Black Woman, Inspiration, Mental Health

Let’s Try This Again, Shall We? (Mess in Progress)

It’s taking everything in me not to start this post with the obligatory “Allow me to reintroduce myself” line (hat tip to Shawn Carter), but that is exactly what this post is going to be – a reintroduction of sorts.

When we first met, I was a single 34 and a half year old Black American Howard University graduate living in Miami with a furbaby and no fcuking clue about what I was actually supposed to be doing with my life. We went on a wild ride of 10 posts where I laid bare some of the most profound and impactful experiences of my life – the good, the bad, the ugly, the fcucked up. Then POOF! Like a woman’s bodily autonomy south of the Mason-Dixon and our collective confidence as a nation to have free and fair election cycles, I disappeared!

My last post in August 2019 left off with me in a deep (I do mean DEEP) state of depression after ending a relationship, being unemployed (or underemployed) for almost a year and a half, being swindled by an MLM masquerading as a mentoring organization, and still not having any idea WTF I’m supposed to be doing with my life. I was broke, emotionally a wreck, lonely, sad, angry, and slowing losing my shyt to the point where I was genuinely concerned for my mental health and physical wellness. And this was all BEFORE the global pandemic sent us all inside for a year in isolation and mental anguish waiting for a vaccine and watching friends and family members die. Yay! I had given myself until the end of November 2019 to find a job before packing it all up and moving back to North Texas to crash on my mother’s couch and ignore adulthood for the foreseeable future, but then I FINALLY started a new job!

That joy had a small darkness riding with it, as I suffered from PTSD and had a pretty gnarly anxiety attack when I first started because I was trying to be as perfect as possible so I wouldn’t lose my job and end up worse off than before. I didn’t have the finances or emotional stamina to keep fighting to stay in Miami if that happened, so I worked ridiculous hours and made myself sick for a month just to prove my value and loyalty. Even when I was finally clawing my way out of the darkness, I still couldn’t let myself relax and be thankful. Then came COVID-19. We were sent home indefinitely to “stop the spread,” and home is where I have been since March 13, 2020. I won’t dive into quarantine, etc. for today’s post, but I guarantee it will make an appearance later down the line. Don’t wanna fuzzy my re-intro with a global pandemic, you know? That would just distract you from the fact that as of today things in my life are much improved!

I’m still single and living in Miami with a furbaby and no fcuking clue about what I am actually supposed to be doing with my life. BUT!! I ain’t unemployed or broke no’ mo’, and my mental health is thriving! I still get overwhelmed and battle anxiety, I haven’t figured out how to transition careers into something that makes me money and gives me back my time, I still watch HGTV and try to figure out how a professional butterfly catcher can afford a $1.2M home, and I have yet to put all my personal business on IG or Twitter. I will always love a good bourbon and the occasional bottle <ahem> glass of vino, but I’m drinking both a lot less frequently and not clutching a bottle like an emotional support binkie as I drift off into a restless sleep where even my dreams are like “WTF dude?” And…while blogging is still a helluva lot Cheaper Than Therapy, the way this co-pay is set up (thank GAWD for health insurance through my job) your girl found theeeee most amazing psychologist in 2021 and has been doing the WERK, y’all!

Healing and self-development and growth ain’t for the faint-hearted, and every time I wanted to quit I made sure to book the next session immediately. I knew if I quit I would stay where I was forever, and I just couldn’t stomach the idea of that shyt. What would have been the point of all that suffering and misery and anguish and breakdowns and comebacks if I was content to resign myself to repeating those old patterns? How TF could I simply allow myself to end up back where I started? No ma’am, no sir, no way in Hell. Absofcukinglutely not.

After a year of doing the hard work with my therapist, I graduated to doing even MORE hard work with something I never ever ever in my life thought I would have – I got me my very own life coach. Now, if you had told me a year ago that I would have a life coach (or that life coaching was a real and legit thing and not just people giving their random opinions on shyt), I would have called you crazy to your face. Life coaches to me were just folks running their mouths and giving advice on stuff you could just Google, because they don’t have to get their PhD to be one (sorry y’all, I know better now!) Well I am woman enough to admit that I was wrong.

The combination of therapy and life coaching has fortified me emotionally to do a lot of things, but the thing I am most excited about is that I now feel I can come back to my writing – to helping people not feel lost or alone or like something is wrong with them because they are still trying to figure it all out (whatever TF “It” even is). We can still help each other figure out what the next steps are, and then support each other while we learn how to take them. We can still take this journey one day and one BOTTLE of wine at a time with no judgement for the days we fall short of our own expectations. We’re giving ourselves GRACE in this new chapter, y’all!

I have no idea if writing into the void that is Michelle Obama’s internet will reach a single person who could benefit from me spilling my guts in a very public forum. I do *hope* that a few folks come along on this ride with me, because I’m definitely going to get into the mess, honey! I’m going to talk about being almost 40 with no boo or kids (and how I am 100% OK with this and you can be too!), the time I got roped into both an international Ponzi scheme *and* MLM foolishness to keep a roof over my head, how I almost collapsed personally during quarantine and finally had to seek professional help to keep from hurting myself, and so much more! A *lot* happened during the last three years, and we’re going to touch on most of it (with names redacted to protect the guilty).

While some folks in the world seem content portraying their lives with a permanent IG or Snap Chat filter attached to only show what is perfect and beautiful, I find freedom in laying bare my unretouched TRUTHS because those unfiltered moments are the things that make life real. Cheaper Than Therapy is my personal outlet, but the ultimate goal is to let folks know it’s ok to be a little lost sometimes and that they’re not alone. Life is messy and amazing and frustrating and inspiring and devastatingly beautiful because of the fcuk ups, and though I may be a Mess in Progress I’m happy to talk about it and share my journey with y’all. So…let’s try this again, shall we?


Chapter Six – All Racists Can Catch It With Me – Period

Hello my Cheaper Than Therapy familia! It’s been a while, and you all have been missed! It’s been more than a month since my last post, but there has been so much going on lately that today I decided to stop pretending to be productive at work (I kid! I kid!), and jot down a few thoughts that have been floating around in my head for the past couple of days.

This post is going to be a bit of a departure for me – I’m not reflecting on a past trauma or imagining ways that I can inspire the masses with a “learning to love myself” soliloquy while draping myself figuratively in a giant afghan of love while holding a hot cup of comfort tea. Nope. It truly only has one meaning behind it, and there should be no room whatsoever for misunderstanding or miscommunication. I am putting all racists/sympathizers/white nationalists on notice that 2018 is the Year of the Troll. I have come to poke the bear, agitate the hive, and laugh at your cyber hissy fits with a mirth generated in my spirit by my ancestors who have come before me. Generational Petty. Ancestral Reads for the Gods. This won’t be like what the trumpsters try and do whenever their Cheeto-In-Chief tweets something godawful and they are forced to spin it and talk about what he “really meant to say.” In all truth, it will be *exactly* like what tr__p actually posts himself – exactly what I mean in the exact tone that I mean it. No muss. No fuss. No confusion.

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE! Equality has finally been achieved in 2018 y’all!! But before you get excited, understand what this equality actually means to you and possibly the people you love the most. In being an equal-opportunity troll, that means that you, your spouse, your mother, father, brother, sister, kids (yea, I’ll come for your kids), cousins, priest/pastor/bishop/deacon, Meemaw, Pawpaw, etc. are all equal in my beautiful brown eyes. Congrats! This equality comes in the form of me reading for absolute FILTH anyone who I deem to be a racist or racist sympathizer.

Due to the wonderful invention that is the Internet, I am bombarded with the absolute WORST in the people I thought I knew and loved or who I was close with growing up. I continuously see self-righteous people using false statistics (WRONG!) or political commentary laced with dog-whistle racist vernacular (FAKE NEWS!!) to make themselves feel good and justified for feeling the way that they do because they are tired of being “politically correct.” When I was growing up we just called being respectful of people who were different from us “not being an asshole,” but whatevs…#FirstAmendmentRights #WWJD

Here is a list of the people with whom I am done being “politically correct”, and to whom all of the shade available in the Amazon Rainforest will be thrown for each and every stupid, backwoods, ignorant, tone-deaf racist comment that I see come across my timeline. This is not an exhaustive list by any means, these are just the people I have encountered in the past 24-48 hours so they are fresh on my mind. I ain’t mad fam. I ain’t mad at all. I’m just done. At this point you are encouraging or living in willful ignorance, and it is not my ministry to keep being your Knee-grow interpreter. I am not going to do for you what human decency, a love of Christ, or at least a Google search can do for you. I’m done with all of that. Now I troll. Hard. And then laugh. And then block you. Got it? Ahem. The following individuals can CATCH THESE INTERNET HANDS without warning and at any time:

  • All those people who think that “such and such wouldn’t even be on the news/be a hero/ if he wasn’t A BLACK PERSON.”
  • The people who think that Chicago is the baseline for how all of Black behavior/culture should be measured. Full. Stop. You sound stupid. And racist as fcuk. There have always been resources on the ground trying to stop the violence in the affected communities, but the people doing good in the community never make the national news because Blacks uplifting other Blacks isn’t sexy television. And whenever something good just so happens to make the news, you have douchebags like the people listed in bullet point #1 who have to try and tear it all apart. #ThanksObama #ObamaWasNotThePresidentOfChicago #TrumpAbolishedMyBrothersKeeperDayOneInOffice #DoYouFeelStupidYet?
    • Question – Have y’all held town halls on how to stop angry white men from shooting up concerts/churches/schools/theaters/restaurants yet? Holla at me when you do and we can have an actual conversation, but until then STFU.
  • The people who are spewing #BlueLivesMatter (not a real thing) or #AllLivesMatter (duh! but ours are the ones currently being extinguished unjustly) all over my timeline, but never ever ever have anything to say against the homicides of unarmed people of color because “they should have complied.” How many times have the police cameras shown people in full compliance or even with their backs to the cops and they are still shot like rabid animals with absolutely no remorse. None. An unlawful arrest is just that – unlawful. And the human body will automatically tense up when being attacked, especially if you have your hands cuffed behind your back. Seriously. And just for shits, imagine the righteous indignation you would feel if you were unjustly approached by the police/kicked out of Starbucks/harassed at a golf course where you are a dang member. Try and imagine the people in these videos as being someone you love or at least the same color as someone you love. Can you honestly say that the excessive violence is always justified? Do you honestly not think that a deeper melanin hue is *not* inherently viewed as a weapon in and of itself? Are we still telling ourselves these lies to make ourselves feel better about our predisposed views on race?
  • People who move into communities of color and then want to complain about said community and call the police to impose the kind of change they wish to see. I’m looking at *you* Gentrifiers. You moved to Harlem, Linda. Washington, D.C. used to be nicknamed “Chocolate City,” Susan. There are communities of color a rich history and a proud culture all across the country, and if you want to move there and become part of the narrative then nobody will stop you. But if you come in and immediately try and change everything that made those communities beloved and unique, then you have crossed the dang line. #ThatsRacist
  • The people talking about how the Black family is falling apart, but take no responsibility for the Prison Industrial Complex, the failed and blatantly racist “War on Drugs,” the systematic imprisonment of minorities for non-violent offenses when whites would get treatment or community service, support of for-profit prisons, a lack of proper educational opportunities/facilities in minority communities, no access to feminine healthcare/birth control, etc. It is all inter-connected and we have been trying to tell you this for years…
  • To the people who start every single discussion with, “I’m not a racist, but…” You are a racist. Idiot.
  • To absolutely anyone who quotes the Revered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to justify your ridiculously biased views on Black America. Have you guys ever even read any of his writings or listened to any of his speeches besides “I Have A Dream”? It will shake you to your core and show you that you really don’t know who he was at all.
  • To anyone with a Black friend who refuses to listen to us when we try and explain to you our daily interactions with microaggressions. What are microaggressions? They are defined as “everyday verbal, nonverbal, and environmental slights, snubs, or insults, whether intentional or unintentional, which communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” How do you choose not to understand that decades of exposure to these microaggressions can be just as harmful as seeing a cross burned in your yard or being called a nigger by your friends or their family? You are a shitty friend.
  • If you, or anyone you know, still tells racist jokes and then thinks that we are “being too sensitive” when we tell you that your shit is raggedy. You are some of my least favorite humans, and my backlash will be swift and personal.
  • If you dismiss old people’s racism as being ok because Meemaw or Peepaw are old and “set in their ways.” You understand that actually makes them worse people in my eyes? How did they manage to live through all of the advancements from Civil Rights Movement and still come out on the wrong side of history 50 years later? FOH man. Eff your Meemaw and Peepaw with their old racist behinds.

Some people wonder why I go so hard online for my people, and I do not understand what is there not to understand? Why on earth would I just sit here and ignore provocative posts from people who are in my extended circle or try and use kid gloves to gently try and ease them out of their prejudiced ways? Since when did the burden fall on me and my community to make others feel better and less threatened by the ever-forward surge in demanding equality and equity and peace and respect? That ship sailed, sunk, and will never be seen or heard from again. Y’all are going to get *this* version forever and ever so either get on board or get to steppin’.

Carry on, be great, and be good to each other. Stop trying to justify viewpoints that reduce a strong and proud people to the images which are portrayed in the media simply to make yourselves feel morally or culturally superior. I’ll be forced to bitch-slap you with some real history lessons (you know, the ones they don’t teach in school because history is written by the conquerors), and then I will troll you until your eyeball starts to twitch and your mouth goes dry from cursing me out through your computer. And I won’t give a single, solitary, curly-haired fcuk about it. Peace out, racial intolerant MOFOs. Your antiquated mentalities might have gotten this train-wreck of a “president” elected in a wave of post-Obama blacklash, but its time has passed and we are going to move forward together as a progressive nation whether you like it or not.

**sets off fireworks in the colors of the Pan-African flag while throwing up the “X” for Wakanda and singing “Left Every Voice And Sing aka the Black National Anthem**


Cheaper Than Therapy – An Introduction

So it finally happened. I decided to write my very first blog post ever. I have had all of these ideas floating around in my head for what feels like forever, and then one day after being bullied (encouraged) by friends to just do it, I said “Eff it! I’m gonna write my thoughts and feelings down and then share them with a bunch of strangers on the Internet!” And it actually sounded like a good idea…which should have been an immediate indicator that this shyt was about to get real and I might want to re-think my decision.

What could have possessed me to take on such a cliché and yet terrifying step towards public exposure as writing a blog? What makes me think that anyone would ever really give a crap about what I write or think or feel? What makes me so narcissistic to think that people will look forward to my posts or secretly make me their best friend in their heads while saying, “Yes ma’am!!” when reading my latest rant on this, that or whatever? I guess because I feel like I cannot and am not the only person sitting back every day trying to put the last few years of their life together.

A bit of background: I am a 34 and a half year old Black woman from Texas. I live in Miami now, am a proud Howard University graduate (The REAL HU!) where I studied exactly what my parents wanted me to study. I never worked because I was always supposed to go to law school…which I never wanted to do. I graduated with honors, came home for a year, and then ended up in Los Angeles less than one year after my father suddenly died with law books and law school loans out of my ass. And then I quit. Just walked the fcuk away after a year and a summer and never looked back. Ifinished my first year with a near nervous breakdown, average-ish grades, and no fcuking clue about what I was actually supposed to do with my life. I spent my entire life being such a great student that I had no idea how to be an adult.

So then I started to make every bad decision that should have been made in undergrad as an adult. I got into debt, worked jobs I hated for less money than I should have been making, I traveled, I fell in love and lost myself, fell out of love and numbed myself. I moved thinking I could outrun my problems, but the way interest compounds on your problems means that eventually they catch up to you and it is never pleasant when that happens. Which brings me to this very moment. Sitting at my dining room table desperately trying to figure out what comes next. How does a person make such a dramatic life turn that they look back in five years after they have a book deal, new career, loving family, etc. and say that these dark times were worth it? Were necessary? For this lady here – she starts a blog. A place to draw in a tribe of other people just trying to sort it all out. One day at a time. One glass of wine at a time. I don’t know what my greatness is or how to help other people find theirs. But I can be open and honest and painfully exposed and hopefully we can all help each other figure out how to take the next steps into our Greatness.

And this shyt ain’t easy. I am an extremely private person on Social Media – I have a private Facebook page, don’t use SnapChat, I refuse to Tweet, etc. because I don’t like people seeing just how imperfect I am. My thighs touch and all of my 5’10” of height is in my upper-body. That is imperfect enough for the common person to see, as far as I am concerned. I mean, do you really want to let people into your thoughts, fears, insecurities, inappropriate and off-color jokes and open yourself up to their ridicule, their ire, their conflicting opinions? Do you? DO YOU REALLY?!? You have to be drinking pretty heavily from the Fcuk It Bucket to decide to do this, but if there’s one thing I do well it is drink <shrug>.

So here we are…wherever ‘here’ is supposed to be. The inaugural post for Cheaper Than Therapy – the blog where I will talk about real life shyt because blogging is cheaper than seeing an actual therapist. It’s also less destructive than drinking a bottle of Chardonnay a night while trying to figure out where it all went so terribly wrong and how do you make everything fall into place without movie magic or three wishes from a creepy genie in a bottle.

So many questions. So many random thoughts running through my head at any given part of my day. So many overwhelming feelings paired with underwhelming results to sort through. How did I get to be 34 years old, unwed, single af, and have no kids except for my furbaby? Where did my time go?  What is my passion and how do I harness it to make money off of it without actually having to get up everyday for work making someone else rich or their dreams come true? How do I change careers? Do I relocate again and keep running? Where would I go? How do some people have so much money to travel at my age and I am trying to clip coupons for my weekly Aldi shopping trip to save money for my monthly Target run? How are some people on the Gram and SnapChat looking like they’re living their Best Lives EVER and I am watching HGTV on a Saturday night trying to figure out how a 24 year old recent graduate can afford a mortgage on a $500,000 house when I am just one of the lucky few in Miami to not need a roommate?

Guess it’s time to start figuring out what next with the help of my ancient MacBook Air, my innermost thoughts/jokes/fears/confusion, and my bottle <ahem> glass of vino. I most assuredly cannot be the only person who has no fcuking clue what they’re doing, but like I said before…blogging is a helluva lot Cheaper Than Therapy.