With Love- Anonymous

"You really need to take care of yourself"

These were words I've always heard but always thought was just a saying. Besides, to me my life wasn't all that bad. I mean sure, school sucks, my job is menial and I'm broke as hell but what 23 year old isn't right now. But when September of 2016 came around, the saying definitely had weight. In a matter of weeks I went from a gainfully employed recent university graduate to a broke and homeless, unemployed young woman who didn't know where her next meal was coming from. Even with all this going on...I still shrugged it off. Feeling I would deal with it when I found the time. Besides, I have shelter, food and work to look for. So again...I pushed my stress to the side and decided to continue life as it came, which eventually lead me to drinking. Alcohol for me was just a quick supplement for happiness, and since that was needed in this situation it was what I turned to. Barely any money to my name but I still scraped up enough for a bottle.

This continued for a few weeks. At this point I was staying in Airbnb's to avoid going to a homeless shelter (which I eventually ended up) or back home to my parents a failure and at this point I felt I was doing okay emotionally. Life sucked but at least I wasn't stressing. Eventually my bottling of emotions and stress got the best of me late one Thursday, while talking to a friend. 

There was this annoying pain in my chest...didn't know what is...the hell was that? 

Maybe it was all the bubbles from that bottle of wine I downed hours before? Ehh...whatever I'll burp it up later...

...but that pain never went away, but turned into me rolling around the bed to get comfort, or trying to breathe it through...but nothing was working.

Thinking I was having a heart attack, I text the first person my mind could think of...my friend Nangie. 

As soon as I told her what was going on, she of course told me to go to the hospital..."you gotta take care of yourself, Steph. Go now!"

You would think I listened to her....NOPE! Instead, I told her I'll be fine and continued to bear the pain to sleep until the pain shot up and woke me up. I reluctantly went. 

Waiting for hours in the emergency room, with all the scans and blood drawings and observations done on me, I soon realized I wasn't having a heart attack, but was experiencing back to back panic attacks. As serious as this sounded, I still didn't mind it. Even looking in the doctor's demeanour and the concern on my line sister's face as she sat beside me, I still didn't think too much of it. Simply thought "whatever...I'll lay off the alcohol" parted ways with Nangie and headed back to where I was staying. 

For weeks the attacks continued, but I still tried to play it off as nothing...until one night while staying at a friend's I was so crippled with pain and fear of dying I went back to the hospital. My heart and lungs were checked, everything came back okay, but instead of sending me on my way, this time the doctor sat with me. 

"What's going on at home? Are you struggling in school?" 

Being so scared of dying I let her know of everything. How scared I was for the future, how I haven't had a stable place to live in a month and cannot find a job to save my life. She (the doctor) didn't say or do much as I cried and poured my heart out. When I had managed to get everything I felt out, she simply said. "This might not be what you want to hear, but you really need to take care of yourself" 

"Take care of myself? Didn't you hear anything? I'M POOR. I'M HOMELESS! I can't afford to take care..."

Catching myself in the circle of putting my emotions to the side, I started to realize how this was all affecting me. Only person that caused my health to get this bad was myself, because I simply wanted to store it away and deal with it later...eventually realizing how life threatening that could be. 

That was the day I began making changes. The doctor referred me to a women's shelter that assisted young professionals with temporary accommodations and free counseling, and began speaking with a professional about my depression and stress through resources the hospital provided me. 

This was over a year ago. I know I have a lot of work to do, and life hasn't been perfect since that point. I eventually made the inevitable decision to move back home with my parents, and managed to find a decent job and have made steps to improve my quality of life physically and gradually mentally. 

The last year I've had has been a big learning experience for me. A lot of mistakes were made, a lot of choices were made that shouldn't have, but learning that these things are all part of the human experience have helped me understand the importance of reflecting on my actions and how I deal with my emotions. I know eventually my future will bring forth mental clarity, until then I will continue to take the time and utilize the proper resources to continue to take care of myself.

With Love- Anonymous

So I never really shared my story publicly before, so here goes nothing. Do you know what it feels like to get trapped in your own mind? It's like being a part of Alice in Wonderland. It is the perfect combination of falling down the rabbit hole and the mad hatter. I can't tell you what specifically started it all, except that it's bits and pieces. I was starting the 5th grade being nervous and scared because I was going to a new school and most of the kids have known each other since nursery. I was one of the golden kids, meaning I was one of five mixed kids in a class of 52.  

As time went on, I started to feel out of place, I asked myself, “how come no one likes me?”  “Why aren't I pretty like the other girls?” The thoughts started to get darker to the point I thought why am I here because no one is going to miss me. Especially since my cousin is everyone's favorite anyway. I first tried to commit suicide at the age of 10. I took some pills and went to sleep. I woke up the next day asking myself how come it didn't work. Years later and I still struggled with the thought. Getting older, I also came to the realization that I like women. Growing up in a religious household it's not acceptable. I used to pray every night asking God to please change me because I didn’t want to be this way. I was struggling with my sexuality for so long and not being able to express it was weighing down on me. On top of that, I was still struggling with finding myself and being good enough.

I was always seen as the funny good friend, with a smile or always laughing. My mother and I did not always have the best relationship. No one knew what I was battling. At one point I didn't even think I was going to college. But I did.  I graduated and headed to college. That's when things really started spiralling. I went to a school that I initially didn't want to go because I never heard of it until my mom told me I had an interview to be admitted. A lot of family issues occurred during that time making me want to drop out or transfer.

It was also the first time I entered a long-term relationship and truly fell in love but it eventually became unhealthy.  That's when the mood swings started happening and the lack of sleep. Once again, I started to struggle with the idea of suicide.  How can someone that you once wanted to spend the rest of your life with tell you that you're suicidal for attention. Why would I even consider that as an act for attention? I didn't want attention; I wanted to die. At this point I started to isolate myself, sleeping for hours, angry, and was lashing out. I would get sad out of nowhere, start crying and not know why. We eventually broke up and it felt like the end of the world.

Here I am not only alone but also feeling like a stranger and could not be myself in my own home. That's when I was truly fed up. I came up with a plan to finally be free and not be a burden any longer. I bought boxes of pills and bottles of alcohol and decided one night I was going to do it. I told a friend of mine that we should go out that night. it was October 1,2014. We ended up bar hopping and once we left I decided I wouldn't even write a letter. I took the boxes and drank all the bottles I bought and eventually went to sleep. I woke up in the middle of the night thinking what happened which led me to take more and go to the hospital so my family wouldn’t find my body.

 I had ended up getting my stomach pumped from passing out. I Woke up to the doctors telling me they can't release me because of my blood pressure and that I was going to another hospital because there were no more beds available. I woke up angry with not only myself but with God wondering why didn’t he let me die. I tried to plead with the doctors to let me go and I'll visit to avoid being committed but It did me no good. So I was transported to a different hospital. From October 2-23rd I was committed. I found out form being there that I suffered from bipolar disorder with recurrent severe depression. None of my friends knew where I was except a few but even then I felt like no one cared. The struggle unfortunately continued for me. Not only was I dealing with mental health issues but health as well. I needed to have surgery. I was so frustrated because it felt like it just won't end for me.

On the bright side, I did graduate from college. From being released I went through 5 different therapist, 3 psychiatrist, and 8 medications. I eventually had to get hospitalized again. The most recent hospitalization, I wasn't as angry due to the fact I had a support system from my grandparents and friends. I eventually came out to my mother though it wasn't pretty. She has come to terms with it and tolerated it. Fortunately for me I ended up with a therapist who hasn't given up and go see weekly. There are times where I still struggle but I'm still here. Everyday is progress for me; I recently got a new full time job. I realized I have to love me for me. I'm perfectly imperfect. It's ok to let people in at times and they do care. There's always hope. Hopefully I'll find love again. I leave with saying this. You are worth it, you matter!! Your imperfections make you perfectly imperfect! Someone cares about you.  

 

With Love- Tiara Nicole

Hey guys,

 

I want to start by saying that I’m honored to be apart of this Stolen Queens blog! Today I want to discuss an issue that near and dear to my heart and that’s the subject of self-love and why it’s such a critical part of everyone’s journey. I believe the relationship you have with yourself is more important than ANY other relationship, in fact your relationship with yourself will begin to dictate how those other relationship dynamics play out. Before we get into that, I want to tell you a little bit about the person speaking to you!

WHO: My name is Tiara Nicole and I am the CEO of Nicole’s Network. WHAT: I am committed to serving others through my personal testimony and I motivate others to consistently work towards self-development in order to find the freedom in the most authentic version of themselves. WHEN: Daily inspiration can be found on my social media pages (handles listed below) with weekly #MotivationalMonday video blogs on my YouTube channel! WHERE: Anywhere you need me to be! WHY: I believe that if my pain can benefit even just one person, it was worth suffering through!

Now that you know a little bit about me, it’s time to jump into why you’re reading this post! Self-love is going to bring you so much closer to the freedom that really comes from embracing every ounce of who you are…flaws and all! In the spirit of transparency I had not always loved myself and didn’t even realize it, so I can understand how insecurities begin to take over your voice and self-hate begins to become your norm. I’m here to tell you this loud and clear: Life CAN be different! The journey towards truly loving yourself is not going to be easy, but it’ll be worth it!

You may be asking in your head “okay…but how?”. Well step one is truly getting to know everything there is to know about yourself! What you like, what you dislike, what makes you sad (and why), what makes you happy, where you want to go, things you’d like to experience, EVERYTHING! Here’s the part that is not going to sound fun but it’s necessary; getting to know yourself is going to require some alone time. You’re going to have to be willing to experience things that others may be interested in doing…go anyway!

I also challenge you to lock yourself in your room and have some intense alone time. No TV, music, clocks, phone (and certainly no social media), no distractions what so ever. Be in the room with just you, God, your bible, and a journal. Spend some time reflecting on life, the decisions you’ve made, what lead you to make those decisions, and what your goals are in your life. If there’s an area of your life that you don’t like, come up with a game plan to improve in those areas. For me, I came out of this alone time with plenty areas I didn’t like about my life but I didn’t allow them to get me down. I simply ranked what areas I felt were most important and created game plans to tackle each one.

Now that you know who you are, it’s time to start loving the person who looks back at you in the mirror every day. Falling in love with yourself is the same process as falling in love with a partner. You have to spend quality time together, get to know the person fully, accept their flaws because it makes them who they are, you’ll have to forgive their mistakes, and be their support system. Now, if we can do this for someone we meet months or even a few years ago…why is it so difficult to do this for the one relationship that has been around the longest?

Often times we find it so difficult to embrace our flaws and forgive ourselves, and some of us cringe at the thought of quality time with just ourselves…but why? I want you to really think about why that may be difficult for you to do with yourself yet we run at the chance to do that with someone we’re interested in dating. For years I absolutely HATED being alone, but I really had to evaluate why and work towards healing the part of me who felt like being alone was punishment or torture. I’m not suggesting you should always be alone (balance is a thing right?) but I’m saying you should enjoy and embrace alone time as much as you would if it was date night.

Once you begin to love yourself more and more, you’ll start to see this change how you interact with others. Keep in mind the journey of self-love is a lifelong journey and will require growth with every changing stage of life. Once you’ll fully owned your truth, no one will be able to hold that truth against you and that’s when you find true freedom.

Anyone struggling with the idea of self-love I offer a 5-week Development Boot Camp offering guidance and accountability in the areas of Spiritual Growth, Professional Development, Financial Freedom, and Physical Health. Visit https://nicolesnetwork.acuityscheduling.com/ to schedule your free consultation! Additionally you can find me on social media at:

 

Instagram - @TiaraNicole1011

Twitter - @TiaraNicole1011

YouTube – Nicole’s Network

Facebook – Nicole’s Network

 

With love,

Tiara Nicole