Couch Beach

There is a stigma around counseling, psychologist and psychiatrists. People are ashamed to take care of their mental and behavorial health. I have heard people say that they don’t need anyone. My Truth understands that we were not created to do life alone.

Take a figurative journey with me as I interpret a suitable helper to be a person (friend, family member, coworker, acquaintance or professional).

Once a month, I visit Couch Beach! That is, I relax on a couch in my therapist, Jesse’s office and let all of my cares float through the air, releasing all stress and strain. I mean, on a beach, that’s what I’d do. I would venture into the water and then lay around to recharge, relax and get grounded. When I leave Jesse’s office, I feel like I have left the beach.

I have had a therapist since 2012. I think it’s important to vet your therapist, my first one was not a good match for me. Luckily for me, the second one was the charm. I often say to others, “Get you a Jesse!”

As a strong woman. As the go to person in my family. As the fixer and backbone in many situations, I needed to talk to someone that I could be 100% vulnerable with. I have the very best of friends, yet I was so ashamed to let them know that I did not have it all together.

When I decided that I no longer wanted to be married in 2012, I called and made a behavorial health appointment. Sitting in the waiting room, I was terrified and nervous. I thought people in the waiting room were judging me, thinking I had issues. Then I realized, we were all in the same waiting room!

Therapy took me through 1st divorce filing, extensive work traveling, mom passing, changing jobs, 2nd divorce filing and actual divorce, dad passing and now we are in survival of the fittest. Depending on where I am in life, I see Jesse once a week or once a month. I’ll never forget the time that I showed up a week early for an appointment, but as luck would have it, someone cancelled and he was free to see me. I’ve even called for emergency appointments and phone consultations. You see, when you get hit with social anxiety and abandonment issues, somebody has to remind you of the goodness that you are. I even go to my sessions for maintenance when I think nothing is wrong.

Don’t mistake any of this for me not having Jesus on the main line. I pray and cry. I praise and worship. I study and practice kingdom living. I have a friend that is a catholic priest. I have direct lines to evangelists and prohphets. I am in an Elizabeth and Mary friendship. Trust me on this, there is room in our lives for therapists. Human connection helps clear our minds, overcome depression, and strategize conflict resolution. Jesus knows about my therapist and my therapist knows about my God.

This amazing combination is the reason I am where I am today. I can tell when I am in my 4th week before therapy because things tend to get heavy. I walk in to the behavorial health clinic with the world on my shoulders and walk out of the office like a lioness that just walked out of the prayer closet. Let me reiterate, there are times that I go to therapy thinking nothing is wrong and that the visit is just a check in, but soon realize that I have been suppressing something and get delivered. If you are thinking you need a nonbiased person to talk to, just make the appointment.

What are your thoughts on recieving behavorial and mental health?

What would hinder you from seeking a psychologist/psychiatrists?

What benefits have you seen by engaging with a trained behavorial or mental health professional?

 I have joy, peace and happiness. In all instances I am my unfiltered, unaltered self. I am free to be me. It’s how I am free to write this blog that shares my experiences. Transparency is neccessary. I was given this mountain to show others that it can be moved. Why let life weigh you down when you can carve out some time and head to Couch Beach?!

 

The Other “B” Words

The scenarios replay over and over. Did this really just happen? Did they really just do that?! My Sunshine, Marlon, always describes betrayal as “Forget your chick and the click you claim!” This is a PG excerpt from “Hit Em Up” by that great philosopher, Tupac Shakur.

Here’s my thing, people with huge hearts, that love unconditionally, that pour wisdom and invest themselves in the advancement of others really FEEL betrayal. I’m equating betrayal to fire that shot up in my bones while an elephant has one leg on my chest, and I can’t jump up and run. You are forced to sit in it, deal with it and process it before it walks away from you, leaving you puzzled about what to do next.

Here’s what I’ve found out about betrayal, it’s a blessing. Consider this… you have been praying and believing God for something in your life. That something could be tied to the betrayer. You prayed and cried asking the Lord to remove people, places and things that aren’t like Him so that you can receive His promises and BOOM 💥————- YOU HAVE BEEN BETRAYED!

Reflect on what you’ve been praying for. Time? Increase in finances or prosperity? Debt forgiveness? Better health? How to step into your passion or purpose? Increase in self esteem? A path to self care or self love? Supportive friendships? A healthy, equally yoked relationship?

Now, think of the betrayal. Is it directly tied to or did it make the space and opportunity for your blessing to move in? For you to start to move into that space that fulfills your dreams? The betrayals against me did. What held me back, frankly sometimes what holds me back is not recognizing this, trying to make sense of betrayal and not seeing the blessing!

I promise on everything that is within me, betrayal is a blessing. My close friends wonder why I don’t argue (speak up) when something happens . . . I learned to go straight to Jesus. Like, “Hey 👋🏾, it’s me Jesus. What IS HAPPENING!? What’s the rhyme or reason behind this mess, but more importantly, WHAT are you trying to teach me?! This ain’t cool. That was bogus, but I trust you Lord!”

I am a few days past the most recent incident and when I got to the end of this post, is when the Holy Spirit reminded me that I asked to clear debt and move into prosperity. I prayed that anything hindering me from making it to the next level and moving in God’s purpose in my life be released from me. I didn’t anticipate betrayal in this fashion. I blinked 7 times and saw the blessing!

Be encouraged. Before you boss up on the Betrayal, look for the Blessing!

I Should Have Stopped At The Oil Change

One November Day in 2006, I stopped at the neighborhood Oil Lube place to get an oil change in my 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser. The Pit Guy comes up and starts explaining to me that I could invest in less expensive oil. I thanked him and asked how I could repay him? He told me I could buy him lunch. When I returned with his lunch, he asked for my number.

He courted me for 5 months, we moved in together and got engaged in March 2007. We got married in July 2007. We got divorced in March 2014.

“I Should Have Stopped At The Oil Change!”

Sometimes we marry because it’s our hearts desire but not God’s desired person or time for us. We are hard headed. We want what we want, when we want it.

I fell in love with potential, married it, and tried to develop it. The thought of having a husband was so exciting to me. I changed my last name. I tried to turn houses into homes. I took his dreams and made them into realities.

Then one day I woke up, looked at him and thought this is so lonely. There must have been someone praying for me to find wholeness in my life. If you are reading this, THANK YOU. See, my ex-husband was a great guy, just not the right guy for me. We were total opposites. I was a social butterfly and he was 100% introverted. I needed family gatherings and girls dates, he didn’t want to be bothered with family gatherings and had no friends. I tried to contain my zest for life to fit our relationship and it physically made me ill.

There were signs after we got engaged and I ignored them all! Being with the wrong one will have your insecurities weighing you down. You will feel like you are asking for to much and nothing you do will ever be enough or right. He talked about my weight, compared me to others, and the list goes on.

I lost weight, I tried new things but there was always something. Do you have any idea what it’s like to cry because you don’t think you’re good enough for a person that’s supposed to love you unconditionally? I mean I was a rock star at work. I have great friends and family, but in my marriage, I wasn’t enough!

So, back to that day that “I WOKE UP” and realized I’d never be enough… I got out! It didn’t happen overnight, it was a process, but you have to “Let Your Heartbreak 💔!” (see previous post)

Self preservation. Self esteem. Self care. Self love. It’s what you know in your heart to be right, just and true! I pray that if you are in a situation similar that the Lord grants you the power and strength to let it go and build better for yourself.

Path Pavers

My path has many pavers:

  • How to build your faith
  • How to start from the bottom
  • How to handle heartbreak and broken trust
  • How to grieve tough losses
  • How to love like Jesus
  • How to lead
  • How to keep your smile and find joy
  • How to be a humble servant
  • How to know your role
  • How to press into the presence of God
  • How to listen
  • How to be patient and wait
  • There are more and they will manifest through this blog.
  • People watch you on your path and when similar obstacles arise in their lives, they ask questions and for advice. Share you experiences and remind them that things do differ by individual. I’m focused on the ups and fighting through the downs. I know grief and loss. I can talk to you about embracing it and healing from it. I know joy and peace. I can talk to you about centering in it.
  • Bottom line: your path is a testimony or example for others. Someone, somewhere is waiting on you to share your story so they can have a breakthrough or get confirmation that they path they are on is right. Use your pavers to teach someone else how to build a path!

Let Your Heart Break

As I sat talking to my therapist, J.L., he told me to give in to the emotions. To feel them, acknowledge them but don’t stay in that place. It took some time, but alone in my home… I got down on my knees and told the Lord that I’d had enough. That I was taking regret, grief, loss, betrayal, mischief and abandonment and giving it all to HIM. I turned on Tasha Cobbs Leonard, Gracefully Broken and Forever At Your Feet and . . . I let my heart break.

Each day thereafter brought new challenges, feelings, and emotions. I vowed to stand strong and fight for my healing. I didn’t put a piece back in place until It healed.

I had to do the work! I had to learn to say “No” to things that no longer served me and that “No” is a complete sentence. I had to pay attention to those around me that loved me and believed in me, God was using them to help mend me. Most importantly the Lord used our quiet time and my tears to water seeds of wholeness, strength, love and purpose that He needed to bring out of me.

Trust me. Trust yourself. Trust the Lord. Let Your Heart Break. I promise it’s the best thing I’ve ever done and I love who I’ve become.