure you, because there’s potential.” WHOA! This woke me up real quick out of my zombie mode I’ve been living in.

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The word “potential” burned my soul. I went home reevaluating my life all over again. There’s so much I wanted to say to him, but I couldn’t. First of all, who are YOU to see potential in ME? “Potential” is a common a word that a lot of bosses use to motivate their staff, but what that word means to me is that you think you’re better than me. It means that you feel that you have the authority to even label someone in a category. No sir, you don’t. Is this potential you see created by a checklist of qualities? Up until that day, I was quiet when he would bully me constantly. Is that where you see potential; in my silence? I’ve been a walking shell; and never stood up for myself. I allowed my self to be tormented by this man, and also constantly being stumped in my growth within the company. I’ve inquired about higher positions on numerous occasions knowing that I’m more than qualified to be considered; and yet, I’ve never even been considered. They asked a coworker of mine who’s less than qualified, and constantly late to work “are you interested in a promotion,” before they even considered my inquiry. So this man stood in my face and told me he sees “potential” in me. As a woman dominated by men in a work environment where I have to go 10 times harder to prove my worth, without being looked at as “weak, or less than.”  As a woman who deals with the heavy burden of PMDD on a monthly basis, but never ever complains, nor show any sign of weakness. As a black woman who walks into a male dominated environment and dares to inquire about a hire position working aside a group of egotistical men. As a woman who excels in a room full of men without the help of any man. You’re telling me that you see “potential” in me. Well, if you’re reading this I would like you to know that, I AM. I am already what you claim to see in me; and you’re just another obstacle on my way to the finish line. I can see why you’re threatened by me; I would be too if I were you. You don’t see potential; you see a threat. Don’t worry sir; I’m not coming for your position. My dreams and aspirations are much broader than what your small mind can comprehend. You have nothing to worry about, but thank you for waking me up. Thank you for reminding me of my “potential.” I almost lost sight of who I am.

STAY WOKE

MESSAGE RECIEVED

The other day I was reminded of the reason I started to blog in the first place. God/Universe speaks to me through my writing. I was reminded of that through anger. I’ve always thought of anger as being my enemy growing up, because any sign of it would automatically put me inside of a box. That box was the “Crazy Box.” I was placed in anger management all through high school, and I couldn’t attend any extra curricular activities if I didn’t make anger management a part of my routine. I didn’t think there was anything “wrong” with me until they started labeling me. My mom put me in therapy to deal with the emotions that seemed unbearable for me to handle on my own. Looking back now; I actually feel sorry for that little girl. I was told that anger is WRONG, which lead me to believe that my pain isn’t Valid. I believed that any emotion outside of being happy is a sign of a deficit. If I showed signs of being sad, I was automatically suffering from depression. When I was angry, I was crazy; and when I bored, I had Attention deficit disorder. These are serious labels that I’ve been labeled my entire life. What happens when you tell a kid something over and over? They start to believe it, and act accordingly.

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I thought I was no good growing up, and it followed me into adulthood. I believed I was incapable of making the right decisions, and I convinced myself that I would never be able to succeed in life. But one day, one dark and gloomy day I received a message from the universe. The message was subtle, yet clear. I was never a mistake; there was never anything wrong with me. My enhanced emotions were a gift from the universe to express through writing. Anger is not a flaw; it’s an emotion that should be expressed just like every other emotion. They tell us that if you’re anything but happy, something is wrong with you. We weren’t created with just one emotion; we were created with many emotions, all of which are a valid, acceptable part of being a human being. We’re so much easier to tame when we fall into line. They do a good job at convincing us that not conforming to social norms makes us inadequate. They need us to walk the straight path that they’ve designed for us, in order to maintain control over society. When we don’t conform, they punish us until we get back into line. I needed to reach out because I want to send a message to anyone who has allowed someone’s opinion of them to become their reality. You aren’t what they say you are. When you start to believe what they say, you will slowly start to lose yourself. We enter into this world NAKED AND FILLED WITH EMOTIONS. Your feelings are valid, and it’s also your gift. Use them. Don’t suppress them, but also don’t submit to them. USE THEM TO YOUR ADVANTAGE. It’s your gift from the universe for a reason.  I can’t tell you HOW to use them, but I can tell you that they exist for a reason. I like to believe that my heightened emotions allow me to fill a blank page with passion; which in return will fill many hearts with hope, relief, and love. Again, the message was subtle, yet clear. You were never a mistake; you’re gifted.

SO ONCE AGAIN, HERE I AM

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Here I am ya’ll; Flawed as fuck. The month of May was supposed to be an extension of an internal contract I made with myself called “Clarity cleanse.” Welp, I fucked that up. Basically I’ve created a process for when I’m having brain fog, depression, intense mood swings etc. The process includes getting rid of all external factors that may contribute to these feelings; such as alcohol, drugs, high sugar foods, toxic people etc. I guess after having such of a successful month in April; I thought I could cheat a little bit, and it wouldn’t hurt me. Well, we all know that’s not exactly how life works. Besides, who else would I be cheating other than myself? Sometimes we forget that our healing process, and the promises we make to ourselves is the most important plan to stick with. We tend to keep our promises to other people, before we keep our own promise to ourselves. I let myself down, and its not the first time I’ve done that. When will I learn that I’m important too? We’re so focused on how other people treat us, but we’re never paying attention to how we treat ourselves. It’s truly the little things that matter; like skipping brushing your teeth at night because your partner isn’t in town, and you don’t have to worry about going to bed with fresh breath. As if you have the power to put the process of tooth decay into deferment until further notice, all because you weren’t worthy enough to spend the extra time and energy it takes to get up and brush your teeth. After all, that is why we brush our teeth twice a day, right? Okay, I agree; that was a shitty example,but we’ve all done it at least once before. Think about how many other little things we skip doing for ourselves when no one is watching. The point is simple; I don’t invest in myself as much as I would do for another person. We put that extra “Umph” into satisfying another person; but when it comes to our own satisfaction, if there’s a corner to cut, we’re cutting it for sure! I’m guilty of undermining my own abilities, but praising someone else’s efforts, as if mine isn’t good enough.

So here I am ya’ll, flawed as fuck! My brain is in shambles, and I’m literally back at square one. Apparently, I wasn’t a good enough reason for me to continue pushing toward my goal. You may think I’m being too tough on myself, but that’s just it; we’re not tough ENOUGH on ourselves. I don’t have people lined up to catch me when I fall, or nurture me when I’m feeling broken. So I have to learn how to be my own guidance. Being my own guidance means wearing multiple hats. I have to be my own personal trainer to maintain the physique I desire; and my own nutritionist to stay healthy. I also have to be a therapist, a lover, a best friend, and a teacher to myself. There’s no map to being successful in life. What we have in this life is WHO WE ARE. We are the promises we keep to ourselves. We are the products of our own investment. No one else is to blame. I made a commitment to tell my story; but once that story is out there, it’s no longer “my story.” So I’m telling you that I let myself down, and I continue to let myself down each time I don’t invest in myself. But now that it’s out there; it’s no longer my story. The great thing about stories is you can always start a new chapter, or even create a series. I’m here to tell you that it is POSSIBLE to REWRITE your PAST. A good story puts you in the perspective of what the author wants you to see and feel. Rewriting your story just means you have to change the way you tell your story. See, I started off being a victim of my circumstances. I told the story of a victim, which in return led me to live a life of a victim for a very long time. Nothing was done “for me” but everything was done “to me.” Each time I pick up a Pen, I have the opportunity to change my story. People often ask me when am I going to write a sequel to “Effie, Effie and ELLiE,” but the truth is, I’m not the same person who wrote that piece. Once I put it out there; it’s no longer my story. That was me as a victim; this is me as a warrior. I am in rewriting my story by changing my perception. All of the years I’ve spent fighting was only molding me into the person I am today. For all of the times I thought I was being targeted; life was actually just handing me gifts. Drake said “I told my story, and made [his]story (history).” The every day struggles I continue to face is just life giving me the opportunity to rewrite my story, so that I can pave the way for another person rewrite theirs. Of course, the only way this is possible is if I continue to make myself A GOOD ENOUGH REASON to put the time and energy that’s needed to achieve my goals. See how that goes in a full circle? We can only help another person if we help ourselves first. If you’re anything like me, and you STRUGGLE with investing time and energy into yourself. If you have a hard time keeping promises, and being just as good to yourself, as you are to another person. If you are flawed as fuck, and you just need the opportunity to rewrite your story once again. If you’re back at square one because you didn’t keep your promise to yourself; here’s my advice to you: You can choose to be a victim for the remainder of your life, or you can choose to be a warrior. You can continue to tell the same story, or you can rewrite your history. So once again, here I am; back to rewrite my story, yet again.

Love, ELLiE

NEVER FINDING YOUR PASSION


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It all started in high school  with a  burning question that I had no idea would haunt me for the years to come. That question is “What’s your passion?” My teacher at the time, Mr. Carmicheal proceeded to circle the classroom, and made everyone announce their future aspirations. I sat and watched my entire classmates stand up proudly during their turn and announce “I’m going to be a lawyer” said one kid. There were a bunch of veterinarians, doctors, firemen, nurses, and financial advisers who stood up proudly that day. I wracked my brain trying to figure out exactly what IS my passion, and how come I still wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do. Finally it was my turn, and I thought the best thing I could do in that moment was lie. I stood up and stated “I want to be a nurse, because I’ve always enjoyed helping people.” That was the moment that whatever small amount of my true self was left from this brainwashing society, has evaporated into a cloud of doubts, beliefs, and false standards. From that day forward I started to hold myself to society’s standards instead of my own. Before that moment I was like a free bird. I laughed until my stomach hurts, and loved myself unconditionally. Until that specific day I was free of worries, and I was truly my true self. After that day I felt lost, and inadequate. I was no longer that free bird; instead I was a caged bird. I was now a prisoner of society standards; and even worst, a prisoner of my own mind. I convinced myself that I wasn’t enough; therefore I began looking in other directions towards the people who I thought were more like me.


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Looking back now I realized that I gave up on myself after that day. I went home that night, and cried to my mother asking her what’s wrong with me? How come I didn’t know what I wanted to do? In attempt to comfort me, my mother said something that I’ve held onto for years; she said “Don’t worry, you’re still young. You’ll find your passion soon.” Of course those words somewhat comforted me for the time being, but its once again left me searching and waiting for years to come for something that I would never find. School felt meaningless to me after that day. I started to question God, because I felt he left me passionless and I had no purpose here on earth. I went to college switching majors like I would switch my panties. Each time I went to see an advisor, it ignited that burning flame of shame and hopelessness inside of me; they all asked the same exact question, “What are you passionate about?” Each time I wanted to scream out loud I DON’T KNOW! STOP ASKING ME! DON’T YOU GUYS HAVE A CLASS FOR WANDERERS OR SOMETHING?!

Overtime I watched my friends, and family walk a straight path towards success. They knew exactly what they wanted, and they stuck to the plan. Then there’s me who bounced around to every single profession attainable. I’d always get the initial rush at the beginning of anything new and exciting; but once it becomes repetitive, I experience boredom and have the urge to break free. Actually, I get REALLY depressed when this happens, because I’ve always wanted to walk a straight path along with everyone else. After YEARS of searching I’ve finally come to the conclusion that maybe I’m not supposed to fit in. Maybe God has structured me with creativity and versatility purposefully, so that I can be one of the free souls who spread their knowledge and love all around. Maybe focusing on one goal is not my purpose, which is why I’ve been so uncomfortable for all of these years. Maybe I have so much to offer to the world that God couldn’t allow me to be comfortable with just doing ONE of those things. Maybe I’m meant to bounce around, and be the free bird I’ve always been to enhance the world around me. When I roam freely I’m able to spread bits and pieces of myself to those who need it the most. I’ve been blessed with THE GIFT OF FREEDOM.


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All of this time I assumed I’m suppose to be narrowed down to one passion, but that’s just not how my world works. There’s no specific box that us humans should be in, which is what society has taught us. I’m never content with doing what I’m supposed to do, but I’ve always been happy with doing what I desire to do. There’s nothing wrong with not having a passion. Life can be your passion; Life IS my passion, and I plan on being a career butterfly. If I can go back to that day in high school knowing what I know now, I would stand up and say proudly “I WANT TO BE CAREER BUTTERFLY, SO I CAN SPREAD MY TALENTS ACROSS THE WORLD.”  I have too much to offer to just be narrowed down to one goal. My passion is a lot broader than most; but I’m convinced that I’ve found my purpose finally after years of searching. My purpose is to give to others the gift of sight; as a wanderer I’m able to see things from different perspectives. I’m an Unrooted evolutionary tree in life who brings the true essence of creativity, love, and wisdom to those around me.

In conclusion, if you’re reading this and you’re like me; don’t let the word passion control your life. Be free. Be exactly what you’re created to be, because the universe makes no mistakes.

Love, ELLiE

EXPOSED (REGAINING SELF AWARENESS)


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HI I’M ELLIE, AND I’M AN ADDICT…

Lately I’ve been feeling stagnant, so I’ve decided to go back to the beginning where I felt the most growth. I’ve never stopped working on myself, but I will say that I’ve gotten comfortable with being content. Going back to my foundation basically starts by detoxing my mind, body, and soul. I cut out coffee, alcohol, processed sugar, drugs(mary jane), and any other addictive habits or substance I relied on to alter, or even just enhance my perception of reality. This detox also included toxic relationships, and whatever else isn’t contributing to my growth. The next step after making the conscious effort to cut out external toxic factors is to retrain my brain.  The best way I know how to do this is by listening to inspirational podcast as my daily morning routine. Finally and most importantly, I WRITE. I write in silence sitting in my own thoughts. When all else fails on this road of life, this is my charging station; but it’s not as easy as it sounds. The moment I decided to strip away the crutches I used to carry some of the weight I was carrying through life, is the moment I crashed. Something as simple as not having my morning coffee nearly crippled me. Not having a drink of alcohol while socializing bored me, and I couldn’t even rely on food to fill that void. You notice a lot when you’re stripped of everything. I noticed that food and sugar was also my drug. I got really depressed and I couldn’t indulge myself in all of the foods I love to eat to ease some of the stress. It dawned on me that junk foods stimulate the reward system in the brain in the same way as any abusive drug. I hit ROCK BOTTOM.  I’ve always been super in tuned with myself and a overall conscious being, so making even the slightest changes in my life causes me to be extremely sensitive to these changes leaving me vulnerable. I had no idea I was using external sources to cope with my reality until I eliminated them. I thought by not over indulging myself in a particular substance or habit would prevent me from losing control, but this is not the case. Even if you’re a social drinker, you’re still a drinker. If you’re a social smoker, you’re still a smoker. I used the excuse of “only drinking while I’m hanging out, or when it’s the weekend,” but think about how often that can be. Monday through Thursday I wouldn’t drink, but I was still active in other habits like coffee, smoking, and eating a lot of sugary foods. All I did was switch from one bad habit to another and I found validity in doing so. The worst part of it all is I wasn’t even aware of it, until I decided to go back to my foundation. After three excruciating, hungry, angry weeks; I’m finally starting to feel the benefits of it. I think craving something and NOT getting it is one of the worst feelings any addict can experience. I’m finally at the point where mostly all my cravings have diminished, and my head is a lot clearer.

RECOVERING PROCESS-


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I’ve never gotten over certain traumas, and it’s affecting my life in the worst way. I don’t think I’ve ever recognized what I’ve been through as being traumatic, until I recently started showing signs of PTSD. My body has an automatic defense mechanism of going numb when it senses any signs of danger. For this reason, when I do experience something really traumatic, it’s almost like I’m not really there. Physically I’m present but mentally and emotionally I’m hovering over my body witnessing the most brutal attack. So it makes sense that I’ve never connected those situations to being traumatic; it never really felt like I was THERE, even though I was the one being assaulted. For the first time in a very long time, I sat with myself with nothing holding my hand. Nothing was keeping me from falling flat on my face suffocating in despair; and there I was drowning in years of pain that I’ve kept buried inside of me. OUCH… THAT SHIT HURT! I actually allowed ME to feel bad for ME. I never allowed myself to hurt, because I thought “shit happens; move on,” and that’s what I did. Well at least I thought that’s what I was doing. The act of “moving on” requires a certain level of acceptance, and embracing your emotions BEFORE you let them go. See, I skipped that part. I went through the traumas, dusted my shoulders off the very next day, and “moved on” to tomorrow while suppressing yesterday. I didn’t actually “move on,” instead I left my soul back in yesterday, and just took my body with me. I was a walking shell going through the motions without feeling anything. Knowing what I know now has me thinking “Damn, how could I have abandoned myself? Why did it take me this long to realize that I deserve to be loved?” I’ve abandoned myself for years. I didn’t love myself, because if I did I would’ve paid more attention to ME. How could I seek attention without first giving it to myself? I’ve neglected the hurt in me for so long that I turned into a zombie. I wasn’t living my life at all. I was living a life of who I thought I’m supposed to be. I thought I was being tough and resilient; but real resilience comes from facing your own truths. Being truthful to your self is the hardest thing to do, especially when the truth hurts. I learned about what triggers me, and why; most importantly I’m learning how to love me first. Did you hear that? I LOVE THE FUCK OUT OF ME! And you know what else? I’m finally free. Free from the prison of my own mind. Free of fault, and the feelings of inadequacy.  Breaking down didn’t break me down; it freed me. I needed my heart to break, and tears to fall.  I needed to feel my body go limp as I dropped to my knees. If I didn’t take away all those factors out of my life, I would’ve never been able to meet myself again. I exposed myself to get to know myself. I stripped myself naked, and walked into the dark; only to find out that within the darkness was always the light.

WHAT NOW?-

Initially, this journey was only supposed to be for one month. The fact that I’ve just had another breakthrough 1 week prior to finishing on my detox journey, tells me that there’s much more work to be done. Although I do miss having my occasional glass of Grand Marnier, and stuffing my face with ice cream; oh yeah, and coffee in the morning (UGH)!  I’m choosing to continue on this journey, and see how far it takes me. It’s time to dig those skeletons out the closet, and do some spring cleaning. After all, what ALREADY happened in the past cant hurt me anymore.

Cheers!

-ELLiE

REDEFINING OURSELVES


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Suffering in silence is common within the African American community. If you’re a woman we’re taught to be tough, hence the common phrase “A strong Black Woman.” If you’re a man you’re taught to hide your pain, because it can be seen as a weakness. I remember being a very emotional little girl, but it was hard for me to embrace that because I would get teased for being “too sensitive”. I learned early on that if I feel offended or hurt by something, the best way to deal with it is by burying it inside, and displaying a tough exterior. As an alternative to displaying vulnerability within our community we joke. We’ve managed to turn our pain into what we like to call “Cuttin Ass,” which basically translates to teasing. This is our defense mechanism. You know the saying “I laugh to keep from crying”? Well, we basically mastered it. If you didn’t grow up within our community, you wouldn’t last a minute without leaving feeling less than you did upon arriving. Walking into a room with my family is similar to walking into a room with Madea and Joe. There’s literally a ROASTING SESSION (another term for cutting ass) every single time.


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When there are serious matters on hand we revert to saying things like, “I’m good, and I will always be good, because I got me!” Which also translate to, “I’m hurt and I need help, but I feel alone.” I guess ill be the first one to admit that, at least the first person I know. Our pain is not seen as being pain because we display anger more often than any other emotion; hence the term “Angry black woman.” How could we show any other emotion when that’s the opposite of what we were taught? Remember that sensitive little girl I told you about at the beginning? Well she needed to survive her surroundings, so naturally she developed an alternative to displaying vulnerability by putting up a wall. What happens to our emotions behind the wall over time is they start to build up. This is why suffering in silence for me is no longer an option.

I know some of you were wondering about what’s the big deal on being vocal about dealing with a mood disorder, or dealing with anything for that matter.  Well, there you have it. We are so quick to post on social media about someone elses suicide, or suicide attempt, and say “suicide is real. Bullying is real,” but fail to realize that it is also real inside of our own homes. Burying our own feelings can lead to suicidal feelings as well. We say “Black people don’t attempt suicide,” but that’s not true. Why do we give more props to the woman who post things like, “I’ll always be good, no matter what! I never crumble!”  Than to the woman who post “I’ve been depressed for a while now, I wish I had someone to talk to.” We pride tough exteriors, and we judge and belittle sensitivity. We see it as being annoying and weak so no one wants to be affiliated with a weak person, right? If you think about the strength it would take to show your true emotions, you’ll realize who the truly weak person in this matter is. It’s very easy to hide behind ANY wall, or tough exterior. It takes guts to show who you truly are, and what you truly feel. It took me until this year to realize that I am now tougher than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I’ve cried more now than I’ve ever did, and I talk about how I feel and what’s going on. I’m subjected to criticism and being judged, but you know what? I’d rather be myself in this world, than to hide behind a character I’ve created to mask who I truly am. That’s all we’re really doing in life. Putting on a character for those to see what we assume might be a better version of ourselves, but it is not truly ourselves. We are not who we display, even to the closest people in our circle.

When did the definition of being human become flawless? We are meant to be flawed. If you’re a man who is told not to show your emotions, please understand that you are not just a protector of a household. You aren’t just the muscle of the family, but you are also entitled to having emotions as well. My nephew came home from school one day and said to me that he and his friend made a pact that when they got in trouble, no matter what they wouldn’t cry. My nephew was 9 years old, and it’s something that stuck with me because he’s already learning, just as I did about sensitivity being a weakness. I could understand how as a parent you wouldn’t want your child to display any type of vulnerability in front of other people because then he/she will be a target. I can also understand why our parents were doing the best they could to protect us growing up, and teaching us those same techniques. Without having any words left to say to my nephew about his new pact, mainly because I understand that it’s a survival technique inside of our community. I still feel for him and every other child who has to be taught to survive, rather than just be the best version of themselves, in order to maneuver in the world outside of our homes. I’m not sure how it works in any other community outside of my own, but I know that where I’m from has taught me resilience.

Being vocal about anything personal is a BIG DEAL. I guess you can say I’m stepping out of my comfort zone, and into the unknown. My goal is to set a new trend within our community. This trend will hopefully alter our perspectives on what we view as being weak, and ultimately allow enough space to be who we were born to be. This obviously won’t happen over night, but it will open the door to freeing our souls from hiding behind the expectations of our community.

-Love, ELLiE