Blog Brain

Full Circle

I hope everyone is doing well. It has been a stressful, rollercoaster past few weeks. As unorganized and all over the place as I have been, I am thankful that I am here. Still moving forward, still pushing, REFUSING TO BE DEFEATED!

As many of you know my mommy just had triple bypass surgery.  Yes, this is a major procedure. When she first told me, I have to admit I was taken aback. I immediately went into mommy protector mode. While trying to stay positive with my mommy,  I  began to prep and plan trying to get everything done before the date of her surgery. I did not want her to have to worry about anything. After I hung the phone with her I sat here at my desk wondering what I was going to do next.  First thing I did was ask God to watch over and heal my mommy. I explained to him how much I loved her and how much I needed her. I continuously prayed and prayed and anything trace of fear I initially had disappeared. I had to choose fear or faith. I chose faith.

With everything going on of course I started to reflect on the days of when my daddy was sick in the hospital. I honestly think God knew I was about to spiral down a never-ending rabbit hole of emotion with these thoughts. Instead I thought about the things my parents told me at some very difficult times in my life.  I narrowed it down to two for the sake of not writing a book.  (More to come in future posts!)

  1. I traveled home from Atlanta on a stormy day to visit with my daddy when he was in the hospital. This was actually one of the last visits I had with him before he passed away. So it took me a while to get there and when I did I was so tired and hungry. It’s like I can see his face now. When I walked in the room he smiled and said “hey baby!” I spoke and told him it took me forever to get there because it was storming. I told him I was hungry, but that I didn’t need to eat because I was fat. Daddy looked at me and said ” Landa you are not fat. I wish I looked like you right now. You are so beautiful.” Of course I told him ” I get it from my daddy!” We both laughed. You see, at the time my daddy had lost so much weight because he was sick, he didn’t look like himself. I grabbed his hand (which I just loved) and told him thank you and that I loved him.  There I was complaining about the way I looked and all he could see was his daughter that he loved and that loved him so much. That’s all that matters.
  2. I called my mommy one day like I try to do on a daily basis even if there is nothing going on. Well on that particular day, I was having a bad day. My feelings were hurt about work and my lack of a social life. I remember being at the point of tears. Just before a tear fell my mommy said to me,” Baby I wish you could see yourself through my eyes. You have no idea how wonderful you are.”  Of course many tears fell after that. When I got off the phone with my mommy all I could do is smile and thank God for her. She had no idea how what she said made me feel so much better.  Words from her mouth went straight to my heart.

I carry my parents with me daily. It doesn’t mean that I don’t mess up or make mistakes.  It means that God does not make mistakes. It means my parents belong to me and I to them. Even when we have had our WTF moments, rough spots and truly asking if there was a mix up at the hospital. I means I was, am and will always be loved by them, as I love them.

Things have a way of coming back full circle. I have been lucky enough to be with my parents during their times when they were vulnerable and sick. When they needed me most.  I use the word lucky because it is something I am more than happy to do.  They have taken care of me all of my life. The good, the bad and the ugly. Yes it has been ugly because no matter the ailment, I told my parents about it! LOL! I know as children we can never repay our parents for everything they have done, but it is nice to show them the unconditional love they have shown us.

Sometimes You Can’t Plan Because It Will Happen When It’s Suppose To:)

I know its been a while since I have embraced my blog, but I am so happy to be writing this post. As I sit here an write I am listening to Drake’s In My Feelings that has taken social media by storm with the shiggy challenge. I have been singing and trying to dance to this song for 3 days now. My puppy Gambino started out enjoying the festivities, now he just goes and hides when I start the music. Of course you know I force him to dance with me because I am his mom dammit! LOL! Needless to say today is a good day.

For those of you who know me personally, you know  I am a planner. For the most part I need to know how, when and where when I am doing something preferably before hand. I am working on being more spontaneous, but I must say it is not easy. I call it being organized, others call it being a control freak. With that being said, once upon a time I really thought I could plan love. Yes you read it right, love. One of the most fickle, wild, crazy, unpredictable feelings/action ever know to man. The list was made. Everything from the way he looked, his job, hygiene skills, the type of car he drove to what kind of parents he would have. I wouldn’t say I was on the hunt, but I would say rather I was carrying this list with me  everywhere and if I met someone who fit then it was a good thing. Right? WRONG! I will tell you why. If you never meet a man with these qualifications then you think you have failed  at love in some form. Like maybe he is not out there for you and you are destined to be alone. Or you end up frustrated and say to hell with the list and decide to choose from being a workaholic or a crazy dog lady.  Whatever comes first.

Then, it just happens. The day you are minding your own business while you are in Publix trying to find ripe bananas for yourself and fresh ones for your puppy. He asks you if you could hand him a fruit bag. (That he could’ve gotten himself!) As you are handing him the bag you both end up dropping your fruit. 5 minutes later you exchanged numbers and he says he is going to call you once he gets home. ( AND HE DOES!) That is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Sometimes there is no handbook or script. You just have to go with it. Not everything is meant to be planned. Life is too short not to make the best of it. It is when you least expect it the magic begins.

We Meet For A Reason. Either You Are A Blessing Or A Lesson

 

I Am Your Strong Friend…But I Need Someone Too!

First let me say please check on your strong friend people. Anyone can be screaming HELP! with a stoic face.  You  never know what battles or demons someone is fighting. Depression, anxiety, anger or suicidal thoughts are not always visible. Please take to time to ask your strong friend (or anyone for that matter) if they are okay. The most important thing  is to stick around and wait on an answer.  Mental illness does not have a class. We often equate wealth and riches with happiness. Sorry people, wealth does not equal happiness. Relationships are important. Smiles are important. Kindness is important.

It is okay to say you are not okay. No man is an island. If you are depleted and feel as if you need to replenish then say so and take good care of yourself. If you don’t know how to take care of yourself, ask someone.  It is okay. Don’t go at it alone.

I sat down at my computer to start work and of course plastered all over everywhere was the recent suicide of Anthony Bourdain. I read it and shook my head. I don’t know if I was scared, shocked or angry when I began this post, but I know something needed to be said. Weren’t we all just discussing the recent suicide of Kate Spade? How many people do you know have said that they have thought about suicide at least once?  Did you remember that day? You might have been out having what you thought was a good time. Meanwhile that person was in their own silent hell.

Let’s show up for one another. I am your strong friend, but I need someone too!

If you need to talk please call 1-800-715-4225 Suicide Prevention Line.

Just In Case No One Has Told You!

I try to stay mindful of the fact that not everyone has a person or people in their lives to pick them up when they fall or give them a kind word when they are having a rough day. I wanted to show up today for anyone who is unable to show up for themselves and perhaps may not have anyone to say the things that they may need to hear right now. Just in case no has told you today,

  • You are going to be okay
  • All you can do is the best you can
  • It may be the end of the road, but not the end of the world
  • This is just temporary
  • You are such a beautiful person inside and out
  • It is okay not to be okay
  • You are not alone
  • No one is perfect
  • Even the smallest thing we do for ourselves or someone else can bring so much joy
  • The love you have for yourself surpasses the love anyone else can have for you
  • Be kind to yourself
  • It’s okay to laugh at yourself

I felt a need to put this out in the world because we are all in this thing called life together, whether we know one another personally or not. You may need these words today or maybe it’s someone you know. Maybe you will meet a stranger today who needs a kind word.  The world is hard enough on us all. Let’s try to pull one another up in hope, kindness and love.

P.S. I went to walk my dog this morning and I had the leash and his poop bags, but I forgot my dog! I chose to laugh at myself instead of getting upset about messing up the walk.

Speak with you soon.

Going Through It, To Get Over It!

Hello to all of my favorite readers out there. Thank you for stopping by. I am so happy you are here! I hope you are feeling good today. Guess what? I am!  No, doctors have not found a cure for HS this month. I know like everything else, this is temporary, but I am going to ride this good feeling out until the motor drops on the ground and the wheels fall off.

I have been having really vivid dreams lately about my daddy and all of my grandmothers’. I didn’t think anything of it until it started to happen each and every night. As some of you know, they are all deceased. The dreams had to mean something. I began to write down what I remembered immediately after I woke up. I discovered each and every night, Mudea, Momma Dosie, Daddy, Momma Mae and Momma Ola were all rooting for me. In each dream, each interaction they were telling me to keep going. I hear it now so clearly, “Landa don’t stop, don’t give up, I am here.” I woke up with tears in my eyes and smile on my face. I know they all are here watching over me. You see, I never told anyone about my last pain cycle with my HS but my mom. Only she knew how bad I felt and how down I was. My mom said those same words to me. It was at that moment, I told my mom I had to go and I would call her back the next day. I started to focus on my family and friends that are always rooting for me. I said okay and little by little, step by step, I began to feel stronger than I was before.

I had literally already talked myself out of going to see Iyanla Vanzant at the Fox Theatre. Maybe someone else will buy my ticket, I thought. Besides, it was a fabulous seat. The thought of having to change out of my pajamas and getting dressed up was too much for me to think about. Then there was traffic. I would have to leave at 5:30 and who in their right mind would get into traffic at that time? Not to mention, I would be exhausted from working all day. It was just too damn much! Just as I was about to post my ticket for sale online, I sat down and was still. I sat still, took a breath and began to laugh. Who said I had to get dressed up? I can go as myself. Iyanla said she focused on healing and not image. So I removed that self placed pressure I created and decided whatever I put on I would be fabulous. You know why? Because I am fabulous. Why was I worried about traffic? I had not been in my car all day and I am sure it was nothing me and Ludacris could not handle with a little “Move B***** Get Out Tha Way!” Step by step, little by little, I got dressed and out the door I went.

The Fox is a beautiful theatre and there were so many beautiful people there. The funny thing is I met so many people that were there alone, but we ended up leaving together as sisters. When Iyanla hit the stage, the crowd went wild.  Okay, full disclosure, I wanted to run up on stage and steal a hug. I decided against that because I did not want to go to jail and end up on YouTube. The show was so powerful you could feel the energy, connections and people getting stronger. You had to be there to experience it.  Some things she touched on that really spoke to me were:

  • Sometimes we have to ask God to soften our heart. Forgiveness is rough!
  • When we use the word fear, it’s not that at all. It’s not being in control of the outcome.
  • Never underestimate the ruthlessness of the ego.
  • Be mindful of the things you think about and what you place your focus on.
  • Be careful what you tell yourself about yourself.
  • All thoughts are neutral. They have no value or meaning until we assign it.
  • We focus on negative emotions more than the positive ones because of the emotional pulse attached to it.

Her book “Get Over It” is a must read. It is not what it sounds like. She is not saying get over it in a flippant manner, but in a way that teaches you how to leave the negative behind so it no longer holds you hostage.

I plan to keep this good feeling going for as long as I can. HS, anxiety, depression, anger nor excuses will stop me!  I want all of us to shoot for the good feeling. If you are unable to show up for yourself, it’s okay, I WILL SHOW UP FOR YOU! We are all in this together. We don’t have to do it alone.

I love you all to life!

Landa

 

What/Where In The World? Pick One!

I know it has been a while since I have posted. To be quite honest, when I sat down at my desk to write I did not know where to begin. I had to keep in mind this is my blog and not my journal, but at the same time being as authentic as I can. There has been so much going on in the world that when I actually sit down and try to understand it all, I want to take all of my family and friends to a secret place to try and protect them. Then I wonder is there a place for any of us to go. The world has its way of making some of us feel like we don’t belong anywhere. School shootings, shootings targeting black people, black people being killed by police, black people being afraid to ask police for help, the justice system over sentencing based on the color of your skin, teachers not making enough money to function on a daily basis, fear of SSI and Medicaid being cut for the elderly, overwhelming student debt for people trying to get jobs that don’t even pay enough for them to live on, looking at videos of racist people saying we don’t belong here and its time to make America white again. I could write an entire page of just issues that are going on today, but I know you get the point. If you were unable to take a breath from trying to read that run on sentence, imagine trying to take a breath while you live it.  Trying to understand this and be apart of the solution while trying to live with HS has been a bit overwhelming.  My faith was being tested. I was beginning to wonder if anyone cared. What can I do? What can you do?  Needless to say I was in a rut.

I am only one person and alone it does not seem like I can do much, but I will do what I can. I know it sounds cliché but I will be the change I want to see. With all of the mean, vile, racist and uncaring people in the world, I will always try to remember there are just as many good people in the world. I realize the further I get away from God the more complex my life tends to be. It makes more sense to give Him the time I spend scrolling through Facebook and watching the news. It doesn’t mean I am trying to keep my head buried so the problems would go away. It means that I need to do things that will strengthen my faith and my soul. I always make sure the people I surround myself with are strong, loving and supportive people. I am going to be strong, loving and supportive to them. If I am defeated and depleted, I am no good to myself or anyone else. I am going to fight for what is right and spread awareness when and where I can.  I know I am just one person, but sometimes that’s all it takes….Right?

 

 

 

Hold On or On Hold?

Sometimes I feel like my life is on hold. You see HS is holding on for dear life and there are times when I (yes me) feel defeated. Today is one of those days. When you are in pain and unable to function, there is a lot of time to think about things. Even things that you don’t want to think about. There are many people I know with HS that have other issues going on because of HS. For example, significant GI issues and migraines from stress. I look at it like one big vicious circle of pain. I have chronic pain and I know from being a therapist how pain medication can often times have a negative effect on your life.  I decided not to seek pain management through prescription medication. That is a decision I made for myself because I know myself and on days like today (and everyday this week) everything HURTS! I don’t think there is enough of anything on the planet that would help. On top of all the pain I was dealing with you know that things can and did get worse. HS was like “hold my beer!” As you know I take Humira  weekly. I was just informed that my copay is $3000.00 each month. Thanks to the changes of my current insurance. That was like a punch in the gut. I could not see straight. Was it the migraine, HS, treacherous GI issues or just life? All I know is everything was hurting and there was nothing I could do about it.  This morning as I was getting up to get ready for work, HS said no. You see it invited 3 new family members to the party. What else could I do except cry myself to nap because I am unable to sleep well when I am hurting this bad.

I took a day off tomorrow because I planned to do something fun for myself. My fun day has turned into another sick day. This is why I never plan anything nowadays. I cried so much, my eyes and nose were red. Gambino did his job and tried his best to comfort me by being his cute self. I looked at him and told him that I really want to throw in the towel. It is not getting any better and I am so tired. By the time I finished uttering those words, a dear friend of mine called me. I told her I didn’t feel well and she asked me why didn’t I call her because she would’ve come over. I told her I did not want to bother her and that I thought I could handle it. For all of those who know me, you know I began to cry harder. Just when the ugly crying began, my wonderful son called me. You see today is his wedding day. He is in Fairbanks Alaska and I am in Atlanta Georgia. He was going to have it in June in Texas, but he had to move the ceremony up because there is a strong possibility he will be deployed to Korea very soon. Christopher called to tell me how he was feeling on this day about getting married and how much he loved me. As he was sharing his feelings with me, I couldn’t help but to think how lucky I am to have him as a son. A son that loves me enough to share things with me and thinks I am such a wonderful person. He is why I hold on. He is why I won’t throw in the towel. I have to continue to try to be strong for him. I know Kali and Chris calling me when I was at one of my lowest points  was God’s way of saying I am not as alone as I feel right at this moment. I even got a package in the mail from my friend April. She sent me a pair of Wakanda tights.  They are gorgeous! She knows I am for everything Black Panther. Her note was so kind and just in case you were wondering I ugly cried. LOL! It meant the world to me. She had no clue how much I needed her kind words.

I said all that to say this, hold on everybody even when it hurts. We have either been in a storm, getting out of a storm or getting ready to go into one. As I am writing this, I am realizing I needed to have those ugly cries. They are helping me put things in perspective. Maybe I don’t need to continue to take Humira because it is definitely not helping me. I think I may have developed anti-bodies to Humira when I stopped taking it and started the HS trial. So there is an option. I guess we will see what happens. Right now, I am going to try to hold on as best I can.