Posted in Confessions, 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 Defying Shadows Articles, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Mental Health, Power, Reflection, Self-Care

Defying Shadows Article: Making Decisions as Someine with Anxiety and Depression

Making decisions with anxiety and depression can leave you in a weak and vulnerable state. Not being able to take every opportunity or apply for every job can be stressful as you may find yourself frustrated and less-than because of it.

I was faced with declining a job because I prioritized my mental health and here is what I have to say about it:

Making Decisions as Someone with Anxiety and Depression

Posted in Confessions, Reflection, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

#MeToo…

*Trigger Warning*

My #metoo story

When I was in middle school, on my way to school one day, a grown man grabbed my butt. Startled and confused I looked back trembling to see him smiling as he walked away in satisfaction of his actions. I did not know this man. There were hundreds of kids around as it was by a high school and bus stop. I trembled the rest of the day, could feel my nerves all of sudden feel uneasy. I avoid the area where this happened to me. I feel uncomfortable to be alone outside sometimes. I’m hyperaware when I’m alone and often paranoid to walk by large groups of guys.
What’s happening now makes me more uncomfortable and afraid then I was before. The power I lost that day was unreal. To see so many women coming out in #metoo, to express their hopelessness in this country’s justice system to help makes me disgusted. To read the comments on these posts of people justifying these actions because of a loss of time or lack of evidence makes me furious. No one saw what happened to me that day, where there were swarms of people. I didn’t think what happened to me mattered. I didn’t understand what was going on. I didn’t grasp the idea that this was not ok. All I felt was a loss of self and of safety. I just want to feel safe again. When will I feel safe again?

It was a lot to think about this today. To think how often sexual assault, rape, and harassment happens on a daily basis. As women, we have to always be aware, be awake, and be looking out for our safety. It’s not fair for us to live like this. I’ve been disgruntled and uncomfortable all month.

Stay safe and be careful. It’s never your fault if these horrible things have happened to you (whether you’re a man or a woman).

I love you and I’m here if anyone wants to vent.

Posted in Confessions, Mental Health, Notes, Reflection

SWT 100 Notes Note 29: Exhaustion

You ever been so tired your bones hurt?

You ever been so tired your eyes were heavy and your head nodded to the side?

You ever felt so tired that you could feel real tears forming in your eyes because all you wanted was to be able to sleep?

My worst fear in life is to feel this type of exhaustion again. To feel so much in a daze about reality that I wanted a break from being awake. I’ve become this exhausted more than one time, and I’m so afraid of feeling like this again. I’m afraid of the headaches, the irritation, the hunger, the dissociation, the lack of energy, and the anxiety that comes with it.

While my sleeping patterns will probably never get to where they need to be, I can always count on being able to sleep through the mornings while I gather myself to live through the next day.

College and food service jobs exhausted me so much I just want to be in bed. I want to recover and be able to sleep as much as I need to. I guess that’s why I’m afraid of getting another job.

I don’t want to feel this type of exhaustion again.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Love, My Trending Stories, Potential and Worth, Power, Quotes, Self-Talk

Freedom Quote: It Takes a Bunch

Be proud of your small victories and accomplishments. Don’t think after one-time relief you will feel all better forever. It’s still going to bother you and it still will come up. That one victory and that moment of relief will hold until its time for what’s going to try to destroy you next. It will take the bunches of smaller victories to win your bigger battle. There will always be reliefs, realizations, and breakthroughs, but you have to learn and move on from the small things you let go. Don’t let those things come back and regress your process. Don’t fall back in the holes you climbed out of. Believe in your final victory. See it happen.

It Takes a Bunch

Posted in Confessions, Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Potential and Worth, Power, Reflection, Self-Care, Self-Talk

I can Feel Something Big Coming

I’ve never felt so proud of myself ever before.

The excitement to create or make something and call it mine.

To give myself credit is to create power in myself.

I feel my purpose in this. This is my healing and my strength.

My self-worth is my motivation. And as I become more and more engulfed in my self-journey, I can feel joy like no other.

A joy that is great and more overwhelming then I could imagine.

This. Is. Me.

The way I can imagine something and give it life. The way I can create using words. A story made into art.

This is sparklywartanks.

Sparklywartanks is the birth of my identity. The creation of the lion in my dream.

I will work until I build what my vision has crafted.

The hardest part of my life gave birth to my purpose so I thank the struggle for making the diamond.

My motivation has never been this intense.

It’s time to create something. Something that reflects what I see in my mind because it’s beautiful.

It’s peace…

And happiness.

Posted in Keep Moving: Motivation and Inspiration, Reflection, What Just Happened: Personal Anecdotes

One Reflection 

We are getting closer to the end of this year and I can’t help but be thankful. In the moments of darkness and in those of light, I’ve still been able to breathe. While I had to maintain and sustain myself to keep going, while sometimes I felt weakest, I can stand to say I made it through every moment. My imagination and creativity went crazy and for that I’m most excited. This year has been a sparkly one and in a war zone at that. While I continue to build my tough skin and stamina, while I continue to transform into a heightened self, I want to thank those who loved me through every moment. So much new has come this year it was overwhelming, but so much old has stayed too. 

SparklyWarTanks will continue to get stronger and so will my love and gratitude, especially for those who  keep up with me. New thing will come in the years to come and I’m ready. 

I’m ready to continue to declare war for myself and for others. For my women, those that struggle to wake up and those that have no other choice to be strong. I also declare war for the sake of equality and justice to dismantle the patriarchy and white supremacy, racism, sexism, homophobia, islamaphobia, all those things that push us into fearing one another, its time to take those ideologies and break them. Through these systems we are seperate, but only in unity will we become our most enlightened selves. 

While we have so much to do, we still have the potential to be our greatest selves, as a community, as a society, as one.