Mental Illness Isn’t Sexy but it’s Real:  Lets Talk About It

Mental Illness Isn’t Sexy but it’s Real: Lets Talk About It

Life Transitions/Life Purpose
We have a problem.  A really big problem.  A problem that is difficult to talk about but easy to minimize.  A problem that is so insidious that some of us don't even acknowledge that there is a problem.  Or that some of us deem it "their problem".  Or we ridicule those who acknowledge, accept, and attempt to fix the problem.  And the problem is just getting worse. Mental Illness is real.  It is not a sign of weakness. A lack of faith.  A cry for attention.  An issue that we can afford to keep defunding and expect everything to be OK. The prevalence of mental illness is becoming more and more apparent as care is becoming more negligent.  Ignoring mental illness doesn't make it go away. Recently I have seen…
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F Balance, Be Intentional Instead!

F Balance, Be Intentional Instead!

Life Transitions/Life Purpose
I fell hook, line, and sinker for the elusive goal of obtaining balance.  I even wrote a poem about it here.  But what is balance actually?  As I think more about my life and how it is in constant flux I become anxious for the need to get it all lined up just so.  I picture myself walking on a tight rope, focus honed in on the task at hand.  Unable to move left or right for fear of free falling.  Rigid in my movements.  The flexibility to adjust? Drastically limited.  And what I come away with is a life filled with restraint.  No room to breathe too deeply because I may throw off my weight distribution on the rope.  No freedom to take in my surroundings because a loss…
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Wednesday Wisdom

Wednesday Wisdom

Effective Communication
Being vulnerable does not make you a sucker.   Asking for help does not make you weak. Engaging in therapy does not make you a heathen Accepting support does not make you a leech. Crying does not make you soft. Wanting comfort does not make you needy Missing someone does not make you clingy Being angry doesn't mean you're out of control Wanting to feel safe doesn't mean you're controlling Wanting the clamor inside your head to be quiet does not make you crazy. None of theses things are inherently negative.  They are Human. You are Human.  You have a right to feel however you feel.  The goal is to become self aware.  To use discernment so we are not victims of others or our own mismanaged emotions.  Acknowledge them.…
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Can’t conceal my blood tinged tears: Suicide Prevention Month

Can’t conceal my blood tinged tears: Suicide Prevention Month

Life Transitions/Life Purpose
In addition to Sickle Cell Awareness, September is also Suicide Awareness Month and today is the beginning of Suicide Prevention Week. Suicide is not a topic most want to discuss.  It makes us uncomfortable.  It brings up so many conflicting thoughts: anger, shame, blame, frustration, guilt, hurt, sadness just to name a few.  All of those emotions are valid. Suicide starts with a thought.  Things would be easier if I wasn't here.  Whether we want to admit it or not, most if not all of us have had this thought, most of us shake it off and keep going.  It's a momentary frustration with life as we navigate our struggles. Damn, if I just didn't exist, if I killed myself now,  I would not have to deal with all of…
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Sickle Cell, up close and personal; National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Sickle Cell, up close and personal; National Sickle Cell Awareness Month

Life Transitions/Life Purpose
I am the mother of three, including a set of twins, one of which has sickle cell. In honor of September’s sickle cell awareness month, we share our story. The disorder runs on my father's side of the family and I lost two older brothers from sickle cell complications. I learned that my youngest daughter had sickle cell from her newborn screen.  After the initial shock and confusion (My ex husband and I were unaware that he carried the trait although we were aware that I had it) I did everything I could to become educated on the disease. Sickle Cell is a blood disorder that causes the red blood cells to change from their normal pliable circular shape to a sickle shape. These cells are sticky and can become stuck in blood vessels, leading…
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Be an authority over your own thoughts: A hard conversation with myself

Be an authority over your own thoughts: A hard conversation with myself

Life Transitions/Life Purpose
Woke up this morning and felt unsettled in my spirit.  I found out something that made me start to question myself.  It was causing feelings of bitterness and was disrupting my productivity.  These thoughts were stealing my contentment.  I tried to swallow down the frustration but it got stuck in my chest.  I could feel it tightening.  My head started to hurt and I felt my hands contracting into fist.  I started asking the questions? Why not me? Why are things so difficult for me? Why must I always struggle? Where is my break? Why is everyone else prospering and I'm having such a hard time? And on and on. Then I stopped. I stopped and checked myself.  Sure, life isn't fair, but my journey is my own and I…
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Stress Management as a Family Unit

Stress Management as a Family Unit

Trauma/Triggers/Coping
What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger: Dealing with stress in the family as a family. Strong families are beneficial to not only themselves but to the communities in which they reside; they are the building blocks of society.  Unfortunately even the strongest family can be shaken by stress.   However, the stress itself is not so much the problem but how it is dealt with.   The mismanagement of stress can lead to fissures in the foundation of the family system. Effective communication is the best tool for a family to use to successfully navigate stressors, and often the most underutilized.  People tend to deal with stress in silos.  Opting to go it alone opposed to coming together to tackle it as a team; from the teen being bullied at school,…
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Help for the helpers

Help for the helpers

Trauma/Triggers/Coping
On occasion I will share personal experiences in an effort to make of myself a mirror. To reflect back my struggles and my growth so that others don't feel alone. I help because I understand I understand because I've been there and I return there with the hopes of bringing someone else out with me... It's difficult being in the helping profession when you yourself are not on solid ground. I have experienced some trials and tribulations and as much as part of me wants to hold on to anger and bitterness, as much as I feel I have a right to these emotions; that they are some how righteous, I also know that clinging to them is hindering me. It is negatively effecting everything I do, from my business…
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When they tell you to just pray…

When they tell you to just pray…

Trauma/Triggers/Coping
You can't pray away depression, or any mental illness. Some might find that statement offensive. But the reality is that many people, especially minorities, view therapy as an affront to God. "I don't need therapy, I just need to pray harder." Or maybe you can pray to be guided to a professional that can help you. Therapy is a tool to help achieve mental wellness, and should be seen as such. In my opinion, not utilizing the tools which can help us become more fully what we were created to be is much more of an affront. Prayer WITH WORK works. Seeking and going to counseling is doing the work, and you are worthy of it. You are meant to be holistically well. Yulinda Rock
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National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month

Awareness Months
July is National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. What I find interesting and sad is that I bet almost no one knew. As a matter of fact I didn't know until literally minutes ago. Minority mental health and mental health in general is often overlooked, undervalued, and overly minimized. With everything that's going on in the US and the world in general, I can't help but wonder how much of the Earth's pain is due to under-recognized, undiagnosed, and untreated mental illness. The constant barrage of anger, sadness, fear, frustration, rage, confusion, and despair on my personal Facebook timeline leaves me seething with indignation that mental illness is always sacrificed on the altar of budgets, consequences be damned. I've been dealing with my own fear which has led me to…
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