Universe, Do Your Worst

I promise — I can take it.

Photo by Ernesto D. via Reshot

The workers come. They drill into the concrete in front of my building. I hear them cut through the ground. A drill here, some digging there. They disturb the dog.

She wakes up from a sound sleep, eager to locate the demons responsible for the momentary interruption.

As they carve into the ground below us, I think about you. Are you entertained? Did I make a good first impression? Was I too much — too little? Is my personality what you thought it’d be?

I didn’t have to think about things like this two years ago. The pandemic has me this way. I tell my therapist I am forever changed. She agrees. She says I’m not the only one. I know I’m not.

Universe, do your worst. I promise I can take it. It’s a statement I thought should be on a t-shirt. I’m still here. After all the damage — all the calculated drama — all the premeditated bullshit, I’m still here.

You speak of wanting children — a life with someone who holds his crotch every thirty minutes. I know this isn’t me. I feign not hearing you. I change the subject. We talk about beating the odds as black women, instead.

The workers tag the concrete. A yellow sign issues caution. The newness of their act intrigues me. A small leaf pokes through the wet-work. What does it mean?

The dog falls back to sleep.


Originally published in CRY Magazine via Medium.

The Journey Back To Mental Wellness

Citronella|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part VI: Move In Your Own Direction And At Your Own Pace|Lune, 6 Parts

pause, take a moment
you want this
you’ve always known it

use caution, be safe
you should try
not everyone loves

not everyone feels
so be you
first — and no one else

learn to love nature
yes, love it
not just take pictures

get caught up in it
to release
everything at once

guard yourself, be true
you know you
better than we do


*Author’s Note: This is the final installment as far as sharing my journey in therapy here on Medium. My focus will simply be on gaining as much as I can from it and journaling at home, instead. Thank you to all of you for the support, kind words, sensible reminders, and for reading. Peace.


The Journey Thus Far: Parts I-V

The Journey Back To Mental Wellness

Will Rogers’ paraphrased quote, located in my therapist’s office. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part IV: Releasing Tension

“So, do you think you’ll take the job with your old supervisor?”

“I am still weighing my options with that. I’d have opportunities afforded me there that I do not at my current job, plus — no weekend work and more holiday time off. Did I mention that the practice is closer to where we live?”

“So many pros. Cons?”

“Well, if I took the position, I’d be leaving a team of great people and I love where I currently work. I’d put them in the position of trying to replace yet another person. I just wish things had not taken place the way that they have, but I have no control over that and I am trying to find a way to deal with each blow as they come.

“You said it best. You have no control over these things. I have a feeling you will choose what you believe to be the best option for both you and your current place of employment. Remember, self-care is important and if transferring will possibly aid you in maintaining self-care, do not deny yourself that.”

Jarred seashells. My therapist has collected these over the years during her visits to various beaches. Just seeing them made me want to start collecting shells too. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

won’t deny myself what I know is best, but I will not live in the world of a “possibility” or “probability,” either. The job offer comes as an “if.” The facility is new and building a name for itself while marketing its existence and gaining a few new patients each day. I could be a big part of this as I do love telling people about where I work. Our organization has proven to be one of the top organizations in North Carolina. I also believe that I could advance a bit more with this new facility and it would be such an honor to watch it grow and shift and take on new phases in operations as they come. I also know that there is a big chance that other people may be hired even if my old supervisor is currently the Clinic Administrator. She has power, but the higher-ups of our organization have more.

I am waiting, but not waiting at the same time. “Whatever will be, will be.” I tell my therapist this and she commends me on my ability to go along with what is taken place without emotionally breaking down.

“You are moving closer to your center, Tre.”

I hope she’s right. I tell her how I feel myself holding in so much tension and it is all piling up in my neck and shoulders and she stands up and shows me a method her chiropractor introduced to her since she tends to hold tension in the same area. She signals me to rise from the couch and follow her in motion. I do so. We center our heads, hold our arms out horizontally, spread our fingers, and then push our arms down, centering our elbows, and touching our hips with our hands. I could feel the relief in my neck area as the method ends. I tell her that this method will be a useful thing to do right before bed. She agrees.

There were brief moments where I teared up — just thinking of possibly leaving yet not knowing what lies ahead, frightens me. I want to be able to make a difference wherever I work and I get the opportunity to do this daily at my current job, however, roles have shifted and some people are clueless to their roles and that can be a harmful thing. I fear another toxic work environment, but I also believe that I can prevent it from becoming one.

That is too much pressure for one person, Tre.”

She’s right. She is definitely right.


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

Part I

Part II

Part III

The Journey Back To Wellness


ShadowCreek
Devil’s Creek and my shadow, Bakersville, NC|Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

Part II: Getting Personal|Lune, 10 Parts

so close to one month
we’ve shared me
now, she’s sharing her.

simple, welcoming
divine words
calm this fragile soul.

we discuss a plan
towards peace
what will help shape me?

Devil’s creek becomes
a safe place —
a sweet memory.

I pull from it love
that I need
when days are so hard.

“give yourself new things,
inspire
yourself in new ways.”

went to the mountains,
breathed fresh air,
found a sense of home

and left the pieces
of my world
that’d been crushing me.

she says, “you’re solid,
a still rock,
but it’s time to move.”

I hear her, I do.
but instinct
has its claws in me.


*My therapist is teaching me how to better listen to my surroundings, especially in places of peace. I have taken a ton of pictures of late and with each passing day, in those photos, and around me, I am pulling out what I need and leaving what I do not. I still have a long road ahead of me, though.

Thank you for reading.


Part I

The Journey Back To Mental Wellness: My First Therapy Session

Originally published in A Cornered Gurl via Medium.

The Journey Back to Mental Wellness

My First Therapist Session

koreansoup
Korean Soup for the Soul. My good friend Heej/Classical Sass makes this per my request every time I visit. It is a happy place for me. Photo Credit: Tremaine L. Loadholt

found myself working through a fit of disconnectedness on Wednesday, March 20, 2019, simply trying to get through the day to get to my first therapist appointment at 12:30 pm. Jernee spiked a fever the day before and we had been to the Vet’s office for what was supposed to be just her annual exam but turned into a big-to-do because the fever would not break, however, given one day to rest and be at home to romp about at will, she began to feel much better. Wednesday also found me in a meeting at my job for most of my scheduled half-day of work, so I felt all out of sorts with just a little bit more weight on my shoulders from Tuesday’s doggy shenanigans.

But, when I walked through the door of the psychiatric practice/mood treatment facility, a calming sense of peace came over me. I registered at the check-in desk by presenting my insurance card, recent lab work, and my Living Will and Testament. I paid my copay and before I could sit down, the lady who would be my therapist greeted me at the door to lead me on my journey and even said my name correctly. If I had a gold star in my pocket, she would have received it. We circled the hall and walked towards her office where she guided me to a medium-sized room, big enough for a comfortable couch, two even more comfortable chairs, and her desk space/work area.

She added to my increased level of comfort by asking me which type of lighting I preferred. I said to myself, “I am going to like her.” And, I did. I do. We began by breaking the ice, introducing ourselves, and then she said, “So, tell me what is going on,” and I let it rip. I started from when I noticed my mood changes and my decline in happiness and overall feeling of unworthiness and informed her that it all came to an intense spike a couple of weeks ago. As I was talking, I maintained eye contact, and so did she. She only broke my verbal stride to clarify what I was saying and to be sure she heard everything correctly. She took actual notes, reading back to me what was stated to her.

The entire session felt like a conversational hug — like something I had deep down inside, tucked in a corner that was afraid to come out, and at that moment, decided to present itself to be coddled. I felt a sense of genuine welcome and there was soft lighting in every nook of the office with a fragrance that smelled close to vanilla or lavender or a mixture of both in the air. I did not feel any pressure. Oddly enough, this space, the one we created, seemed very much like a space of peace.

Just like the soup that you see as the photo above, the space we created was my happy place. I felt warm, understood, and heard. I had a voice with her. She acknowledged my concern and addressed it, and advised me to continue to use the tools that I am using to increase my happiness and shift my mood when a dark cloud hovers, however, she was vocal about contacting her directly if I felt as though a volcanic eruption could occur. She is letting me set my schedule to meet with her and at this time, I feel as though, twice per month, will be good.

The next session, we will get deeper into other helpful tools that will assist me in getting back to a level of balance and to also learn about a few other things that can combat the molehill that I have possibly turned into a mountain simply because that is how it feels. There is a good chance that I may have some homework too, she actually said this, “Tre, I may give you some homework as time goes on.” Overall, my first impression of her? Genuine — is doing the job she is meant to do, and a great listener.

I think I am on my way… In time, at least, I hope so

 


Originally published via A Cornered Gurl on Medium.

My Journey so far:

The Caretaker & Biting the Bullet