Friendship, Life, Mental Health, Personal Liberation, Relationships, Sprituality

What all Millenials need to hear about rejection

millenials_ _You are right where you're supposed to be_ love, the Universe

Perusing social media as an empath means feeling and filtering the many emotions of fellow Millenials. I hear so many of us expressing the same sentiments about rejection. We are losing friends and feeling rejected by lovers, we’re rejecting what was expected of us in life, and we’re rejecting the lives that we’ve built before truly knowing ourselves.

This post is a stream-of-consciousness of a few words of wisdom that will focus on rejection regarding friendships and life paths.

I feel like so many of us need to hear:
“You are right where you’re supposed to be.”
If a friend no longer needs you – let them go.
Take the subtle hints – no means no.
Maybe means no.
Ambivalence means no.
Why would you want anyone in your life who isn’t an emphatic yes?
Even Jesus spit out the lukewarm water.
If you accept that, it is a reflection of your self-esteem and self-worth. It’s not a judgment, just a fact.

Don’t waste your time asking yourself repeatedly, “Was I the one in the wrong?” Am I not good enough?” The answer is not important. What’s important is that you always maintain your relationship with yourself and God, The Universe, and your higher self.

I know it’s not easy. For some, this blog post will be useless, and for some it will be a gentle reminder.
If you don’t know how to start a relationship with yourself or God, what I have found is that a simple willingness to have one is all it takes. There are no special rituals, questions, mantras, or actions you need to take.
If God and the Universe are loving, why would they make it impossible to be happy without them, and then turn around and make it difficult and complicated?

I’ve learned, through my spiritual journey, to reject all teachings that make it complicated to find God. God is within and is experienced as Love.

Now back to friendships. I’ve had many friends desert me in life and I didn’t understand it then, but I respect it now.
It was time for them to move on from me, and if I’d been only a bit more self-aware…I’d have heard the message loud and clear – and fell back.
They didn’t owe me an explanation. Only respect. I didn’t really need them, only God, and everyone has access to God. So they never really hurt me.
Hindsight is everything.

Remember: rejection is redirection, protection, and preparation – for someone else to come and fill that void in your life.

Rejection comes in many forms. You may be rejecting a certain paradigm.
If you don’t love your life anymore – step out on faith, follow and trust your gut. It may get harder before it gets better.
And this is what nobody wants to talk about or hear:

Many people die on the path – but that doesn’t make it any less meaningful or any more avoidable.

Yes, you may get rich in any area of your life – or die trying.
But you don’t stop trying.
Or if you do, that’s OK too. Just try to drink in every moment.
Love,
Star
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Dating, Friendship, Life, Personal Liberation, Relationships, Sex

Timeless, Title-less Love (My Story of Having Relationships with No Titles) Pt. 1

gift-habeshaw-fVMMyFl4YqM-unsplashNote: This was written about six years ago from the date of publication. And I think I published it 3 years ago but took it down. It’s a good piece and the updates are ironic… I might even have to do a part 2 for this one!¬†

 

I have not written in a while. I moved from the state I was living in after 12 years with not many clothes in tow, and apparently¬†I developed a relationship thereafter, and also started a new business. I’ve started school, got a little p/t job, took a leave from that job, reconnected with a few old friends,¬†traveled, started driving, and released the need to call it anything but happiness and bliss.

 

That’s right. I have a new epiphany about naming things. While listening to Michael Jackson’s new album I realized that my most recent relationship transition reflects this song:

 

 

A place with love and happiness, a place that you don’t want to leave, and it has no name.

 

My current partner told me today that he wanted to be friends.

 

And I realized that it’s what I want to. He told me he loves me, and I still love him, so I thought, really this is the best of all worlds.

 

See, I should have learned this from my last relationship, but I guess I’m putting the nail in the coffin for this lesson:

Titles don’t get you Love. Only Love can get you that.

 

Somehow, in That One Moment,  every obligation towards him and all expectations of how the relationship was supposed to be was dropped. I was imprisoning myself with thoughts that I could never be the woman he wanted me to be in all the ways he wanted me to be.

 

I compared myself with other women in and out of his life, and I even started to care about his whereabouts a whole lot more than I ever like to care about anyone’s. You may call it crazy, but I call it a fucking miracle that I was able to release those negative thoughts, for the most part, in an instant, with the words: “Let’s just be friends.”

 

It’s not the first time I’ve experienced this with a love in my life. It happened with my first boyfriend, who was ironically named Mychal Jackson!

 

(Lol omg I totally just realized the synchronicity, Thank You Universe.)

 

We were cool for so long, telepathically connected, and very much in love, however, there were certain things as a middle schooler that I just could not give this high schooler.  And then I had an attitude, the pressure was building, I met a girl he was cheating on me with at the skating rink, (literally bumped into her in line and we plotted to confront him once we got inside, lol) Finally, I broke up with him.

 

Then we became friends. And our relationship became sweeter and more solid than ever before.

 

Then, in a more previous adult relationship, I was building with a man who told me that he couldn’t even put a title on what we were. He said something to the effect that what we had was undefinable. I was stuck on wanting to know “what are we” at that point, and I learned from that relationship that you can eventually be the “girlfriend” and still get shitted on.

 

Then I had other boyfriends and I was more unhappy in the relationship than out of them. Same person, same city, different “relationship status.” I learned to stop asking for the title and to ask God for the person who would bring the Love that I too was so ready to share.

 

From that point, I never cared about having a title between the person and I, although I still dealt with ownership, jealousy, and insecurities that reared their ugly head with a fervency that I had never known existed within me before. (Let the shadow work begin.)

 

Now, I have new goals that are evolving every day. Instead of wanting to be some man’s “piece” I focus on the type of woman I want to be. Sometimes I get sidetracked,¬†but I am learning to correct the mistake of believing that someone else, even a loving man whom I adore, is responsible for my happiness 24/7 or even for a minute.

 

My current situation has taught me that I still have work to do in this area, but that is one thing I admire about myself: I never give up on the work of continually discovering who I am. Nothing makes me waver from that.

 

I do believe the new/old adage is true: “Relationships don’t end, they just transition.”

 

And I feel a sweetness in the surrender, in following his lead, in trusting the Universe’s path of least resistance. I feel certain in trusting that this was my answer to my prayer of what to do (which was really just to trust and let go). I feel secure in the feeling of me standing by my principles to do all of the above.

 

I feel good in the release of the pressure of feeling like certain things had to be done by him, and by me, rather than just enjoying each other’s company, attention, and love for each other. And being okay with him being an autonomous person who wants to do what he wants, because I want the same freedom from him. (We often give our friends way more freedom than we do our partners. Somehow, our partners are more like our prisoners than a true person who we trust to do what’s best for their own growth.) It feels so good to know that without the prospect of being “in a relationship”¬†that I am¬†not afraid to lose his love, which I was so afraid of when we were “more than friends.”

It feels really good to know that I’ll always have Love. And that’s real. Timeless, Title-less Love.

Note: Stay tuned for Part 2, 2019 version! I got updates on ALL OF THIS!

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ADHD, and Relationships, Dating, Friendship, Life, Mental Health

ADHD and Emotional Dysregulation – What Doctors Say and How It Really Feels [w/VIDEO]

Whether you know it or not, ADHD affects our emotions in major ways.

 

 

I did a YouTube video about how I was still in shock from the diagnosis of ADHD. When I first got diagnosed, I subsequently did research and started learning so much more about ADHD than I ever had before. I want to break down a bit more about how ADHD affects our emotions.

 

Keep in mind, how this looks for me will look different for different people at different times. (I remember that phrase used to give me so much anxiety. I just wanted an answer, some direction, and I wanted it now! Now I understand just how different we all are, even if we share many of the same challenges).

 

 

What doctors say about how ADHD affects our emotions:

 

 

According to ADDitude magazine, a website catering to people who have and interact with people with ADD (now more commonly referred to as ADHD):

Challenges with emotions start in the brain itself. Sometimes the working memory impairments of ADHD allow a momentary emotion to become too strong, flooding the brain with one intense emotion. At other times, the person with ADHD seems insensitive or unaware of the emotions of others.

This statement was reviewed by ADDitude’s ADHD Medical Review Panel.

 

 

The publication names feelings like extreme sensitivity to disapproval, social anxiety and giving in to avoidance and denial (two of my favorite emotional dishes served together!) as results of the phenomenon that happens in the brain that is called emotional dysregulation.

 

(I want to stress that this happens in the brain and isn’t a conscious choice). They also mention how all of these emotional reactions can make it really hard to FOCUS AND GET STARTED ON WORK, or anything productive.

 

As I read and research, in my head I’m like, “I feel all of that doctors”.¬†You can¬†read the article for more details on how they say our emotions are affected by ADHD. But now I want to share how it feels to me.

 

I think it’s important to look at things from a wider point of view and to understand what’s already been written about ADHD, but to also really tune into how YOU experience whatever challenges and issues you’re going through.

 

 

What I say about ADHD affects my emotions:

 

 

Although there have been times where I feel that getting up and moving around can help me with overwhelming emotions,  I find that the emotional aspect of ADHD is a continual challenge for me.

 

In one instance that I can remember physical activity working, I had a boyfriend who yelled at me during an argument, and I just allowed myself to get extremely consumed with how upset he was at me. I worked off that feeling of powerlessness and anger by sweeping up the hair at the salon I worked at. I remember thinking “Work IS a savior.”

 

I felt like I was on the verge of doing something irrational, erratic and self-destructive because I didn’t feel HEARD, so I used physical work to distract me. (And not feeling heard is a theme I see coming up for me a LOT. I guess it’s one of my triggers.)

 

My new digital lifestyle makes it more challenging to do what works to shake off bad feelings faster – being physical.

 

 

Chalk it up to having such a free schedule and less structure. As a writer, and freelancer, most of my days and about 40%  Р60% of my time is spent being stuck (did I say stuck? I mean melded, by choice) to a computer or phone. Juggling multiple loving relationships with friends and semi-romantic partners means a lot of texting and social media.

 

In an attempt to get more done and be less distracted and consumed, I often take social media breaks from a few or all platforms for a while. But that still leaves texting. And when I get into passionate discussions, whether personal or about culture or other issues, I find myself getting really riled up and most recently have been looking at how I jump to conclusions that someone is saying something that they actually aren’t. Instead of asking what they mean, I rapidly respond in raging texts, and it has happened over and over again.

 

 

I get fixated on a phrase or word…mostly by text. And I get so stuck on what I think is being said that I don’t remind myself to first ask myself¬† “would this person who has proven through time, words and actions that they love me say what I think they’re saying?”¬†I also stay seated and forget to get up, move around, and help calm and distract myself from that negative fixation with movement.

 

 

I had no idea that feeling like little things were “life and death” and that I had to respond to them RIGHT NOW was an aspect of ADHD.

 

 

I used to think of this as a testing behavior associated with what I think is my insecure anxious attachment style. And it might be. Through intense research (and experience, my Lord) I’ve found out that ADHD often travels with its buddies anxiety, bipolar, and more.

 

But now, I realize that even though I have learned to slow way way down and I have gotten so much better at my reactions, my brain still sees rejection and insult in so much of what others say.¬† I see it in women, colleagues, and associates as well. It gives me a pain in my chest. I just don’t let myself react to it the same way that I do with my partners. And what is most amazing is that I had no idea that this wasn’t what most people were thinking and feeling. When I express this feeling to others, they don’t express that they feel the same – unless they have anxiety!

 

Having emotionally intelligent partners helps me cope when my emotions get out of control.

 

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If I didn’t have emotionally sensitive men in my life – who knew how to tell me that what I was doing was hurting them, and the patience to hear me first make excuses, then later apologize, and then even later start to change the behavior¬† – they would not have the emotional intelligence to help me process my feelings. I’m not saying it’s perfect, but they have patience.

 

Having a creative outlet is essential to coping with the intense emotions of ADHD too.

 

Writing helps. And blogging, actually publishing my writing, helps me feel that all those emotions that don’t feel so good aren’t being felt for nothing. I put them in my art.

 

 

It was really important for me to learn about how emotional dysregulation or emotional hypersensitivity is tied to ADHD. It really helped me make sense of my overwhelming feelings and helped me stop blaming myself so I can focus on managing my reactions to my emotions.

 

Issa journey!

 

Stay up, Happy Dreamers. Love y’all.

Check out the video I did on ADHD and emotional dysregulation:

 

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My Journey to an ADHD diagnosis
ADHD, Life, Mental Health

My Journey to an ADHD Diagnosis

 

Hello, Happy Dreamers.

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Been a while since I’ve felt like being transparent enough to do so. For a while, I knew I had something to say, I just didn’t know if anyone was listening.

Today, I decided that I couldn’t hold back any longer.

My Journey to a Diagnosis was long

Throughout my life I knew that I was different. I was struggling with something. I had the best ideas, but I never followed through with many of them. Even when I did, it seemed like I couldn’t see some of my most important projects through. I was great with deadlines, so journalism suited me. Unfortunately, though, I couldn’t find a high enough paying job so I always had to juggle several side gigs while writing. I always had this nagging feeling that if only I could focus, I could be as successful as I knew I wanted to be.

My diagnosis was devastating, but it gave me clarity

On August 12th, I became aware of some devastating news. While getting up from the table after a goodbye lunch with my therapist of the past 2 years (I was supposed to be moving to New York to take an Assistant Managing Editor position with an indie newspaper I used to write for back in the day), she dropped a bomb on me – “By the way, you have all the traits of ADHD,” she said.

ADHD Y’all….Issa lot!¬†

I began to take stock of my life after this shocking revelation. I realized through self-examination I had a really unhealthy relationship with alcohol. Throughout my time in New York City, from ages 17 to 28 (some of those golden years are when I first started this blog back in 2012), I had fits and bouts of rage, moments where I felt like I couldn’t control my anger, my words, my sexual inclinations. It wasn’t surprising to me to find out that some of the challenges of having ADHD are to have substance abuse issues, anger, impulsivity issues, and hypersexuality.

Being a Black Woman with ADHD in America is even more difficult because we don’t share our stories so there’s less support

Now, there are several issues to unpack being a Black woman in America with ADHD. You could be a Black woman and have what they call a neurotypical brain and still have issues¬†navigating jobs, the economy, your living situation, relationships, sexuality, and all other areas of life. That just comes with living in a society where white supremacy exists (but we are destroying it¬†day by day by promoting wellness over wokeness – I’m so proud of us). But adding ADHD or any other mental challenge to being in an intersectional group is definitely more difficult. I wanna share what those stories are for me.

My journey to learning I have ADHD in a timeline

In the video, I talk about my timeline leading up to my diagnosis of ADHD. But to be clear:

2002 – Moved to NYC, began classes at Marymount Manhattan College

2003 – Came home, family ran out of money!

2003 – Moved back to NYC and moved in with a roommate who was a former classmate. He tried to hit me, so I moved out that night after only staying for 6 months.

2003 – Moved into the Harlem projects on 145th and 8th. I was working at The Body Shop.

2004 – Moved out to rent a room in Brooklyn and since then lived in subsequent Brooklyn rooms and apartments. I was working at a real estate company, and then a hair salon.

2005 – My sister moved to town and was working on her book.

2006 – We got an apartment together on Broadway in Bushwick. I was still working at the salon 10 hours a day, 4 days a week. It was one of the best work experiences I had that worked well with my ADHD (that I didn’t know I had yet.) It was fast-paced at times, detailed, had lots of interaction with people and a reasonable schedule. (9-7pm)

2007 – I left that job and worked at a French salon. It was a valuable experience. I had a boss who allowed me to do a lot different things, not just reception. I washed hair, promoted etc. It was also the first year me and my sister put on our first party, so that was first event.

2008  РI worked at a couple of restaurants and then I became a flight attendant. That changed my realm of vision for what was possible for me. After that I knew I wanted to travel eventually.

2010 – Left North American Airlines and moved into nonprofit at Public Allies. I LOVED my time with Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation – Youth Arts Academy. It was a community organization ran by 5 black women and I felt so seen, heard, and covered and accepted. I loved working with the children and the parents. This job worked well my brain. There was a lot of action, movement, freedom, creativity, and more. I didn’t enjoy every task but I grew a lot. I moved from full time to part-time and began classes at Swedish Institute of Massage and picked up another part-time job at a salon

2013 – I had to leave that job to move to South Carolina. At that point, my fibroid was too big and my periods were painful and heavy. As I stated in the video, I had to quit school and everything. It was devastating. I didn’t even realize that moving home was an option. But my Dad told me, “come home.”

In December of that year, I enrolled at SUNY Empire State College.

2014 – I was in school and tried to start a company remotely with my current ambiguous relationship bae. ADHD definitely played a role. There were several times he got frustrated with me because he felt I wasn’t being productive enough. I had a job at Trader Joe’s and school, and although I know that was a challenge in itself, there were things that I wanted to do and focus on, but couldn’t seem too. It was frustrating and my inter critic was at an all-time high during that time. It didn’t help that I was dating a Capricorn (dating is a loose term).

2015 – We moved in together! I know it seems like a jump. But we had similar goals. We lived in Charlotte. I began working at a sex toy boutique downtown. I thrived there, but it paid less than $10/hour. I wanted to move up and get paid more. A job at a call center opened up and I only lasted 4 months. It was extremely challenging and now, reflecting on this situation knowing that I was dealing with fibroids and ADHD, man. No wonder it was a whirlwind, along with his problems he was dealing with. If only we’d had the education, understanding and resources, we probably could have made it together as a couple.

2016 – We lasted 2 years but we moved out. I moved back to South Carolina and had my surgery in October.

2017 – After taking at least 6 months to recover and working on my degree, researching a bunch of new career options, mainly in social work and education, I began a job at a homeless teen shelter. I speak about how overwhelming it became on the video.

2018 – I quit and began subbing in the schools, deciding that I wanted to be in education to work more closely with the kids. In January, I began subbing in my city. In February I graduated and then applied for New York City Teaching Fellows. No offense to the program – I learned a lot about the special needs of students in Title 1 schools, but it didn’t prepare me for the teaching job I would later acquire.¬† I was in the program from May and taught from September to November of 2018. During this time, I began working on my coaching/counseling skills by reading Tarot. By the end of the year, I’d had a very eye-opening experience that caused me to end that practice. I still know I wanted to

2019 – Shit. Here I am. In August of this year, I learned I have ADHD. My life is starting to make a hell of lot more sense now.

The video says so many things that became clear to me right before and after being diagnosed with ADHD – it changed my identity – and I think it’s for the better.

 

Stay True, Happy Dreamers.  I love you.

 

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