My Poison of Choice

Unhealthy habits are created every minute of every day, of every week and so forth. Some of them are psychotropic substances, alcoholism, obsession with exercises (meaning overkill), and many others I can name. Mine is eating.

According to the medical measurements, I am morbidly obese for my height (5’3, yep a shortie.) I won’t disclose my weight because that alone is depressing. I have this horrible vicious cycle that matches my highs and lows of my manic depression (bipolar) episodes.

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When I am at the peak of an upswing, I eat very little only enough to take my meds. I walk, and when I do eat, I try to make better healthier food choices. I notice I cook more often as well. However, when I am free falling from that euphoric high, I fall into big piles of fast food. Burgers, fries, soda, cupcakes, pies, cakes, any sweets actually, and a plethora of fried foods. Since I have high blood pressure and lower back problems, all of these things are contribute to the stress my body with every binge session

As you could imagine, after the food is gone and I am sitting in a pile of my self-pity and food containers/wrappers the guilt makes its sneaky appearance. I look at all I had done and become repulsed with myself. I don’t make myself vomit because that would be a waste of food ( and money). Since I have a slight case of IBS fast food does not agree with my stomach, thus causing well you know the rest. So, in reality, it is a waste of food and money.

Food is my poison of choice because with any addiction you try to hide it from your family.  I eat while I drive and purposely stop at a gas station to discard my trash. I hide wrappers in the garbage at home or throw it in the dumpster on my way to check my mail.

The taste of the saltiness of a juicy bacon cheeseburger coupled with a side of fresh french fries ( no salt as if that matters), a cold coke to wash it down. The ironic thing about soda is that I had stopped drinking it for years. I replaced soda with tea or water. Here recently it is almost all that I crave. I have reverted to drinking my lemon water as I did many years ago to get rid of that soda habit. Which is a good start right?

The sweetness of the sugar from sugary snacks makes me feel as if I am being made love to in my mouth. With every flick of my tongue, I can feel the high fructose corn syrup began to rush through my veins. I have heard of food-gasims but have rearly have experienced one. However, after eating sweets, I think I may have been close.

I do almost everything that an addict does to conceal their unhealthy habit. I hate to look at myself in the mirror. I think of divorce because I feel so unattractive and don’t want to be a disgrace to my husband. I want to find a replacement mom for my kid’s someone thinner and prettier as I fade into the distance of the abyss of gluttony.

I had a mini binge today. I am paying for it as I sit and pour myself out to you. In the last hour sitting at work, I have eaten several fun-sized candy bars provided for the staff.

I will take the rest of the day one minute at a time and try not to dwell on what has happened, but prayer for strength for it not to happen again.

Keep me in your prayers, people. God bless you all.

Nat

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Make Love To Me

You seductively beckon me as the steam begins to rise. The anticipation of the fragrance of pink Himalayan salt filling the air causes my body to tingle.

At our first embrace a hushed whisper escapes my lips as my head tilts back to accept your butterfly kisses. The trail of the giver of life hugs each couture of my full frame.

The smooth collection of bubbles follows the flow of gravity beginning at my neck gliding towards my twin peaks. I lift my arms in surrender as I began to melt into you.

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The rich lathery foam plays  hide and seek with my duster. The suds initiates a congo line  from my neck, to my womanly mountain range,  to my valley below, and ceasing at my delicately painted toes. The sweetness of your touch makes me addictively crave more of you.

The excitement of repeating our dance drives my senses wild as our meeting is reaching a climactic high. I bask in your infinite warmth as I move in soft slow circles to feel the totality of your tantalizing nibbles over ever inch of my body.

Our time together must sadly come to an end. Think of me as I think of you until the next time we mingle again.

Proverbs 3:1

One of my favorite, but difficult scripture to follow is Proverbs 3:1 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” Proverbs‬ ‭3:1 NIV

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My total being conflicts with the first word: trust. I find it extremely easy to trust myself or man, yet damn near impossible to trust God. The lack of trust and leaning on my own understanding often causes heartache and undo struggles.

There are times when I study this verse and I rarely get past the first word. This is an action word. I contemplate, “How can I MAKE this my action word?” That is answered by the second part of the verse, “Lean NOT on my own understanding.”

Father, I pray that you give me more of you, less of me, and none of this world. Help me to trust and seek YOUR will and  not my own. Amen

Silence

Today is a new year, but the emptiness is old and worn. Everyday without you here is a new day to mourn.

As I lay in an empty bed, I thought of you today. As I lay in the deep dark silence I pondered should I stay.

To feel your touch is what I long for. I hold my breath waiting for you to come through that door.

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I was only greeted by the silence on the other side.The days are hard, but the nights even harder as I hug my pillow and silently cry.

I think of the things we hoped to build together. Yet, those dreams seem further away than ever.

I don’t what tomorrow holds for you and I. So, I will wait in prayer and let God guide.

 

 

Why, Thank Ya Kind Sah!

I am a mother, a wife, a friend, and countless other titles. In the many roles that I play one thing is constant: sometimes I feel unappreciated and taken for granted.

Very few people ask me how I am doing and actually take the time to listen to my response. Many people don’t know what I do for a living, what I am going to school for, or why I write. They don’t know because it isn’t about them.

Adding insult to injury, those same people say they know me. Don’t get me wrong, I am my own cheerleader, because I know the answers to those elusive questions. It just stings a little when I give and give while people take and take and people wonder why I distance myself. I have nothing left to give! Hell, I am already alone why not stand alone?

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It use to bother me to stand alone and cheer myself on, but not so much anymore. I once felt that if I was excited or praised myself for an accomplishment I was boasting and being everything but humble. That is where behavior modification and the restructuring of a faulty mindset.

I know the difference between be proud of my achievements without wallowing in pride. I can graciously accept a compliment without letting it go to my head. Those around me don’t know the half of what I do and why I do it. That is okay, because if it was that important to them they would have sought the answers to their questions.

I am not seeking extravagant praises. Just an encouraging word will do. Remember to say those things to those that make a difference in your life. You never miss a good thing until it’s gone…

Incentives

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Hello everyone. I pray that the 2017 holiday season has been a blessed not stressed season for you all. It has been a bit since my last post let me tell you why.

Many of you may know that I am an active survivor living with bipolar with depression and PTSD with anxiety. Over the last few months, I have noticed my desire to do the three things that give me comfort: church/praying, writing, and crack head cleaning (Haha) were no longer there. My definition of crack head cleaning is cleaning for hours like you are high off some sort of upper.

My faith is a big part of who I am. Sadly, and in my darkest moments, it is the furthest thing from my mind. I sleep through my alarm for Sunday service. This action could be justified if church service was early in the morning, but my church offers several service times at various locations around the city and online. The latest service is across town at 1:00 CST. When I do wake up I would feel guilty by missing church, then repeat the cycle of crying myself to sleep from guilt.

Earlier this year, I turned my walk-in closet at home into my prayer closet. It is my quiet place to pray, study my bible, pour my heart out to God, sit in silence, and sometimes write. My closet was my holy place in my apartment to seek refuge when the world was attacking me. I started writing my second novel of my letters to God in my prayer closet.

While sitting in my special place, I asked why “God, why did you make me the way that I am? Why are my mind and life such a hot wretched mess? How does your word proclaim that I am more than a conqueror, but I can’t conquer the damn demons and voices in my head? Why I am told to pray for things and ask for healing when in reality I don’t think that is true. If I weren’t in this situation, I wouldn’t need to pray for healing. Why would you torture me with the racing thoughts, moments of rage, anger, extreme highs and lows, and so much self-hatred for myself? Why do I continually hurt the ones that I love?” This line of questioning would go on for hours until I eventually cried myself to sleep on in my closet curled up with a blanket holding my journal and pen.

Fast forward to a few months ago. My prayer closet has now been transformed back into an ordinary cabinet for clothes, shoes, and storage. The wall with my sticky notes of prayer request and answered prayers have long fallen off. I don’t feel God’s presence there like I once did. When I walked into my closet, I felt an empty void that left me feeling that I have disappointed God and maintaining my relationship with him. The mess of my spiritual life was starting to resemble the mess in my physical life.

My weight was still going up and down like a damn yo-yo, and there was no desire even to battle trying to work out or eat better. That menacing little voice in my head kept saying, “One more burger or snack cake won’t hurt anything you are already fat.” These internal thoughts would add to the vicious cycle of continued negative self-image and increased the level of low self-esteem. I would avoid looking in the mirror or taking pictures because I was looking at such an ugly person. I stopped sending my husband pictures of me because I didn’t want him to see the slob he married. I knew deep down he would be ashamed of such a fat and unattractive wife.

My house looked like I felt, a disaster area. I would clean one room and become too tired to finish the rest of the house. Some days were more painful than others due to chronic lower back and sciatic nerve pain from a bulging disc. Moving to use the bathroom was a challenge. Other days, I was just too tired to do anything.  I had mounds of laundry that needed tending to, but only washed what I needed for a few days. When I did accomplish doing some laundry, I would fold them, and they would sit in my clothes basket for weeks or until I had worn them all and it was time to do laundry again.

My FAVORITE articles to wash, dry, and put away are my towels and bedding.  I have an obsession with bed-in-a-bag/matching bedding and towels. I get excited when I launder a load of towels or linen like a strange sort of excitement that should be response associated with opening a gift. Another thing that settles my racing mind and gradually brings me down from a mania high is vacuuming. The sound of the vacuum drowns out the racing thoughts in my mind as well as has a constant soothing characteristic to it for some reason. I also enjoy scrubbing toilets and making the bed with matching bedding. It made no sense to have clean smelling linen when bathing was no longer a high priority.

I could go days (personal best is four days) without bathing. Merely thinking about showering process was so mentally exhausting. Turning the water on, waiting for it to get to the desired temperature. Removing my clothes. Getting into the shower to wash up my allotted three times ( once to get that first layer of ickiness off, the second wash to get rid of what was missed the with the first washing, and the third for the pure scent of my body wash). Getting out, drying off, putting on my body oil or lotion ( I am a black woman, and if I don’t put on oil I look like I have been rolling around in flour. Haha) Then ultimately getting dressed.

Just thinking of each simple step of that process made me tired. Instead of showering I would use cleansing wipes to wash those critical body parts that can cause offensive odors. I found myself fussing with my daughter about bathing every day; then it dawned on me, she is leading by my example. That goes along with bathing and proper housekeeping.

I crashed extremely hard on Christmas Day after about a three-day mania episode. Christmas this year had missed my house altogether. No decorations, no money for gifts, no time with family, and anything associated with the holiday annoyed the hell out of me. It was just like another paid holiday off from work. I slept all day. Working in retail for my second job was agonizing to hear the holiday music over the store PA system. I wanted to wear earplugs or cut my ears off, so I didn’t have to listen to another damn rendition of “All I Want for Christmas” or freaking “Jingle Bells.” Wednesday I started to decided things had to change. Thus, I created an incentives lists for me to get out of my dark place and get back to living.

Incentive one was for my spiritual well-being. I have the bible app on my phone as well as the pocketbook “Jesus Calling” that I carry with me. My goal is to actively read the scripture of the day and apply it to my life that day. The next day I would do the same. I will do all that I can to get back to attending church regularly as I once did. Which should be relatively easy since my requested off days from my part-time job are Sundays and Wednesdays. I will surrender to God and continue to recognize he runs this show. I will also set aside ten minutes of my day to be in my prayer closet again.

Incentive two is coming home to a clean house and using different cleaners to make the house smell good in conjunction with getting back to being a decent house in general. If you haven’t already noticed, I am drawn to different scents. My goal for better housekeeping is clean one room night after getting home from both of my jobs. A side note with incentive two is to walk at least ten minutes on the treadmill a day. (Yes, I have a treadmill in my bedroom that is being used as clothes rack. Shame on me I know.)

I have established the chores duties for the house between myself and my daughter. We were each responsible for our individual bathrooms and bedrooms, and we would alternate cleaning the living room, dining room, and kitchen. Often there are nights when I come home from my second job that I am too tired to think about cleaning, but I still do something small like wipe the kitchen counters down or load the dishwasher.

Writing used to be my coping mechanism to calm my racing thoughts, work through bouts of anger, sadness, or talk to God. The last few months my mind has been eerily silent. No ideas, no prophetic poems to describe the depts of love or hate. My heart wasn’t in it anymore. At this point, I was for sure I had lost my mind. The drastic change of a silent mind threw my mental equilibrium off. I felt I had lost my writing mojo and pretty much gave up on trying to get back into wholeheartedly again. I began questioning if I was as talented as I thought I was. Or was I falling for a pipe dream that I had sold my self as well as what others have told me.

That was until my editor contacted me with the full edited version of my upcoming memoir, “Bruised, But Not Broken.” When I read that email, my body went into this hodgepodge of all kinds of emotions. I was nervous, excited, ready to vomit, and pass out. I didn’t know if I was coming, going, or staying. As I began to read MY story, my mind became alive again with racing ideas for my next blog post or my next book idea.

My third incentive is to complete the publication process and brushing away the mental fog that has prevented me from doing one of the things that I love to do. After the final read through between my editor and myself, it is off to the copy editor for one last run through then off to the presses! I am looking forward to traveling for a mini book tour later next year around my state and eventually around the country! GO MEEEEE!!!!!

Lastly, incentive four is for bathing by experimenting with scents and textures different body washes. I adore the lingering smell of my body wash after a shower. I don’t use perfume or body sprays often, but I will wear the hell out of my body wash. 🙂 This week I am using a new scent of coconut water and mango splash. All of my incentives are important to me, but this one is special to me because when I smell clean, I feel clean. My mom always taught me that, “As a woman, we have natural scents that can become offensive, so we have to take extra care of our bodies.”

Today is a new day, and I know that each day will be another day to strive to reap the benefits of each of my incentives. I hope this post gives comfort to someone that may be going trapped in that same dark place where nothing matters. Just create one incentive and work your way up until you see and feel the warmth of the light.

Be blessed.

 

This Far

There have been countless times in my life where I have had to remind myself that God is always with me. I repeat this to myself through tears of doubt and frustration, “He didn’t bring me this far to leave me.” I hope to say it enough that I will begin to believe and feel it again.

I started an entry-level job a few months ago in my new career field of mental health services as I work through school. I took a drastic pay cut from my last position, but it is part of my long-term plans. After signing up for benefits, my take-home pay amount made me cry. I mean sitting at my desk tears streaming as the figures on my computer screen shows me in dollar and cents my monthly income.

My part-time job will barely cover the amount of my healthcare. So, I am seeking out more hours there (retail during the holidays Lord, help me) to help get me thru until I complete my state certification in February for my upcoming promotion.

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It is as if everything is hitting me all at once!!!!!!!

  • My book won’t ready for my holiday release date as I had hoped due to the change in my finances.  Publishing a book is not free even when self-publishing.
  • I will, in essence, be working two jobs just to cover my family’s healthcare. I guess this is a trade-off considering I had been paying almost $250/ month on only my meds( in addition to doctor’s visits and everything else)  for the last almost year.
  • This semester of school has been a hard one due to issues in my personal life that has caused my grades to suffer. I have worked my ass off to gain a C average so far. Finals are next month, and I have claimed the victory of passing both classes with a B.
  • I am finding that I am yearning to take up old habits again, even though I know they only hold a false sense of comfort. Thus, the increased weight and decreased desire for everything else.
  • I can not be there entirely for my husband as a wife should.
  • I am simply feeling defeated

Even with thinking about alllllll of this, my heart keeps saying, “God didn’t bring you this far to leave you.” It feels as if I am fighting a continued mental and spiritual war between self and the enemy. I KNOW I am more than a conqueror. I KNOW greater is he that is in me then in the world. I KNOW these things, but it doesn’t stop the feeling of defeat.

The enemy knows my triggers: my mind and uses my thoughts of self against me. I begin to question why am I here at this job struggling to make a difference when the world continues to be fucked up. Why not eat the cheeseburger or the cake you are already fat? Why make a budget when you will never stick to it? Where are all of the people you have helped? Why can’t they help you? The attacks are relentless and made me question everything.

The Christian in me knows that God has me and I need to draw closer to him when I feel like this.  Even when I can only hear the various shackles of issues rattling around in my head, God is there trying to regain my focus. I go about my day with a false demeanor masking the mangled mental mess underneath. I feel I am fighting an uneven battle of three against one. It is as if the enemy, my mind, bipolar with depression are all against me.

So, I may cry. I may be upset. I may even think that old habits bring comfort, but I always know that there IS something more significant on the other side. God didn’t bring me this far to leave me. Every moment that passes reminds me that I am still here because God has something more significant in store for me.

 

The Birth of a Dream

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My stomach is queasy as the rest of my body feels unnervingly uneasy.

My hands tremble as they scribble the words onto my pad. I am scared as hell. Am I going mad?

My agenda is building at a rapid pace. Lord, help me finish this race.

I shudder in fear at the new life flowing from within me. In just one month the world will witness my decree.

My womb will be open for all to see. Father God, continue to be with me is my humble plea.

I will bear down and push forth this dream into its earthly existence. An idea conceived inside of me that will display my persistence.

I have cried, oh how I have prayed. Yes, I admit my faith sometimes strayed.

One thing will always be true, never give up keep doing you boo!

“On The Run”

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….”I phoned the police explained to them the situation and the fear of him returning. Officer Reynolds was very familiar with our complex especially with Lorenzo and his drug activity. He carefully gained my attention as he spoke to me in a coded dialect.

“Ms. Jensen, I understand that this complex is income based and hand guns are prohibited on the grounds. I am under the impression that if you were to purchase one and happened to use it in for the protection of your family, management would understand. Let me make things clear. I am not condoning breaking any terms of your rental agreement.”
“Are you telling me that if I shoot and kill him I wouldn’t go to jail?” I ask with a bewildered tone and expression. Officer Reynolds tenderly responded,

“I am speaking in a hypothetical sense. You have a constitutional right to protect yourself and your family.”
“Thank you Officer Reynolds for your help. I will keep those things in mind.” It was time to go shopping…”

Things heat up as I get closer to the release of “Bruised, But Not Broken” this winter.