The 4 phrases that healed me.
THE BACKGROUND — Identify the issue, but do not label yourself.
I can proudly say I grew up in wonder-filled childhood. I’m not even ashamed about it. My parents rock and I’m grateful for their guidance to this day.
I grew up in a very tight-knit family. My parents were, quite frankly, the revolutionaries of their families. Looking at the map of Honduras, my mother is from Concepcion del Norte, Santa Barbara, meanwhile my father, is from the north western coast, Tela. That’s almost in opposite directions from where my sisters and I were born. Their story together began when they both were 23-24 years old. Their love’s legacy has been thriving since.
My two older sisters laid a great foundation before me, of what our family principles were, and how to carry our last name properly(We’re all “daddy’s girls”), and they were, and still are, my role models. Both of them taught me how to stand up for myself; encouraged me to succeed at everything academia and womanhood, and continue to empowered me to follow my dreams. I didn’t have every toy that I wanted growing up, but I did have countless books, empty pages, and a lot of writing utensils thanks to them. Truthfully, they opened a door for my passion of writing with every new, blank journal given. I thought a lot as a child and still do to this day. Because of the fond memories of trips to museums, academic and athletic competitions, and hanging out my their friends, I grew to become a great observer of my surroundings. I could empty all of the happenstances of the day without internalizing it too much for my age. They, essentially, gave me something to sustain my childhood.
Now, both of my parents worked two jobs each at one point, but they didn’t fail to make time for some quality conversations with us. Whether it was the forty-five minute car-ride from my school to home, or Sundays spent at Bayfront park in Miami, my parents valued giving us their time. Thinking back at those moments, I realize now the toll that must’ve been on their bodies. Aside from each family member working overtime, I mean, we were a typical biracial family from Honduras. My mom would make sopa de frijoles(black bean soup) religiously, since it’s my dad’s favorite. Then I would see her kneed the corn flour for tortillas with her freshly manicured nails. This was the same woman I wouldn’t see from M-F because she was at work from 6AM-4AM the next day. My dad, as strong as he is, worked as an accountant, a construction welder, to a US Coast Guard. My father is the most self-sacrificing person I know. My parents have worked their entire time in America and most of their reward is still a plane-ride away to enjoy. These are the people who formed my childhood and contributed to my growth. And though loving and tight-knit, there were still too many conversations that didn’t occur because growing up biracial, and immigrant in America meant that there wasn’t any time to simply enjoy “downtime” to talk. The in-between invaluable conversations about such things as financial education, mental health and personal fulfillment, which help form a stable path to rely on, weren’t common in my household because no one had the time.
As I grew into adulthood, a lot of childhood memories resurfaced, and though they weren’t completely negative memories, at that point, I’ve grown stubborn to learn and experience spiritual security, and it totally messed my head up trying to heal from my mistakes. Trying to figure out the root causes of my choices, I grew frustrated, emotionally abused, and resorted to everything but family or therapy to heal and cope.
I feel like most 20-somethings go through a pivotal point of transformation whenever this happens — of growing out of this old skin and knowledge and adapting to the “reality of life.”
Sure, some handle it with flying colors and pride, meanwhile others are overwhelmed with adulting and breakdown. None are above the other, but a growth in maturity changes people for good. In my case, it freed me from many social constructs that I never debunked, but rather just kept “growing up” with. Accept what others give you and you still make something out of it is not success to me. That is insane!
I get it though — doing the same thing over and over, when it’s not broken or flawed, doesn’t necessarily mean you’re crazy. However, growth isn’t synonymous for maturity, and meanwhile some lessons might not penetrate, it only takes one to knock the wind outlay chest and realize you’re not as grown, or mature, as you thought.
THE PURPOSE — 4 Phrases to Erase Your Misery
Mental health issues became important to me when it was obvious that I wasn’t in control of my mental health as I thought I was. According to the . Besides the collegiate psychology classes and endless conversation about how detrimental mental health issues are in the afro-latino community, I still didn’t catch the universal clues being thrown my life. I cannot tell you the day I “figured” it out but I can tell you that I started to lose friends, romantic relationships, and even a sense of self. I started to give myself to people who were undeserving. I no longer loved or served myself, but rather, I believed in the lies I was telling myself. I was judging others way too much to even see how I should’ve taken my own advice. I was arrogant, I admit, but in the deepest of emotional and mental pain because I was drowning in trying to keep up with those around me. Blindly loyal to people but not my purpose.
See, this monster called Bipolar-Mood disorder made me lose my confidence in myself, the most. It was a gradual decline in my life that took place and I was so stuck on perfection, success and “making it,” that I became busy existing without getting to know myself. I felt like everything I accomplished up to the point of my mental crisis. EEK! This monster, which I’ve never heard of or seen before, was haunting me. Probably since childhood too, but I bought into the whole, if “you seek therapy you are weak” mentality; and then I threw away the receipt.
I was judging myself based on society’s view of mental health, which is totally screwed up!
This monster was robbing bits of my sanity, confidence, self-love in the middle of the night. Leaving me hopeless for when the next morning rolls in. There wasn’t much to forward to. And everyday didn’t get better. There wasn’t much left over to mentally survive for the next 24 hours after a long night of thoughts that didn’t let you sleep. I wasn’t energized, but rather depleted. Formless yet bounded to a human experience that felt more like prison than a palace. I was surrounded by people who didn’t view mental health issues as compassionately as I desired, but I kept them around because other wise, I not only felt alone, but knew I would be alone. I was abusing drugs and drinking way too much. These were all passive ways of harming myself and no one knew or could tell. Some people label that with works like weak, without knowing the depths of low self-esteem, but there’s a special place for people like that.
The short 4 months that I was medication only made me numb and unattached. I was walking around smiling, mechanically at least, but not taking the time to appreciate the actual smile. So I stopped taking them.
I started to see myself in the mirror and literally, felt nothing — not even pride. I knew that monster came back, but this time it was silenced. I talked to medical professionals about the effects of anti-depression medications and sought professional advice on holistic alternatives. I told my therapist how the drugs made me feel, and though we both agree that modern medicine provides accountability and safety, in this particular place, for my health, a balance of both works best for me.
The 4 phrases that transformed my life:
- Work Your Body Out: I knew that I needed to form a new habit so I trained for 90 days with p90X and discovered that I had a love for pole fitness. Then, I went two years of only going between pole fitness, weight lifting and cardio to reveal a body I didn’t even know I was capable of sculpting. Talk about a confidence booster!
- You Are What You Eat : I drank a minimum of 36oz of water. I walked around with one of those water jugs from the hospital. I ate all of my veggies either raw or lightly sautéed and I cut out red-meat, poultry and basically anything with fur. I mean my entire appetite had curved to the point where I having junk food knocked my athletic performance off-track.
- Meditation > Medication : At anytime and anyplace, I made that a priority. 30 minutes a day keep the mood swings away. I’m not even kidding. This strengthened my mind to concentrate better and to think with clarity. I would find the time to make 5 minutes worth of meditation a habit because my dreams became more vivid and lucid. I remember looking different because of it too.
- Put Yourself First, Unapologetically: I participated in life, more, even when my voice wasn’t welcomed. I said no to what I didn’t want to do and yes to everything that made me genuinely happy. As long as it didn’t harm it me, I told myself, “I am going to live each day as if it were my last.” Yes, it was cliche, but it was one simple reminder to put myself first because I deserved it, not because I needed permission.
The Triumph – Relentless Self-love
See what people don’t understand about bi-polor depression is that it behaves like a daunting spirit that sticks around. It waits around even. It even plays dead. It’s committed to paralyzing the physical body with fear. Only empowered by one’s own disbelief in self.
I’ve grown alot since the night of my suicide attempt in July 2009 and the only difference is that I’ve learned the lesson of valuing my life and preserving it for my purpose. I changed my attitude AND my perspective. Plus, God reminded me of how rich I actually am. I am a mother now. I spend majority of my time raising my daughter with my husband. I have complete freedom with my life because I no longer feel restricted to live in the rat-race world of social constructs. I created heaven for myself by staying true to my internal happiness because I rely on practical righteousness and faith. God’s love and grace is fully invited into my life to stay.
On this journey of relentless self-love, rigorous healing and impactful influence, I don’t waste minutes in my life to only exist, like I use to. I don’t have expectations of people, although I do believe in living as a collective humanity. I know not to trust any body, but God with my healing. I know people will judge because they don’t understand just like they will underestimate because they are sleep on my greatness. It’s all one in the same to me because at the end of the day, triumph trumps traedgy.
You will over come.
Love, in it’s best form