Summer makes me lose my shit!

Summer time is quickly approaching. The trees are full and green. The grass grows quickly every week. School lets out for summer vacation. Pools are opening up for kids and adults to splish splash all day. Camps are enrolling children for daily get aways. AND for my house…this means it is time for the kids to be home and utility and grocery bills to go up!!!

I have never been a fan of summer. Although I love sunshine and thunderstorms I hate the heat and humidity in North Carolina. I hate the critters that the summertime brings (aka snakes). There’s nothing like coming home and finding a black snake wrapped around a tree in the driveway and your husband is on the road!!! Oh My God Why!!!!!!

So during the summer my anxiety is on ten  from mommy guilt, wife guilt, work guilt and of course from my phobia of snakes. My cat ran away six months ago so there goes my pet therapy!

Oh sh$@ It’s Summer!!!!


Summer makes me lose my shit!

There’s no relaxing during the summer. The kids take a break not only from school but also from doing chores as well; at least that’s the way I see it. The hubby is gone all week so I’m left to entertain kids who have expensive taste and believe money grow on trees…literally. I am playing the role of working mom trying to build an empire to leave to these kiddos. There’s more cleaning and less me time (gonna miss just sitting alone enjoying the morning after the kids run off to school). And every stick in the yard is a snake waiting to strike (this phobia is serious). 

Mommy guilt. Wife Guilt. Work Guilt. 

Am I good enough?

Are the kids enjoying their summer?

The house isn’t clean enough! Nothing is getting done!

The light bill is going to be high?

Will there be enough food to last for the week? Ugh I have to go back to store!

Am I being a good mom because I’m working during the summer?

I need a break already; we all have cabin fever. Is this bad?

Should I give my son/daugther his medication during the summer?

Should I take my medication during the summer?

I bet my husband is enjoying not being here!

Is that a snake over there! Get the moth balls!!!

and so on and so forth!!!!

Summer makes me lose my shit!

This summer I am choosing not to lose my shit! As a woman, mom, and therapist I completely understand how being a mom during the summer can be stressful. Here’s a few tips to help:

  • Don’t bother with schedules. What does keeping a schedule do for your? Why is the schedule important during the summer? It is okay to not be in control. Relinquish your control over daily operations.
  • Utilize park time. There’s nothing like taking the kids to the park to get out the house for a breather. While the children are playing use this time to do some brisk walking or light exercise to get your body moving and mind clearer or get an escape in a fantasy book. Join a mommy group to meet in the park for play dates. Join a walk and talk therapy in the park to help work on some “mommy issues” while the kids enjoy their play time (mental health is important).
  • Meditation. Since the kids will be home it may be a little difficult to get that morning meditation in that I’m used to getting. Well I plan on making it a family meditation with my youngest son and six month old. Meditation is good for calming any anxiety or thoughts that tend to flow through your mind when you take a quilt trip OR quiet the thoughts of your snake phobia!.
  • Get creative. While the kids are home get creative about the time you are spending together. Understand that not all fun times have to cost you an arm or leg. Mommy groups on Facebook are great resources to find some local happenings in your town to help keep the kiddies entertain.
  • Affirmation. We all tend to question how we are as parents. I do it all the time. As a matter of fact I just did it last week. It is very importnat to do some daily affirmation around being a mom. So what if the house isn’t clean today. It doesn’t make you a bad mom. So what if the kids had to eat a sandwich and some potatoe chips for dinner. It does not make you a bad mom. Ease up on yourself.
  • Self Care. The summer is overwhelming when you have all the kids in the home at one time and you are trying to do your best in keeping everyone sane. However it is most important to take care of yourself. Write down a summer self care routine that will rejuvenate you each week. Post it up on your refrigerator. Do the routine each week.
  • Relax. Don’t be so hard on yourself! You are a good mom. You are a good partner. You are a good You! And all these negative thoughts (like snakes) are in your mind!.

 

Have a funtastic summer!

Tahiyya xo

 

If the summer causes you to lose your shit and you are facing some mommy guilt, wife guilt, work guilt and intersted in working through guilt with some Walk and Talk Therapy in the Park contact me today!  You can reach me by phone at 910-434-5325 or email at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com to schedule a free 15 minute consultation.

***local residents of Matthews and Mint Hill, NC and surrounding areas only***

 

I’m scared

I’m scared…You hit a brick wall while traveling this Road called life. It just got real and now you need to see someone and it needs to be now.


“I’m scared”.

You have all these questions in your head. You have all these thoughts speed racing through your mind. What if they can’t help me? What if I don’t like them? Will I have to tell my secrets? Will things get worse? Cry!!!

“I’m scared”

So you decide to treat the issue yourself. You self soothe or better yet self medicate with your choice of drug, alcohol or process. A nice way to put addiction. It works for a while but when you’re off your “high” the problem returns.

“I’m scared”

Finally you give up and give in and decide to give therapy a try but still holding on to that pacifier. You’re not sure how things will go so it’s your back up plan.

“I’m scared”

But things take a turn. The therapist is really nice. The therapist offered you a space of safety to work on healing and recovery. The therapist helps you to get out of your head and really feel the emotions so you can now do some problem solving and get back on track with living healthier, happier AND without the pacifier.

“I’m not scared. I’m recovering. I’m happy”

Taking the first step to therapy can be scary. But it’s always worth a try.

Tahiyya xo

If you’re ready and looking for a place of safety to address the brick walls in your life or to remove the “pacifier” to stop self soothing and medicating. Please contact Tahiyya Martin here. She is a licensed professional counselor associate and licensed clinical addiction specialist associate in North Carolina. She offers free 15 minute phone consultations.

(Photos: All rights reserved. Photos may not be reproduced or used in any manner). 

The dark is my light. A look at depression 

The dark is my light. It’s where I’m comfortable. It’s where I’m allowed to be nothing, do nothing, say nothing. The dark is my light. 

The dark is my light. It’s where my soul cries out from pains of my past. It’s where my secrets gather around me to choose which one to think about today. The dark is my light. 

The dark is my light. It’s where my inner voices meet up to congregate about my past, my pain, my failures, my life. It’s where I’m warmed by my blanket and I lay here lonely but not alone. The dark is my light. 

Sincerely 

Depression 😔

Depression can make you feel like the dark is your light because you’re trapped in the dark and light can’t seep through. But it can. 
Getting help for depression isn’t easy. Heck getting help for anything isn’t easy but it is doable. 

The first step to battling depression is to know that you have depression. That includes denial about depression. 

The second step is to seek therapy. A therapist can help you with identifying the origin of your depression as well as help you with regulating that depressed mood using mindfulness and cognitive techniques. In therapy you will develop a plan of action to increase your awareness of your depressed symptoms, acknowledge that they are there, and then get active in redirecting those thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and urges. 

The third step is to get active in life. Exercise daily. Enjoy the sunlight. Meditate and journal your thoughts. Smile when you’re happy and cry when you’re sad. It’s ok. Honor who you are. Be present in the moment. 

If you or someone you know struggle with depression or the dark is your light or you want to know more about how to start the third step please call and schedule an appointment with me at 910-435-5325
If you live out of state and is looking for a therapist closer please use search engines like Psychology Today and Good Therapy to find a qualified therapist. 

Get help. It’s ok. 
Tahiyya xo

Resources
https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

1-800-273-8255

https://www.adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/ask-and-learn/resources

It starts young…

Originally published in June 2015 on victoriouswomen.com

It starts young

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It was my thirteenth birthday and he slammed my head up against a car. No adults were around just other children. No one said anything. It was another incident I kept to myself.  No bruises.

I was about fourteen when he pushed me up against a metal fence. I got upset and pulled off his chain he gave me and threw it over the fence and went home. No one was around. I didn’t say anything. I kept it to myself. No bruises.

It was the summer of my fifteenth year and I found out I was pregnant.

As time went on the physical abuse got worse. I was slammed in bushes, slapped in the face, choked but no bruises. I had yet to reach my 18th birthday.

My 18th year and I’m almost an adult. I have a two year old son and a secret. The abuse continued throughout the years. I never questioned why. I knew why. Well at least I thought I did. He was jealous. He was insecure. He wanted to control me. He was just mean. I stayed. I became used to being mistreated but I knew one day it will all end in due time.

A second child later and in our own place things was getting worse. There was hair pulling, hitting me with a baby in my arm, snatching my children from my arms, yelling at the children, threatening both me and the children, and still the slapping, choking, and slamming against property. My first bruise. I remember trying to explain to my father that my busted lip was a result of me biting my lip. He didn’t believe me because he knew all too well. He abused women so trust me he knew. I lied to protect him from my father however at the same time I wanted my father to kill him.

Time goes on and it doesn’t end. At this point I am tired. It has gone on now for fourteen years. I began to fight back. It made things worse but I wanted to fight back. The inner strength in me fought back.

Three children later, almost 15 years later, the last time occurred. Infidelity became a huge issue and I was done. No more praying to God for him to die or I die. No more running away to other states and he find me. No more. He slammed me on the concrete and lifted his leg to stomp me. We fought in front of his friends and our children. No one stopped him, well only one tried but to no avail. The look on my children faces and the screams that were coming out of their mouth was my final NO MORE.

I prayed that night to end it all, to remove him from my life. I told him we were done and I wasn’t going to do this again. He went to jail the next month, not because of me. That was my answer to my prayer. I got out. I got out. I got out after fourteen and half years.

Many asked why I didn’t leave. Sometimes I ask myself why I didn’t leave even after 8 years. Well I was afraid. I had children. My esteem was knocked to the ground because of emotional abuse. I was ashamed because I couldn’t believe I allowed this to happen to me. I felt trapped. All of these thoughts played a huge part of me not leaving. It plays a huge part of many women not leaving. There are many reasons why women don’t leave.

But the purpose of this blog is to say it starts young. There are too many young girls that are in the situation I was in. It is our secret. Many times these young girls go on to marry these same abusive men. It is our secret. Please speak to your daughters about self love, abuse, and telling someone. It can save their lives.

My story

Tahiyya xo

The many faces of anxiety Pt1

Hi I’m Tahiyya and I have anxiety!

Before working in the mental health field the closest I got to knowing what anxiety was is when my granny would talk about taking her nerve pills. Nerve pills. I didn’t know what nerve pills were. I assumed it was for her nerves in her body. Little did I know it was for being nervous. Anxiety.

My granny didn’t appear nervous. As a matter of fact she was very strong. She was quick with the tongue and didn’t take no junk. My granny never showed that she was worried about anything.  She slept good at night and go up early the next morning with the chickens. My granny sat on the porch and watched the people and enjoyed her fresh air. If she wasn’t on the porch she was watching the news or The Andy Griffith Show. Granny didn’t look like she had anxiety. Silent Sufferer.

Granny’s story is just one of many when it comes to the faces of anxiety.  In the older generation many took nerve pills which were actually anxiety medication. The older generation kept their worries to themselves because that is what they were taught to do by their parents. In doing so they were able to walk around as if nothing was worrying them. You would often hear the saying, “I’m going to leave it in God’s hands”. However you would hear your grandma (and sometimes Grandpa) praying every night over the same thing aka worry.

Let’s look at other faces of anxiety.

Perfectionist. Always busy trying to make things look good out of fear of rejection. Unable to sleep at night as your thoughts are consumed with plans for the next day, what you forgot to do that day, who is going to be upset, how you could have said this or said that, what you are going to do tomorrow, and much much more. You panic at the thought of not being in control because if you don’t have control it won’t be “perfect”. When you wake up in the morning everything is in “perfect” place from hair, makeup, clothes, and smile. Yet inside you are consumed with overthinking, overanalyzing, and rumination of thoughts.

Overachiever. The overachiever is sometimes paired with the perfectionist characteristics. Always trying to outdo what you have done previously. Looking for ways to achieve more in life, love, health, status, finance, or some part of life just to get the satisfaction or approval from others and/or self.  Your thoughts are consumed with achieving more, doing more, succeeding more and being better; getting it right for the people’s admiration. You thrive off feeling as if you are in control of your success or failures. Yet you look calm and collected. You don’t look like you are anxious. Again this is another face of anxiety; high functioning anxiety. Think of Olivia Pope

Worry Warrior. You look worried even if there’s nothing to worry about. You look nervous even when the environment is stable. Your sleep is filled with things to worry about even when a threat has not been preceived. Your conversations is about worrying and not feeling confident. You are hypervigilant. You hide from success and failure because you worry about the outcome of both. Sometimes you are on “nerve pills” just to calm down the thoughts of worry that is in your head. Another face of anxiety.

Always angry (irritable). You go to bed angry. You get up angry. You don’t want to be bothered so you either isolate yourself through being mean or physically remove yourself from others. Your thoughts are all over the place with worry and assumed thoughts of what others think of you. Heck sometimes these thoughts are of what you think of yourself. When you return to your center, it is filled with anger. The anger masks the anxiety that lives within you; the fear of outcomes that you have no control over. The fear is deep because anger plays the protector. Another face of anxiety.

The indecisive one. You are afraid to make decisions because you worry that it may not be the right decision. You are always looking for cues as to which way you should go with your decision. You fear that if you make the wrong decision people will reject you therefore you walk on eggshells when it comes to decisions.

The phobia one. Certain events, items, people, places trigger the anxiety in you. Your mind is consumed with being in the presence of the person, place, or thing. The thought of the person, place or thing puts you in a state of fear and often prevents you from living happily or from having fun.

These are the faces of anxiety. It is very important to understand which face or faces you wear in order to get the best treatment out there. Although similar techniques can be used to treat the different faces the techniques are tailored to the trigger that sets off the different types of anxiety. Check me out on FB Live on 5/11/2017 at 7pm to find out how to manage the symptoms!!!

Hey ladies! If you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety please contact me at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com to schedule an appointment.

Don’t live close to Charlotte, NC then you can utilize teletherapy (North Carolina natives only).

If you are not local please check out these resources.

http://www.webmd.com/anxiety-panic/guide/mental-health-anxiety-disorders#1

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/generalized-anxiety-disorder/basics/symptoms/con-20024562

https://www.adaa.org

Until next time;

Tahiyya xo

The beautiful truth about addiction

Addiction is such an ugly word. People are either afraid of the word or use it too loosely. I remember growing up and being afraid of crack addicts or laughing at the comedy skits depicting addicts in a comical manner. But now I’m all grown up and treating people with addiction(s).

I didn’t want to work with addicts. I didn’t want to bother with forcing anyone to seek treatment for something I once thought that they wanted to do. Boy did God made me reconsider. My first license is in clinical addiction. For a whole year I worked with individuals with substance use, codependency, gambling, and sex addiction.  That first year was a wonderful experience. It opened my eyes and heart to addiction.  I discovered the beautiful truth about addiction.

I became more aware of addiction and how it was more than just drinking alcohol or shooting up drugs. I began to understand that people didn’t wake up thinking “I want to do drugs”. People didn’t remain on drugs out of a choice. People who wanted to stop didn’t know how. I began to understand that taking drugs, drinking alcohol, having an obsession with shopping , sex, or gambling, setting fires or any impulsive behavior that was producing a pleasurable release to the brain was addiction.

Addiction affects all people know matter the race, gender, social economic status, age, culture etc. Although addiction tends to only get profiled the ugly truth I want to provide three beautifult truths.

  • One can recover from addiction. Individuals can stop taking drugs and alcohol, refrain from unhealthy sexual behaviors (another blog), manage their shopping habits, stop gambling, eat mindfully, develop healthy relationships, etc. Recovery is a life long process. It is not something that happens over night nor should supporters have the false notion that the urges will go away. (a possible training I may do).
  • One doesn’t want to remain on their substance/process/behavior of choice. Often times when there is an addiction it is a way to suppress a distress. Addiction is what I like to call self medicating to handle stress, anxiety, depression, family challenges, personal challenges, etc. It is a way to escape into another reality or to produce pleasure chemicals in our brain to alert us that we feel better now. When individuals find another way of coping that is healthier and meaningful recovery is easier. The addiction begans to let go of the control it has on the individual. Think of addiction as the puppet master.
  • Addict and family together can equal successful recovery. Addiction is a family problem. Ahhhhhh. I bet you’re saying but I’m not the addict. Well if you look deep within yourself there maybe some type of behavior that is addictive or a family history or some codependency (but that’s another blog/training). What I mean by addiction being a family problem is that if affects everyone connected to the addict. Therefore it is a family problem. Good news. As a family you can help with the success of recovery by being a part of recovery. Attend therapy sessions for yourself while getting the addict love one some help (residential, outpatient treatment, group therapy, individual therapy, family therapy, support groups, sponsor). Be supportive the best way that you can. If you don’t know how it is important that you seek local support to learn how.

I can go on and on and on forever about the topic of addiction. 🙂

Check out the resources below. If you or someone you love is affected by addiction please seek help. I am a licensed clincial addictional specialist-associate and I am here to help. You can contact me at 910-434-5325 or email me at counseling.simplelife@gmail.com

Tahiyya Martin xo

Resources

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/understanding-drug-use-addiction

https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/definition-of-addiction/

https://www.samhsa.gov/

https://saa-recovery.org/

http://www.aa.org

http://www.foodaddictsanonymous.org/are-you-food-addict

http://www.gamblersanonymous.org

https://www.na.org/

coda.org/