Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Bringin' to you live! EPISODE ALERT! #bipolar #depression #WOC

I use to LOVE the holidays! I would get into the spirit, dancing, singing, ready, willing and able to go to church! I went to Christmas Eve services, the following morning, I prepared meals for the homeless for Christmas Day breakfast. This is in my hometown San Diego. My mother would prepare a huge Christmas Day breakfast, then we could traverse to East County San Diego for dinner at a close friend's house, who has now since passed due to breast cancer...

SINCE I was married, my holidays SUCK! Let me be honest. I do not get along with my In Laws--much less my MIL! I have completely lost the Holiday Spirit. I'm on pins and needles half the time when I am around this person. And I know this person is being "honest with me", "A mother who just loves her son", and at some level I am culpable.

But 2009 totally is asinine! No jobs! No opportunities! No money! I have been scraping by to a productive citizen. Meanwhile, asshats in my state are cop hurting fiends who are out of jail. Funds were cut from the State budget for police officers and incarceration. Now we have 8 cops shot, 5 killed because alleged perpetrators were not ever to be released from prison...

If I was such a horrible being, I could see why things are said to me. But dayummit I am PhD in molecular genetics, I have helped well over 50 young people achieve educational goals, I volunteer, volunteer, volunteer! And I have my own business, I have re-created myself, several times over, then again!

I have vacillated from saying there is outright bigotry again me being an African American woman that got short changed to blaming my mental illness. But the reality is the economy is that bad! And when it gets better, when the job market improves, I will be attempting to catch that way and ride it. I refuse to ever rely on somebody else to pay me under an employer type background. I will be under a contract with well designed benchmarks for a desired goals.

There are good things that have happened since I failed my coach written test: some institutions are calling me back... Things are looking up in that department. But none of them in Seattle. I have stopped looking here. I would rather go either home or a more West Coast tropical climate.

This is hard, because my mood will change tomorrow. I know where I am in my cycle. And now I have had some female related complications. I need to slow my roll...

Oh, I have zero tree, have not sent any personal Christmas cards. But I'm find with that. I did get my business cards out. And the bounce backs I have gotten is ~5-6 returns.

Friday, December 11, 2009

I Promised When I Had An Episode I'd Post: Well Here It Is: DAYUM RECESSION!


It is killing us! It is killing me!!! I apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply and apply for all sorts of jobs, everywhere, in other countries and because I don't know anyone, my entire network is MIA or never was one--guess what! I'm jacked. Thought my business would take off, it hasn't. I failed my coaching written exam & have to retake it now.

Then... My husband dumped on me again. What got me is he has NEVER used profane language towards me. He said, "Will you shut the fuck up..." I, walked away... Of course yelling, of course cursing back... But that is when communication is done. Sure, I've been on some mania. But it was not off kilter, I was not spending money like I have some! I have not going out all night. I may have stayed up to the wee hours in the morning doing redirecting my focus I have found quite enjoyable, BTW, but nothing dangerous, evading and harmful!

I could see if I screwed up my life, by having a bunch of out-of-wedlock kids, a crack addict and slammed my educational world and intellect into the ground. I chose to change my path. But it wasn't 2007 when I physically did it. I changed it when I married my husband in 2003.

I wanted to be married to this wonderfully nice man. My dating paradigm shifted, I loved thugs--at least you know where you stand. They torture your soul in love, but when craziness goes down, these fools are either involved or they getting out of it. You have to be a hard woman not to be loved by these men. You have not love yourself. You have to disrespect yourself, your understanding about the world and your trust must be absent. For someone like me, that is not hard to do--it has never been there.

A nice guy is a strange beast to us. They come into our lives filled with love and damaged women, like myself, drain them. Well, I have not been as bad as other women--so I have heard--hurting property, spending all the money on shoes, getting the men they love busted... I have principles to myself. I think I deserve love, I have worked hard on my educational pursuits, I have accomplished a charmed life, and I have several important people who say they love me.

What my husband did to me was devalue all that I am to him. Just an ability to make a funding source to pay off bills in the household so he can have all the fun. When I did have a job, we had nothing. It would be one thing if I asked for trips to Paris, with fur coats and diamonds. But those things are nice, but temporary. A woman that wants those things often has to pay that back in sexual favors. I did not want that for myself... So, I based my life off my education...

What has my education brought me? Joblessness! Years cut from my lifespan! Tears! Possible seizure disorder! Hypertension! Female problems! And for what? A formal education with titles? That's bullshit!

Now, I love science, but it is the people who practice science that I am not a fan of. I am learning to love writing again. I'm not a prolific writer, but I have something to say and what I say here is important if only to me...

I am learning something about Karate-do. Something I had NEVER thought I would do. But I did.

Then, I have seen a world I had never thought I would see or enjoy, which reconnects me with my childhood. And I think it also taps me into a what is missing in this world--the human love connection and its meaning...

Finally, I started a business that needs a business plan and I don't how to create a financial plan because I have zero idea how this business thing is suppose to work. But I do know it MUST work because so many Black Women--diverse women need it. I am uniquely positioned to deliver high quality consumables in mental health and wellness.

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Sexual Predation on #Black #Women #dating

Seriously, other than been there, done that it is VERY hard for a Black Woman to date "commensurate" Black Men. Suggesting to her to "Cross the Street" and date different men, adjust her mentality/attitude, quote chapter and verse statistics about as a Black Woman gets older the harder it is to find partners.

This discussion on heterosexual couples. No disrespect to other types of couples, but I can't say much about those.

After reading lunacy like this: Relationships: Why Do We Limit Ourselves? **Updated** I have come to the conclusion that this discussion is moot!

Here's a song by Blaque that accurately represents what I think is going on!

The previous blog is misogynistic. It take s Black Women who are doing something in their lives beyond poverty and bashes them based on stereotypes perpetuated either by Black people these days. The bigots and racists do not have to bash us, we bash ourselves... There are many of us who worked very hard and spent a significant portion of our lives to obtain our advanced degrees. We have faced exorbitant about of pains due to ignorance, superfluous, mentally taxing at our careers, jobs, and academic locations.

I am sorry that I have no pity or patience for Black Men who make this lame claim to bash us then turn around and date Buffy, Trixie, Lin-ling and Marquez or even Sheneneneah when my name is Dr. Gina M.-S. or like many of my compatriots giving and dedicating ourselves to community service projects, maintaining our families and caregivers for elders. It is frustrating!!!

I have been married for ~7 years. And a year before I got married, I was partying it up as a new single woman with a doctorate in molecular genetics. It was drilled into my head to DEPEND ON MYSELF! NEVER TO RELY ON ANY MAN FOR MY SUBSISTENCE! And I was well on my way to achieving that end. I relocated to Dallas, Texas. And I did not date... I liked a guy, named "Sexual Chocolate", but the return on him was absent... The only somebody I knew until in the most unlikely place, I met the person who would introduce me to my husband.

My husband is a goof ball geeky nerd. Women liked him, but his communication skills were absent related to romantic relationships. But he was a sweetheart and I knew he was a good man--a good Black Man... The way I see it, there are many good Black Men, they hide--it is a coping mechanism for them to do their jobs, careers and other activities. If they behave a particular way, it could get them arrested or killed while DWB! Whereas, Black Women have to be some other man's perverted exotic sex toy fantasy--or we just don't have the brain wavelength to handle those kind of sick thoughts and do our professional positions...

It is frustrating in the least that most successful Black Women come from decent, churchgoing families with great promise in their lives. They have been succeeding literally since their births and have had love showered upon them. Then as usual as any good daughter wants to do is make family her family proud of her by excelling in school. Then puberty hits, the girl looks like a young woman and she is ambushed predated by sexual perverts! She is immediately pumped into a system of pre-defined and constrained stereotype. Some girls buy it lock, stock and barrel. But many do not and they suppress their inner beauty and develop illnesses that Black girls who do not grow up in this environment never manifest...

  • Depression

  • Bipolar

  • Anxiety

  • Eating Disorders: Bulimia

  • Absence of Self-Esteem

There are more. This are the Black Women who are suppose to make it. Yes! I said it! The come from good, stable homes (single parent or not), have a religious/spiritual tradition, highly intelligent. FAMILY!

The women on TV come from nothing! Drug-addicted crack whores--according to the rap artists, music videos and now social media.

I would think things have improved, they have not. I just had to leave Essence Community because the foul-mouthed behavior of its members who enjoyed cyberbullying me! When are we going to get it? We only have this ONE CHANCE to succeed! THAT'S IT! There isn't any other! If we fail as Black People we will be judged for the REST OF OUR EXISTENCE for being lazy, shiftless, ignorant, prostitutes, whores.

Now I cannot demand respect from others, in fact I want REVERENCE! Even with model examples of President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, what scares me is that when their daughters get old enough to date, that NONE of the Black young men will be suitable to date them. NONE! Because I have seen the mentality on social media and while there is much bravado and vitriol, the fact is it has passed their lips, and their hands so the thoughts are already there... Might I suggest that it is pedophiles who say this...

I don't have to prove the wonderment of Dr. Gina to anyone. Why? If someone cannot see it, what do I need them in my presence for? Really? What bills do they pay for me? Moreover, they called me snobby, arrogant--BITCH! AND CUNT! And this is not just ONE social media site I have been on!

It is a totally breakdown on respectable, genteel conversation! GONE! The United States of America does NOT know how to argue in the dissenting position. If it is any indication what I have encountered and seen manifested by young people, then no... We will be losing a lot of arguments for invaders to take over... The Tea Parties are a manifestation of that... Shouting at Health Care people?

What does this have to do with dating? Men suppressing women and guess what, Black Women are on the front lines... So when, we want to discuss dating, we need to realize that we are upon the Age of the Goddess, where there will be a more nurturing environment for humankind. We are going to be there whether we like it or not. Those old bashing behaviors will not continue--they cannot--they are no longer sustainable. And so for the people who believe in "keeping it real" better move, borrow or get outta the way... Because I am a Black Woman--Phenomenally...

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
I say,
It's in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can't touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can't see.
I say,
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman

Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
'Cause I'm a woman
Phenomenal woman,
That's me.

Maya Angelou

Ego Tripping (there may be a reason why)

I was born in the congo
I walked to the fertile crescent and built
the sphinx
I designed a pyramid so tough that a star
that only glows every one hundred years falls
into the center giving divine perfect light
I am bad

I sat on the throne
drinking nectar with allah
I got hot and sent an ice age to europe
to cool my thirst
My oldest daughter is nefertiti
the tears from my birth pains
created the nile
I am a beautiful woman

I gazed on the forest and burned
out the sahara desert
with a packet of goat's meat
and a change of clothes
I crossed it in two hours
I am a gazelle so swift
so swift you can't catch me

For a birthday present when he was three
I gave my son hannibal an elephant
He gave me rome for mother's day
My strength flows ever on

My son noah built new/ark and
I stood proudly at the helm
as we sailed on a soft summer day
I turned myself into myself and was
men intone my loving name
All praises All praises
I am the one who would save

I sowed diamonds in my back yard
My bowels deliver uranium
the filings from my fingernails are
semi-precious jewels
On a trip north
I caught a cold and blew
My nose giving oil to the arab world
I am so hip even my errors are correct
I sailed west to reach east and had to round off
the earth as I went
The hair from my head thinned and gold was laid
across three continents

I am so perfect so divine so ethereal so surreal
I cannot be comprehended except by my permission

I mean...I...can fly
like a bird in the sky...

Nikki Giovanni

Poem about My Rights

by June Jordan

Even tonight and I need to take a walk and clear
my head about this poem about why I can’t
go out without changing my clothes my shoes
my body posture my gender identity my age
my status as a woman alone in the evening/
alone on the streets/alone not being the point/
the point being that I can’t do what I want
to do with my own body because I am the wrong
sex the wrong age the wrong skin and
suppose it was not here in the city but down on the beach/
or far into the woods and I wanted to go
there by myself thinking about God/or thinking
about children or thinking about the world/all of it
disclosed by the stars and the silence:
I could not go and I could not think and I could not
stay there
as I need to be
alone because I can’t do what I want to do with my own
body and
who in the hell set things up
like this
and in France they say if the guy penetrates
but does not ejaculate then he did not rape me
and if after stabbing him if after screams if
after begging the bastard and if even after smashing
a hammer to his head if even after that if he
and his buddies fuck me after that
then I consented and there was
no rape because finally you understand finally
they fucked me over because I was wrong I was
wrong again to be me being me where I was/wrong
to be who I am
which is exactly like South Africa
penetrating into Namibia penetrating into
Angola and does that mean I mean how do you know if
Pretoria ejaculates what will the evidence look like the
proof of the monster jackboot ejaculation on Blackland
and if
after Namibia and if after Angola and if after Zimbabwe
and if after all of my kinsmen and women resist even to
self-immolation of the villages and if after that
we lose nevertheless what will the big boys say will they
claim my consent:
Do You Follow Me: We are the wrong people of
the wrong skin on the wrong continent and what
in the hell is everybody being reasonable about
and according to the Times this week
back in 1966 the C.I.A. decided that they had this problem
and the problem was a man named Nkrumah so they
killed him and before that it was Patrice Lumumba
and before that it was my father on the campus
of my Ivy League school and my father afraid
to walk into the cafeteria because he said he
was wrong the wrong age the wrong skin the wrong
gender identity and he was paying my tuition and
before that
it was my father saying I was wrong saying that
I should have been a boy because he wanted one/a
boy and that I should have been lighter skinned and
that I should have had straighter hair and that
I should not be so boy crazy but instead I should
just be one/a boy and before that
it was my mother pleading plastic surgery for
my nose and braces for my teeth and telling me
to let the books loose to let them loose in other
I am very familiar with the problems of the C.I.A.
and the problems of South Africa and the problems
of Exxon Corporation and the problems of white
America in general and the problems of the teachers
and the preachers and the F.B.I. and the social
workers and my particular Mom and Dad/I am very
familiar with the problems because the problems
turn out to be
I am the history of rape
I am the history of the rejection of who I am
I am the history of the terrorized incarceration of
I am the history of battery assault and limitless
armies against whatever I want to do with my mind
and my body and my soul and
whether it’s about walking out at night
or whether it’s about the love that I feel or
whether it’s about the sanctity of my vagina or
the sanctity of my national boundaries
or the sanctity of my leaders or the sanctity
of each and every desire
that I know from my personal and idiosyncratic
and indisputably single and singular heart
I have been raped
cause I have been wrong the wrong sex the wrong age
the wrong skin the wrong nose the wrong hair the
wrong need the wrong dream the wrong geographic
the wrong sartorial I
I have been the meaning of rape
I have been the problem everyone seeks to
eliminate by forced
penetration with or without the evidence of slime and/
but let this be unmistakable this poem
is not consent I do not consent
to my mother to my father to the teachers to
the F.B.I. to South Africa to Bedford-Stuy
to Park Avenue to American Airlines to the hardon
idlers on the corners to the sneaky creeps in
I am not wrong: Wrong is not my name
My name is my own my own my own
and I can’t tell you who the hell set things up like this
but I can tell you that from now on my resistance
my simple and daily and nightly self-determination
may very well cost you your life

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Essence Community: #WOC #CNN #Cyberbullying @FBI #Social #Media

I have been a part of Essence Community, a NING board for Essence Magazine, since its inception. But when I get messages such as this below, I need to pull my assets off:

I am sorry but social interaction of African American social media site are degenerate sites. I have been harassed and dehumanized more on these kinds of sites than on more diverse sites. It makes me wonder, what would be the point in starting a social media group geared to help African American women when people speak with more profane language and derogatory terms.

But, here, I receive this threat to my person and that is inexcusable in any spirited debate or discussion. No matter what I have said, I would not merit the use of this kind of language.

Essence Magazine and Essence Community once had excellent discussions. Civil, respectable, intelligent and open. But, in the last 3 months, the site has degenerated to the uttering dregs angry, violent and bitter perpatrators who have very little aspiration in life, so they ridicule others to bolster their severally emotionally disturbed and clinically depressed self-esteem and insecurities.

As far as the conversation, I admit that I got involved in the vitriol, but I never suspected anyone would have imbalanced thoughts, such as those in the above picture, who could behave like a "lone-wolf" and attack unsuspecting individuals.

This behavior is unacceptable and CANNOT be tolerated, especially as African Americans. WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS!!! STEP UP OUR GAME and not flail for the lackadaisical and complacency. When we fail to stand up and take on our responsibilities, we collectively lose our gains made as a positive contributing group to a healthy society. We do our best because that propels humanity. When we fail to communicate to one another civilly and ethically so that we can have consensus, and respectable debate.

If Essence Community is a small microcosm of the African American peak in intelligence, based on the cyberbullying I encountered, then we are further behind as a positive enriching group to humanity than other groups and I find that pathetic. We do not deserve to keep our privileges that our fore-bearers fought and died.

I will be pulling my assets from Essence Community as of this date...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The strength of "Precious Jones"

I just saw "Precious"

This movie is good, but it is ugly in human emotions and everyone in the movie are ugly people except for the children. The adults in this movie are ugly, the words are ugly, the images are disturbing. And no one wanted to take the blame for what was done to Clarice Precious Jones. No one wanted to step up and help this young lady to be better until a Teacher, who happened to be a "lesbian" (OMG! LOL!) took an interest in helping her. And a Nurse who was attempting to teach her something about a healthier lifestyle.

If Mo'Nique doesn't get a nomination for her ugly person role, my GAWD...


The thing that bothered me about this picture is when an entire system that thinks people are disposable and can be cast aside. They cannot help this young lady be more that what they think she ought to be... This denigration of women, this misogyny must stop! MUST STOP! The man who sexually abused precious was her father who only had pictures in the house. He was never there. Then it was told he died of HIV/AIDS! By the time Precious was told by her mother, she stopped caring.

Precious' voice came through education in the simplest form - writing in a Journal, that her teacher would read and reply. Then, she was able to read at the 7-8th grade level within weeks of moving forward. Her mother and grandmother were foul people. Same is as the welfare agency that was trying to force people into skills that moves nowhere--kind of like what "they" are trying to do to me, but I have a ton of education and I come from a loving family.

What damage one does when constant nitpicking, antagonistic, or harping. I remember growing up a girl told me that I aggravated her. I know that sometimes I can be annoying, but what does that do to people? Human beings often take one another for granted. Life is so short, every life is precious and we have NO RIGHT to denigrate it. Do we make the Kreb's Cycle continue in the inner mitochondrial space? Or Oxidative Phosphorylation, Electron Transport or Succinate Dehydrongenase? Do we power our hearts through the AV node? No one else does that, but the individual person after being born.

People are so concerned for life before birth, but discard lives already here. WHY?

So the next time anyone antagonizes me or nitpicks me, the person will have a lesson of mindful silence, a "talking fast" done on them. My silence does not condone the behavior, what it means, is I will unfurl and unless a fury that I will go to the Dark Side.

Ugly people...

Friday, November 13, 2009

When times are hardest for a #bipolar #BlackWoman #WOC

Last night, I should have been thrilled to pick up my husband from the airport, but after him being gone on a business trip for a week and having the bed to myself, I started to fear going back to my "wifely duties" role.

It is hard for me to get go! When my husband left, I didn't eat for 2 days--in fact I starved. This was this past week!!! Then I got a hold of myself, and slowly got use to sleeping alone, eating for a few times per day, and I enjoyed picking of loose pieces of life once remembered. Just when I got comfortable, my husband came home.

As usual, his teen like commentary on every step I make is one of my pet peeves. So, I lost it on him today. My bipolar was acting up heavily today. In a tirade of tears, I explained to my husband how I don't trust me with handling household expenses. To say the least he slowly began to understand. And then he asked me to focus. Part of the chronic illness of bipolar--I am on a depressive side, which means I am unable to fully concentrate. I would have to develop many stopgap measures and implement action plans that I have a 7 or higher confidence in working. Right now all my confidences are lower than 6.

I no longer fee attractive when I am around my husband. I feel unimportant, not special and we both feel unappreciated by one another. He has all his work, and I am trying to make something from nothing.

While I dislike complaining, but I complain all the time. Well enough of this complaining! Fact is I don't know how my business will make money and I care, but not as much I enjoy doing what I am doing for my business. I have this strong feeling it will pick up and when it does, I will be in my sweet spot!

I keep this blog because it will be first parts of my written word. In my written word, I get tired of it being a textbook. Especially, exhausted seeing "practical wisdom" on positive talk about mental health, as it relates to bipolar. Then it misses day to day self-management. That is what I do! I help others increase their potential. Find the very best in themselves. Since my last client pretty much completed their time with me, I lack clients as for now. Soon, I will be over-wrought with clients and I will complain again about being too overworked. LOL!

I guess I need to find that balance.

I coach at GYMRight.com To find out more, start your PQ Interest Questionnaire

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The "What Ifs" & #whatwoulditbelike?

I have been accursed with the disease of "What ifs" that I manage in my mental health condition. People say, do not dwell on the "what ifs" because relishing in the past of lost dreams is no more than a "glass menagerie". You can be trapped in a life, dulling the tastes, boring the colors that life gifts to you.

But nonetheless, we humans do it. Once in awhile, it can be briefly reviewed versus dwelling on it. These are not to be regretted, just an interesting reflection upon life. Here's mine--or the one's I can remember:

At 8 years old, my father brought me to this guy who was a vocal coach. I actively decided not to do it. I had just finished a specialized kiddie drama class and I had a ball. But being reminded of piano practice was not my favorite thing when I wanted to play outside. What if...

At 10 years old, I actively decided to STOP taking Ballet. How I could make that decision is beyond me. I liked Ballet, but I felt alienated, like most of my little life at that time. It was after I performed in the Nutcracker Suite with the San Diego Ballet. Apparently, I liked ballet. So, what if I continued to take ballet? Because at that time, I started attending the School of Creative and Performing Arts, and I would have been a triple threat for performing...

At 14 years old, I switched from the School of Creative and Performing Arts to my local high school, Patrick Henry. Making friends was very hard for me. No one was ready for my odd-ball behavior. Then my mental health condition really kicked in. I was given the opportunity to transition into a powerhouse private school, like Bishop's Academy or to go to school in another city: What if...

At 17 years old, I was with my family for a family celebration, I think Father's Day. I had just gotten accepted to Spelman College. There was a buffet and I was a major pig. But some ladies kept looking at me. Then they asked my mother about me and that she represents young women into major pageants, something I was very much interested in and she asked me if I would like to run for pageants. My mother intervened and said I've been accepted to Spelman and I will be going to Atlanta... What if...

At 20 years old, I was harangue by a guy I did not like and he raped me. But I was immobilized to say anything. I wasn't going to say anymore. But I told my friend and she was talked out of kicking his natural behind and was told lies about me. I was more fearful of making a fool of myself and allowing myself to get in that predicament. So, I stayed silent. What if I spoke up...

At 20 years old, I had wanted to join this group in college and they rejected me again. I fought back because I wanted to know if there was a breach in confidentiality. Later I found out there wasn't a breach. What if I did nothing...

At 23 years old, I was told to show up to this casting call by this crazy guy who liked me. I was going to go after church. So here I was in my church dress, overweight, and tired and I take a bullisht picture, which I crumple up and the camera man had to act hard against me. That was when I decided to quit my dreams of making it into the big screen and pursue science. I hate being treated like I was dumb. What if I stayed...

There are plenty more, but every now and then I get into:
  • what if I didn't leave San Diego, CA after graduating from my Ph.D. program?

  • what if I hadn't fainted at UT Southwestern in 2003?

  • What if my boss in Dallas, TX stayed and chose not to relocate to Utah?

  • What if I refused to meet my husband who pointedly stated he did not want children?

  • What if I refused to marry my husband--let him go like the other men who I let play me?

  • What if I called my family in Daytona Beach, Florida from my husband's mother's house in Apopka, Florida after a huge disagreement with his mother, twice?

  • What if I stayed in a lunatic fringe job in 2007, to be called mentally unstable and incompetent and morbidly obese due to the stress?

  • What if I did not tell a huge group of women locally to go stick it where the sun doesn't shine because I was getting accused of silliness?

  • What if I didn't choose to get a serious surgery in the summer of 2008?

  • What if I was just compliant to be doormatted, stomped on by everyone, but considered sweet and loving by everyone?

  • What if I did not refrain from being played by some people I trusted?

What if, what if, what if?

Welp, I know I have actively made decisions, so without much thought put into it. I took a leap of faith and trusted. Many times I crapped out. But the recent choices I have made are adult choices and acts of faith. I surrendered all that I am. I have come to the conclusion that once I make a decision, I live that decision. I cannot say I don't think "What ifs", but I can say that I work hard to not dwell on the past, because I cannot change them.'

Ironically, no matter what direction my life would have taken, I think that some aspects of time in life are immutable and I will be exactly where I am, today. Maybe in parallel universes, my world could be different. But I am in the best of all possible worlds for me. And I am where I am today because of making these choices. I would not be Dr. Gina if I did not make these choices. It is me. Measuring my life as the totality of my experiences gives that muy caliente flavor of me.

These "what ifs" help me predict some aspects of my future, particularly, not dooming myself to repeat past heinous mistakes. But, these days, I see this as it could have happened this way, but I choose to do it another way... I am more egalitarian about it. Not everything will feel well when I am suffering though it. But I have a faith in God, and while grounded in Christianity, God gives me what I can handle. Right now, what I am going through is practice for something greater. And I need to have faith that what it is I am doing is for the greater common good, which is online mental health and wellness for diverse people.

This blog is only a smidgen of all that I am. So, I will be judged unfairly. But like someone on Twitter told me, I am NOT my diagnosis! I am so much more than mine. And I am ARIAFYA: Zeal, Enthusiasm, Eagerness, Initiative, Spirit, Keenness, Inventiveness, Health, Well-Being, Strength, Vigor, and Power!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Why I am very ANGRY @ Dr Hasan @ #FortHood LAME!

What makes me very angry with Dr. Hasan is that he was GIVEN all these opportunities by benevolent Caucasian men to be ranked the the level he was and he stabbed them in the back. He set American-Islam relations back 10 years by his actions. There are wingnuts ready to annihilate entire Muslim communities because his chosen course of action.

Had cooler heads prevailed, he would have NEVER become anyone's captain in anybody's military. He would barely have a job as a medical doctor, much less a psychiatrist.

I am JEALOUS! Because here I languish in the Pacific Northwest, knowingly suffering from bipolar disorder II, and having been stigmatized by asshats who could care less about my survivability than anything. My actions NEVER indicated I would hurt a flea, and me going off on anyone with any intention to hurt. I have NEVER perpetuated that, NEVER been arrested and NEVER been convicted of it. So, WHAT THE HELL! When the stigma of mental illness labeled me as "dangerous", I left. Why go to jail for dumbasses who lie? People here would have NEVER believed me, I have no allies, so what would be the point of me continuing to placate, becoming more depressed leading me to either kill myself or get arrested when the anger and injustice cannot be suppressed?

My problem was not just racist, it was sexist. It was not perpetuated by my co-workers, that I know about. It was perpetuated by a culture of misogyny manifested by my boss. He has a history of it--legally. So when I found he said some racist things about me and my training, rather than confront him directly, I attempted to calm down so as to not look like a raving lunatic, further turning him on, until I got the gumption to confront him. Meanwhile he promotes an idiot as a scientist as a acting assistant professor, while telling me to lambaste this other wonderful scientist who was overtly gay. I refused to do it--hence I got targeted.

I solved and advanced a major experimental process on genetically modified mice that languished for 2 years prior to my arrival, and I propelled it further than ever before. I researched the data, I developed the protocols, and I got the approvals to do the work. I make sure every "i" was dotted with every "t" crossed and I was told by my boss, that the only reason why I was here was because I was "Black" and the only way I got my "PhD" was because of "affirmative action"... So much for academic research at the University of Washington in Seattle... Anyone can see who they choose to promote at this institution!

I will NEVER forgive them for doing what they did to me. There isn't enough money in the world that can cover the loss in salary I have incurred. I could see if I stole data, like what done to me in that lab. I could see if I lied about my research, that was done in this lab. But, what I was accused of doing was not playing their rules to fuck me over in the end--I had ethics. They lacked it and I got penalized and the University of Washington rewards unethical research.

Now, while I can get busted for this too. I don't care. Because I have paperwork backing what I say. I followed the rules and I still got screwed over. NO MORE!

It's taken me nearly 2 years to work through this craziness and I have reinvented myself away from academic science. I do miss science. And the world will have lost my talents to help humanity. But I can better help people here with something I love, which is social media websites via blogs, social networking and microblogging.

And I am slowly getting traction from people. This is my story. While living in this gulag, I have come to the realization of myself. I have power through my life, my experiences, and my stories. This small aspect of a story cannot account for the totality of me. I am beyond that and that requires getting to know me better. People do not want to take the time to learn anyone anymore. Fine. But people yearn for in-kind connection. They hurt. Intrinsically. I have had to learn how to manage that in myself.

Then, what does this blog have to do with Dr. Hasan? I am jealous and angry with him because there may have been so much more that he could have done for Muslims once deployed. He could have been that bridge to cultural understanding. The ability to be better and support. He would have regained the trust between the people we are fighting for in these countries and the American people. I know that is a heavy role to play, but in the midst of your threats, there are also opportunities. And this dude totally missed it.

Comparatively, I know where Dr. Hasan was with his thinking. He may have suffered from a mental illness himself. But being a psychiatrist, how can one treat himself? But realizing this needs to bring one's strength. Unfortunately, he bought the stigma of mental illness. Rather than trying to overcome this disability, he allowed the disease to eat his mind and warp it so to killing people.

I decided to overcome my disability and reach recovery, and then not allow anyone to defile my temple by berating me. These days, anyone who berates me is no longer a part of my immediate circle. Unless this person is a relative and I know most of them have my interest at heart, NO ONE OUTSIDE OF THAT WILL EVER BERATE ME BASED ON MY MENTAL ILLNESS! That includes any potential bosses, co-workers, new friends, etc.

I will not yield. I do not need to have people who I don't really know making harsh judgments as to my choices in life.

Let me be clear: Criticism is different. Criticism takes practice to hear and incorporate. The statements made are in earnest. Learning to listen has also been a tactic I have had to incorporate. I am not talking about receiving criticism.

What I am talking about is outright berating, intentional demeaning when what I have done does not merit the harshness. I respond to tone. I know this. As a protection, I will NEVER take from anyone who is not a part of my inner circle. Sorry, too bad. These defense mechanisms are made to protect my psyche.

Dr. Hasan has killed people due to his inaction to treatment.

I have helped people to propel them toward their life's dreams.

Dr. Hasan consulted with people who's intent are questionable.

I have searched for people who bring me enlightenment.

I think what Dr. Hasan did has ZERO to do with being of Islamic faith. Him and media saying that is a lame excuse. Dr. Hasan killed people because he was sick in his head and was untreated. The equivalence is Dr. Hasan did what he did because he was in pain and decided to not take a pain pill because he erroneously thought the pain would cease. It never did. It is as simple as that. I am sorry for the families who lost loved ones. What I am saying does not diminish the heroic nature of the US Army. But what pisses me off more than anything else is that someone like Dr. Hasan gets prematurely promoted whereas, someone like me gets fired... LAME!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How I met & fell in love with my Dr. Veterinarian Husband

I was working in Dallas, Texas and was truly unhappy at work. My work life was doing great, but my love life and social life were non-existent and missing. I remember walking to work one day, crying a loud cry to the Lord wondering "why me Lord! If I am to be alone, then let me accept your will, but if I am to be with someone, then grant me the patience that he will come."

Then, I went away for a work meeting at the Jackson Laboratories in Bar Harbor, Maine. I stayed in an old mansion with a "roommate" who was this tall blonde and had blue eyes and she was a veterinarian. My roommate and I started talking about "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", I told her that I graduated from Spelman College! My roommate's eyes lit up because she had heard about Spelman College because her "friend" graduated from Morehouse College! And she excitedly exclaimed that "at least we can be friends!"

When I got back to work in Dallas, my friend emailed me and said her friend and I should connect. I told her to send her "friend" my email. Her "friend", that I shall call G- emailed me saying "Howdy"; and that he will keep the message short. the I replied. We kept it up for several emails, then we started to connect differently... Our conversations were varied and enjoyable. He was going through some difficulty, and I cheered him on, and then he told me "I was an 'A-N-G-L-E'". Being me, I asked him is he a "right angle" or "obtuse"--he wrote "LOL you know what I mean..."

We emailed so much, that I asked him to start calling me around the end of October. And we talked and talked for days on end. We talked about how we saw the world, and the revolutions of world. It was so intense, that I said "we need to meet".

I told him to visit me in Las Vegas for New Years 2003. At first, he said he couldn't because he was going to Arizona to watch the Miami Hurricane BCS Bowl. I asked him what dates did he have in mind, he told me and he also purchased his ticket. I don't know what I said to convince him, but he rearranged his schedule to spend New Year's with me.

And then, he thought that I abruptly stopped speaking to him. He called me some time on December 4, 2002. He left a voice message, stating "If I did not want to speak to him, just let him know rather than not talking to him anymore!"

What happened was my mother left me from my family's Thanksgiving in Dallas, TX on December 2, 2002. On December 4, 2002, I thought I was going to my desk at work, but I actually went to a colleagues desk and fainted. I have never fainted in my life!!! Since my boss is a cardiologist, he confirmed that I did not have a heart attack and 5 other cardiologists said I didn't have one either. I was unconscious for 90 seconds, too long to have been a heart attack--so they said. Then I heard the EMT's come in and say I was going to Parkland Hospital. My boss emphatically said I was going to St. Paul's Hospital and that is what happens.

I did not want to go to any hospital, but I could not say anything... I was groggy. Well, I took a trip to the hospital, then I got white coat syndrome and my blood pressure spiked. The ER doctors said in front of my boss, who was the attending, that I had a heart attack, when in fact, there was no evidence for that. He was angry. So, I had a CATSCAN that was inaccurate. I had blood tests, was not pregnant and HIV negative. Then I called my dad, he said it will be okay. Then I called my mom, and she was nowhere to be found. I was transferred to Zale Lipshy Hospital. And the next day, my mom was there... I stayed one more day, had an inconclusive MRI, then I was released with a Holter monitor which was inconclusive. In fact, the Neurology team did not know what was wrong with me...

When I got home, I checked my voice messages. I got 3 messages from G-, then the inflammatory one. There was a voice message I was hoping for from another fellow, but I never heard from him, ever. What was interesting, my mom made me rest, then my phone rang, it was G-. My mother answered, the passed it onto me. She looked at me like, here is somebody calling me! What was more interesting, was I was all prepared to tell G- to "go fly a kite" based on that dumb message he left me. Here is the conversation below:

G-: Hi! How are you?
Me: Fine (flatly)
G-: So, your mother answered the phone?
Me: Yes (flatly)
G-: So, she went back home?
Me: Yes (flatly)
G-: So, she came back?
Me: Yes (irritated now)
G-: Well, I haven't heard from you in awhile!
Me: (Racing through my thoughts to where I either tell him off or I tell him the truth. He was a nice guy, I shouldn't be so harsh. But if I tell him, he will be scared. Well here goes, if he doesn't want to speak to me after this, so be it, I have nothing to lose!)
Me: G-, I was in the hospital. I fainted at work.
George: (slight pause) So, how long were you out? (Doctor's voice mode)

What amazes me is I CONSCIOUSLY made a decision to just let G- into my life and tell him the unfettered truth.

G- had rearranged his New Year's Eve and Day plans to meet me in Las Vegas, NV for 2003. He was supposed to go to Tempe, Arizona for the BCS Fiesta Bowl for his team, the University of Miami Hurricanes. He made these arrangements long before he met me. I begged him to reconsider, he did. He would meet me in Las Vegas, then go to Arizona and go home.

My family usually goes to Vegas every New Years since 1995. I had been going since 1996, so I was going with my parents. My folks stayed in a timeshare condo by the Hilton Grand Vacations company. There was a sleeper sofa in the anteroom and a whirlpool bathtub. I really liked the whirlpool bathtub. In 2002, my parent's had a second timeshare for 2-3 days for NYE. They stated I could invite a friend. Well, I invited G- because I wanted to meet him. Moreover, I had to tell my mom about him since she answered the phone in Dallas when he called. My dad was clueless.

Anyhow, after my folks and I drove from San Diego to Vegas, we hooked up with my Aunt B- who is beautician extraordinaire. I asked her to touch up my hair and add highlights to it. She did and my mom was amazed. Moreover, I was a lot thinner than I am today, so I looked extra-specially attractive. That was a few days before I picked up G- from the Airport.

As the time came closer for "seeing each other face to face", G- was calling me hourly. On the day of our meeting, his flight was delayed and he was so nervous, I just let him call. He was worried that he would never meet me. Then, when I arrived at the airport, I stood near the baggage claim anxiously awaiting his arrival. His flight had been delayed further. As I waited, there were quite a few limousine drivers awaiting their arrivals with name card holders. One of the drivers exclaimed to me, "you can be Becky or Christina if you want to!" and then I laughed and started talking to all of them, they proceeded to tell me how they look for their clients and the let me borrow one of their papers and write George's name with a marker. I wrote, "Dr. G-, DVM". As more people were searching for their bags, an onslaught of them passed me by, then out of the blue, here came G- bewildered and wondering why he saw his name on a limousine card. Then he saw me, and he looked shocked! I gave him a hug, my ear was touching his, he did not know what to do.

As he proceeded to his baggage claim area, I could feel my hair on the back of neck standing up from him staring at me just amazed at how I looked. It was as if he had never seen a woman like me before or a woman like me never spoke to him seriously. But, I was real and serious, and I was finally glad to meet him.

We drove back to the Hilton Grand Vacations hotel, which was behind the Flamingo Hotel, and we got into the room reserved for me. G- was further amazed at the grandeur, no one--especially a woman he was interested in, ever treated him to this kind of location. Then I asked him if he would like to get something to eat? I had forgotten that I told my mom earlier what we were going to do and where we were going to go. He agreed to go to P.F. Changs Restaurant at Harrahs. Then we proceeded to walk over there.

As we got seated and water was served, I gave him a card saying thank you. Earlier, he had given me a "spa retreat package" in Dallas, it was incredible. Then, after we placed our orders, out of the corner of my eye, I see ALL my parent's Vegas friends walking towards us, saying hello to me. That was when I realized my mom had fooled me and got all her friends together to size up G-. By that time, G- stood up to meet the first person that stopped by our table, he stated that he was "one of Gina's fathers..." Then another of my parent's friend's, a man stopped by and G- started getting exasperated and confused as to who my folks were. Finally, my mom and dad stopped by and I exclaimed that these are my parents, sorry for the confusion!!!

Poor G-, but he handled it eloquently and I wanted this interaction to continue...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Pros vs Cons of Going Where The Jobs Are--the physical location

In my area, we are losing jobs by the 100's of thousands. All types of businesses are losing jobs. From research sciences, which I was in, to all kinds of technical jobs. In fact, recently, the Pacific Northwest lost a huge Boeing contract to the State of South Carolina.

For every threat, there is an opportunity. While my State is writhing from the pain and grief of losing huge government contracted corporation, I see a massive opportunity for that area which will revitalize them beyond them--such as green jobs. We could be the center of major green jobs environments based on balance and tranquility. Ergonomics for even highly technical green jobs. What if we could work with Nature to harness copious amounts energy, provide improved water reclamation projects and air quality standards. The workers at Boeing just need a flip/script change, for a long lasting effects, as long as we humans are here.

But this about my mind and it's rumination. I need money now! Why wait to build my business and my efforts, when there are obligations of which are my responsibility? Such as, major bills--i.e. light bill. Then there are things I want to do, like go to the beauty salon and get my hair and nails done, even a massage. When you are unemployed, all of that has to be minimized. All your spending has to be accounted for. Sure, when you have steady paycheck coming to you, you can live fat on the land within limits. And you can live paycheck to paycheck if you want, not setting aside or setting aside. However, this discussion isn't about the lack of financial planning, because underneath all of that, I am doing quite well.

This discussion is about my business and its base. If I move, my business structure is required to be rearranged. I also am building the business contacts of supporters who would bolster me to where I desire to be. Where I want to be headed toward this time next year is at least 10 new coaching clients, at least 25 people signing on to my website and completing 2-3 workshops. Moreover, I will be classified as having at least 2 contracts to run the wellness coaching programs in 2 corporations with group coaching and 10 clients with 2-3 certified coaches or Wellcoach trainees.

That is what I want. What frustrates me is that no one understand this logic. No one cares. So I have to grapple, claw and battle loved ones to help them understand. When I make it, they'll be all sycophantically reaching toward me. I know I can and will make it because I have done it before with greater insurmountable things. What I am doing for my business is fun for me. I truly enjoy it. I love going to business workshops, crafting ideas for marketing and it would be nice to make a little money on the side. I think it is worth it to help people find ways to improve their health by either weight reduction, decrease stress, have healthier food choices--or a combination of all three. With all the gyms joined, all the meditative music played and new fad diets/cooking shows eaten and watched, most people have a 70% failure rate of attaining their health goals, further increasing their weight, overstressed leading to chronic diseases, and clogged arteries. People require motivation to reach their health goals. The smoking cessation is one level to start--and while I have applied to Quit Coaches and Free and Clear programs, they have chosen not to hire me.

So, I'd rather have my credentials, make my own business. Please read my pros vs cons list of going where the jobs are--the physical location. It seems to be my reality that I just do not have the energy anymore to tolerate demeaning people from work anymore.

This is my reality. And I have some decisions to make.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

#PMS, MS, Post-MS & #Bipolar & #Mindfulness

Every month, I PMS, MS, Post-MS and it really wrecks havoc on managing my bipolar: emotions and behavior. Yes, I have discussed this with every clinician I know, including the research scientists at the top of this field. Guess, what, ain't chit they can do! Also there's a quandary: the meds I take for the bipolar, while good, have the booterrific side effect to messing around with my thyroid, which makes bipolar management, specifically the depression worse. I was reinvigorated today when I read that the thyroid may be "balanced" with Vitamin D. I have not been taking my Vit. D. supplement. And what's worse is I live in Seattle, a place that has less than optimal weather, so yeah, I am shutdown.

But my huge bipolar mania symptoms are amplified before my menstrual cycle. I have been tracking my symptoms over 3 months and have found that the numbers of my symptoms increase ~18th day of the month and peak 28th day of the month, then I have my cycle. Mentally, I am so snap happy. I snap at my husband for just breathing! I pick fights, when there are none. I feel rushed, anxious, worried and angry. I lament, whine and I cry. Physiologically, I am now seeing hand/foot swelling, my diastolic number increases in my blood pressure.

My cycle keeps flipping scripts on me. Uber heavy, red, clots for 2-3 days. Then there is a 1 day drop off with a trickle, pantyliner days for 2-3 days. I usually feel sickly during those days. Headaches, aches and pains, nasal congestion, stomach aches, immobile in the morning. My mood is complete fatigue and exhaustion. My complaints are just that.

After my period--just 2-3 days I am relatively normal. Easy going. My mood is mostly balanced. There are some external stressors, but overall, I am fine. I also have no pain, but I feel sore.

Then I post-MS and it lasts ~1 week. Physically, I feel nausea. I am still rather tired. I get started on my day when I have appointments. Mentally, I worry, I cry, I am depressed, I cannot move myself away emotionally, I cannot concentrate. Physiologically, I am about to ovulate. I think it is evolution telling me I am fertile, so my body attempts to get ready--which invariably does not happen. So what happens is it flings chemical signals and ligands to piss off my pituitary-hypothalamus axis--which puts the dampers on my emotions into depression...All of this action causes a migraine--especially on my right-side hemisphere--like 2 rebars on the caudal and frontalis sides of the skull. My husband calls it my invisible alien implant and the aliens tune it, often! I agree to it because, I've had 2 MRI's and they found absolutely nothing in my head... (Yep, including my brain--it's missing! :))

For 1-2 weeks I am not crazy. Then the entire cycle starts again.

Between the Post-MS to the PMS part, I was having break-through bleeding. 1-2 days of having to wear a pantyliner. This was occurring 7 years ago before I left my hometown. Only last year did I find something that stopped the break through bleeding--MINDFULNESS! It was stress that brings this problem on! And having these hormones, ligands, chemical agents flinging around in my body, no matter how much exercise I do, no matter how much chocolate/caffeine I avoid, I the break through bleeding only became manageable until I got a hold of the stress.

Hopefully, I can manage this stress through mindfulness for my PMS-MS-Post-MS. But it is very hard when it is not a clear cut physical problem.

Do I think my bipolar is a result of my PMS-MS-Post-MS? No. I can still be manic during those 1-2 weeks when I am not crazy if I don't take my meds. That's why I take them. The depression is persistent, it is something I learned to accept, cope and deal with to live in recovery. I use mindfulness to reach a positive outlook, rather that the negative statements from those bad ass tapes I have. It mostly works 75% to 80% of the time.

What works is isometrics. Getting those muscle groups to let go of all that glucose and become more insulin sensitive. Also I minimize stress by writing my thoughts in this blog and elsewhere. Reaching a balance, even if temporary is important for me to do.

Welp, I wrote this so that any woman who suffers like I do knows that they are not alone and this issue can be worked out.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Several things today-A Crazy #BlackWoman's #bipolar thot race

First, watch this:

Then I read this blog about Wanda Sykes & her motherhood, which turns into a rant of Black people hating on loving Black children.

Then I get this lunacy from Yahoo opinions: Stop blaming racism for the failure of black parents by Paul D. White, author of White's Rules.

There is a whole bunch of people planting negative thoughts into people's minds, some of us are "mentally unstable", LOL! We just don't know how to process these painful life's lessons we must learn when we live with people. I just cannot put all these specialized classifications together and my thoughts race, I get frustrated because it's too much, which causes me to be angry and while I can take it out on anyone, chiefly my husband, the anger turns in on to me because I am incapable of processing projected negative thoughts of others.

The reality is, to take them and breathe through them. Not to ruminate on them. Merely notice there existence. It is not to dismiss them, but the immediacy of handling other people's thoughts immediately has what to do with your life and the task at hand? Exactly?

Then in the new, we get how a 15 year old girl was raped for 2 hours at Richmond, California High School and people took pictures and failed to call authorities for help. 4-5 young men were arrested. This is ridiculous! Someone like me who abhors violence against women, especially sexual violence and abuse, and being someone who is labeled as mentally ill, it is too much! The horror didn't happen to me, why should I care? Because a violation of one woman is an indictment of all? No, for me IMHO, I knew that girl, she was me when I was her age... I probably would be freezing waiting for my father, rather than having a group date with girlfriends and boys, some boy asks me to hook up, and I go. Then we would be joshing around with a sip of alcohol and NEVER would I think one of the older guys that I was attracted to would violate me so.

What was humiliating for this girl was not just the physical act, but she naively have the gumption to love independently some twisted sex predator who thought nothing more of her that shit... Oh, I know that girl very well... I would see in the mirror everyday and want nothing but to kill her... Too many thoughts racing through my mind.

Coach Carter says this on CNN:

When the media says how hard it is for Black people to find love or people of color, because I have heard it from other ethnic groups, too, the fact I have seen is self-esteem is low. Generations before have no clue how to comprehend this low self-esteem. We have DONE all the debutante balls, rites of passage programs, the loving we can do. We are the most well-loved people. The fact is we also have all kinds new technology that races information, some of it wholly inaccurate not allow a quiet space for us... Long time ago, but not too long ago, we did not have all this instant gratification throw away culture marketed, focus grouped, barraged upon us. We cannot concentrate! On one activity! Moreover we multi-task and are asked to be available 24/7 around the clock use! And we call this living! In fact, there is a whole industry to tell us we are unhealthy and here you go, we got the cure!

Confabulation! Conflagration!

We cannot concentrate on just ONE activity! Where is our breath! We are gasping for air...

What bothers me about Mr. Harper's book is asking women to make a list of themselves and their ideal mate. Then he says to the women you don't have it like that though! What were these women asking for? Prince Charming on a white horse riding off in the sunset with a song in his heart and slaying the beast to save me from my perils in my life to live happily ever after? And they thought they could have access to that fairy tale?

{sidebar} Let me tell you about my Halloween costume: I'm going to be the Health Care Insurance Reform Fairy--I magically support getting health across state lines! Si se puede! {/end sidebar}

Seriously, if a woman wants to lives delusional imaginary relationships how come she must be denied her goal? Other women live that life on all forms of media? How come Sistahs can't? How come Knight In Shining Armor cannot exist? Now, that isn't to say that women have to work out their own inner love and self. Many don't know how. No self-esteem. Arrogance is not a strong self-esteem.

I think most of the Black women I meet today are awesome. In fact most women I encounter are creatures unlike any other. An oppressive system has attempted to hold them down and they refuse to suffer from it. They use their minds, bodies to maneuver around asinine and encroached rules to limit women! YAAY for vijayjay power! Without that a whole bunch of people would not be born. Use it within our power.

I am married. My husband is the head of our household. But I am the neck. And the head cannot do anything without the neck. This is not a battle of the wills. This is a matter of various positioning in our marriage based on love, mutual respect and care. I LOVE MY HUSBAND! I never thought I could! Sure I needed to love myself and years before I had done that. But, see, in my previous blogs here, the story of my health trumped me dealing with others waffling on relationships.

Anyhow, I can't say our relationship is perfect, but we PLAY with each other. We harp on each other. We take each other for granted and we find one another the most important person on the planet. I worry about the silly stuff when I am in PMS and listen to the thoughts racing exacerbating my bipolar.

I don't know what other womens' paths are toward marital relationships. Black women don't get married until later in life. Black men are usually preoccupied with instant gratification activities: women who will give them what they want whenever or men who for whatever reason just do not want to deal with all the silliness of puerile women. We are talking about heterosexual couples, here. No disrespect to LGBTQI groups.

All I am saying is people need to find their own paths toward their best relationships based on the soul-searching they need to do. Being immobilized to new experiences--or playing it safe--will NEVER implement changes. I understand stabilization, especially when one has children, and if one wants love during her lifetime, the mate desired only comes when risk is involved.

I guess with racing thoughts a symptom of bipolar, these things all come together.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Srsly Pseudo-Science needs to DIE! Or we all will die!

A major health club in my area had a potential member sell her homemade "healthy breads" (isn't that an oxymoron?) with samples, with no covers of the samples & people nasty fingers picking at the pieces. I have no ideas where peoples hands have been. Do you fathom if she had any food handler's permits? She made all her products in her kitchen--not approved by the state health department, attempting to sale her wares in a MAJOR HEALTH CLUB in my local area!

When she asked me to try a sample, I said "I need toothpicks". Then, she attempted to hand me hand sanitizing gel as some passerbyes grimy hands touches the samples, then cuts a sample for me to try?!? Um! WTF!

First off, this MAJOR GYM has a BAD smell problem. HAYLE IT STINKS! The workers who wipe off the machines cannot work fast enough for the nasty sweat from arrogant fat--yes FAT gym members. Next, the fountains have grime around the orifice opening of the water spigot! I spray it, then run the water for 10 seconds before I consume any water from it. Finally, I will NEVER shower in the gym rooms! Bloodied bandages lost from the water, clogged drains, molds! NO! I'll just shower at home. I don't like to go to the gym, because it is a breeding ground for heinous infection wastes with next to not controls by people clueless as to how to keep things sanitary!

Let me explain where I live has temples to false idols to pseudo-science. One shy short of divinity rods, where I live, people actually believe that sneezing without blocking by arm-bend is safe. Let me be blunt: WHO WIPES! These pseudo-science wingnuts actually worship the fact they are so healthy that they don't need vaccinations and vehemently protest those who support them and want them until their child dies from the preventable disease! People are NASTY! Failing to wash their hands, or only wish wash their hands in water. Pick their butts, then there nose. Wipes any kind of way rather than front to back. No soap for no 20 seconds scrub!

These people do this crap and when you call them on it, they range in experiences. Back to my gym. I may need to make anonymous calls. People are plainly foul, here!

Who lives like this? My area... It's called a natural fallacy--because it is natural, it must be true... Well hemlock, belladonna and digitalis are natural too--so is arsenic.

Then when Swine Flu at stake and not being in one of the high risk groups--meaning I have to wait for an injection. I worry because I know me! I catch crazy things and I have to stay on top of my health. None of this snake-oil crap, no! I need evidence-based peer-reviewed medicine. Not this pseudo-science silliness! If you don't know the science, take a class! Seriously, given this time of climate change, global warming and exotic infectious diseases making unnecessary comebacks because of insane resistance, who is paying my health coverage if I get these ailments? Who is in charge of my health? Wingnuts? NO! I AM! So forget the dumb stuff!

I might have to side with the Atheists on this one. Science is my God and it is amoral and devoid of judgment. It has no compassion and it is how it made. Human frailty meanders it way on this Earth as it is in our life cycle. And we have impacted Earth for 200K years of our evolution.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

EPISODE WARNING TRIGGER: What I do when loved one's tell me to give up these days

When I was young, I was a usually American rebellious teen. My head was hard as a rock! No one could tell me anything. Even today, my husband would say not much has changed. But, I think I consider more what people say due to my life's experience and my attempt to monitor my "mania". If I leave my mania unchecked, I can fly off the handle or worse. Lately, I have getting very angry and rant, about everything! I have to use my mindfulness techniques to monitor that...

Anywho, an aspect of my mental illness causes bad memories--or the bad tapes--to play louder than the good sounds. In fact these tapes are old and busted reel-to-reel bad tapes versus the sleek new Nano IPOD with the picture in green (um, hint, hint for Christmas Gift lol).

My bad tapes rule my thoughts. I cannot express love to my loved ones. When they ask me simple questions, I rant and rave, I go into shock and I negatively ruminate and cling to what they meant by it! The other day, my mother asked me how long will I continue on with this "business" like I am? Simple question, but with the inflection of her voice, and the fact she is my mother who said it, the meaning I took from it reach anger from 0 to 60 in 0.8 seconds. Why? Because, she added a story about another loved one who is giving up a dream and came to some conclusions when my mom asked.

She cannot see my face and how happy I am just doing social media! People come to me to ask questions about mental health and how to navigate a very alienating complex mental health care system. Forget how to pay for it, let's talk about people actively having an episode, having to go off their mental health treatments because they cannot afford it, and slowly coming to the conclusion their mind is driving them absolutely bonkers! These people cannot speak to family members because they will tell them to pray to Jesus, or friends because they don't want to hear it, or whatever reason to fabricate why there is no one to talk to, and so, the minute they see someone who is willing to listen, they jump at the chance as an outreach effort. Hoping this effort goes somewhere--anywhere but where they are now. How do I know? I've been there, done that and got a T-shirt.

Positive comments are welcomed to uplift someone, but there is a core, underneath that requires a professionally licensed person to help them. Needless to say, in respects to my mother and God knows I love her, I LOVE SOCIAL MEDIA AND MY BUSINESS IS SMACK DABBED IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! When I encounter a person having difficulty, usually, I can get them to make some choices, reason why I pursued coaching rather than medical school or graduate school for psychology. I know enough and have experienced enough to realize I have something to offer!

Then, there are others who question my intent, which frustrating to no end! I feel when I become successful, I want to say, "pbbbttthhttttt" to the bandwagoners, but that would not be right. It is like they are "naysayers"--have no positive thing to say and rather that not saying anything, it is there job to say negative shit to me! That just sets me off. I even could say HATERS! But I cannot say that to loved ones.

The ONE person who doesn't say that to me is my husband! I love him! He is very supportive to a point, then he succumbs to the naysayers until I fight back. Of course he asks me at the same time when he sees I am doing reckless activities. Fortunately, this go-round, I am not. I have been catching myself pretty well!

This rumination is nuts! It is killing me! But overall, I have to do what I am doing. I run a little survey on mental health! And now I am getting responses worldwide! :) DIVERSE CULTURES HAVE A DIFFERENT UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHAT IS MENTAL ILLNESS! WHO ELSE IS STUDYING THIS INFORMATION ONLINE EXCEPT FOR THE HIGH LEVEL ACADEMIC LABS OR GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS?

It's simple: when people look for understanding mental illness, they now look on health websites, from there they search for a community of people who share their concerns and join them. My place is for women of color, diverse women, to share all ideas related to mental health--to find healing. And Isle Sanctuary. I made a way out of NO WAY! And I will continue until I die! It is my life's passion and I am kissed by God to do it! I cannot give up now, because I will fail those who do need help and can be helped by my life's experience.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cheating is a form of spousal abuse! #NYPost #ESPN #Abuse

This is a story about an older 40-something man cheating on his wife with a 22-year old woman.The 40ish man broke up with the 22 year old woman, so the 22 year old woman wrote a letter to the man's wife. This is the letter to the wife.

When I read this letter, the first thing that came to mind is the letter is entirely too graphic, explicit and graphic to be sent to anyone. The presumptuousness this 22 year old mistress as if she is on equal footing to a legally married with a marriage licensed relationship is delusional. The wife can sue for "abandonment of affection" or "sending threatening mail" using the postal service. The wife has more rights than she can fathom, moreover, the couple has 4 sons, so that can be leveraged--people do that often.

Now, if the wife wanted to be devoid of heartache, she did not have to marry her husband. This little girl is definitely not the first dalliance with philandering. Maybe the wife does not care as long as she gets what she wants. But really, if he was in a loveless marriage, then he can bring divorce proceedings and let the wife deal with it. No matter what the wife will be painted in this "poor defenseless woman".

As a woman who knows a few things about a man cheating on her--albeit I was never married when that happened, I say, after the initial shock wears off, no matter how long that takes for you, maneuver your assets into your favor. Be informed of money sinks you have independently from your husband. There should always be no romance without finance is a nuisance in play. And you need a rapid exit strategy. If you do not have a suspicious of your nupital becoming decimated by philandering, rehearse a plan in your mind--keep that what if...

For men, it is the same. For LGBTQ couples it is the same. Remember, ALL relationships end at some time. Hopefully it is not due to divorce. But if it has to be, then have a plan for yourself: physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially.

You also do not need to be underhanded. When you originally married the philanderer, did you think that you would be at this spot. Is your meanness due to your anger to what the person did to you--or rather what you allowed the person to do--or is it because you truly are a mean character? When the guy I cared about cheated on me, I wanted to break him into pieces. I wanted to burn any memory of him from my life. But time does heal all wounds and I have grown that the experiences I cherished and condemned with him are a facet of my life. Now, do NOT do this if your S/O is physically abusing you. If that is happening you need law enforcement, not my little blog.

In this letter, there were too may claims made about the wife that were way off base and IMHO when anyone mentions someone's kids, I'm sorry, that is out of bounds. That to me is a threat and I feel threatened, mobbed and bullied. That will make me call my law enforcement and the FBI. IMHO all romantic relationships are between 2 consenting adults--basically people who do not live under anyone's household--especially marriage. That means 18 years old or older. Once the childrens' names have been brought into that picture by this letter, um yeah, that is a threat in my eyes. This conversation is between me and you, not my children (if I had any).

Secondly, that man is a punk. If he wants to philander, pay the fees for divorce, pay child support for your children, and pay spousal support. Whatever, be a man, walk out on the wife and mess around to your hearts content. But don't have any heifer come up to the wife with some psychotic letter discussing penis envy! If mistress wants him, she can have him. Maybe her puhnanny is tasty. But I serioussssly doubt it.

And don't gloat it is ghetto and unbecoming of a mistress. Mistresses keep quiet. They may be the 2nd "wife" or "concubine"--NOT the 1st wife with rights, roles and duties. If a mistress wants the love of the married man, she awaits his return. That is the position one places herself in when she allows herself to be engaged with men like that. I have not heard of any married man leaving his wife for another woman. It rarely happens. But, I have seen plenty of marriages decimated by infidelity and that is because women have enacted their desires of what is right in their relationship. No woman wants to be cheated upon. Nary a man either. But as a former woman who was cheated upon, it seems that it is all a matter of accepted behavior. If condoning cheating behavior is something allowable in the relationship, then it will progress. IMHO--it is cheating when husband pops off the phone with me to talk to a friend who is a girl... I guess that is the experience I have--I am a jealous woman, like God is jealous, there are no others before me.

Now with that said, turnabout is fair play... Men need to respect the marriage bed. Fools thought they could call me and see how I'm doing, just because. I typically have limited friendships with men who are unrelated to me. I speak to cousins and all. But men who are not my relatives, I have very few friends. I know alot of people. I speak on a civil level. But hanging out and all that visiting the house, etc. NEGATIVE! I know better because I know how I am. Not to say I don't falter and have the desires. But I married my husband because I love him, period! Most real men respect that. Players on the other hand have little respect for that. If a friend is not saying, hey can I respect your schedule and call you at such-in-such time, they are disrespect your relationship, your man, and you! Maybe that is why you are not with him anymore, you think? I actually find it pathetic. My husband says he loves me. I have issues with understanding love by others just because that's my issue, has nothing to do with him. Nonetheless, I LOVE MY HUSBAND and I MADE SOME PROMISES TO HIM THAT I AM KEEPING! So why are all the fools I use to day coming out trying to wreck my happiness? They didn't ask for my hand in marriage? WTH?

So, what is sad about this letter is that the young mistress was compelled to think this whole "thing fling" she had could override a marriage without cost. It is pretty much like a crazed stalker. As for the wife, I know that she will level this woman playing with the big girls. Is this young mistress dense? As for the husband, he needs an ass whooping, if he can't physically get one, he can get one monetarily.

Remember: in my professional opinion, cheating is a form of spouse abuse!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

#Depression #Suicide #Health #WOC #Mentalillness: I knew s/he was crazy, but...

I often get asked what the Telltale Signs of Depression are and I usually say, Google or WebMD?

Since I deal with diverse populations, Google and WebMD are often NOT our BFF's. When explaining to diverse groups there are plenty of "yes, buts" or "what ifs" after even the listing all the Telltale Signs from the DSM-IV revised by a Nobel Laureate in Medicine!

In this written piece, I am relaying and translating the societal and cultural nuances so that mostly everyone can be on the same page for depression and suicide. While knowing the basis of the mental illness through listing the symptoms, it is just as important that these symptoms are understood fully even the variations in behavior that are witness, so that all have a positive mental health diagnosis and prognosis! Everyone deserves equity and parity in mental health care and everyone needs full understanding and education on what is known and treated in serious mental illnesses like depression and suicide.

First, below is the listed symptom of depression from WebMD that was obtained by the National Institutes of Mental Health:

What are symptoms of depression?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, symptoms of depression
may include the following:

  • difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
  • fatigue and decreased energy
  • feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
  • irritability, restlessness
  • loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • overeating or appetite loss
  • persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
  • thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

Are there warning signs of suicide with depression?

Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal
thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to
call your local suicide hotline immediately. Call 1-800-SUICIDE
(1-800-784-2433) or 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) -- or the deaf hotline at

Warning signs of suicide with depression include:

  • a sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • always talking or thinking about death
  • clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
  • having a "death wish," tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, like driving through red lights
  • losing interest in things one used to care about
  • making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • saying things like "It would be better if I wasn't here" or "I want out"
  • talking about suicide (killing one's self)
  • visiting or calling people one cares about

Remember, if you or someone you know is demonstrating any of the above
warning signs of suicide with depression, either call your local suicide hot
line, contact a mental health professional right away, or go to the emergency
room for immediate treatment.

Suicide Warning Signs

by Kevin Caruso

If you or someone you know exhibits several of the suicide warning signs listed below, immediate action is required, so please read the information on the home page of this website and take action. Thank you.

Suicide Warning Signs:

  • Appearing depressed or sad most of the time; (Untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.)
  • Talking or writing about death or suicide.
  • Withdrawing from family and friends.
  • Feeling hopeless.
  • Feeling helpless.
  • Feeling strong anger or rage.
  • Feeling trapped -- like there is no way out of a situation.
  • Experiencing dramatic mood changes.
  • Abusing drugs or alcohol.
  • Exhibiting a change in personality.
  • Acting impulsively.
  • Losing interest in most activities.
  • Experiencing a change in sleeping habits.
  • Experiencing a change in eating habits.
  • Losing interest in most activities.
  • Performing poorly at work or in school.
  • Giving away prized possessions.
  • Writing a will.
  • Feeling excessive guilt or shame.
  • Acting recklessly.

It should be noted that some people who die by suicide do not show any suicide warning signs.

But about 75 percent of those who die by suicide do exhibit some suicide warning signs, so we need to be aware of what the suicide warning signs are and try to spot them in people. If we do see someone exhibiting suicide warning signs, we need to do everything that we can to help them.

If you or someone you know exhibits several of the suicide warning signs listed above, immediate action is required, so please read the information on the home page of this website and take action.

Always take suicide warning signs seriously.

Thank you,

Kevin Caruso

I am translating these symptoms for the African American community because many people have come to me wondering if there is a way to identify or tell, or if there was anything thing they could do to stop any suicide. My cursory view of this list shows the lack of cultural competency in mental health, and thereby can cause burgeoning symptoms in African Americans. While it is clear that not ALL of these symptoms are manifested and there are variations between individuals, these are the main kinds of "cultural nuanced symptoms" that someone who is depressed often displays. It is NOT like someone who is depressed makes an "ACTIVE" choice to have display these symptoms, rather it is likely the wrong choice or inaccurate choice--it is like the person thought it was a good idea at the time or the thought never occur to him/her that the idea was illogical. At this time, I will not be listing what to do to manage these symptoms, but, one is more than welcome to visit one of The Ari | af | ya Universe's brands: Sistah Mental Health and Wellness or GYM Right-H/W Coaching and Events to learn self-managements.

The other issue is I organized this "Translation Navigator" so that we are all on the same page. I mean no disrespect to those who understand this information, but seriously, looking at the mental health disparities, something MUST be done for the lack of cultural incompetence described in my symptom review. I have chosen to do develop this written piece which I also will place on the Crazy Black Woman blog under a more marketable and racy title. This written piece needs to be used complementary to your professional health care provider and does not supplant or supersede your treatment plan with a licensed provider. Nor does it counteract against the written reference material.

Here it goes:

The inability to concentrate often resembles forgetfulness--but everyday forgetting important tasks, like missing due dates for bills, or forgetting to call key people like doctors. It is not the casual forgetfulness of losing keys or dementia like forgetting where you are--like Alzheimer's--that is very different! This forgetfulness is like after have a profound conversation with the depressed person (more like an argument) and they forget to pay the cable bill, still... Mainly forget to do important tasks.

Being fatigued or decreased energy means if the depressed person exercises every day at 12 PM, then they stop and do not do it for a month because they complain of fatigued or exhaustion or "I'm tired"--then it probably a depression. It is the dramatic shift in routine over a month that this symptom resembles.

Feelings of guilt, worthlessness and/or helplessness are often not articulated or said and generally men do not state this. If men say anything it resembles blame of any perceivable target--often you! Generally, depressed women complain, then blame. Shortly, I will explain what that looks like because it is a manifestation of depression as a disorder.

Hopelessness and/or pessimism often looks like "commentary" that teenagers provide whenever you make comments. For example, when you say, "Let's go to the Beach, it is a nice sunny day!", a depressed individual would say rapidly, "Why to get burned by the sun!"

Insomnia or excessive sleeping: I have not been privy to insomnia due to depression, but I have slept all day for several days without being sick. Like I would choose to sleep vs choosing to exercise, or go to a fun social activity.

Irritability or restlessness: Irritability often looks like whining and snapping at whatever you say. You could just say "BOO" and the depressed person combined with the feeling of guilt would bite your head off for saying "BOO"... The restlessness is often combined with the forgetfulness. Watch when they cook. Tell the depressed person to make Koolaid/punch and s/he will get flustered by making a simple recipe... And remember, the behavior is not sporadic; it is consistent over a month or two.

Lost of interest in activities once pleasurable, includes sex: This particular symptom I have witnessed and experienced its combination with the forgetfulness, the fatigue, the guilt the pessimism and the excessive sleeping symptoms. It could be any activity that you know your loved one enjoys. One of mine was going to the movies. I was very much into science fiction and reading the latest trailers and previews. Then, my loved ones would ask, "Hey, let's go to the MOVIES" and I would say I did not want to go. I had no reason why and one would have to twist my arm to make me go. The other issue is when it is several activities once enjoyed as a tradition and the activities no longer want to be done for unknown reasons! Such as your depressed loved one and you enjoy having fries and shakes after a heavy workout, it is your ritual, and for no reason, the depressed individual refuses to go--not because s/he took a new nutrition class, but just s/he does not want it... Remember, the behavior must be consistent over a month and is not sporadic!

Changes in eating behavior: I have witnessed and experienced overeating. I may have done some forms of appetite loss, unrealized. But, I have overeating junk food more than not eaten at all... What a depressed individual does when s/he overeats is a lot of carbs: breads, cakes and sugar! Apparently, the medical aspects of depression feeds off of glucose in the brain, the full mechanism is unknown. Moreover, the meal is one time of day--all day and does not stop until sleep! Alternatively, what a depressed person looks like when his/her appetite loss is s/he has failed to go grocery shopping and all that is left is something indistinguishable, often the depressed person is living off of something bizarre like gum or rationalizes vitamin supplements have nutrition. Most of the symptoms mesh with each other, so this one is combined with forgetfulness, inability making decisions, helplessness and hopelessness. Moreover very little eating can cause the insomnia...

Persistent malaise: A depressed person complains all the time about physical issues and when s/he chooses to see a primary care physician, knowing that the ache and pain is in his/her mind is currently discouraged due to lawsuits. Laboratory tests and manifestations cannot convince the depressed person of his/her ailment. Remember this is another symptom that meshes itself with other symptoms, so if this one is see, the other ones are seen... I have experienced this one with the fatigue, guilt, hopelessness, irritability and lost of interest in activities symptoms.

Persistent negative thoughts: A depressed person complains about "nobody likes me" or any absolute statements: NEVER, ALWAYS, NOBODY, EVERYBODY. AND often you also see judgmental with accusations types of comments: "You should's" and "You must's". The empty feelings look like "listlessness" or lack of response--especially when you ask a simple question like "How are you going today". A depressed person will respond with a shrug or say "I don't know" on a consistent basis. Remember, this type of symptom is meshed with the other ones... The thing is this one is a trigger: meaning when you start hearing them frequently is when your antenna needs to be raised!!!

Thoughts of suicide: When the comment gets made, it needs to be taken seriously. Whether or not there is a plan, that will be discussed later, no games can be made or discounting it. By that time, depressed people have actually intensely rationalized and thought about it, so now they are beginning to vocalize it... It is the process of the disease of depression. Literally, the brain is damaging itself due to the aforementioned symptoms. It is thought that all the symptoms meshed together overload the system and crashes the brain--like a hard drive. But there are other organs attempting to save the body at the same time: i.e. the heart, the muscles, the stomach, the liver and the kidneys, plus many others to override the "self-destruct" button... Remember, this behavior is not night and day or sporadic, does not lessen the impact though, so watch this behavior closely.

So please permit me to use some creative license and combine some of the warning signs to suicide from WebMD and Suicide.org:

There are some key spots that MUST be watched and vigilant with someone suffering from depression, especially as it relates to suicide! I cannot stress this enough if you love this person, this is NOT about "Dr. Gina" being crazy, this is about me going into thoughts of suicide and generally these thoughts resemble the below discussion. Also, these are the telltale signs. This IS what you look for so that you can do "if you could have done anything differently..." The way to think about this is the splinter in the tiger. The tiger by itself is a lethal fighting animal, but when there is a splinter, they writhe in pain and while you might think "it is not a big deal", it is to the tiger and usually it will kill itself or gnaw off its paw to minimize the pain... However, if you do notice key suicide warning signs, you need to include a professionally licensed provider for any intervention. But laws vary from state to state, and no one can be hospitalized against his/her consent. I am only pointing out the suicide symptoms, as usual my disclaimer is this is completely complementary and suggestive of any professional statements, it cannot be used to diagnose, supplant or used contrary to any professionally licensed provider's treatment or medical orders. In fact the information presented here has not been verifiable so you must use it at your own risk and it is for casual informational purposes only!

Sudden switch from very sad (depressed) to calm/appearing happy: While obviously stated, often this looks like the depressed person has found "resolution" to his/her problem--usually it is committing suicide--like the game show buzzer--EHHHN--inaccurate conclusion here. So, if you notice this behavior with your loved one, ASK what his/her wants are? Asking this question is also called a question of autonomy. The point of this question is had they made a definitive decision--you will get an answer to this question no matter what the answer is... If s/he flies off the handle or shuts you out, that answers your question. If s/he actually tells you what is going on, then you may have to make your own decisions, which does NOT include yelling at him/her.

Always talking and writing about death. Generally, we think of this "Gothic paraphernalia", like always wearing black like a vampire... But really, making this culturally relevant for African Americans, this symptom looks like wanting to be that "gangster" or "thug", with the guns, listening to "gangsta rap" or "thuggish" music and actually believing it is real. And the discussion looks like dark and dreary kind of lifestyle, such as robbing people, misogyny, prostitution, etc. This symptom meshes with another symptom as described later.

Clinical depression as described in the above section.

Having a "death wish"--taking unnecessary risks: In the African American community, these symptoms appear to resemble anything! Running red lights is unsafe for any African American in the United States, so that would not be something we would manifest. But carrying a gun into a club saying we are protecting ourselves is an "unnecessary risk"... The death wishes we have is getting involved in very dangerous activities known to ruin our lives and are self-destructive--which leads us to our next symptom

Substance abuse: Alcohol is a depressant, and some illegal substances, like marijuana and methamphetamine make irrational thoughts worse. Many people in our community abuse substances to self-medicate from their depression. It is a self-destructive habit. This is probably one of the single elements that is seen more in the African American community than others. The symptom looks over and above the normal consumption of substance abuse--a functional alcoholic or smoker, etc. And substance abuse treatment differs from depression treatment, while the two are intertwined inexplicably, first the addiction is treated then the mental health issue...

Acting impulsively: One of my signature ones! Usually I would run to go somewhere or act like I was running away when I was younger, living with my parents. My folks were not astute enough to pick up that was a suicidal symptom, so, without treatment, this one can precipitate to a worse outcome, like a suicide attempt--which I did. Since this discussion is about depression, acting impulsively is doing something without thinking about it and letting the chips fall where they land--meaning if the depressed person dies, that will be where the chips land... The depression symptoms you often see meshed with this suicide warning sign are guilt and hopelessness.

Poor performance in school and work: Young people often have failing grades and it is known they are able to do the work. For adults, it accounts for missed days of work, lack of follow through and missed deadlines. The depression symptoms you often see meshed with this suicide warning sign are lack of concentration, fatigue and excessive sleeping.

Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, writing/changing a will, giving away prized possessions: So many depressed African Americans feel they do not have anything, so changing wills is infrequent occurrence. Moreover, I have not seen or experienced giving away prized possessions freely. I gather this suicide warning sign resembles vandalism or destruction of property. The depressed person's thinking is "Since I have nothing to lose (hopelessness) and everyone thinks I am worthless (guilt, worthlessness), I will vandalize this property by graffiti or I will destroy this property by stealing/thievery of key items". What makes this illogical thinking occur in a depressed person is putting the affairs in order or tying up loose ends... What makes this a suicidal warning sign is the risk of arrest involved along with the depression symptoms and other suicidal warning signs like substance abuse or a death wish.

Feeling strong anger or rage: It has been told to me that depression is anger turned in on myself. The anger I have had and still have is due to unresolved hurts and pains done to me or experiencing what I perceive as a traumatic event. Some people casually say, "This is what is called life, deal with it"--is a destructive comment to make to clinically depressed individual, it is what will tip them over to just thinking about suicide to actually committing suicide. The heartless comment often is misconstrued to a depressed person who is already having inaccurate gross conclusions in thought and the comment causes the person who is incapable to articulate his/her feelings to only verify his/her self-worth with the depression symptoms. What you see is either the first suicidal warning sign of "listlessness" or "empty" feelings or you see an anger/rage unloading, often with crying. What causes this anger? I have a blog on anger as it is written from my bipolar POV. When I realized I was very anger or enraged, I had to develop an action plan to remove myself from the event so that my brain was not damaged by my negative thoughts. I also include several other activities and if you would like to know more, you would have to join Sistah Mental Health and Wellness -- the premier online social media site for diverse women: SistahMentalHealth.com!

Remember, it should be noted that some people who commit suicide do not show ANY warning signs. So, loved ones may still feel, "I knew s/he was crazy, but..." And if you actively see these symptoms and want to help him/her, judgment does not help them, professionally licensed provider can! A few pastors have qualifications for professional mental health care and it does not only include prayer or telling one to just be saved! Many professionally licensed providers lack cultural sensitivity and could look "crazy" to you! Finding the what works for you, navigating the mental health care system, implementing mental health and wellness goals for you and your loved ones is very important! If that is something that interests you and you are a diverse woman, please feel free to join us at Sistah Mental Health and Wellness! We await your presence, today!