Day 20: Facebook Support Groups

In this last year, I’ve actually joined a few Facebook groups that have offered a different perspective on things that I’ve gone through and am going through. In addition to seeing my therapist and being a part of these groups, I’ve seen changes in me. Good changes. I’m able to let a lot more stuff roll off my back. Not hold on to the anger so tightly.

Now, I’m not a part of groups that are drama filled, but groups that uplift and support people and groups that you can ask questions in. I’m thankful for finding these groups and the members in them because they’ve become part of my tribe. I no longer feel alone. Like I’m the only one going through things.

During one of my group check-ins a couple of weeks ago, I realized that these people are in far worse situations than I. It was a wake up call to me. Maybe my issues aren’t as bad as I thought? These people are dealing with things that I couldn’t imagine. That realization made me thankful for them.

On this 20th day, I am thankful for my Facebook support groups. In my #23daysofthankfulness I realize that others are in far worse situations than I. They remind me to count my blessings and to offer a listening ear and sage advice. To pray for others and the loads they carry.

 

Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

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You Probably Need Therapy

I believe in therapy. I believe that there has been a mental shift in this country in how we really deal with our issues. In fact, we don’t deal with them. We walk around wearing masks like there is absolutely nothing wrong with us.

But, it is a lie.

There are things that are wrong with you.

There is something wrong with me.

There is something wrong with you.

There is something wrong with all of us.

Let’s stop pretending.

Did you know that 44% of Americans between the ages of 18-44 suffer from depression? It’s staggering, yet imaginable. The media isn’t helping. The weather isn’t helping. Life is just overwhelming some days.

The NIMH estimates that in the United States, 16 million adults had at least one major depressive episode in 2012. That’s 6.9 percent of the population. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 350 million people worldwide suffer from depression. It is a leading cause of disability.

That’s a lot of us that are depressed. Depression is common and many of us overlook it. I’ve suffered from depression and I’m pretty sure that if you think back to life’s events that have affected you…you probably have too. Was there a death of a loved one? Divorce? Job loss?

I’ve seen therapists many times as an adult. It was in therapy that I realized that I suffer from anxiety. I knew that I had a way of processing that was different, but I couldn’t put my fingers on it. When I explained to my closest friends about my anxiety. They sighed and said “Yep, that’s it.”

My anxiety may not be as severe as other people, but it is something that I recognize and realized that I’ve passed down to Munch. It’s difficult to find the words to encourage my baby to stop worrying about things and as my grandma used to say “borrow tomorrow’s troubles”. He is anxious. He’s 9. He shouldn’t worry.

But, he got it honestly. I worry A LOT. I’m just learning to let things go and not let them stress me out. Through friends and my absolutely fabulous therapist, I’m learning to process what I need too and disregard the rest of the noise. This is part of why I’ve been sharing my self-preservation and the power is within you posts.

I’m learning. I’m growing. I’m accepting that I don’t have all the answers. That I can’t figure it out all by myself. I needed help. I’m getting it.

We have to stop stigmatizing mental health issues. I know in the black community we don’t seem to believe in therapy. We believe that you can pray your way out of anything. Including mental health.

This is not true.

Prayer helps and I believe that God hears all and sees all. But, how can you hear God if you’re hearing voices because you have schizophrenia? You can’t.  It’s impossible.

Now, ya’ll know that I think all black people need three things: Jesus, wine and therapy. We have to stop labeling mental health issues as crazy and start supporting and encouraging our love ones (and ourselves) to get the help we need. It’s about time we stop promoting the strong black woman bulls*it and just promote healthy minds for a healthy you.

It’s time to take care our mental health and spirit too.

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Want to keep in touch? You can find me on social media at the following links: Twitter @mskeeinmd, Facebook page A Thomas Point of View and my Instagram page https://www.instagram.com/mskeeinmd/.

Things I Let Go

In 2017,  I realized that I wasn’t going to carry other people’s baggage anymore. I’m living proof that you have to go through things in order to get to your happiness. I’m in a happy place. But, I don’t take it for granted.

What I used to do was carry the baggage of others. I would allow them to dump their problems/issues on me and then try to make them feel better. Umm, not going to happen in 2017.

What I realized is that I can’t carry someone else’s baggage. As my girlfriend said “You don’t work for the airlines boo. Tell them to carry their own bags.” No truer words.

I’ve spent much of my life trying to people please. I tend to excuse the negative behaviors of those I love because they may be going through something. Not anymore.

I don’t have the time nor the energy to be anyone’s clean-up woman. I have a wonderful life with a beautiful son and a great man. I have many activities and projects that I’m working on. I don’t have time for the unresolved drama of others.

I know it may seem harsh. But, I can’t. I won’t. And neither should you.

I understand that the world has many people with issues, but I’m in therapy and working on mine. I can’t be around people who are not doing the same. I’m trying  to be better for myself, for my son and for my man. I can’t deal with those that are practicing avoidance.

Life is too short. Let go and get help.

 

Welcome to My World!

Welcome to all my new followers of A Thomas Point of View. I’m so thankful you decided to read and follow my blog. Have you checked out my about page? I know many times I follow a blogger because I’ve read a couple of their pieces and I like what I read. But, I never stop to read their about page. So, I decided to share it with you today.

Who Am I?

I am a woman, mother, daughter, sister, friend and businesswoman. Many titles, but the most important one is definitely mother. I have one son who is the light of my life. I found that blogging during my pregnancy helped me journal my thoughts so this became my high horse journalistic point of view.

Four years ago I started writing more after I found myself living in hell. I was a wreck because my marriage had ended and we were volatile. We couldn’t get along and I couldn’t understand why the man who vowed to love me was treating me like crap?  I went into therapy and I was determined to find out what my issues were because let’s be real, everyone has them.

I realized that I was one of the problems. I had just scratched that surface and when I started to journal my pain it became my life story. That story is a deep and powerful one that I will be turning into a book shortly, but let’s say that it was both painful and cathartic.

So, in this journey from marriage to divorce, dating, parenting and everything in between, I try to journal my thoughts and share my experiences. There is a breadth of development that has taken place in me and I am thankful for the experiences, I will share them. I crave interaction and comments whether on my Facebook page or on this blog. I promise I will respond.

Sit back, read and be engaged with me. I promise you won’t be bored because I will talk about social injustices, parenting, dating, relationships and everything in between. I will post poems, short stories, published pieces and reblog inspirational, informative and educational information to you.

Let’s engage!

Motivational Monday Moment – 10/3/16

It’s the first Monday in October and I wanted to share a Monday Motivational Moment with you. My moment is perspective. I’ve been dealing with this for the last month. When I talked about KE Garland’s post on releasing expectations and in my interactions with my ex-husband.

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Perspective is how I view things. I know this. You most likely know this. But, what I’m learning is that my perspective is leading me to expect things from people. There in lies the issue. I need to realize that I need to change my perspective which will allow me to release my expectations and stop stressing the heck out.

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How many of you can relate to that? We perceive that we know people and that they know us then why are they reacting a particular way?  Why are they attacking us when they know us? Our attitude is that they are good people therefore we expect them to do things in a certain way. Let’s be real…the right way or the ethical way or just do it our way.

But, they don’t. We get mad. We get frustrated and we start to wonder why even bother. I’m guilty of this. More recently with my ex-husband and our lack of communication. I’m frustrated. I’m hurt by his words and I feel like why do I even bother trying? Isn’t it just a waste of time?

What I’m learning is that it is a waste of time. Whose time? Mine.

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I started seeing a therapist last week and I told her what was going on. I told her that I needed help because I can’t go on like this for the next 10 years. I needed some kind of guidance on how to deal with my ex and our co-parenting struggles. I can’t continue down this path.

She listened. I rambled on about my issues. She said you know what the issue is? You need to change your perspective of him. This will allow your expectations of him to change. She explained that by changing my perspective of him will in essence allow me to release my expectations that he will do what I deem is appropriate and fair.

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Ugh! How can I do this? What medicine can assist this? How long will it take? She laughed. It will take some time. It won’t be easy. There is no medicine. But, you can do it. When you do it you will realize that you were the one causing your own headache. I sighed.

However, I know she’s right. Niki over at The Richness of a Simple Life has been helping me with trying to change Munch’s perception to focus on good things and not just the bad things. Making him be a more positive kid. Dang! I didn’t think that I had that problem too.

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I speak of good things. Quite frequently too. It’s just that I need to work on my perception of situations and people. My therapist said that my ex has probably been the same person all these years but I figured that after being together and married and now divorced that he would behave a certain way. Umm, yeah? But, she said that I’m expecting him to do things that I think are in line with our morals, but I need to stop that.

I’m driving my own self crazy. Perceive him as an ex husband. Not a friend. Not a foe. A business relationship. Expect nothing. Share information. No frustration. She said it will become easier when you change your perception of him. It doesn’t mean that he’s a bad person. He is who he is but I perceived him to be something he’s not. There in lies my struggle.

I’m causing my own pain.

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So my loves, if you’re like me and you need to change your perspective about people, I want to encourage you to do so. We can do this together. It won’t be easy. But, remember it is you that is causing your own stress. Let’s try to stop this.

Be the change we want to see.

Coffee, I Need Coffee – 3/20

Hey loves,

This is my first coffee share. I attempted to do one last weekend and life got in the way and I didn’t do it. If you’re interested in doing the weekend coffee share, just link up at Part-Time Monster’s site with your weekend coffee share posts. It’s a virtual coffee catch up that allows us to tell you what’s happening in our lives.

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So, here goes…

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…I love coffee and I’m sipping slowly on this big cup of French Vanilla. I’m trying to get my mind around the many things that are happening in my life. My Munch is in love with this girl named Savannah at school and was so happy to see her at a birthday party we attended yesterday. “Mommy, isn’t she beautiful? I’m so in love” he says. “There’s more to a person than looks Munch” I mutter. “Like what?” he asks. “Her character. Her values. Her morals. Her heart.” I respond. “They’re all beautiful” he said. “I’m not ready ya’ll.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…I’m having issues with some of my son’s teachers and reached out to the school counselor for advice. I’m struggling ya’ll. You know that my baby is going through it with his anxiety. Whatever happened to teachers who gave a darn about a kid? I believe that they call it compassion. I told the counselor that my Munch had said a couple of questionable things that lead me to believe that he’s being bullied and he’s not talking to us. I asked her could she talk to him and she said yes. She then sends me an email to confirm the fact that he’s being bullied and left it at my feet. I was beyond irritated and told her that I needed a meeting with her, the principal, his teacher and the head of security at this point because this was/is unacceptable. We have a meeting scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.  Woosah!

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…I finally found someone to do the psychological assessment quicker than sometime next month. Munch has an appointment on Tuesday morning for the counseling session and evaluation and then hopefully some more information on this testing/assessment.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…If you missed my post called “Closed”, I’m officially divorced. It was exhaustive, but we are truly learning to be better so that we can co-parent our Munch. Yay! That is one less thing to worry about.

If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…It’s been a really busy weekend and I’m exhausted.  Munch had a birthday party Friday night, swim lessons Saturday morning and a birthday party Saturday evening. Oh, and church school and choir practice for the Easter program.  As if that’s not enough soccer practice starts Monday for him and now I’m a soccer mom again.

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If you and I were having coffee, I would tell you that…I am going to sit here and quietly reflect on all the changes both good and bad that have occurred this week and pray for continued strength. I sometimes feel as though I’m burning the bridge at both ends, but those are the moments when I need to get into my quiet place and pray. Tame my restless spirit.

My wish for you is simply to enjoy each moment.

The Assessment: Munch and Therapy

This is a continuation of my post yesterday The Therapy Session

The therapist turns to me and says “I have to tell you that your son is so adorable.” “Thank you” I replied. He says, “Okay, so from what I’m seeing your son has anxiety. He worries about a lot of different things. Most people have anxiety so it’s not unusual, but if it interferes in your daily life we want to try to help.”

He asked whether or not Munch has always been anxious. “Yes” I told him. “When he was a baby about 8 months old he started freaking out any time I got on an elevator or escalator. He would start crying and trying to get out of his stroller or holding me tighter if I was carrying him. I told his pediatrician. I thought it was weird, but I didn’t know because he was my first child and she just dismissed it. He would always worry about everything. What if the kids at school don’t like me? What if no one at church wants to be my friend? What if people laugh at me? What if people boo me?

Last month when we had that tornado warning, he freaked out and had to be next to me. He was so afraid that something was going to happen to me that he couldn’t concentrate on his upcoming program. One of the adults supervising brought him to me because he started crying and saying that he needed to check on his mommy.  He needed to make sure that I was okay because he was afraid that I would die in the tornado. Sometimes his anxious thoughts cloud his mind and make him sad or depressed. Like he will bring up the dog dying even if there are no animals around and then begin to cry. We created a memory box regarding our dog Bailey but it’s like his mind remembers the death and it upsets him” I said.

He listened and responded “His mind doesn’t seem to work in a linear fashion. It’s like his mind is all over the place, which is why I did the memory test to see if he can focus enough to retain information. He did good. Two out of three is very good.  Maybe his mind is working faster than his mouth. Is that possible?”

“Yes” I responded. “It happens to me all the time.   That’s how my mind works. I thought it was different, but I can focus when I need to so I just thought it was a  special ability I had. My mom does the same thing. Munch doing it seemed natural. However, I know it frustrates and confuses people who are close to me. They’ve just accepted it though.” “Okay” he said. “It may be fine. But, I want to tell you that I think he has anxiety. He was worried about numerous things in our short conversation.

I’m hesitant to diagnosis anything beyond that without psychological testing.  The thing about therapy is that many people can give you their professional opinions about what they believe may be the issue, but the psychological testing will give us an actual picture for present behavioral/emotional issues. It’s covered under your medical insurance and I don’t want to do it through the school. I don’t want that testing to track or follow him throughout his educational years. Plus, I’ve seen were they will try to code anxiety as ADHD and that’s not always the case.

Once we get the results back, I want you to make a follow-up so we can see what we can do to help your son. Now, keep in mind that my therapy with children is more play. We may play a board game, Jenga or go outside and toss a baseball. Anything that is play oriented that will allow him to relax and talk to me. It’s shorter than the average adult therapy session to” he said.

“Okay, I’ll get the testing” I replied. Munch opened the door at that moment and asked “Mommy, are you okay?” “Yes, baby. I’m fine” I replied. “Can we go eat now? I’m hungry.” We all laughed.

I did some research and found out more about psychological testing/assessments from Inova Fairfax where I’ll take him for testing and found out that there are four different types of assessments that they do depending on the patients.

As far as emotional/behavioral disorders, my Munch has experienced the following things:

  • Sadness/crying
  • Low frustration tolerance, difficulty coping
  • Sleep problems, sleeps too much or has difficulty sleeping (varies when he’s worried)
  • Negative thoughts, pessimistic thinking, hopelessness
  • Worrying
  • Anxiety

So, I agree with the need for testing. My concerns have been somewhat subsided. We have a plan. I’ve found a responsible adult who wants to treat my son that I find trustworthy. I called the hospital testing center and I’m waiting to hear back.

Until the testing happens I will continue to love, nurture and support the child that God gave me. Be understanding. Be encouraging. I will continue to shower him with hugs and kisses and tell him that I will always be here for him. I will wipe his tears and understand that there are things that I may not know that are worrying my baby’s mind and spirit.

I’ll keep you posted.