Posted in Creative Writing, Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power

Defying Shadows Article: Thank You For Helping Me Through My Depression

Here is a simple letter. This letter thanks the person who wakes up every morning barely wanting to, but does anyway. This letter is to the survivor, the warrior, and the one who keeps pushing through. This letter is for you...”

Link: Thank You For Helping Me Through My Depression: A Simple Letter

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Making Sense Analysis, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Breaking From Trauma: Accepting Split Pockets of Peace

The Split Second

A week ago I sat at the edge of my bed and noticed a sensation I forgot I had the ability to feel. While coming to terms with the symptoms of my anxiety and basking in its reality for most of three years, I hadn’t felt a day that didn’t consist of nausea or worry. I haven’t felt nauseous for two weeks now. I recalled the sensations of calmness and suddenly didn’t understand what to think. Feeling okay felt strange and alien.

Being in a constant state of panic, worry, or fear became how I lived for years leaving calmness and peace strangers in a barren abyss. No thoughts resided in my head, my body felt rejuvenated from a full nights rest, and an overwhelming desire to get some work done filled me with energy. This is what it feels like to be okay, to be ready to take on the day. I didn’t think I could feel like this again.

Recollections

Although this year continuously has torn me to pieces, I didn’t realize the amount of effort I put into dragging myself out of countless depressive moments. Whether it was getting out of bed, not sleeping in, giving myself a bedtime and writing/career goals, eating more fruits and less bread and sugar, or even choosing to separate myself from thinking about situations I cannot control I became unconsciously active in my desire to feel better. Physical aches and pains have plagued this years list of what nows, but learning to not overthink is my new habit of choice.

Despite finding myself in really low moments and contrary to what I expected to become of me by this point, I recall several split moments of peace like the one mentioned above. Pockets of rainbows I would call them.

Accepting and Welcoming Peace

Confused by how I could possibly see or feel pockets of peace in arguably the worst year yet, it’s only fair to give myself some credit. Fear of leaving my trauma behind brought up some old feelings following the pockets of peace, allowing me to realize the comfort I sat in when it came to my anxiety and depression.

I’m used to feeling anxious and depressed. I don’t know what it is to not feel constantly overwhelmed with everything. Living and existing in a state of uneasy chaos is how I know to survive. I learned to live like this, who am I without it?

Witnessing and realizing that I’m able to feel better has caused both panic and peace disrupting the old state of chaotic homeostasis (if that makes any sense). I found myself having nightmares almost every night filled with both obvious and hidden messages. I’ve also recently become aware of my shadow and toxic characteristics, making me aware and awake when it comes to how I interact with others.

Now, because of all that’s happened, I’m able to gain control and pull myself to a more stabilized consciousness quicker than before. Both bizarre and contradicting as it seems, I’ve always thrived in a state of turmoil, it would only make sense for the key to my healing to lie in my darkest moments.

What Now?

Aware that I’m in another phase of transformation like in my college years, I’m open and accepting of something new to come. Despite the on and off nature of these pockets of peace, I know I’m able to gain control of my mental wellness more than believed before.

I’m both scared and excited to continue to take on the beast that is overcoming my trauma and will not give up knowing I can and will.

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Talk, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Dear Nina, Let It Go

Dear Nina,
You’ve been rejected.
You’ve been betrayed.
You’ve been replaced without notice.
You’ve been looked at as second best.
You’ve been abandoned.
You’ve been left behind.
You feel like you will never be a priority.
You feel like no one will love you.
You’ve never been anyone’s favorite.
You’ve been called weak and pushed to the sidelines.
You’ve been underestimated.
You weren’t taken seriously.
You’ve gotten blank stares.
You’ve tried to be perfect.
You’ve tried to make yourself favorable.
You’ve felt less-than.
You’ve felt unattractive and ugly.

But I’m here to rewrite the script for you.

No matter how you’ve shaped your self-worth or what thoughts you thought you got over but in dark times resurfaced, its time to let it go. You are all the things you’ve convinced yourself that you are not. You are beyond worthy of life, love, acceptance, peace and compassion.

Retake your life from the thoughts that hold you hostage. It doesn’t matter anymore. Live in today. Live in right now. Whatever pain you’ve gone through has made you into the beautiful, empathetic, caring, ruthless, ambitious, untouchable, unstoppable creation that is you. You are a progressed product of what has happened and all of that is now over. You lived in the pain and now you’ve learned. Stop picking at the wounds that are healing. Don’t make your wombs bleed again. Sometimes it feels like the same things are happening again, but guess what? Now it’s time to use what you’ve learned. Don’t fall back into the cycles that amplified your depressive or anxious thoughts. You have the power. You have all the power. I will keep telling you until you believe it for yourself.

Sincerely,
SparklyWarTanks
Posted in Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health

Defying Shadows Article: Venturing the Communication Barrier When it Comes to Helping Someone With Depression

Do you ever get stuck when trying to help someone with depression? Do you find that some things you say may hurt the person who is struggling with their mental health? What are phrases to avoid when communicating with someone with depression? What are some helpful gestures and phrases?

Visit my Defying Shadows article to see some tips and helpful insight when it comes to helping someone who struggles with depression!

Venturing the Communication Barrier When it Comes to Helping Someone With Depression

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Purposeful Pain

Some morning are particularly hard, but this morning made it to top 5. I had to write myself out of a potential downward spiral into depression. I forced myself to see my self-worth and value even in the midst of heartache and self-doubt. A love letter of sorts to keep going even when feeling emotionally weak.

The face that I look at every morning is powerful and deserves peace of mind and joy amongst other things, but most important she deserves to know that her life is worth something.

As long as her heart beats, purpose flows through every vein all the time. Standing is hard, but I can’t stay down for too long.

Posted in Confessions, Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Other Publications, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

Defying Shadows Article: What I learned After Neglecting My Mental Health

What did I learn after I neglected my mental health? What does neglecting my mental health look like? Why is prioritizing your mental health important? How can you improve your mental health?

In my Defying Shadows article, I navigate and discuss my difficult moments with my mental health, how I learned about what mental health is, and why it’s so important.

What I learned After Neglecting My Mental Health

Posted in Confessions, Events, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Late Night Talks With Nina, Mental Health, Other Accomplishments, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk, Videos

A Reflection: The Mighty Mic

The Mighty Mic was an amazing experience. I’m extremely grateful that I was able to collaborate with The Mighty to help my community as they find strength in their mental health struggles. Here are some highlights from my event and a message that I learned.  I will be planning and hosting more events so stay tuned!

My Open Mic Poem: A Messy Masterpiece

I look up to the rainbow that extends from one end of the equator to the other.

The rain that just passed has drenched me with growing pains as the flowers sprout from my insides out.

A messy masterpiece they called me.

As I feel the thunderstorms inside my gut, my tears run frantically like uncontrolled children in the playground.
A messy masterpiece they call me.
I can’t breathe like someone is putting duct tape on my mouth as I try to scream, my surrounding get blurry again, I can’t see
Overwhelm
A messy masterpiece they call me
I’m a mess I say
They say
They look at me confused because I’m in one of my silent spells, they think I’m upset but really I’m in this deep dark place in my head, my body is free but my mind captive
A messy masterpiece they call me

Sometimes my bed arrest me

I’m in trouble from the thoughts that told on me, I broke the law

Now I’m confined to my pillow and blankets, I got life but I’m planning on breaking out
Sooner than later because I deserve to be free
A messy masterpiece they call me
You see, my footprints tell a story
It’s not just an abandoned trial
It’s meant to be a pathway for other people like me
How I walked that walk and now they can see a way they can go
They too are messy masterpieces fashioned together to make beautiful poetry learning that their voices too do still matter
Because ears that need to listen will be drawn to the sounds of their voices in the distance
The Mighty Voices
A messy masterpiece they call me

My Story and Advice

After some mighty poets and speakers shared I was compelled to share my story to them as well. I noticed a pattern in the themes that recurred in the poems and pieces everyone shared and thought I would give some advice based on what I learned.

Late Night Talks With Nina: Final Thoughts

Navigating Purpose

Purpose, worth, self-talk, and identity were themes that recurred while I sat and soaked in the message of each story. While we are faced with difficulties with our mental health, it’s often due to mental conversations about those themes. As we continue on in our journey and our battle we must let go of the notion of a single purpose or single mission conforming to the standards of the society we live. Instead, we must continuously walk in our own self-fulfillment-whatever that looks like-while also navigating our peace through the opportunities we are able to take up. We live our life through how much we are filled with happiness and satisfaction with what we are doing. Let’s not waste ourselves with expecting purpose to manifest without manifesting ourselves in the process. We manifest purpose by being alive and continue fulfilling our own talents. Learn yourself, love yourself, and find peace through appreciating your life and the opportunity to live it.

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Making Sense Analysis, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk

Why I Claim my Anxiety and Depression

Mental Illness and Religion

Depression

I struggled with depression for a lot of my teenage years unknowingly; falling into silent spells or isolation cycles were “normal” ways I would deal with how I felt. Because of this, depression remained regular. The pain was me.

When I thought about depression or sadness my mind would drift off to what my former pastors would suggest— praying, fasting, and going to church healed all wombs. I often heard, “mental illness was a weakness, ‘the devil’ is consuming your thoughts to keep you from what God has for you. The only way I could be better was to do what God wants me to do. If you’re continuously doing bad, then it’s your fault. You are not trying hard enough. Do not ever claim depression on your life. Don’t say that out loud! If you say it you are manifesting that demon on yourself.” Frightening, right?

Because of those words, I grew up scared of myself, my thoughts, and God punishing me. I felt relief in my good days but tormented on my bad. Maybe if I tried to be “as holy” as I could then maybe I would feel better. The day never came where just praying and fasting relieved my depressive thoughts though.

Here Comes Anxiety…

When first faced with crippling anxiety, I felt ashamed, embarrassed, and discouraged. I isolated myself and talked to no one about my struggles. It wasn’t real. I tried to push harder even when I felt exhausted. Self-care, mental health, or anxiety weren’t words or phrases I knew much about anyway. I just had to pray, right? My relationship with God is not strong enough. I kept pushing myself well past my physical and mental limits until I couldn’t anymore. The more I dismissed my symptoms and repressed my feelings, the more I felt powerless, hopeless, and weak.

Moving Forward

Writing Therapy

In order to feel better, I challenged myself to think deeper. What do I do to move forward? As I constantly struggled to find peace in my mental turmoil, I looked to my writing and voice for refuge.  The day I felt most empowered, most liberated, and most peace fell on one day, the day I uttered the words “I have depression and struggle with anxiety.”

While I long left the church because I wanted to find myself aside from religious indoctrination, I started writing, and the words I typed and wrote freed me from my thoughts. Thoughts became tangible. Words became ideas I could look at. I manipulated those words to something positive and uplifting. I began reflecting on and discussing what mental health meant for me, asking critical questions combining my pain with creativity. Excitement filled me again. 

Final Thoughts

My projects now bring me to life, they are my medicine. The words I utter, the words I write are my power. I am new, I feel refreshed. I wage war on my mental health struggles, expectations, and stereotypes that bind me and my progress (hence why my writing space/blog is SparklyWarTanks).

Even though I still struggle, I continue to write and think of new and creative ways to express myself. I’m currently planning and hosting events too! There is power in words, whether it’s saying them, writing them, or thinking them.

Claiming my anxiety and depression was not a downfall manifesting struggle and doom to my life, claiming anxiety and depression gave me the power that helped me to liberate my perspective, relieve my mind, and continue on in the progression of becoming myself.

Posted in Events, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Potential and Worth, Power, Self-Care, Self-Talk, The Mighty

New York City SparklyWarTanks and The Mighty Event!

Im so excited to announce that I will be hosting The Mighty Mic, an open mic creative event where we all are mighty together. In this event, we will express ourselves in our strength as we discuss our anxiety and depression. The mic is open to those who want to share their stories, poems, songs, articles, speeches; whatever 5-minute piece they would want others to hear. This is a safe space where we will be ourselves, share, and build community!

If you would like to come, please refer to this Facebook Event link and click the “going” option if you would be joining me or even “interested” if you just need to readjust your schedule!

We will have so much fun as we share our stories and build confidence in our journey as we learn we are not alone!

Details are on the flyer above!