Therapy is My Self Care

May is Mental Health Awareness Month and in support of those who deal with a mental health issue, or know someone who does, I am rocking this AWESOME T-shirt (designed by @StylesbyKourtney) to let you know that you are not alone in your battle.

There is a negative stigma, especially in the Black community, that is associated with the terms “mental health” and “mental illness.” We have conditioned ourselves into thinking that mental illness is supposed to look a certain way. In fact, some of us know that we are struggling with depression or anxiety at this very moment, but we have a problem with seeking help because we have convinced ourselves that counseling is for crazy people and, “I’m not crazy.”

We are very prideful people, so many of us have trouble seeking help from others period. We see it as a sign of weakness, and we think about what other people may say. Well, I am here to tell you that mental illness does not have a certain look and it is us “everyday looking people” who knows that the struggle with mental health issues are real. It takes STRENGTH to admit that you can’t do it on your own.

If you aren’t taking care of yourself both physically and mentally, there’s no way that you can effectively help others be great. We can’t pour from an empty cup and we need to stop trying to. (Read my post: When the Well Runs Dry)

Self care isn’t self-diagnosing and self-medicating. It’s not scrolling through the ‘gram comparing yourself to others. Self care is not drowning in a pool of your own tears shed from the depressing thoughts that you are afraid to admit you have.

Self-care is sprucing up your outer appearance so that you can feel better about yourself on the inside. So care is logging off of Facebook for the day to enjoy the sweet sounds of nature as you walk through the park. Self-care is seeking the help of a professional “when the rainbow is enuf.”

“Therapy is my self care.” Writing is my self-care. Reading is my self-care. Relaxing is my self-care. What is your self-care?

Thank you Kourtney for bringing awareness to such an important issue! If you are interested in purchasing this shirt or similar t-shirts in support of Mental Health Awareness Month, please visit @StylesbyKourtney on Facebook and Instagram.

She is Sick & Tired…

She is sick and tired of attracting guys
who don’t understand her worth.
The kind who fill her heart up with empty lies
Because all they really want is to get up her skirt.

She is sick and tired of dealing with men
who expect her to be their mother.
Want her to cook, clean and buy him nice things
Just so that he can move on to another sucker.

She is sick and tired of men who claim to love her
As he undresses her with his eyes.
Guys who tell her what he thinks she wants to hear
So he can get in between her thighs.

She is sick and tired of meeting guys
Who have nothing to offer but hidden agendas.
They pretend to care just to win her trust
Then switch up faster than them lies could hit you.

She is sick and tired of the lying and cheating
Are most men really this full of games?
If you don’t want her, then just move around
Because the lies you tell are super lame.

She is sick and tired of you manipulative niggas
The kind who play mind games for a living.
Have her questioning herself, acting like you are the victim
Because you are a master at the art of deception.

She is sick and tired of accepting less than she deserves
Because they say her requirements are unreasonable.
Tryna give you unqualified niggas a chance
She lost faith in ever finding a real one.

© 2019 | @MsToyaMichelle

Why I Walk by Faith, and Not by Sight

I am not a Golden State Warriors fan, but I know that as a fan it sucks to hear the commentator say, ” Curry dribbles…Curry shoots…Curry scor…MISSES…very badly.”

Now, I don’t know about him being the best shooter on the planet, but I felt a soft spot in my heart for probably one of the best shooters in the history of the NBA, Steph Curry, when I recently learned that he suffers from Keratoconus. Curry has admitted to suffering from vision problems during his entire career, and squinting had become the norm for him. But it wasn’t until he fell into a recent shooting slump that he felt the need to get help. That is when he found out that he had been living with the disease for years. According to a Twitter post made by the Bleacher Report on April 3, 2019, “Steph Curry broke out of a recent sub-37% 3PT shooting slump by putting on contact lenses to fix eye issues he’s had his whole career.” So yes….that means he was breaking 3-point records and wasn’t even able to see the rim clearly.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had perfect vision. Whether an image was near or far, I had no problem seeing clearly. It wasn’t until one random day back in 2009 while walking the grounds of my former college, Texas A&M University, that I realized that I couldn’t make out the faces of people from afar without squinting. I would get really bad headaches, but would attribute it to the late nights I spent studying. It didn’t bother me too much because my overall vision was still pretty decent.

Upon graduating from college, I noticed a dramatic decline in my visual acuity which prompted me to seek the help of a professional. Literally, one day I was able to see, then the next moment I was in dire need of corrective lenses and no one seemed to be able to help me. Three optometrists later and three failed attempts at fitting me for a pair of glasses, I was finally referred to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed me with the progressive eye disease, Keratoconus. Keratoconus causes the cornea of a diseased eye to bulge out like a cone instead of being perfectly round. The cone-shaped cornea causes my vision to be very distorted. Oftentimes, my vision consists of halos and ghost images, and my prescription changes very frequently. Having poor vision was new to me so the struggle was very real in the first couple of years of the diagnoses. There were many days that I broke down into tears because I felt trapped inside of my own body. Imprisoned by eyes.

Because eye glasses are not able to correct the abnormally shaped cornea of a Keratoconus patient, I was eventually fitted for a pair of Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) contact lenses back in 2011. The cost was a whopping $400 per pair! Aside from being pricey and occasionally getting stuck underneath my eyelids, these lenses were my only solution at the time.

Fast forward to the year 2017, I learned that the RGP lenses were not the best for my vision, and that they had caused scarring on my left cornea… further blurring my vision. I was finally placed in Scleral lenses that I have been wearing for 2 years now.

My vision isn’t 20/20, but I am so grateful to God that I have been able to obtain nearly perfect vision rather than none at all with the help of my sclerals. Although I didn’t understand why my vision had changed so suddenly, or why it was happening to me, I have always trusted God during the process. My natural eyes were deteriorating everyday, but my spiritual eyes remained on the lesson that God had for me. I walk by faith because Lord knows my sight would lead me in all sorts of wrong directions.