2012…The Year I Lost Myself

…..I held her right hand as my grandfather held her left. As family stood over her with broken hearts and fallen tears, my grandfather whispered to her, “It’s ok Baby. You can rest now”. A few more seconds passed and a few more breaths were taken and finally the moment had come. 5:37 pm on September 23, 2012, God gained a new angel and from that moment on I knew my world would never be the same.

Sandra Blair-7/29/54-9/23/2012

It was a Sunday and I had to be back at work on the following Tuesday. There wasn’t a single point on the train ride back where I didn’t shed a tear. I replayed the moment I saw her take her last breath in my head over and over again and my heart ached so bad. Once I made it back to Arkansas and got to my bed I went straight to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I didn’t shed any tears. Matter of fact I didn’t cry for almost a month except for the day of the funeral.

I was extremely numb. My boyfriend at the time experienced the bulk of my pain. I grew to be clingy, angry, insensitive, needy, etc. I was a mess. Part of me still couldn’t believe she was gone. Until one day….We were on the phone and I fussed at him about something minor and alllll the emotions I had built up inside came pouring out. I threw my phone and became absolutely hysterical in my tiny apartment. I yelled and screamed, punched walls, threw anything that I could find and finally when I was able to calm myself down (after about 10 mins) I fell to my knees, caught my breath, and I began to pray and cry. And cry and pray.

I can’t honestly say how long I stayed down there talking to God and asking him “Why me?” But as I began to talk to him more, I started to feel a sense of peace. I began to think about the good times with my Angel. Began to thank The Lord for bringing her “home” so that she wouldn’t have to suffer anymore. For as long as I could remember she was always sick and always hurting and I hated that she would always be in so much pain. But The Lord needed her back with him. And he didn’t want her suffering anymore and neither did I. Don’t get me wrong, my heart still ached, but my mind was at peace. I found joy in the memories and I was finally able to get up from my knees, stand tall and trust that The Lord would see me through.

 And he did, I was so much happier. I went back to church, I was performing better at work, My relationship with my boyfriend was perfect, and even though I cried every night I felt I had overcome so much and from that moment on I felt so happy and wonderful about my life…..until I got a call from boyfriend 2 months after her passing, wanting to end our relationship of four years. My world that I thought I just fully picked up came crashing down. Once. Again….

27 & Single 11.30.15

The holidays always have it’s way of making a single person take a second and really think about their entire life and how they made it to this point of “singleness” within it. Some, it doesn’t bother. Some really enjoy it. Others (like me) kinda hate it. And even though I have a bunch of people that despise my way of thinking when it comes to my “singleness”, I can’t shake the way I feel and I don’t feel bad about it. So I know a while back I explored the reasons why I feel like I’m single. I think this time though, I’m going to tell you all why I absolutely dislike being 27 and Single.

3. I’m old.

So I recently celebrated a birthday a couple of weeks ago and I seriously sat down and began to think and was taken back by the fact that I had just turned 27 (I’m almost 30 for Christ sake!) and I didn’t have that special person in my life. Ya know, to take me out to dinner, kiss me multiple times, and tell me how much they love me and can’t wait to spend many more birthdays with me. Now of course those aren’t the only reasons for me, but who doesn’t like a little romance? But seriously, I feel that I am getting older and I can’t honestly let go of the feeling of wanting a family. A husband to grow old with and be by my side throughout the most important times of my life and 5 little mini me’s running around wrecking havoc in the house. I want the hardships, the craziness that marriage and children bring. I want that mixed with the beauty that I also fantasize about each day.

2. I’m pretty dope.

Sometimes when I get to feeling down about my “situation”, I look in the mirror and have a full blown out conversation with myself about myself. Crazy right? I know. But I seriously have to remind myself that in the midst of all of my flaws…I’m not too bad. I’m actually pretty dope. I have so much love and affection to offer someone. Hell I have too much. I want to pour all this “loving energy” into a husband. I honestly can’t sit here and say or try to cause you all to believe that I have it all together. Because that would be a lie. I can sometimes be as messed up as they come, but one thing every person that knows me will say is that I have the biggest heart out of everyone they know. I am a good person. I can’t wait to find the guy who will be able to witness my awesomeness for an eternity.

1. *Sings* “I’m so sick of being lonely…” 

Ok, so I know what most will say…”If you can’t handle being alone then you don’t need to be in a relationship….blah blah blah.” And you know what?…I get it. I feel like I can handle being alone. Hell, I really don’t have a choice. But will I ever admit to actually liking it? Nah. Never. I love companionship tooooo much. I love the idea of coming home and telling my husband all about my day. He will take off my shoes and massage my feet while I relax for just a second, then I’ll get up and prepare dinner and we just have this beautiful “unlonely” life together. Lol. I may sound totally silly but I can’t rid my feelings regarding this one. I am not a fan of sleeping alone at night. *shrugs*

So I just explored 3 reasons why I really hate being single. Now you know that I can name a few more like, “I need someone to keep me warm in the winter”, “I want to go on free dates, “, “I need someone to help keep my car maintained….oh and let’s not forget that “Netflix and Chill” is so much better with company near by…lol…but I didn’t want to make the list too long. But seriously, I know and understand that God is up there brewing up the perfect guy for me. He is preparing him, pouring into him, just for little ol me. But patience is one of the virtues that I struggle with each and every day when it comes to this subject. But hey, who knows? Maybe in a few months I’ll be writing a post about the reasons I love my boyfriend…….A girl can dream right? 😉

This single chick is signing off!- B

Harder to Breathe 9.13.15 

The constant flow of tears that left my eyes Sunday morning was unexpected, but more importantly, it was needed. For a while I’ve been feeling suffocated by my worries, smothered by my thoughts, and asphyxiated by my problems. They have taken over my life. I completely lost control. Or failed to realize who was in it. See I’ve never been afraid to admit my short comings or even the negative things that are going on in my life. But I’ve held so much in that I feel like I haven’t been able to breathe. Ya know, like I’ve been “waiting to exhale.” Waiting to just relax and let go of fear and worry instead of living by it each day.

I feel like I’m in constant battle with the devil and I’m not prepared for war. Like I know that “this battle is not mine, it’s the Lords”, but I often find myself asking if God can hear me. Even when I don’t pray, does my constant flow of tears reach him? I mean it’s tough feeling alone.

During church service, one of the ministries danced to “Take Me to the King”, by Tamela Mann and it was the first time I actually listened to the song. Let me tell you that the story of my life was in the words of the song. I felt tired and like there was nothing that I could do about it. I felt weak with entirely no strength to fight and I continued to question whether or not God could hear my cry. 

I soon realized why I felt this way. I don’t pray like I should. I don’t read my bible like I should. My relationship with God is present only because he promised to never leave me. But I’ve honestly been treating him like an “option” or like he is “2nd place”. Not purposely, but I admit that it’s been happening. I mean, how can I expect God to hear me when I won’t allow my heart to speak to him or when I don’t open up my heart to receive him. I try to live life alone. Barely even asking family for help. And when things are going good in my life, I don’t thank God like I should. I go to him mostly when I’m at my wits end and things have gone terribly wrong. Just think if I actually let him order my steps the entire way. This pain and misery is sometimes something I bring on myself by just not believing or trusting in God and his word. Faith is what you call it. I haven’t been exercising my faith. 

So now what?……Do I just talk about all the wrong I’ve done with no intention to change? Do I keep placing myself in these same situations and wish for a different outcome? Or do I take action and change my life to be one that’s of God? I feel personally that change is necessary. And I have to be the one to do it. I can’t rely on my family, my pastor, or anyone else that has been praying for me. Lord I need you and I want you to walk with me and guide my steps. So I end this message with one of the most powerful prayers that I personally connect to. A Prayer from David; 

“Hear me, Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God; have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long. Bring joy to your servant, Lord, for I put my trust in you. You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. (Psalm 86:1-7 NIV)…….Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever. (Psalm 86:11-12 NIV)

And always remember, as I minister to you, I minister to myself. 

Love, 

B

And then I realized…..This Is Why We’re Here 9.7.15

compassion-faith-hope-blue

So as many of you know, I work in a mental health hospital and sometimes it get’s kind of rough. I don’t deal directly with the patients, but I have the luxury (which can really not be so luxurious) of knowing exactly why most patients were admitted. We have patients that are depressed, anxious, suicidal, homicidal, psychotic, etc. Children from broken homes, in foster care, children that have been abused physically, emotionally, and sexually that will never quite “get over” their pain. Just people from a array of different background and lifestyles that sometimes break your heart.

I have been working in the mental health field for about 2 years now and even though I hear a lot of stories…I try to make sure they don’t affect me personally. And even though, I can empathize with the patient’s I make sure that I don’t internalize with each situation. Until a few days ago……

I cried while reading a group therapy note from one of the therapists. Like real deal tears. I don’t know why the story of this kid affected me so much but it did. What was even more wonderful was the comfort and peace that was given to him by the other patient’s in the room. This adolescent boy had experienced a great amount of trauma for years, with his perpetrator being a family member. He had been holding in so much, for so long and it was affecting him and his entire life. The therapist told him, that when he was ready, he should open up and let out his emotions regarding his abuse. When he felt that he was comfortable and was in a safe place. He asked if he could express it now. Wow. His safe place was right there in that room amongst strangers…That is saying so much about the therapist as well as the hospital. His tears flowed through his eyes like an ocean as he told his story. Uncontrollably. And after he was done, he began to repeat a couple of mantras to himself….

“I am enough.”…”This is not my fault”…”This does not define me.” 

And at that very moment, I realized why we are here. Why this profession is so important. At that moment, in a place where darkness surrounds us most days, I saw a ray of light. And my soul felt at peace. No his story isn’t over. No, he is not done healing from his past. But he has, in a sense accepted and started to understand that he was not at fault and that he will grow from this and get past it. I am so blessed to be in a place that offers help to so many people. Dealing with mental health issues, abuse, trauma, etc is not at all easy. So having people help others to get through that is amazing and a blessing. That patient and his story will forever be in my heart.

So anyone working in the field of mental health, I love and appreciate you and I thank you for everything that you do.

Love,

B

Can I take a second to vent? 8.31.15

I’m FAT and TIRED….

So this weekend, I believe that I realized that I am sick and tired of being FAT. Like exhausted. Now don’t get me wrong, I think I’m cute and whatnot. My rolls are adorable. My chubby cheeks are precious. But Lawd, I’m tired of going up a pants size. Tired of my belly hanging over and my pants zipper getting harder to zip. I am just tired of being overweight. And it’s time for a change.

Last year, I lost 40lbs and guess what? I gained every pound back. It seems like every time I have a transition in my life, it throws everything off balance. So I got a job. A great step into the right direction, my life looking up, but I couldn’t get back into “exercise mode”. And boy don’t I regret it. But I am making a promise to myself that no matter what happens, I will change my lifestyle. So even if I have huge events happen in my  life, I can stay on track.

But I’m focused now, more than ever. It takes for us to actually be tired to make a change. I’m extremely motivated. I’m happy that I have friends with me to help me do this. I will post later in the week, my regimen for how I lost weight last year. Will be in my “The Lists” section. If you all have any tips or ideas for me please help me by commenting on this post or emailing me.

Love,

This Cute Fat Girl Thats Ready For a Change

ooooooor you can just call me B. lol 🙂

The Voice Inside My Head

Have you ever felt like you were at the end of your rope? You just couldn’t take anymore. You didn’t want to talk to anyone, be around anyone, and even form your brain to think about anyone. All you could think about was the extreme feelings of sadness you felt about yourself and your life. You experienced something that brought you down soooo low that you never thought you would be able to come out of it. Two years ago that was me. With the death of my mother and the ending of my long term relationship; those thoughts ran through my mind every day and night.

Heart racing. Shortness of breath. Tears beginning to well up in my eyes. Body feeling numb…every 3 to 4 hours the cycle happens all over again. I lay there trying to control myself, counting back and forth from 1-50… “1..2..3..4..5…….50…49..48..47..46”, praying that I will soon fall back asleep. Crying my eyes out sometimes because I can’t. When I finally wake up in the morning, the feelings I have are no better. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to get up. This little voice in my head keeps telling me, “It’s not worth it. You’re just. Not. Worth. It.”

The moment when I realized that I believed that “little voice in my head”, is when I knew something was wrong with me. It wasn’t until one horrible day that I was forced to do something about it. The devil saw fit to ease his way in my thoughts and it went downhill from there. As I walked down Alcoa Road one Friday evening, I begin to have thoughts that I’ve never had before. I was tired. Tired of crying, tired of hurting, tired of feeling alone. I start really thinking about the most painless way to end this all. Again, I. Was. Tired. My life was no longer important to me and I began to speak so much negativity over myself while devising a plan in my head. In the middle of all of that, I recieved a phone call from one of my sorority sisters. After ignoring the phone call 3 times I finally answered.

“Hello”
“Hey Bridge. What’s going on? Are you ok? I was just calling to check on you.”
“Yes, I’m fine”
“Bridge, you don’t sound fine. Are you ok?”
*hangs up phone*

I turned my phone off and cried my heart out for 15 minutes. Thoughts still pounding at my soul. Called her back and told her, “No. No, I’m not ok.” I ended up telling her everything that happened. All of the thoughts that were running through my head and how I felt inside. She told me to go to the doctor, but I refused. I worked at a psychiatric hospital and no one was about to call me crazy. I wasn’t having it. But after all of her begging and pleading I made an appointment and went to see the therapist and psychiatrist the next day.

I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder as well as Anxiety disorder. Prescribed Celexa and Xanax. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t want them to think I was “Crazy” or that I had a problem. But I learned that people suffer from these disorders every day and they don’t recieve help because of the same reasons I didn’t want to. Afraid of what others would think. Like I said before, I worked at a mental health hospital so I experienced it every day, but I refused to be one of “them”.

I was skeptical about even writing this blog post because I didn’t want people to judge me. But there are SO many people suffering from mental illnesses and they are slowly dying on the inside each day. So if this reaches ONE person then I know I’ve done my job.

Last but not least, If you’re reading this and are suffering from what you think may be depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, etc, or knows someone who you believe may be, PLEASE GET HELP. If you don’t know where to go I will help you find the resources you need and hold your hand until you get the help you deserve. I admit that I still battle with these issues, every…single…day. But through God and my amazing support system, I am 1000x’s better than what I was. Don’t allow that “voice in your head” to rule over your life and make you feel less than important. Less than worth it. Less than deserving. You are a Child of God and you are beautifully and wonderfully made. Believe that with all your heart. I sure do.

This post was made with love overflowing from my heart to yours. God loves you. And I do too.

Love,

B

1 (800) 273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

After the Storm 8.18.15

I stood outside my doorstep as the last drop of rain hit my brow.

I kept questioning…is it over? Has the storm really passed or am I just dreaming.

Or will I be sleeping peacefully, pinched by reality, and woken up to realize that the storm has not yet ended?

I realized that it’s true. No more rain. No more clouds. No more storm. It’s just me. And I was perfectly fine with that. I knew one day it would come back, but I was actually ok with the sunshine and the rainbow out yonder.
It’s just I was never too fond of hardships. Even though I grew up with little to nothing and basically had to struggle my entire life..I hated it. People would say, “Oh everything you’re going through will only make you stronger”…well if that’s the case, I should be bench pressing 350 by now. 

Ever felt that way before? I know I find myself time and time again, expressing those same emotions. I believe that I’ve never quite learned how to “deal” with the storm. Or just the different seasons in my life. This past Sunday, Pastor Carter spoke a sermon about “The Seasons of Life”. He made a point that we must learn to embrace the season that we are in. Even with the ups and downs, the highs and lows, we must make sure that we are content. We have to trust God’s plan regardless of our current situation in order to do so. It doesn’t mean that the season will be easy, doesn’t mean it will be over fast. But it does mean that no matter the outcome, we just have to remember that God will be with us through it all. We also have to know that sometimes when we go through a season in our lives that we will be stretched further than what we believe we can handle.  

Where I thought I was weak, the Lord showed me I was strong. When I was ready to give up, he gave me reasons to keep pushing. So I’ve learned that instead of crying about the rain and waiting for the storm to past…that I will just get myself together, put a smile on my face, dance in the rain (splashing and playing in puddles and all lol) and thank the Lord for the good and the bad. 

The road I will take in life will never be easy, but I know it will be worth it. 

Love, 

Through the Eyes of a Black Woman 8.7.15

When I look at you, I see greatness. I see strength even when you feel weak. I know it’s hard to believe, but you are definitely going to make it to where you want and need to be in life. You have so many odds against you. The biggest being, the color of your skin. The beautiful smooth melanin that you wear that makes my heart melt is the same thing that makes a white woman clench her purse a little tighter when you walk pass. You’re always looked at as the “bad guy”, “the criminal”, “the perpetrator.” You’re never really enough once standing by the side of a white man. To fear for your life during a simple traffic stop, a walk down the street or a walk to the store is extremely scary and unfortunate. I won’t go into a rant about racial inequality, but I will make the point to you that even though so many odds are against you, I see nothing but success in your future.

Sometimes you don’t believe in yourself. You don’t believe that you have the necessary tools to make it in this world, but you do. It’s so unfortunate that you can’t look in the mirror to see it for yourself though. Nothing about making it on God’s green earth will be easy. Getting to your dreams will be a long, stressful, strenuous journey. You will want to throw in the towel and you will want to give up more times than one. But think about it. How far can you go in life, without moving at all?

I want you to show everyone that has ever doubted you that they were completely wrong. You have to be better than them and show them that that they only need to fear you because you’ve excelled in education and your career and they realize there’s no limit to the impact that you will have on this world. Let’s show them that you are worth more than the lazy”thug” that they want you to be. Walk around like you have a point to prove, because whether you like it or not, you do. You always have to stand out, be smarter, 10 times better, work 10 times harder and strive for so much more. Unfortunately, it will be hard to show them if you don’t believe it. So walk with pride. With your head held high. I want the world to see you through my eyes. I want you to again, look in the mirror and see one of God’s most beautiful creations; The Black Man.

Listen to me, You have the ability to make a huge difference in this world and the community you live in. I see so much strength in you. So much promise. Even in the midst of adversity, you continue to prevail and as long as you continue to stand strong, there is nothing or no one that can stop you. I love you and I will always cherish and advocate for you. And even when you don’t believe in yourself, know that I will always be here, in your corner, rooting you on.

With love,

A Black Woman named B

There’s No Place Like Home 8.2.15

So, as I sit on the bus headed back to Texas from STL, I immediately begin to think about how blessed I am. (and about how I’m going to be on this thing until 7 in the morning  -___-)

Since my mother passed in 2012, I’ve had a very hard time being home. Every place I went reminded me of her. I would ride past the Goodwill on Forest Park and remember the many hours we spent thrifting. Would drive downtown and see Casino Queen and remember the times we went to the casino to indulge in “all you can eat” crab legs. I would walk into the house and still smell the scent of her favorite White Diamonds perfume and immediately break down in tears. I honestly couldn’t even really call STL home anymore and actually mean it since she’s been gone. I never realized how many of my family members I shut out, because of that. I’ve stop calling, visiting, etc.  I don’t know if I thought it would be easier to deal with it on my own without having them around or what. Or maybe I thought that they would constantly remind me of her loss and I didn’t want to hear it. Maybe I just didn’t think they would understand my pain. For whatever reason, I decided to hide from people that have raised me, rooted for me, and been there for me since November 11, 1988 and that’s not right. So this past week, I decided to enjoy my family and the simple things with them.

I sat and watched Family Feud with my great grandmother and talked to her about my life.

I took my niece to experience the most special place to me in STL which is “The Muny”; an outdoor theater that has productions of musicals. We saw Beauty and the Beast and it was AH-MAZING!

I rode around downtown with my aunt, blasting Michael Jackson, with the windows down so everyone could hear us on stage at our “Car concert”. lol

I had dinner with my cousins and got to hold my new baby cousin as well as meet my 2 year old cousin for the first time who absolutely fell in love with me.

I can name many more, but I  will spare you all. But you get my point. Lol. There is literally no place like home. I never realized how much I appreciated and missed my family until this trip. So I pledge to do better. Home is where the heart is and my heart is definitely and will ALWAYS be in St. Louis, MO.

Love,

B

I

The Perfect Love Story-7.28.15

 Ok So I meet this guy right? He is everything to me, let me tell ya. He loves God, chivalrous as all get out, and treats Me like I’m the best thing since sliced bread. No matter how much I criticize myself and speak about my short comings, he sees nothing but beauty. I talk about my pain and he sees nothing but growth. We learn each other, get close to each other, then he pops the big question. I cry, scream, and say yes as I jump up and down like a kid in a candy store. We get married and have the most beautiful outdoor spring wedding on this side of the DFW. A year later we have kids. 3 to be exact. And once we have our life put together, we live Happily. Ever. After…….NOT  Man doesn’t that story sound so good?! I almost convinced myself that it was true. I mean that was the perfect love story right? Right! I had a plan yall. The story above is what I wanted for myself. I said by the age of 25 I would have this right now! Let me be real for a second and tell you my current situation.  I am 26 years old, I have been single for 2.5 years, I have no children, and I work in a field that I love but I am JUST now starting to get on my feet. Hunny, I’m no where near where I thought I would be by this age. 

As I planned out my entire life, God told me, “Hey! Bridge, I’m in control. Things will go how I plan for them to go. You don’t run nothing”.

Why is it so easy to take matters into our own hands when, we are suppose to know and trust in God’s plan and will. He made it quite clear, “Trust in God and lean not into your own understanding.”..but time and time again, we find ourselves “doing our own thing”. Well at least, I know that I have that bad. I know that more than anything I need to step back and watch God work. Trust that he is going to provide me with everything I NEED in a future husband and just in my life period. But it will all be done on HIS time and not MINE. I could ramble and go on and on about what I want, but I’m deciding at this moment to trust. Not only trust, but to believe that God will take care of me. 

I’m sure that I’m not the only person that struggles with this, so of course, as I minister to you, I minister to myself. 

Love,