Nowadays, mental health is the latest priority, for great and necessary reasons of course. We are finally realizing that our experiences directly affect how we respond to present and future experiences, that our parents and grandparents have instilled thoughts and values in us that may no longer be relevant, efficient or necessary for where we are trying to go or how we desire to live, and that for too long, we have operated as damaged goods and have passed on that damage.
While it’s certainly beneficial to look into the past to make connections to the present and plan for the future, a G is often unprepared for the feelings, emotions, thoughts the surface from revisiting the “grave” of the past. They, the therapists and shit, tell us that it’s great to feel again, but is it? Because sometimes, those feelings can be so painful that they turn us toward undesired or unintended behaviors, like crying and shit. What are you supposed to do when you're a G and ain't cried real tears in a minute? When a G conditions themselves to not feel because it makes life more bearable?
In a real G's journey (yea, that's me) of becoming more A.W.A.R.E., this is what I’ve come to learn and want to stress to those going on their own journey:
Self discovery is a thrilling, empowering, yet painful experience. It can be painful to come to grips with how the past has affected you and influenced your behavior in the past, present and even the future. It may be hard for you (or others) to forgive yourself. Though that’s a normal reaction, don’t sit there. How do you not sit there in unforgiveness? Understand and accept the fact that you made the best decision that you could with the information you had at that time. And if you didn’t, oh well. It’s done and over. You HAVE to move forward. Just purpose to make better decisions.
Make a plan to decompress and manage emotions. Many of us have conditioned ourselves to not feel. Now that real G's are feeling, we are unsure of what to do with those emotions, especially in our down, alone time. Don’t busy yourself. I promise that won't make it better. Be careful of toxic vices and that you don’t swap one for another. Explore and prioritize at least 3 other self care options.
Find someone you can be completely vulnerable with. You will have down days. You can’t avoid that. But find someone that you can simply vent to with no judgement. This person or these people should be supportive, and a loving, encouraging listening ear. They should be willing to offer their presence, to just sit with you in silence sometimes. On the days you want to be alone, communicate that and let your support know how and when to reach you and check in. When you feel ready and able, definitely make sure you support someone else.
Grant yourself some mercy. Don’t put a timetable to your healing and improving. And when all seems amazing, don’t get so comfortable that when a down period comes, you beat yourself up, revert back to old behaviors and/or become toxic to yourself again. Realize that you are human. Humans are mistake prone and life is a cyclical pattern of ups and downs. This is not to discourage you. Rather, be encouraged and empowered to take each day one step at a time. Keep ya head up G!
Celebrate what you’ve overcome and accomplished. You should even be celebrating the fact you started this reflective journey. That takes an immense amount of maturity and says a great deal about your character. As you set small goals, also set some positive, celebratory activities and invite others to celebrate with you! We all want to celebrate you! It's a G holiday!
In sum, Pace yourself and take ya time in this process. I promise it is a very rewarding experience and your future self will appreciate that you took the time and effort to work on you! There’s no rush and you’re in no competition. You are simply growing to be the best YOU you can be in this journey, my G. And we, the Gutted Gang, the world, the universe, support you 100%. Remember, errbody on the 'gram and Facebook are lying so forget about them and stop reporting to them! DO YOU BOO!!
So what have I been going through? I’ll admit that a G conditioned herself to not feel so that fuckery from my past and even present didn’t hurt so bad. But since I’ve started this journey, I’m different. I’ve dropped a lot of my baggage and have grown personally and professionally at a rapid rate. As a result, I've seen so many doors open for my good. I feel weightless and more capable of experiencing all that the future holds! I’m optimistic and empowered.
But I’m also much more emotional— I cry more, need a hug or company, and still find myself shutting down sometimes because feeling is SOOO new! I caught myself trading one toxic vice for another in an attempt to medicate the emotions. Cuz mind you, for at least 15 years, I’ve conditioned myself to not feel. "I’m Mf me G, Hu$tle City is what they call me!" Now that the tears and shit are here, I'm shook! Walking around here looking crazy, cuz what's a G supposed to do when I’m still homesick in DC while going through this journey? When I need a hug and people aren't used to this "delivert" Christie? Take it one day at a time and build the support I need, that's what. I've been pacing it and it's been lit.
I've been feeling very vulnerable too, which has been a double edged sword. It’s great because I feel liberated and weightless and I’ve learned to communicate better. It sucks because I feel naked in front of the sun- hella exposed to who knows what. But even in that, I feel warm, free and optimistic about what’s on the horizon. It’s been tough but I’ve also had some amazing days. I haven’t felt this weightless since I was a kid. Everyday, I’m pacing myself and taking each day one day at a time and thanking God and my support system at every step.
Now, look, I’m no doctor, therapist or psychologist. A G ain’t got no formulas or answers other than what I know worked for me and what I’ve observed. But I do encourage you to take control of your path, to detox, define and unwind so that you can feel this weightless and optimistic too. It wouldn't hurt to try some of this stuff, withcho goofy ass. Lol I mean that with love and as a fellow goof. Now gone an get help and be great!