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Why I Chose Therapy

4 Aug

It’s been a little under a year since I’ve been seeing a psychotherapist and this is probably the first actual time I’ve ever dedicated an entire blog post or anything of the kind to telling the world about it. Yes, I have a therapist. And she is amazing.

Though I don’t go off telling the world my business nor do I see the need to tell people what goes on in my sessions day in and day out, I sought a professional therapist for one reason and not because of the daunting reason most people associate them with. My sole purpose for seeking a therapist was to discover the oddities about myself and the relationships I have with the people in my life, however close or not they may be to me. However cheesy it may sound, I sought out a therapist because I felt I needed guidance in my journeys through life and I couldn’t have been more wrong about going with my gut about it.

Since seeing a therapist, I’ve been so profoundly aware of the person I am, more sure and secure in the person I am and am able to visually make more sense of life lessons when I’m talking about things in an open dialogue with someone who has no judgements, no opinions and no reflections about who I am as a person. Normally, when I’m talking about anything that’s going on in my life with a family member or best friend or partner they will always have an opinion wether positive or negative. It’s hard for anyone to not put their own feelings aside and just listen without reflecting on themselves or me for that matter. I’ve noticed that this is hard for just about anyone. So I opted to seek a professional to talk with who has absolutely no reservations and just listens and helps me in sustaining life-long decisions that I might not have made with other peoples’ help or just on my own.

Hence why my therapist has been such a HUGE benefit to me and the bounds and leaps I have made in a ton of my personal successes and growths in my life in the last year or so. G* (her name is not being used for my own privacy, thank you!) has been one of the biggest inspiring people in my life and as I imagine her reading this now as I write this, I picture what she is thinking of from the very first day I walked into her for a consultation. I was vulnerable, scared and full of emotions all bottled up and not knowing where to display them or put them. She has guided me in ways I probably always knew how, but never knew the methods in which to use despite being so aware of my emotions and who I was. Now, almost a year later, I am still learning but I have grown so much with her guidance and reverence. I could not have done some of the things on my my own that I am doing  without the successes of going to therapy sessions.

It sounds crazy, but sometimes I  look forward to sessions with G* when I haven’t spoken to my best friends, because I feel like she is that kind of support system that I needed in my life when I was looking for it, when I needed it most to get through some rough things personally going on in my life. I’m not sure how much stigma still sits behind therapy, though I know I was a bit apprehensive about going for a while as much as I know I needed and wanted to. And even though I have been going for a while, I still like to think that G* found me. I stumbled upon her name on a psychotherapist’s website in a search engine and found her personal website and fell in love with all of the quotes she used and her methods of practice. It was everything I was hoping to accomplish in my own journey. I like to think our paths were meant to cross and I’m always greatful for having chosen therapy.

Hello Change, I’m Ready For You!

26 Mar

So I’m not one to ever advertise a product or market something – unless I totally 100% believe in it. There’s a company whose products are based around all natural health and nutritional things. Herbalife helped me about a year ago begin my weight loss journey. The people in my life who know me and know me well know about my story with my losing weight and my struggle with being overweight all of my life – being the chubby red head was always the story of my life. It was something I just accepted. But once you really become knowledgeable about your health and the consequences it can have later on in the future – you pay more attention.

That’s exactly what I did.

What really happened like probably tons of other overweight people is I had a doctor visit scare. Actually, it was a visit to the dermatologist. I had had this red rash behind my neck for going on a year or two years (ironically ever since I had put on 30-40 pounds). So I made a visit to the dermatologist for a consultation. The doctor came into the room and took a look at the rash behind my neck with a light, ran one finger over it and clicked off the light. She turned around and said some medical mumbo-jumbo terminology I didn’t quite understand. I asked her to rephrase what she meant about the rash’s origin and where it comes from. She said, “These types of rashes come from people who usually have diabetes.” All I heard was diabetes. I left the office in tears thinking my health was at risk and worse – that my future was never going to be the same.

After tests and follow-ups I’m thankful to say that I do not have diabetes and I’m a perfectly healthy young woman. But this scare however unprofessional it might have been with just one consultation – was the fire that I needed to light under me. I knew at that moment that my weight was only going to continue to be a concern for more health issues in the future if I didn’t do something about it. So I did something.

I began this amazing protein shake program – kind of like a Slim Fast, but all natural and healthy for you with Herbalife. My best friend’s mother and her family were big supporters since they had their own health clubs selling the products. At the start of me joining, I was well over 200 pounds (though no one believes me). You could see it in my face how chubby I was. Yes, I still say chubby.

Before the weight loss..

After a few months of doing the program and exercising, I dropped the weight and everyone saw my results. I’ve been able to keep off the weight since then and I couldn’t be happier. Also, that rash behind my neck miraculously disappeared.

After the weight loss!

The picture above was just this January. But the hard work doesn’t stop there. I still am not at my goal weight so I’d like to lose between another thirty to forty pounds, which I know is feasible with this program and the amazing support system this company has!

#TEAMHERBALIFE

Up, Up and Away!?

13 Mar

I can’t even kid you when I say how crazy the energy and positive vibes have been around me. I don’t know if the man upstairs has really been working for me, but I hold true and fast to my beliefs that he is.

For a while I was pretty unhappy for a bunch of reasons and I was kind of BLAH. But everyone goes through those rough patches. And you get out of them eventually. A few weeks ago something kind of broke inside of me and snapped I guess. I didn’t necessarily do anything unusual – it just sort of happened as it needed to happen.

I was watching an episode just last night of King of Queens, and the husband who is played by Kevin James was onto his wife (played by Leah Remini) who had been off of work for a while I believe and said she was going to occupy her time off by doing things around the house (ie: finishing photo albums, opening up the new coffee pot that had been sitting in the box for over two weeks, etc.). But she got up every morning, sat on the couch and withered away. She wasn’t motivated to do much. She said she was “trying to find herself.”

I always laugh about things like this happening to me because these hidden little messages in the random of moments seem to find its way to me. I know that I was feeling the same exact way for months and months. I didn’t have the drive to do anything, even the things I absolutely loved like writing didn’t seem to fulfill me. But it was because all of these negative thoughts and energy consumed me and my every day. After a while they faded out and I’m still making sure they fade to complete dust.

I remember talking to an old friend one day and he asked how I was doing a while ago and I responded with the most honest answer I could have given, “Living.” I don’t ever just want to just live. I’ve never ever been that way. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m full of energy and life and live in the moment. There’s never a dull moment in my life and I really believe that the dull moments have long past and that finally, there’s no more room for unhappy, negative reservations for me anymore. There’s too much life to be lived and why waste it on sad, sulking boo-hooing?

I truly believe that when you are happy and living in the moment and approaching every day with a brand new perspective and loving every single day like it’s a Friday, everyone will feed off of that energy around you. You will become their source of energy, too. Now, I know I can be a little Utopian sometimes but that’s just me. I believe in world peace and all that good stuff – I’d love it if everyone got along but not everyone can. That’s not how the world works. But at least if everyone were capable of cracking a smile even in their deepest of darkest moments then it makes it all worth it.

Positively Productive

4 Mar

If I keep up at this, I just might be on to a seven day type of challenge making all of my titles to my posts Dr. Seussian inspired.

This weekend I was planning to put in some overtime at work, but I slept in late on Saturday and said, “Screw it. I deserve this weekend to myself.” I just had so much on my mental To Do list and in actuality, I wound up doing more than I intended to this weekend.

I was able to rearrange my closet which made me feel like I was stepping into a whole new heaven. Sometimes I have a tendency to start cleaning at night which might set some people off, but when I’ve got the urge to reorganize or clean I just do it no matter what time of day or night it is.

With knocking a few other things off of my schedule this weekend, I had more time to do things I knew I wouldn’t have been able to get to had I done other things. I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to say “No” to some things and “It can wait until tomorrow.” That’s exactly what I did. In doing that, I was able to sleep well this weekend which I haven’t been able to over the past few months. Maybe it’s because of all of the other distractions in my life or maybe I just really need to focus on one or two things at a time. Often when I am doing too much I burn myself out. I can juggle a bunch of things at once because college life made me adapt to that, but things have changed since then. It’s time to take things one step at a time so that I can pay more closely at what the real goal is and get to it.

This week coming up is a busier than usual which kind of excites me a little because I’m doing a bunch of things that excite me and that make me happy. Here’s to a week of positively productive things & to possible unexpected happenings.

My Womanly ‘Circle’

27 Feb

I’ve always considered myself a feminist and probably right now I’m a hairy one – since of course this is hibernating season when the legs just barely ever come out. I feel myself already drifting off into wonderland and this is only the second sentence – the places my mind wanders to!

Really though, being around inspiring and uplifting women somehow always makes me feel…good. Inspired. Eager. Hungry. Thriving. Living. I rarely meet a man that can fulfill all of these things in me without failing at so many other things like poor conversation or his outlook on the world. It’s unattractive and for some reason, women always see the grandeur scheme of things that men are missing. Okay, okay, now I know at this point I’m really sounding like a man-hating lesbian, but I’m speaking from the gut and from what I know. This weekend I met up with my writing group ladies where one of our members introduced a new writer to the group. I’ve been super lucky to be in the company of these type of women who are always so energetic and full of life, seeking the little things that make you question things a little more and a little more in depth.

It’s not just these women who I see once a month for our writing sessions, but it’s the other women I’ve met at other crossroads that have made small, minute and even grand imprints on my life that I’ll always seem to remember and they still inspire me even if I don’t know where they are geographically in the world. It’s the women I met in another country, who given the chance to ever meet them in our hometown of the busy streets of New York City, I’m not sure we ever would have gotten the chance to. But it’s their careers & their love of the work that they do wether it’s small or large that gives me the pat on the back when I need it to know that I’m not the only one still working towards my goals and dreams, too. They are the same strong, liberated women in my life doing just the same.

When I read about fellow women who I took classes with in college through Facebook or Twitter and read about their fantastic pavements through the arts and the grassroots activists that they still are, I know that it inspires me to do more in my own communities even if it’s just from my fingertips and the ball of a pen. I know that I am among many women around me, wether they be close or far in distance their presence is always positive and always urging me to be my very best and never telling me that I should fall prey to any weaknesses. It’s the circle of these women that keep me on my toes, always dreaming and believing. Always knowing that I deserve it.

Emotionally Unavailable to the Available

31 Jan

Have you ever tried being emotionally unavailable to the people who were emotionally available to you? Okay let’s try that again. Have you tried not getting emotionally involved with someone who has said they want to be emotionally involved with you – but it just doesn’t work out for you? Well, welcome to my life. Almost every single relationship I’ve entered in that turned into something long term I treaded on thin ice, trying not to rush into things but as most women will do – we rush into love never giving ourselves enough time to enjoy life or our partners and each other but most of all enjoying our own lives and self worth.

The truth is, I’ve never really been by myself. Since turning 18, I’ve been in three long term relationships, and most of them were not healthy ones. I’ve always wanted to “work things out,” even when I knew there was nothing to work on. But I always fought to find a resolution to the problem, thinking there was one and I could find it. This isn’t healthy, that I know. In my very first relationship when I was just a baby at 18 years old, just three months into the relationship I knew that the relationship was not for me nor the person was the right person for me. But I stayed. I stayed in an unhappy relationship for a little longer than a year. In the end I was always putting myself last and never thinking about what I really wanted and what was best for me. I became emotionally unavailable after a while and not for good reasons. I forgot about my wants and needs and emotions. I wasn’t important anymore.

When you’re in a relationship, usually you don’t see your friends as much because you’re spending more time with your significant other or you’re not partying as much. Maybe you’ll spend a little less attention to your looks or maybe a little more for the first couple of months until that fades out. I can’t say that all of this applies to me, but I know other women out there catch my drift. You lose yourself in the midst and sometimes your distractions become overwhelming to control when relationships seem to take center of your life – especially unhealthy and unhappy ones.

I’m not going to lie and say the people I’ve been in relationships with were horrible and cruel people because they truthfully weren’t. They just weren’t right for me. That’s all. I keep in touch on a ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’ basis with past lovers but under no circumstances do I need to see them or be best friends with them. To me, this is a boundary I’ve never nor will I ever cross.

For the past 5 years it seems, I’ve just felt that my rocky relationship history has defined most of my early adult life and this is not what I anticipated. It’s true that when you picture a plan for yourself you picture a plan and you want to stick to it. Though my plan hasn’t changed with my career, I still have faith that it will get to where it will go. But what I’m trying to say is that relationships have become the center of my life for the past few years, but not my entire existence. I’m a hopeless romantic yes, but I haven’t forgotten my own hopes and dreams for myself and where I want to go.

It’s not often it seems that I’m not in a relationship, but it seems that when I am in one – they all seem to take control over my life and I forget what’s really important…ME. Quite frankly, no one person is going to break up with me and say, “Hey baby, I just don’t think this is going to work out. I think you need to take care of yourself and do what you have to do to see your dreams come true.” When do you ever hear anyone saying that? Let’s be real, now.

So finally, the only commitment I’m making is to myself as I’ve said and to my own happiness. If I must be emotionally unavailable for a while, then I must but it’s really a long time coming that I put my best foot forward in putting myself and my needs and wants and every wishes first because there are things I want to see happen and if I want to bring them to fruition, no one other person or relationship will do that for me but myself .

When I Throw My Face On..

30 Jan

Every morning, like clockwork I will get up and make my bed and do a few stretches just so I’m not walking around feeling like an old lady all day and because though I’m 25 I actually have backaches like you wouldn’t believe and I can’t blame it on my amazing new bed either.

As I’m getting ready whenever someone might come in or if someone is waiting on me if I’m going somewhere with someone I’ll usually say something like, “Okay let me just put on my face.” Usually that’s referring to a little bit of make-up. But really, it means that I’m putting on my daily face and preparing for the day that’s to come whatever that’s been given to me even if I do get a little dirty.

I’m usually hard on myself for a reason and not because I’ve had too many people be hard on me my whole life except my mother. My mother has been in my ear and my head all of my life and was and still is my biggest support system. She’s been both mother and father to me, though this story I’ve told more than once and in many different ways. I have always set high standards and expectations for myself, but I’ve always been distracted by people and relationships and just never been able to put myself first and foremost. Granted that’s no excuse, but it’s been a huge transition of emotions and growing into this adult life. When they tell you growing up, “Enjoy being a kid,” I seriously had no idea what that meant until now.

I’m learning so much now because I’ve been taking the time to talk about things I never talked about before and I’m able to really dissect things about my past issues and relationships that make so much sense to me now that I don’t know how I never could’ve seen it back then. But it’s a growing process. You learn as you grow and I couldn’t be more susceptible to my mixed emotions than I am now when I’m finally figuring out who I am and where I am in my own skin. I’m finally taking the time to spend on myself and not to “work on a relationship” or “fix problems.” I think once I realized just how far I’ve come and how much further I have yet to go, I know that this isn’t the end of it for me and that this isn’t going to be all I have to offer to myself or to anyone when and if the time comes which isn’t anywhere in site on my radar right now.

The only committment I’m making is to myself and it’s to be fair to myself and to what I deserve which is happiness. I don’t deserve anything less than what I shell out and I know that in order to get where I want to go in life the only person that can take me there is myself. So every day I just have to continue to put my face on and know that the Man Upstairs has a plan for me and that plan is a great one! I always leave it in faith and prayer that he will get me where I need to be and that right now I am where I need to be.

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