I want to begin using more natural products. I would like to try natural toothpaste, deodorant, hair care, skin care, etc.
I have no idea where to really start.
Yes, I am well aware that I can just “google it”, but not all companies are trustworthy companies. I want to give my money to smaller businesses that really take pride in the ingredients in their natural products. I want to shop at businesses that use get their ingredients from sustainable resources when possible. I want to support black owned when I can. I want to support local and growing.
So it’s not as easy as “just google it”.
If anyone has small businesses that they recommend, drop them in the comments section. I’m all ears!
South Carolina holds a lot of bad memories for me. It is where my mother died. It is where she is buried. It is where I suffered from a drinking problem. It is where I stayed in a terrible relationship for far too long. It is where I first began sinking into depression.
I left and never looked back. Best decision of my life.
However, the negative memories I have of my life down there have caused me not to go back and visit the family that I left. I abandoned them along with the state. I feel guilty about that. While my sisters and I are no longer all that close, for various reasons that I won’t get into, they are still my blood. I have 12 (or is it 13?) nieces and nephews that I don’t see very often. All of this because that state holds so many bad memories for me. That’s completely unfair to them. I am depriving them of an aunt and depriving myself of the memories being made as they continue to grow.
I have to do better.
I’ve been having more and more of those dark days. I’ve been spending more and more time alone. I’ve been spending more of my days off sleeping. I either have no appetite or I gorge. I’m just not in the best place.
That’s the thing with depression. It never really goes completely away so much as it lies dormant and re-emerges when you’re most vulnerable. I hate to admit it but the break up hit me hard. It was hard to lose not only a girlfriend of over a year but also a friend of 8 years. It sucked and still does suck. I know that the pain of losing my relationship is playing a big role in me sliding down into the pit.
I am proud of myself though. Years ago I would see myself sliding into the depression pit and do nothing to stop the downward spiral. Now I see the slide and I start taking measures to put the brakes on that downward spiral. I start focusing on self care and it’s that time again. I have 13 days off starting tomorrow. I am going to celebrate my birthday with my best friends. I’m going to write in my journal each day for the whole break so I can express my feelings. I am going to meditate like I used to. I’m going to jog by the river which I love. I’m going to go to SC to see my sisters and my over abundance of nieces and nephews. I’m going to do the things that I know lift my spirit. If I need to have a therapy session or two then I’ll do that as well. I am going to do whatever I need to do to limit the dark days. I have depression, depression does not have me.
Dear Black America,
STOP TELLING PEOPLE TO JUST PRAY AWAY THEIR MENTAL ILLNESS!
That’s not how this works. You can’t just ignore mental illness. Telling someone to “pray harder” does not fix anything. Mental illness is real and you can’t just bury it. You are not helping. What you are doing is invalidating a real issue for this person. You are saying to them “your problem isn’t real. You’re just weak and suffering because you aren’t praying the right way. This is your fault.” You are blaming them for their mental illness. In fact, you are denying that they even have a mental illness. You are denying their feelings. You are denying their struggles. You are denying the suffering that they endure on a daily basis. Just because it’s not “real” for you does not mean it’s not real for them.
You can’t just pray depression away. Prayer doesn’t take the delusions away from a schizophrenic. Prayer does not keep someone from going manic. Prayer doesn’t take away the suicidal ideations.
Remember, faith without works is dead. Help, therapy, meds, that’s the “works” part of this. You can be the one to make or break this person. Learn about mental illness. Take the time to understand. Be empathetic. LISTEN.
I am a very sexual person. Sex is important in a relationship (in my humble opinion). I do not believe sex is a topic that is taboo for women. We like it. I am completely open to having discussions about what I like and what I don’t like. I am open to talking about my sexuality. I don’t necessarily post provocative pics of my self on social media (my career choice doesn’t allow for that) but I am totally ok with women who do. Sex is natural. Sex is fun. Sex is normal.
My openness with my sexuality does NOT mean I want to or have to have sex with you. The fact that I am bisexual does not mean I want to have a threesome with you and some random female of your choosing. Posting something sexual does not mean “send me a random and unsolicited dick pic in my DM’s”. Being sexual does not mean I am a “slut”. If I safely have sex with multiple consenting partners then why does it matter to you if you’re not one of them? If I want to send nudes to someone, why does that make me a “ho” but the person who asked for them gets no label at all? Why is it wrong for women to be sexual but natural for a man to do so? Who came up with these antiquated rules?
Me embracing my sexuality does not need approval from you or anyone else. Stop policing women when it comes to sex because honestly, we aren’t listening anyway.
If you are honest with yourself are you angry or are you bitter? Are you holding on to something that hurt you? Are you holding on a situation that went wrong? Are you telling yourself you’re “just angry” or are you truly bitter?
There is nothing wrong with anger. Anger is a natural response to certain situations. However, holding on to this anger is where things go wrong. That anger slowly becomes bitterness. Bitterness destroys people. Bitterness causes you to take negative feelings associated with a prior situation and apply those feelings to every future related situation. Bitterness causes you to expect the worst from others. Bitterness causes you to retreat inward. It is an ineffective coping mechanism. Anger is a feeling but bitterness is a state of mind. I have been able to use anger to push me forward. Anger made me feel like I had something to prove to the person that hurt me. Anger helped me get my BSN. Bitterness has never helped me get anywhere.
I have been able to use anger to push me forward. Anger made me feel like I had something to prove to the person/people/situation that hurt me. Anger helped me get my BSN. Anger pushed me to find a better job. Anger made me walk away from a dying relationship. Bitterness has never helped me get anywhere.
Bitterness kept me single for a long time. I had faith in no one. Bitterness kept me inside of a self-imposed prison. Why venture out when things are just going to go wrong anyway? Bitterness kept me emotionally unstable. Bitterness didn’t push me forward, it held me back.
Step away from bitterness. Be angry. Be hurt. Be sad. Feel all that you need to feel. There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling all of those “negative” emotions. You have to learn to ultimately let those emotions go.
I won’t be settling anymore.
For far too long I have been settling for “good enough” when it came to my life. Jobs, relationships, I have just been looking for good enough. I can’t do that anymore.
“Good enough” has not been good enough. It has kept me from growing, changing. It has kept me in a place that I should not be in. “Good enough” has not made me happy. It has made me settle for people that I should have never allowed into my life. “Good enough” has kept me from making the big move I want to make. “Good enough” has to go.
I cannot settle for less than what I am worth. I cannot settle for whats available. I deserve good things. I will get them.