#lessonslearned The Self Abuse Stops Here

Hey kids and welcome to the New Year!!!! We are fabulously floating into the 2nd month of the year and everything is just amazing. Let me tell you between getting married (yea I OFFICIALLY have a husband…tuh ), seeing the love from all of our family and and launching a podcast things seems to be looking up. But honestly because of my personality and thought process I’m waiting for a the sky to fall or something horrible to happen. Why because god forbid that HE, meaning God, loves me that much to just be freaking happy. But I have to remind myself that God really does love me THAT much and I really do deserve to be happy.

That leads to today’s topic…..Self abuse: beating yourself down because you failed or didn’t meet a goal or you just don’t think you deserve to be as happy as you are at the moment. As you can see I am guilty of this. Why….I don’t actually know. But here are ways I combat it…..
1. I forgive myself- doesn’t even matter if I did someone wrong or if I missed a deadline. I forgive myself and move on to the next task.
2. I improve self talk- no need to call myself a failure and stay in a place of self imposed shame. Nope I think about things I did correct in the situation and focus on that. Instead talking down on myself I tell myself “Hey ot may have not turned out the way you wanted it to but guess what you handled this, this and this a lot better than what you would have in the past”. See make the switch from negative to positive.
3. I implement positive rewards for positive behaviors but I don’t punish myself for mistakes. Yep I give myself a pat on the back for the positives. That goes along with #2.
4. I make myself move forward whether things go right or wrong. No need to wallow in the past, whether it happened 5 years ago or 5 minutes, I have to keep progressing.
I found that stopping self abuse helped me understand that everyone isn’t perfect, I gained a lot of patience and it helped me to find the good in others. Treat yourself better, the world is already hard enough. Why make it harder by abusing yourself?

Check out the Confessions From A Red Couch podcast bimonthly on every major listening platform.

Confessions from a Former Control Freak

Hey kids!!! I’m back from one of the greatest experiences in my life. I married my bestfriend and gained even more amazing family. Goodness the amount of love I felt on that day was just indescribable. It’s funny that it was only about 3 years ago when I thought I could never feel or would never allow myself to feel the love that I feel every single day now. It took some time, work, and prayer to get me to where I am today. Please believe I am so happy I’m here.

Okay, for all this “growth” let’s talk about where I came from. Not because I want to dwell in the past but I want to remember where I never want to go back to.

My life as a control freak or the politically correct term “type A personality” was absolutely full of umm stress and anxiety. It was utterly exhausting trying to control every single thing around me. At times I knew I looked like a crazy woman. Always trying to control my family to do what I wanted. Always wanting my students and athletes to be the best EVEN if it meant not giving an inch to let them actually have fun (well not my athletes…I made sure they had a good time 🤷🏾‍♀️ call me biased).

I knew changes had to be made and fast. Things were so bad that I couldn’t control my emotions. I could never have the appropriate emotional response to situations. I would laugh when I should have been sad. Instead of expressing my anxiety I would become enraged or just flat out break down. It was so bad I couldn’t even celebrate joyous occasions, always thinking the worst would happen instead of just enjoying the moment.

So here are ways that I began to deal with all of this:

1. I stopped thinking I knew how others would react. The dumbest thing in the world is trying to predict others reactions. You are not them (I had to scream this to myself in the mirror). Everyone is not you and you are not them. How you react to a situation is not the same way someone else will. Stop thinking you can control people’s reactions.

2. Stop making up situations in your head. It’s not reality its your own imagination. If you have a negative way of thinking then chances are EVERY situation you come up with is going to end horribly. For me this is so I wouldn’t get my hopes too high if things didn’t go my way which is utterly ridiculous because nothing has really been a life ending experience. Might not have felt good going through some things but I’m still here.

3. You can’t control people’s feelings about you. I have written a post about not being everybody’s cup of tea and there’s nothing you can do about it. And guess what most times you can’t change it, but it has nothing to do with you. You have to be able to keep on living regardless of the thoughts others have about you.

4. You can only control what you have direct influence over. Your thoughts, your actions, your emotions and your response. That’s it!! You can’t control anything else but this. So why not make sure all of these are filled with positivity, genuineness, truth and love. That’s all you can control.

Once I began living a this truth my life started changing for the better. Do I still have to remind myself of these things….umm yeah. It’s easy to fall back into the same pit falls but I don’t stay in them. I keep moving forward one day at a time.

We did it lol ❤

Catching up…..

Hey kids!!! I hope all is well. Sorry I have been a bit absent lately but getting ready for this wonderful day has driven me a tad crazy….but not completely. My fiance has been amazing during this process and I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with him.

I’ll be back next week with a new entry: How to Stop Self Abuse. Love you guys have a great 3 day weekend and pray hard for me…..like really hard.

Issa WHOLE Bride 😊

The Ultimate Adulting Gift Giving Guide 2018

Lord somebody save me from the month of December!!! I have 3 more days of classes left and I’m trying to figure out how to get away with wearing hoodies and yoga pants. My only saving grace is that my kids are taking finals (because that’s what high school teachers look forward to giving…said no teacher ever).

I’m at this point in life where I’m completely over adulting. It’s overrated!! All of this stuff that’s about to happen in the next couple of months is exciting but chile is too muuuccchhhh. I decided to talk to my friends to see what are some gifts that would make adulting easier.

Ladies and gentlemen I present your ULTIMATE gift giving guide to make adulting a little bit easier.

1. Self care package: this includes candles, face/skin products, bath bombs, bubble bath, essential oils, etc. Anything that will take care of the body and help focus the mind.

2. Journals/organizers: these are amazing to help stay organized, write down goals, thoughts, dreams, memories, important dates, everything that our brains forget because adulting is hard.

3. “ME” Time coupons: If your friends have families these are great for them. 25 min of quiet can go a loooonnnngggg way if you have a husband and kids.

4. For my single friends a steady/reliable cuddle buddy. Not a #$%@ buddy but somebody who will touch them in a NON-SEXUAL way. Touch can be so soothing if done right (please don’t go around touching strangers, ask first 😂😂).

5. Herbal supplements or a trip to Colorado or California 😏 I’m not going any deeper than that.

Anyways, look if you didn’t read anything else read this, CHRISTMAS IS A TIME TO BE WITH FAMILY AND LOVED ONES. Don’t go broke trying to give your way into people’s hearts. They’ll still love you even if you make a smart decision to give them a $1.50 Christmas card, and if they aren’t…%$# ’em🤷🏾‍♀️.

You might be a teacher if….Holiday Edition

To all my educator friends we have made it to the half way point and  I say HYFR (you can interpret those letters for your own enjoyment)!!! Congratulations! We are almost done. You have made it to the half way point and you get to take that much needed deep breath and reset for the next half. I know all the sugar from snacks, final reviews, silly questions about why do they have to do the review and everything else is testing your second to last nerve, but hang in there you have maybe a week and a half to two weeks until you get a small taste of freedom. Here are a couple things to help you enjoy this well earned Christmas break……

Image result for teacher on christmas break meme
  1. You might be a teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if the last week of school you have no idea what to wear. You want to be festive and wear your ugly christmas shirts/sweaters all week but you also just want to put on yoga pants and a big oversized sweatshirt….the same one…… for the whole week. Why, because your just trying to get to that last day without really having to think about anything extra…..like wordrobe.
Image result for teacher on christmas break meme

2. You might be a teacher who’s about to be on Christmas Break if you are looking forward to all the wonderful sugary treats that will help increase your holiday weight gain but will give you enough of a sugar rush to make it through each day. Don’t worry you’ll add losing it to your New Year’s resolutions or just wait until the end of the school year to get rid of the weight. Don’t forget you still have to get through standardized testing and a slew of other spring shows, plays, concerts, etc. that will do a number on your stress weight. It’s all good though, you still look amazing regardless. 

Image result for teacher on christmas break meme

3. You might be a teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if you’re excited about having a break from students, but also know you’ll miss them. No matter how much of a break we need, we still care if our babies (no matter what level) are happy and safe. There aren’t many of us who completely zone out and forget about the well being of our kids. 

4. You might be a high school teacher who’s about to go on Christmas break if you have repeated 575,000 time that the review is just like the mid-term. Because you’ll still get questions like “Is it necessary to do it” “Do I need to do all of it” “Is this a major grade” ” Why can’t I exempt”. Just smile nod and say yes, because you only have to see them for 6 more days (Bwhahahahha).

Image result for teacher on christmas break meme

5. You might be a teacher on who’s about to go on Christmas if you beat the buses out on the last day. You have pushed the kids out of your class. Sang wonderful goodbye songs. Gave the occasional high five. All with your bags on your shoulder so that you can get home to take the nap that you have been waiting for since the first day of school. 

So enjoy your much needed break fellow educators. You deserve some time for yourself and your family. Don’t forget to recharge for the next semester!!!!

Image result for teacher on christmas break meme

Sis…you can take that guilt trip by yourself

Hey Kids!!! I hope your Thanksgiving holiday was filled with family, love and good food. How was mine? Chile I slept, did laundry, cooked and found some amazing shows on Netflix. It was the most amazing rest time I have had in a while. For the first time since I have been teaching I was able to enjoy a break without thinking about if my athletes were eating right, if they were doing the workout, hoping they wouldn’t get hurt or if they were doing the holiday workout or just hoping they were doing the workout period.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.jpeg

I got to let my mind rest and think about more important things in life (like burning the mountain high pile of laundry I told my fiance I would take care of over break)

Image result for grown up temper tantrum

So let’s talk about guilt trips. We all know that one grown person that acts like a two year old when they don’t get their way. They either throw a temper tantrum or try to pull on your emotions or use the whole fake tears and puppy dog eyes to get their way. The “If you love me you would…” or “I thought you were my friend but…..” oh this is my personal favorite ” I thought you were a Christian but…..”. Let me tell you something EVEN JESUS GOT MAD AND FLIPPED TABLES, don’t take my kindness for weakness. Sorry… I got off track.

Okay, don’t let these children in grown people’s bodies make you feel like you have to do anything you don’t want to. All you HAVE to do in life is live, eat food, stay your skin color and die….dassit!!! Don’t let these terrorist hold you and your emotions hostage. They will try to get their way at any cost and that cost could be your happiness and joy. 

Guilt trips are like those bad trips that you take that you thought would be a good idea but the whole time you’re sitting there with this face 

Image result for chrissy teigen memes

Because you knew deep down the group of people you were traveling with were full of s*%t and had a travel budget of a weeks worth of a elementary school lunch. Yeah that’s what I think about guilt trips. You take the bait because the other person makes you feel obligated even though you know their situation has nothing to do with you.  So let me stop rambling and help you to avoid these trips from hell. 

  1. Recognize the guilt trip for what it is. If someone is making a “conditional request” or interjecting their sadness or anger to control you that is a guilt trip. These are ways that people are trying to control you by using emotions. Don’t fall for the okie doke. 
  2. Guilt trips are masks for something that is deeper, usually sadness, a “victim mentality” or anger. This person that’s trying to take you for a ride is hiding some deeper emotional issues. What they are really trying to do is communicate that in some way they are hurt by what they feel is neglect from you. When in reality they are just upset that you aren’t doing what they want you to do. I think about this with teenagers (not just boys trying to get the cookie because girls manipulate too) who pressure their peers into risky behaviors. They are doing this not because what they are doing is fun but mainly to get the other person to do it so they feel justified in their actions. 
  3. If the guilt trip works on you then you need to recognize that you are dealing with something that is deeper as well. If they make you feel guilty for something  then you need to look inside to see what is really going on. Guilt trips usually have nothing to do with the person that is being lead to feel guilty. Why do you feel the need to take the blame for something that has absolutely nothing to do with you? SO YOU NEED TO HANDLE YOU before jumping onto that Grey Hound bus that doesn’t have working restrooms and has a crying toddler every other seat for 72 hours (IDK what is wrong with my mind haha).
  4. Do not explain why you don’t want to go on the guilt trip with that person. There’s absolutely no real reason to explain yourself. Guilty people try to explain their way out of a crime. If you know the situation has nothing to do with you, why try to justify your actions? 
  5.  When confronting the guilt tripper DO NOT PLAY AROUND. Please don’t hmmm and haw around with your no or your decision not to fall for the trap. Most of the times guilt trippers are master manipulators and will twist your hesitation into something to benefit them. Make sure you keep putting the situation back on them. “Girl, I hear that you want to borrow $500 but I don’t have it. Let’s figure out a way we can help you budget your money better!” or ” Hey honey I’m sorry you don’t think I’m spending enough time with you even though I work 80 hour work weeks to pay the bills. What are ways that you can help out so I don’t have to work so many hours and have more free time?” (sorry ladies I had to throw that in there for the men). 

I hope these steps will help you form better relationships with others. I found that majority of us still operate as kids in grown bodies (me included). I think if we all work hard to deal with our inner issues we can communicate and relate to others in an unselfish way. I will have to say that I can’t take credit for all of my growth and deep self-healing (SIS, when I say I was a mess…whew chile).  After I started this blog and started learning from life lessons, we started a book series at church. The most recent book Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend has definitely had a major impact on my personal growth, I highly recommend it if you are wanting to do some self work. It will help you form healthy boundaries and take control of your life! 

Yes I have on a onesie with a hood and YES this is THE book 

#lessonslearned: The Great Beginning

Hey kids!!! I kinda of jumped in this series #lessonslearned without really giving a background of why I even started this blog in the first place. So let’s go back down memory lane *cues Back down Memory Lane by Minnie Riperton* (Awwww yeah)

Confessions From A Red Couch was born out of frustration. I was frustrated with life. My job sucked, my relationship was dying, my mental health sucked and it was affecting my physical health. I was having frequent debilitating panic attacks and migraine headaches. I had lost some of my pillars of strength in life. I had just been diagnosed with a blood clot that appeared out of thin air. My hope was gone. My faith was gone. I couldn’t pray….matter of fact I didn’t even know what to pray. I was mad at everyone including God and felt there was no where to turn (depressing right).

So one Saturday night when I was confined to my house (Dr ordered time at home) I figured I would change my surroundings in the house. So I went to my library/front room (I call it the creamsicle room) and sat on my red couch and started writing EVERYTHING I was feeling that would have led me to commit suicide in that room. Every hurt, every pain, every frustration, EVERYTHING. I would cry, write and sleep (this was the cycle for 2 days) and when I finished I finally prayed. I finally opened my mouth and talked to God. I finally let God heal my heart and dry my tears. I finally let go and at the moment of release God presented me with the name “Confessions From the Red Couch”.

Now it still wasn’t easy. I always thought who in the world could want to read my ramblings. Who would actually read this foolishness? No one will be able to relate to me and my own personal pity party. Everytime I would write an entry someone would inbox me saying how my transparency helped them. Someone would always send an email about how they don’t feel alone in their situation.

I never expected this blog to really be anything, just a place to rant, but it helped save my life. God allowed me an outlet for not only me but for others. Am I rich from blogging? Nope. Do I do this for monetary gain? I want to some day, but for now I’m writing for the simple fact that I owe it to God to share my experiences with others. Are things better now than when I first started blogging? Yep, but it’s not perfect, and I’m okay with that. I’ve learned so much about myself and how to maneuver through life a little bit better.

Well….that’s all folks lol I really appreciate those who have stuck with me as a have traversed this thing called life for the past 4 years. Yall have stuck with me through a lot and for that I am thankful. Since the holiday season is upon us I’m only going to post once in November and December. I really need to spend time with my family and loved ones without any distractions. 2019 be ready for a totally revamped blog, a new podcast and some good old “merch” (aka merchandise). I love you guys be safe and keep being amazing ❤

I said yes to my dress all while being bossy lol

My blessings right here…..my hearts ❤

Me and my love…..✊🏾 Forever

#lessonslearned Dump that toxic baggage

Let’s talk about what afflects us all…..baggage. Some baggage we can chalk up to lessons learned and some of it is just garbage we need to burn in a trash heap. As much as we’d like to say that “Oh girl I’m good, just happy to be out of it” or “You know I’m just happy I can move forward to better” we still have to deal with the issues that we carry from the toxic dump nuclear waste of a situationship.

1. Take responsibility for your actions and responses only. If you did all you knew how to please the other person then that’s all that matters. You can only be responsible for the things that you can do physically and emotionally. In relationships whether friend, family, or significant other we tend to judge the success based on the response of others to our actions. You can not, I repeat, YOU CANNOT control someone else’s response to your best intentions.

2. Each situation is not like your last. Take each new relationship as a new beginning. They are not like the last person so quit treating and making them seem like they are. You have every right to wish the best in every new situation until you have a reason not to. But do not hold others responsib\nle for your hurt feelings.

3. Let go of the guilt. Things don’t work out for a reason. As humans we crave the constant praise and accolades for how well we are doing. That’s not life and most times you get it wrong. That’s okay!! If this relationship went horrible quick, whether it was your fault or the other parties fault, get up, forgive yourself and move forward. Holding on to the guilt from your past mistakes can keep from moving forward, in life and relationships.

I know it may seem like things won’t get better but I promise they will. I’m trying to make you understand that you have control of being a victim or a victor. Focus on the positives and moving forward. Life and relationships aren’t always about the good times, more so can you be a survivor and flourish through what life brings you. You learn from every interaction in your life. Please don’t let one or two keep you from living your best life ❤

You know just looking cute for my fiance and what not

#lessonslearned Planning a Wedding Is Not My Jam

Here we are on the cusp of October and I’m tired of trying to plan a wedding. I’m not this girl. I’m not even mentally prepared for this whole ordeal. There’s so many other things I can think of to do with this wedding budget. There are other things I can do with this time!! There are other things I can do besides figure out which flowers I’m going to carry down the aisle(which I’m not carrying btw brooch bouquet). I really don’t care honestly. All of this stress for 30 min….I’d rather plan for the rest of eternity that we are going to spend together. So this post is just a rant about the things I’d rather do besides this….

1. I’d rather elope!! Yep I said it. I rather throw on a dope dress and him look dapper in a suit and it’s just us and a few family members who will stand with us.

2. I don’t have anyone who REALLY knows me to bounce ideas around with. I’m busy, their busy, life is busy. I feel like I’m alone in a sea of tasks and I can’t communicate what I want or how I feel. People forget that I haven’t dreamed about this stuff. None of my vision boards, vision statements or anything ever had wedding plans on it. I just never thought this would happen.

3. Why all the hooplah for 30 min? Like for what, I don’t get it.

4. I see why people go to the courthouse and get it out the way.

5. I want to put the money we are saving for this small wedding

into something else; eliminating debt, down payment on a bigger house, a dream trip. You know something for us.

6. I’m tired of trying to drop weight for this day. I just want to be fluffy and fabulous. I’m 36 and this weight seems to want to stay with me so I think I’m just going to let it stay.

7. I’m tired of thinking about tshirts, charms, matching outfits etc for my nonbridesmaids and non participants of the wedding. Like I already didn’t want a wedding party but I feel bad about not getting things for my nonbridesmaids.

8. I honestly don’t want to try on another wedding dress. I hate them!

9. I should be enjoying this process with the women of my family but they have other things to do and I guess since I’m not making it important they aren’t either. Energy matches energy.

10. I honestly just want to lay in my bed huddled under the covers. My anxiety is at an all time high about this whole thing. I thought I was supposed to be happy doing all this right? But I feel like now I’m doing it more to impress other people who aren’t contributing financially to this whole stupid endeavor.

11. Okay last one….I really can’t involve everyone because everybody likes to interject their vision of their wedding into your’s and I don’t want it.

Maybe I’m just emotional because my uterus is trying to escape my body as I type. Or maybe I’m just done. And even with writing this I still think we should elope. I’m over this process. But whatever I guess whatever will happen is going to happen 🤷🏾‍♀️

Here are some pictures from my horrible experience at a chain bridal store. I hated every minute of it. The dresses I liked didn’t come in my size and the dresses in my size aged me almost 10 years. I go to a smaller bridal boutique next weekend that caters to curvy girls. I’m hoping the experience is better.

received_15170795550597978455035258073886724.jpeg

#lessonslearned You Won’t Be Everybody’s Cup of Tea….

Hey Kids!!! Welcome back to the misadventures and fooleries of Confessions From a Red Couch. I am pleased that you have came back for more tales of life, romance, and the in between. Like I’ve said I plan to share my lessons I have learned throughout life. This post is no different. So well let’s begin shall we…..

#lessonslearned: You will never be everybody’s cup of tea!

Now look…I know myself and my personality and I can tell you this, I am not everyone’s cup of tea. I have been talked about, passed over, thrown away, and looked down upon my whole entire life. I’ve been promoted, demoted, and everything in between but I’m still living and loving. Why do I keep progressing? Honey I learned I’m not for everybody and neither are you.

Now I’m not saying that it’s okay to be a butthole (please don’t), it’s not your job to rub people the wrong way on purpose. It’s not okay to treat people with a nasty attitude. It’s not okay to be the negative Nancy or a sobby Susan (sorry if your name is Nancy or Susan, just well alliteration 🤷🏾‍♀️), your job in life is to be the best you you can be inspite of people’s attitudes toward you. This is what I have learned:

Other people’s perception of you are not who you are in total. Everyone we encounter gets a glimpse of who you are and build upon that. If someone sees you always happy that’s the perception they have of you. If someone always sees you losing it and cussing others out, that’s their perception of you. The small windows of prescription that we allow people to see are how people then perceive us. People who saw me as JUST a track coach have a different perception of me as a Science teacher. Do I try to correct their perceptions… nope. Why? It’s what they believe and until they see me in any other capacity then what’s the point. Their perceptions don’t change who I am or who you are.

People have a right to not accept you for who you are, but as long as you’re not being oppressed you keep moving foward. Look I know we as a society are trying to push that we are all special, but if we are all special… then who is truly special? Yes we all have purpose, we all have things that only we can accomplish but are we God’s only gift to the world? Nope. Do people HAVE to treat you like your ish has never stank? Absolute not. The only thing people honestly have to do is treat you with respect….DAS IT!!!

I say all this to say….you ain’t for everybody and it’s okay. Keep living, loving and being yourself. You will find your tribe and be their cup of tea while being able to spill all the juicy tea honey ❤

Just trying to be freshed faced and not looking 36 😘