Why I'm Going Back To Therapy

The tide of the sea may never be at ease, build a bigger and stronger boat.
— Me (August 8, 2016)

Over the last 17 months since I quit my job I have experienced emotions I didn't know I had. New highs and lows that were very unfamiliar. Other business owners said it was normal, but I didn't feel well. While having the illustrious freedom that everyone talks about, lack of money triggered depression-like symptoms. I would find myself sitting in the bed all day doing absolutely nothing because I didn't know how I was going to pay bills. I would eat sleep for dinner because I didn't want to spend the money out of fear that I would never have more. These behaviors resulted in not being able to do the work that I needed to do to make money. The irony. 

Anxiety

Doubt started to creep in and started to truly affect many aspects of my life. Not to mention my panic attacks returned. Anxiety was constant and it didn't help that I can do all of my work from my home on a computer. Staying in the house added another level to everything that I was managing. In the midst of being the happiest I have ever been I didn't feel completely okay. I knew it was time to go back to therapy. 

I put off going to therapy for awhile. The main reason, MONEY. (See how the cycle continues). In the meantime, I practiced coping skills that I learned from previous therapy sessions, self-care, and knowing what makes me happy, but it's time for me to go back. These are the 4 main reasons I am going back:

  1. Find coping skills to manage the uncertainties of entrepreneurship. 
  2. To ensure that I am alright as I deal with mental health issues of family and friends. 
  3. Yearly check-up to ensure the reasons I went to therapy before (mainly my Mother) aren't dormant issues that are resurfacing. 
  4. FOR YOU.  

If I'm being honest, it's long overdue for me to go back. I've changed a lot since I was going to therapy regularly (back in 2010). Over the years I have had irregular check-ins with random therapists. Now, I'm going back to the Georgia State Psychology Clinic. I really enjoyed my experience there and although I don't remember my therapist, she introduced me to the theory of acceptance and it changed my life.

I'm excited to go back and I want to take you on the journey with me. As often as I can I will update you on my therapy sessions, my self-care regimen, and other mental health resources. 

Sign-Up To Follow My Therapy Journey - - - >  http://eepurl.com/cK4bfH

Looking For A Therapist? 

If you're looking for affordable counseling in your area visit opencounseling.com or openpathcollective.org to start your search. If you have any additional resources please feel free to share.

DISCLAIMER: This blog is the opinion of an individual and is not to be construed as professional advice or a professional relationship between the reader and the writer. If you are seeking mental health advice contact a therapist in your area. If you are experiencing an emergency or crisis, visit your nearest emergency room or call 911.

I Quit My Job And I Have No Idea What I'm Doing

1 year, 12 months, 52 weeks, 365 days, 8,760 hours, 525,600 minutes, 31,536,000 seconds since I quit my job, WHAT THE FUCK WAS I THINKING?
— Me

It's been a year and I guess it's only right for me to reflect on the time I quit my job with no plan, that's what blogs are for right? At first, I wanted to title this blog, "I Failed At My First Year As An Entrepreneur". I truly feel that this year wasn't about becoming an entrepreneur, I still don't like to refer to myself as one. This year was something else, something I couldn't quite put my finger on until recently. 

I didn't quit my job to become a budding entrepreneur who was going to be on the next episode of 'Shark Tank' telling my why story to the sharks. I didn't quit my job to travel around the world and have a pre-30 Eat, Love, Pray journey through Southeast Asia (even though I did spend three weeks in Asia in April). I quit my job because I could.

It was the first time in my life that I felt I had the option, my bank account and savings would tell you otherwise, but I didn't care. Combine that with no longer having fear (I blame this on bungee jumping in South Africa), a shit ton of faith and no longer having the desire to appease the corporate structure (i.e. White people), so I quit. I'm sure it would sound better if I had quit with a plan. 6 months savings for living expenses, a signed contract for x amount of dollars with x amount of clients, but I didn't have that. I simply wanted to quit and I did. 

I wanted to write an insightful piece about the 4 lessons I learned since quitting my job. Maybe offer hope to someone who is struggling in a cubicle or tired of their commute, but that wouldn't be me. My 4 lessons wouldn't be your 4 lessons. I just want to write the truth. The truth is I have no idea what I'm doing, but it's alright. It was the lesson I needed to learn. 

Everything you want is on the other side of fear.

There is this liberation I feel now that I know fear is no longer connected to who I am. I've read all the books, recited all the quotes, listened to all the TED Talks about faith, but nothing compared to the application. Nothing compared to this moment right now, when I can look back and although I have the same uncertainty as I did then, I am one year removed from it. A whole year of distance away from my doubt. 

Many of us don't want to admit that we live with fear. It has a key to our home. It sleeps in the bed next to us and it alarmingly jolts us out of our sleep in the morning. Fear makes us rush to work in bumper to bumper traffic. Fear makes us hold our tongues and not speak up in meetings. Fear makes us stop looking for another job when we already have a good one. Fear makes us complacent for the things we wanted our life to be.

For years I've had a fear of success. What if things go exactly as I strive for? What if my vision board comes to life? What if I succeed? Working and living with my fear never allowed me to address this because within the system I was working in my dreams would only go so far. I would never become the millionaire I strive to be working as an Account Manager for a Healthcare IT company. I would never become an author, speaker, and entrepreneur working for someone else. It wasn't possible, but even though I know my dreams, fear kept me working. As time progresses you talk yourself into a new dream. A dream that correlates with what you're currently doing. Every day you get more comfortable with that fear. Usually followed by an added responsibility, spouse, children, house, etc. and then you die. (Yes I'm dramatic). 

I finally have space from my fear and that is a joy I can only express in tears. I don't know how other people sit an articulate four concise lessons they learned, I sense it's just to bring traffic to their blog. I couldn't do it. I have a million lessons, but creating distance from my fear was number one for me. I didn't know I was going to write this until I started typing, so you can imagine I am writing this through teary eyes. It's like breaking up with the love of your life and realizing you're doing just fine without them. When you didn't think you could live without them. When your identity was attached to the air in their lungs. When you couldn't imagine your life without a steady paycheck. When you didn't think that you could quit. 

I can't tell you how much money I made this last year or how many times I had to say no to happy hours and outings with friends. I can't tell you how many times bill collectors have called my phone or how many different flavors of Ramen Noodles I have tried. While I'm still uncertain about what I'm doing, one thing I know for sure is fear is no longer at the table helping me make decisions. I am grateful for every month, week, day, hour, minute and second of this year and I am excited to charge into the next year with a greater distance from fear and truly start to figure this shit out. 

We're All 'Insecure': Season Premiere Review

How different would my life be if I actually went after what I wanted?
— Issa Rae

Every 20-something Black woman has asked herself this question. Usually, when she’s scrolling through social media and all of her friends are experiencing major life milestones, or when she’s putting on stockings to go to a job she hates or when she’s on a bad date. We’re all insecure. Issa Rae captures the awkward vulnerability of ‘about to be 30.’

I turn 30 in 130 days.

I am Issa.

No seriously, for years people have been telling me that I am ‘Awkward Black Girl’. I may or may not write and sing rap lyrics in the mirror or write poems called ‘Empty Dick’.

I am Issa.

Black women have been struggling to find relatable characters on television since ‘Girlfriends’. Shows like ‘Being Mary Jane’ and ‘Insecure’ allow us to do just that, but I feel like Issa may have broken the girl code in her new show. She’s spilling all the tea.

In the first episode of the series, we follow Issa through the days of her 29th birthday aka Almost 30 Birthday. In a hilarious and scarily realistic take on how women think she shows how we troll Facebook, read too much into text messages, what we talk to our friends about, how we kind of break up with our boyfriends so we can scope something new, how indecisive we can be and just how much we curse.

I feel betrayed. I feel like ‘Insecure’ is my ex-best friend. The friend who knew a lot about you and could expose you at any minute. When I was younger that was my worse fear. It happened a few times in high school, but as I got older I gained a little more fuck it in my system. I started to own my shit. You could say I became less insecure. I hope that is the theme of this show.

I thoroughly enjoyed the season premiere of the show. I literally laughed out loud a few times and completed a few of the character sentences. I look forward to seeing the development of the characters. My capacity for consistent insecurity is limited. If I had to get out of my insecure stage, so does Issa. I hope the question she opened up with, how different would my life be if I actually went after what I wanted? is thoroughly answered throughout series.

Watch Insecure on HBO Sundays at 10:30 p.m. (EST). 

 

The Day I Found My Why

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain
The Day I Found My Why.jpg

We've all heard the quote about the magical day you find out why you were born. I never thought about why I was born, but I knew I was born for a reason. As a child, Dr. Seuss inspired me. I attribute much of my why to Dr. Seuss and his literature. At a young age, I took to heart his words,

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.
— Dr. Seuss

Fueled by the words of the Dr. and a few important moments, I finally discovered my why. This is the day I start to articulate my why to the world.

The Day My Father Helped Me Find My Why

I always say my Dad is a “Rich Dad, Poor Dad.” My father is a wealth of knowledge, laughter, compassion and love. He wasn’t able to get all the material things I wanted, even though he tried.

Christmas Day 2000, I had no idea that would be my last Christmas in Rochester, NY. The last Christmas my Father and I would live in the same state. I didn’t know a few months later every two weeks would turn into twice a year visits. I don’t remember anything about that Christmas except for one gift my Dad gave me; a journal. Inside he wrote:

“Brittney, Soar! Soar! Soar! Never Stop Believing In Yourself. Above The Clouds - - - - Are Your Goals! GO FOR IT! Love Always, Dad.”

It wasn’t the first time in my 13 years that I was affirmed, but it felt like it. It felt like a call to action. It felt like he wrote my personal mission statement and now that I had my orders; I had to fulfill them.

This was the day my why became an action.

The Day My Mother Helped Me Find My Why

I don’t remember what my Mother and I were arguing about. I was 16 and misunderstood and at the time it seemed like the worse thing ever. I was angry for reasons therapy later helped me sort out. I don’t remember the context of the argument, but I will never forget when my mother turned around and gave me an affirmation I would never forget.

“You have this look in your eyes. You’ve always had it. I don’t understand it and it scares me at times, but you’re always going to be alright.”

I was pissed. At the time it wasn’t what I wanted to hear, but later, after someone told me the exact same thing, I realized the power in her words. On that day, my Mom saw that I had the juice.

This was the day someone else saw the power of my why.

The Day I Helped Myself Find My Why

I’ve always been loud, outspoken, charismatic, and any other adjective that gets you in trouble in school. I never really thought much of it, it was clear that I had a big personality. No one in my life ever told me that it was a bad thing or I simply didn’t listen to the people who said it was. There was a whole year in high school when I didn’t talk to anyone because I wasn’t willing to change who I was. That year I read more books than ever. I drowned myself in characters and storylines and I realized that everyone was fighting for the same thing; to be themselves.

At 17 had I already mastered this? No, there were more lessons to learn, but I was on the right path. After being isolated during one of the most impressionable times in my life, I learned a valuable lesson; people will love you or hate you no matter who you are. I refused to be 300 pages of confusion to come to the end of my story and find out the answer all along was to be yourself. So I made it my mission to do just that. 

I allowed myself to try new things and think in new ways. I truly started to understand introspection and my questions became, “Who does Brittney want to be?” “What does Brittney want to do?” I realized that my parents affirmed that who I am and what I do will always be enough. I knew my story was more than self-discovery; I was mastering self-actualization. I was being myself.

I never realized until recently how radical this was. The world has programmed and conditioned us to be everything else, but ourselves. I manage each and every day to do the things that I want to do instead of what others tell me I should do. It is through this, that I discovered my why in life was to be myself and through this radical action I will teach others do the same.

August 28, 2016 at 2:54 a.m. I wrote, "This year it became clear the reason why I was born. Scariest shit ever. Now that I know, I can't ignore it." 

This is the day my why became non-negotiable.