#Lessonslearned This Depression is Hitting a Little Different

I am so happy mental health is becoming more of a priority,because depression is real. Honestly I feel like the black community can still do better with supporting going to therapy.  There’s so much trauma we deal with on a daily basis. You are probably thinking to yourself “We all have our issues”. Let’s be clear, certain things hit a little differently when you have over 500+ years of trauma in your DNA. Oh but that’s not it my friends, let’s add to the daily stress of being pulled over by the police, living, walking and breathing without having the cops called on us, oh and on top of that the stress of just being a human, yeah if you don’t get it now then you won’t EVER get it. Depression is just too regular and unchecked.

With that being said, my depression and anxiety are on a complete over freaking load. I honestly have no clue what’s really going on. I’m working out at least 5 times a week. My husband is the greatest, honestly I couldn’t ask for anyone else. Things are okay overall, nothing that’s really out of the ordinary, besides trying to monetize this blog and the podcast. I just know for the past week or so I have had 2 panic attacks and I just don’t want to leave the house. I have missed to events so far why…..because I just couldn’t do it.

Instead of letting this ruin another week I am going to employ some techniques from my therapist:

Manage my time

For the next thirty days I am going to put myself on a better schedule so I can be more productive. I’m usually pretty good, but I notice I lose time just doing nothing. While I’m doing nothing, my brain is definitely free to think the dumbest, most self destructive thoughts it can possibly think. So tonight I am officially on a new schedule, what really helps is that I have some conferences and a professional development that I have to take care of for work. Now outside of work I plan the schedule the HELL (like literally) out of every day for the next 30 days. Yes you can expect a blog post almost everyday. Yes the podcast will continue as scheduled AND I am going to make sure the book is formatted and released at the end of those 30 days.

Social media monitoring

Look I stay on social media because I have to share relevant content, continue to keep my followers/subscribers informed and gain new followers. Truth is I find myself scrolling mindlessly more so than anything else. For the next 2 weeks I plan on monitoring my time on social media. I have to, I think it is also attributing to my non-productivity. Just going to make sure while managing my time, I am only going to go on social media 4 times a day. Also going to schedule it during the times my insights say I get the most traffic. I’m hoping to get my time spent on social media down to just that, to get out of this rut called depression. I guess I’m going to pull a Lebron and go #zerodark30

Wait IKYFL….not more pain

Upping my cardio will add to my pain lol workout pain that is. I guess my workouts aren’t helping me release enough endorphins, so I’m either going to chase it with the stair master or running. I hate cardio with a passion. If I could get away with eating steaks everyday and maxing out on every single lift I can. But I think adding cardio will add a little different mix with my workout will help me hit a different type of high, which will help stabilize my mood.

Silencio por favor

This is the hardest one, 10 min of silence. WTH am I thinking? Oh yeah that’s right, I’m thinking about my mental health. I always have some thing in the background to stop my brain from thinking the crazy negative thoughts. Instead of that I am going to quite my mind to bring some focus back in my life.

You can still keep up with me by clicking my link (buy a t-shirt while you’re there). I’ll keep most things up to date and relevant. If you want to check on me just text, call or email. I do know this 30 day sabbatical is going to be filled with a lot of prayer, work and rest.

 

#lessonslearned: 5 ways I stay motivated

Look sis…..this month has been crazy. I am a TEACHER in May and let me tell you I am on edge. I’m not focused, I am just trying to get my students to finish out the school year  and ON TOP of I’m trying to get this business off the ground. I’m overwhelmed and under motivated. Here are some ways I make sure that I can stay motivated and continue to be productive.

1. I schedule my month

I have learned to schedule my months. Since I am now an entrepreneur and work full time, I have to have some way of staying afloat. Planning out my month helps me know what needs to be written, what needs to be posted, and what I need to do for my actual job. I can look at it as a guide and know if I’m falling behind. Currently….I’m falling behind.

2. I randomly ignore that schedule (lol)

Yep sometimes you have to step away from that beautifully organized schedule. Of course I know it’s full of motivational quotes, positive affirmations, little doodles of flowers and stars and hearts, but it can still get overwhelming. Which brings me to my next point…..

3. I look at the big picture of the project and attack the smaller tasks.

You have to step away when you get frustrated. Look at the end result of what you are trying to accomplish. Take a look at your checklist, see what small things you have done and can do. Attack those smaller things that don’t need a lot of thought. Creating graphics, writing a thank you email, etc….these are things that don’t usually take a lot of thought and can be completed to meet your end goal.

4. I step away when I get frustrated or stuck.

The project will be there but you need to get a refresher. There are those whose mind can be productive for a certain amount of time. It all depends on the person. But if you’re feeling frustrated, take a break. Step away, go workout, go eat….do something that has nothing to do with your project. Your brains has become overwhelmed and you need to remove yourself for a little bit.

Maybe, as my Nana used to say, you just need to take a nap. On episode 003 of my podcast we talked about the importance getting rest. When things get confusing just take a nap, it helps your body and mind restart. Who knows you may even get inspiration from a dream that will help you become more motivated.

5. I check in with someone about my progress

I love to have people I can confide in about things I am doing who are GENUINELY invested in what I am trying to do. When I run my ideas by them they will give good advice and that’s what I need them for…good advice.. They can tell me if I’m on the wrong track, if I’m about to knock it out of the park, or if I need to tweak something to fit my idea. There’s nothing wrong with using your support circle, that’s what they are therefore and they should keep you motivated.

This is how I keep going with everything else that is happening in life. Sure I may ignore one aspect fro a little too long but that is why I have a support system that helps me get right back into place. When it’s all said and done it’s still my responsibility to continue to stay motivated and move forward.

#Lessonlearned: Improving dating In the 21st Century

I know….I know! You’re thinking “Girl aren’t you married” and “This has nothing to do with improving any type of relationships”. But, let’s think about the purpose of dating apps, they are supposed to deliver potential partners to singles in their area What you really get is a modge podge of foolishness. If dating apps did what they advertise then we would have more successful relationships. Instead you get a site that allows con artists, criminals, creeps, perverts and the like to prey on those who are just looking for suitable companions. Yes….why yes, I have had my fair share of foolishness on dating app (check out the post When did the Roles Reverse).This is my way of telling dating apps and sites that they need to do better!

Automatic background checks

This headline alone says it all: Dating App Killer . He used a popular dating site to lure unsuspecting women in, and well you can read about the rest. The issue is he had a past of violence against women. I feel that in order to cut down on issues like this there should be a link to a county’s arrests records. Sounds Big Brother-ish, but this will cut down on the amount of criminal activity that can happen when using dating apps. And it’s already avaliable for free!

Marital status check

Read these words as I type: STAY OFF DATING APPS IF YOU ARE MARRIED!!!! Aht aht!! Stop dating while married. You’re ruining it for the rest of the single folks and giving them trust issues. If you want to cheat they have an app for that, use that one. Stop it!! Dating apps can link county records to find marriage and divorce decrees. I am just now figuring this out, and it could have saved me a lot of frustration when I was in the dating game.

Employment/ entrepreneurial status

I understand employment status should not mean you can’t date. If you don’t have to work, that’s one thing. If all you have to offer is penis or vagina, then you should really just focus on yourself. There should be a way to check this. If there is a way to check someone’s living situation you can definitely check who they say they are employed with, or even if they have a valid DBA.

5 latest post on social media

In this day and age social media is a great indicator of someone’s personality. Yes, I know you are thinking people aren’t their true selves on social media, but it does give you a glimpse into the way their mind works. Seeing a person’s social media can help you see a persons interests or if they are just posers (fake woke, extreme right, sexist, etc).

Rating system after each date

I don’t know how fair this would be, nor do I care. I think you should be able to rate the person honestly after the first encounter. Of course, it would be based on certain criteria, and then there should be an overall experience rating. If you’ve watched the show Four Weddings then you know what I’m talking about. The people with the lowest ratings get kicked off the app. I don’t care some people just shouldn’t date.
You have to do a little searching on your own. Be diligent about who you date and what you’re getting yourself into.
Resource Link: Harris County Records

#LessonsLearned I Failed at….

 

 

Happy April!! I have missed you guys since the last post. But here we are back together again. I want to talk about something that very few of us like to talk about. Failure!!! The big F word. I wrote an earlier post about recovering from failure. Failure can be a driving factor to succeed or to do nothing. Most of the times we run from failure because it’s not fun to say we didn’t get the desired outcome. failure is the biggest teacher in life. It has taught me so many lessons, most were quiet and no one really noticed. Some were public and embarrassing. What I have learned is this, when you fail it’s not the end of the world. So here are some areas where I royally blew it and how it taught me to succeed and do better.

Failure at Explaining myself

A long time ago I felt it was necessary to explain my intentions. I wanted people to hear why I did xyz and what my emotional, physical and metaphysical reasoning for a decision that had nothing to do with anybody but me. I felt I needed the world to know my intentions for my every move. You know what happened…..I was still misunderstood. People would still get their panties in a bunch or twist my words to seem negative.
So I stopped. I started making moves without answering others questions. Writing this blog, my move. Starting a podcast….my move. It was liberating. I stopped worrying what people were thinking about my decisions and actions and just started living. It helped me to make important without asking for permission. I guess this leads into the next one…..

Failure at Living up to others expectations

Lord knows I tried my hardest to fit into boxes others molded for my life. I really did, but it wasn’t comfortable. It always felt a pair of shoes that were ill fit. Just felt odd, like I was wearing a mask. It wasn’t until one day I looked in the mirror and cried because I didn’t like what I saw in the mirror. I was uptight, stressed, and closed minded. How could I love anybody else if I didn’t love myself enough to be myself?
I began to take suggestions about how and what I should have been doing with a grain of salt. Sure I have the degrees and titles but what would be the purpose of acting like I was better than anyone I was trying to serve? So I began to make sure that I was happy with who I was to myself and others. Did I care if I met others’ expectations…nope. This is my life to live not theirs, and I am going to live it being true to myself.

Failure at Checking and responding to email

This one may not seem as deep as the others but let me help you out. Important information comes through my personal, work and business email daily. If I don’t check either one with consistency AND follow up it could mean loss of a sponsor, missed parent/student communication, missed opportunities, and the worst missed money. I actually lost a job because I didn’t follow up with an email. Yes missed money all because I didn’t take the time out to read.
Now I check my email three times a day. I make sure I follow up with my school’s administration, my parents, my readers/listeners, and other opportunities. As of now some of those don’t pan out but the majority of the time they do. So I make it a point to employ a 24 hour rule when it comes to email communication. I flag unanswered emails and make sure they are priority. The age we are in now, email is a vital part of effective communication. I will never drop the ball like that again.

What have you failed at that has made you more successful now? Please comment the lessons you have learned from failure. I love to know what you have done to progress into a better person.

 

#Lessonlearned Confessions from the life of a Former Control Freak

Hey kids!!! I’m back from one of the greatest experiences in my life. I married my best friend 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 the control life:

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.

Life with Him

We did it lol ❤

#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 😘

Everyone doesn’t love like you….#lessonslearned

Sooooo….. hey kids. I’ve been laboring with writing this past month because I’m trying to be more consistent and make sure I’m offering content that is engaging. In truth, I’m tired lol. Teaching at a new school, starting a really big project at my church, planning a wedding (please tell my girls to stop trying to form a nonexistent wedding party lol) and everything else life has to offer has been exhausting. Adulting is fun and sucks all at the same time lol But anyway…. I digress.

This lesson was extremely hard for me to learn through life, and I’m still learning it. I could never understand the concept of mutual love because I’ve always felt that if I show you how I love you should be able to mirror it. But how many of us have felt this way? I mean it’s really not that hard right….. WRONG. Everyone is different, everyone comes from different backgrounds, and EVERYONE has learned how to love differently.

When I was younger I ALWAYS had issue with relationships with other people: family, loved ones, friends, significant others, because I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t love just like me. I mean by gift and profession I am a teacher, I make it simple: I do, we do, you do. I’ll even draw a diagram, sing a song, build a model, whatever they needed to learn how I love. But this NEVER worked, not even with my family. Why, because while I was trying to teach them how to love me I wasn’t paying attention to how THEY wanted to be loved. So busy screaming and throwing tantrums while yelling “LOVE ME LOVE ME”, that I wasn’t listening to their silent pleas of “but this is how I want you to love me”.

It wasn’t until I was about 29-30 (goodness that seems so long ago….I feel decrepit) when I discovered that everyone had a different way of loving or even showing love. How? Because I hurt some people who really loved me but I was too selfish to accept the way they loved. Like I’ve always said, I AM NOT PERFECT! Nor do I ever pretend to be, but I caused some really bad blood because I was too immature to see that they were doing the absolute best that they could. So after apologizing and accepting myself for the jerk that I could be I started a journey of loving, listening, and observing. Yep…. you have to actually be active in this thing called love.

I needed a change and so I went on a lovely journey. I learned to listen and pay attention to others. I read books on types and ways to love. I stopped forcing people to love me in a way I saw fit and started understanding how and why people loved they way that they loved. It was a hard journey. I had to develope boundaries but it’s been great. My advice to you is to listen and observe. Don’t be selfish and self centered. The world does not revolve around you and neither does the sun rise and set on your behind. Love is a give and take. Just make sure you’re giving and taking is equal. Don’t get out of balance and end up empty. Keep loving, living and listening ❤

Hey 36 ❤