Blog Brain

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.

 

Wakanda Forever! Not Just This Weekend!

HS be damned. You did not win! I did. I have been looking forward to the arrival of Black Panther since last year. Matter of fact, I think that is when I purchased my prescreening event ticket. It’s hard for me to plan anything because HS is very unpredictable. I decided to let the chips fall where they may because nothing was going to keep me from this film. Besides, one of my dearest friends is an extra in the movie. Which to me is the same as her having a leading role. The day before the event as I got up to prepare for work, a sharp pain brought me to my knees. I knew better to ask what it was about. I knew it wasn’t the flu, but HS related. I had one of the worst flare-ups I had ever seen or felt. Every scar and every open area was red, enflamed and angry.. AT ME. The first thing that came to mind was OMG what am I going to do with my ticket because I will not be able to walk.  I sat on the floor and devised my plan. Thank goodness I had my cellphone because I did not know when I was going to be able to get up. My entire day consisted of Clorox baths, various topical medications and a solo rendition of the horizontal polka.  Thursday morning arrived and I felt like a kid at Christmas. Black Panther is here! Black Panther is here! As was the pain!  There was a silver lining. I was at least able to walk a little. All I needed to do was get my hair styled, shower, get dressed, get in the car and to the theatre. That was my to-do list for the day. It was touch and go there for a minute, but I managed to make it. There were many breaks in between and even a few tears, but I persisted.

When I got out of my car, I was immediately greeted by this beautiful lady that said ” I love your shirt, your hair and earrings. Welcome. We are so glad you’re here.” I was shocked. I could not believe there was a welcoming committee for the movie. She asked me my name and I told her as we were walking toward the theatre. She finally asked me if I was here for the volunteer work. I was like “ummm no, I’m sorry I am just here for the movie.” We both laughed and hugged. She introduced me to the rest of the volunteers and we all had a laugh. As I walked into the theatre to find my place in a line, I saw all of the Black Panther posters  and instantly got goosebumps. People were trying to buy tickets and they were sold out until Tuesday. I was so happy I had my ticket already. I walked around looking at the posters and a young lady walked up to me and asked me if I was here to see Black Panther. I told her yes and she replied ” so am I let’s sit next to each other.”  More and more people arrived dressed in their t-shirts and African attire. Everyone was hugging, laughing, and taking pictures. I was okay with being there alone because it was like I was attending with my family. It was amazing. This is not a fad. This is a positive movement.

I won’t spoil the movie for those of you who have not seen it yet. I urge you to go and see it as many times as possible. This movie made me feel amazing both during and after I finished watching it. I am so proud to see people on the big screen that look like me play such positive and profound roles.  Killmonger’s role as the villain is just as important as T’Challa’s role as the hero. Africa is being shown as this bountiful and beautiful not impoverished land. Children have their superhero that is not a slave, crackhead or criminal. While I know Wakanda is fictional, this movie is pushing me outside of my box. I want to know where I came from. I want to explore my family history. I want to do more in the community and the world. If nothing else Black Panther has shown how we all can come together for a common interest and make a difference. We can do great things together and make a difference.  I want to continue to take this feeling with me not just this weekend, this month but forever.  WAKANDA FOREVER!!

This Is All Of Us…….

I am almost positive that everyone has either seen or at least heard about the show This Is Us that’s on NBC. Well if you haven’t, it’s definitely worth taking time to watch it. I can guarantee you will not be able to stop watching after you see the first episode. Anyway I am not here to convince you to watch the show. I am here to share how This Is Us is all of us.  The mere title of the show makes me cry. Yes, I know these people are actors, but they suck you in and make you feel like you are on the journey with them. Without going through each episode (and yes I can!), I want to share the theme of the show LOVE.

The love is so real that it’s tangible. It also shows that love is not perfect. Love can be messy and love can be hard.  The love that parents have for their children is like no other. I honestly did not understand that love until my dad told me one day that he would die and go to hell for his children. He meant every word. When daddy didn’t have anything else, he had us. Parents and children do not always get along. Kids and parents are both trying to prove they know what’s best. There is attitude, anger and ego flying all over the place. Not to mention everyone’s individual secret storms that they are going through. Neither parents or children always make the right decision. We are imperfect beings. But when everything is all said and done, your family is going to show up for you. (And if they don’t I will show up for you!)

I think what really makes me ugly cry is the fact that I finally see someone who relates to me about the love and loss of a father. A father that you knew loved you and would do anything to make sure you were okay. That does not mean he was perfect or fearless.  It meant he loved you unconditionally and would literally lay down his life to preserve yours. I am not the same person I was before my father passed away. Almost 12 years later, I still cry daily and try to put one foot in front of the other wishing I could hear him yell “LANDA! one more time”. So I hold on to my memories and my love because just in case anyone ever forgets who Mike Cobb was, I will gladly remind them. I have a beautiful granddaughter and a handsome nephew who will know who their Paw Paw Mike was and how much he was loved and admired.

You see this is all of us. None of us have the perfect family or circumstances, but somehow we will come together and be okay. We all have troubles, secrets, fights and fall outs, but at the end we all have each other. No matter what race or background you come from, we all can relate on some level. This why I think so many people watch this show and ugly cry right along with me.  Let’s cultivate and spread love as much as we can. For any fellow parents reading this, my wish for you is that your children love you as much as I love my parents. For all my fellow children, my prayer for you is that you love and appreciate your parents because they will not always be here.

Now  I am going to stop because my puppy doesn’t know why I am crying and I need to wipe the tears from my keyboard.

True Love Doesn’t Notice

Hello everyone, oh how I have missed all of my blog friends. I hope you all are doing well.  HS had me in a hostage situation and was not willing to negotiate. I was able to compromise with it  eventually. While it is still here, my pain level decreased some. Now I am able to get back to my blog and actually leave the house. I wanted to share something a close friend of mine shared with me when I first met her about 16 years ago. The reason I want to share this is because it has come up again recently in someone else’s life.

We all tend to have these imperfections when we look in the mirror that we feel would make the world of difference if we could change it. Some of want fuller lips, thinner lips, higher cheek bones, lose weight, gain weight or just throw the whole person away and get a new body. Something that I used to struggle with when I looked into the mirror was my smile. Not too many people are aware, but once upon a time I had significant issues with my teeth. I took a lot of iron growing up and coupled with other issues, my teeth were discolored. I can remember putting my hand over my mouth when I laughed or trying not to laugh at all. Looking back on my old photos, I never smiled. I was reluctant to meet new people because I thought they would stare and not talk to me. My defense mechanism became my mantra, ” I don’t like people and I don’t need new friends.”  Now mind you, no one ever said anything or asked my about my teeth, but I thought that was because they did not want to embarrass me. I met my dear friend Machelle one day after I had come from the dentist. Of course I was smiling and posing and she said nothing. I was like “WTH?” So finally after about an hour of talking to her, I finally asked her if she liked my teeth. Machelle said. ” what about them?” I was literally speechless. My reply to her was , ” I know you see they look different.” She still didn’t have a clue as to what I was talking about. It took me a minute, but I realized she was telling her truth. Machelle told me when you truly love someone, you never notice things like that because you are too busy loving the whole person. As tears rolled down my face, I couldn’t do anything but hug her.

Things we think are imperfect don’t matter to the right people in your life. If you find yourself being one of those people that point out other people’s imperfections, I hope you realize that you are pointing out what’s wrong with them to keep anyone from noticing what’s wrong with you. SO STOP IT!