3: An update on #CarriesLifeMatters

#CarriesLifeMatters is the name for my experiences with having anxiety and depression. Check the first one and second. I’m back with the jumpoff.

*Sigh* being this transparent is hard. I’m not good at discussing my feelings. But you all have such kind words for me and I know that it is God’s plan that I share my struggles with mental health. I hope that what I say helps somebody.

I’m better. I’m still living at my mom’s most of the time but I get to Louisville and putting my big toe in the water on living alone again. I’m not ready to live on my own yet.

I’m not ready because when I do struggle with my anxiety, it’s bad. My anxiety is starting to make me physically sick and when I’m in ‘recovery’ I’m exhausted, dizzy, and get the shakes. I had an episode last Saturday night/Sunday morning. Today (Monday, which is last Monday at the time), I slept the whole day. I tried to wake up but my body/mind wasn’t having it.

The shakes are something that have just happened recently. My hands are shaky after bad anxiety. I just spilled sugar all in my momma’s kitchen when making cereal (Don’t tell her).  Because of my episode I was ready to come home Sunday but was too tired to drive. That’s when I realized I’m not ready to be on my own….. YET.

tom-and-jerryAnother issue is I hold alot of my feelings in. I’m doing better because I made a commitment to write about my feelings often. But old habits die hard, I still bottle things up; The bottle gets full and I explode. I have trained myself to hold things in because I internalized the idea that showing emotions and being vulnerable was weak. I don’t wanna look weak. Plus, I don’t think I was ever taught how to express my emotions. I try to put it all in the music these days. I’m writing a lot of lyrics and picked up the guitar picking keys back up soon.

I internalized the idea that there was no room for progress when emotions are involved. It made me a bad leader when it came to working with people when I did events. I had a very ‘F your feelings’ attitude and I lost people because of it. I had enemies when I had my corporate jobs. I didn’t consider people’s feelings. We getting the work done or nah? I straight up said in a meeting once, “Yall aren’t my friends. I don’t care how you feel.”

Feelings do matter. Emotions don’t make you weak. They make you human. This is my current mantra because I still have trouble believing that emotions are ok in my heart.

Lastly, I feel disconnected socially. God has shown me that this is a season of working on Carrie. He’s taken away some people. I think because I relied too much on them. I don’t have beef with anyone but some friendships just tend to fade away and I tend to be less tolerant of people and their antics. Ever since I eliminated my own father from my life. I’m not tolerating anybody’s foolery. It doesn’t feel good. I miss a few people. I feel like an outcast at times but I do understand that this is just a season and God must have some amazing people in store for me next season.

I’m giving up Facebook for personal use for lent. I think I decided around Valentine’s Day. It soooo messed me up. All those couples and carrying on while I’m single just… disgusted me. That sounds horrible, I know. I’m not bitter per se. I WANT to be single and I think monogamy is something I ain’t gonna master (I like 2 or 3, sue me) but this world can be very couple centered and be having me think something is wrong with me.

kait1It seems like everyone my age is getting married/having babies and my biggest concern is finding a lighter. (Ain’t nothing worse than rolling up only to find out a lighter ain’t around!) My brother having a baby (pictured to your left) did not help my feelings at all. If someone likes his ole raggedy ass enough surely I can get chose. (Joking)

Again, thank you all soooooo much for your support of my blog. The conversations that grow from these seeds save me. I wish I could properly express my gratitude.

Lent Week 1 Coming Wednesday ❤

-CGW

 

 

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Get Out Blessed My Soul

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen the movie, this has spoilers so come back after you go see it.

When I was too damn young I saw Chucky and didn’t do horror movies for awhile. I discovered my love for horror in my late teens. I still don’t do Chucky or any type of dolls or puppets but I enjoy a good slasher film or an exorcism film, I believe in them spirits honey.

get-out-3When I saw the previews for Get Out and saw that Jordan Peele was the director, I was confused. I’m a big fan of Key and Peele and I was like is this gonna be a comedy? Like a Scary Movie type film? I underestimated Jordan. Just ’cause you a comedian don’t mean you can’t do horror evidently. Don’t let ’em put you in a box. Message!

I have long had a desire for a black horror movie. I knew neither Spike or Tyler would be able and I knew that one by a white director would be a swing and a miss. Get Out was a breath of fresh air.

Can I be honest? Seeing a black man brutally kill a bunch of white people on a big screen was GREAT. It was even greater when I got in the lobby and saw the expressions on the white people’s faces. The show I was in was probably half black and half white. We APPLAUDED with every family member he killed. I mean a round of applause, girl. I ain’t cheered that hard since the 2013 March Madness. UofL Basketball, men AND women. OOOOHHHHHHHH C-A-R-D-S!

I know that sounds horrible but after a life time of seeing black men killed in REAL life. A film such as this is refreshing.

I believe this film was so great because of Jordan’s perspective. As a biracial person (black dad, white mom) he probably knows both cultures well. I learned plenty of stuff about white people that I didn’t know.

One, the white girl went OFF on that police officer and he didn’t do nothing! I’ve talked to a police officer like that. I was put in handcuffs.

Two, white people still got ‘help’ in 2017. I didn’t know people still had a black woman pouring them tea on Saturday afternoon. When  get my money right, my staff is going to be all white… nice whites like the ones at Chick Fila. My way to balance the universe.

Three, white parents let spouses sleep in the bed. I had a whole conversation about this on Facebook. It’s not going down in Lisa’s house. You can’t spend the night much less in my bed. You can probably get the couch or air mattress. I haven’t brought anybody home to Lisa yet. But my brother has a whole baby and him and his woman don’t leave the living room or kitchen. My white friends on Facebook was like ‘yea, i slept in bed with my boyfriend after high school.’ I am still appalled.

rod-get-outLet’s talk about homeboy!  Rod played by LilRel Howery played Chris’ homeboy. We all need a friend that will investigate and add some shit up. He TOLD Chris not to go to that white woman’s house and then Chris ass didn’t answer the phone for a few days. He went to the cops (one played by Erika Alexander, Maxine Shaw who hasn’t aged at all) and they laughed. Rod had the courage to get in his TSA vehicle and do some investigation. Would I have driven into white people woods for my friend? Not unarmed… I wouldn’t have.

I appreciate the film so much because it was honest. White people crazy. My homegirl asked if I knew the girlfriend was in on it. I said “of course, every white person is in on it.”

Furthermore, the film allowed a black man to be scared and not scary. Chris’ character had some stuff to deal with from his child hood and black characters, (especially male) don’t always get that humanity extended to them. We get to see Viola Davis ass cry and snot every film. When’s the last time you saw a 20 something black man cry on a movie?

Finally what I most appreciate about this film is that the racism wasn’t overt (well, at first) these were regular, nice liberal white people who voted for Obama and would again. White people like that can distance themselves from the KKK and Nazis therefore distancing themselves from racism or the moral responsibility to fight it. Chris was JUST AS uncomfortable around these nice white people and I’d argue those nice white people needed a reality check. Obama and Hill or not, yall still can make us hella uncomfortable.

So Get Out gets two thumbs up from me. I will never watch Birth of a Nation again but I plan on having Get Out and Moonlight in heavy rotation for movie nights. Who comin’ over for Black Films and Chill?

-CGW

 

 

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Don’t wait your turn!

We’ve already established that my Facebook (henceforth FB) News feed gives me the MOST. Part of my self care is ‘unplugging’ especially from FB.

I have a homegirl who checks in on me ever so often. I told her this morning I was super anxious. She said “maybe unplug from FB for today”. That’s EXACTLY what I needed to do.

The FB commentary issues that have got under my eyelashes lately are Karrueche and Chris Brown, the bathroom bill (and many other bills Jesus), immigration and how I’m not ‘woke’ cause I’m Christian.

I have learned valuable lessons in FB debates. It’s usually best to keep right on scrolling. Thoughtful conversation usually happens sans audience and one or one. Anytime we broadcast something, it’s to get a reaction and to show off for our friends. Which is in why my view FB debates go south FAST. I usually want to be real petty by the 3rd exchange and I’m trying to do better so I usually just skip them all together. auntie-max

The second lesson is that a good number of people are not smart or open minded enough to debate with. For example, in order to talk about rights for LGBTQ people, you must understand, sexual preference, gender as a social construct and biology. Lots of people don’t.

For us cisgender folk, being transgender may be a hard concept to grasp (use your Googles) but it shouldn’t be hard to grasp that they are people just like us. I’m more disgusted than surprised that we are having a conversation about public restrooms.

Its hilarious to me that niggas black people scoff at any legislation regarding public accommodations. Ask your granny if she could just go to any bathroom.

AND AND AND Transphobia behind ‘protecting our women’ is disingenuous. The POTUS bragged about grabbing women buy the pussy… The President. Of the United States. Some of our legislatures are trying to defund Planned Parenthood and PP isn’t even funded federally. The government could do a much better job of protecting women. The bathroom bill AIN’T one of ’em.

Lets talk about Chris Brown ole creepy ass for a minute. It doesn’t take much to surprise me but I AM surprised that yall need receipts on Chris’ crazy when we already have them.

I posted the story and people’s comments:

“I need to see pictures.”

“Why is she just now saying something?”

“She’s just doing it for attention.”

AND MOSTLY from WOMEN!

rhianna-faceMeanwhile I’m serving Maxine Waters face. This the same guy that had Rhianna’s face swollen and bloody. Why can’t we believe Karruche? Why are we defending someone we KNOW needs therapy? Cause we enjoy his music? You go on a date with Chris Brown, sis.

These issues don’t necessarily hit home for me. I’ve never been abused by a romantic partner nor have I ever thought about which bathroom to use for my safety. But they still get to me emotionally.

I’m so frustrated that its such a struggle for people to see other people as human that deserve the rights they enjoy. It scares me because I’m very other and I need someone in privilege to see me as human sometimes and I know they don’t have to.

American culture is very much to blame I think. We have plenty of laws on the books that remind the majority that minorities are people too. Also, i think we try to give ourselves moral permission to treat people bad when we “other” them.

Immigration is a good example. You can’t say you don’t want them here because they’re brown (that’s what it REALLY is). That’s too direct. You gotta straight up make shit up. They are terrorist or innately more criminal. So i don’t have to welcome them into the country, so I don’t have to treat them as people. So I CAN treat them badly. Example below:

I’ve been waiting to use this hilarious clip. They was pissed. LOL

But seriously I know what its like to be othered and it doesn’t feel good, it’s scary. That’s why I don’t want to do it to anyone else. I also believe we have a duty to stand up for people. Its way too late to wait your turn. Errrbody is in danger, girl. I have friends that are undocumented, transgender people in my family, I’m a black millennial. I just can’t afford to wait my turn. We gotta fight unjustice for ANYONE because we are ALL image bearers of God.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller-CGW

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It doesn’t always feel good.

Obeying God, doing the right thing, doing what’s needed does not always feel good.

A few examples

Bishop Eddie Long passed. As a victim of sexual abuse, I will probably (want to) do the Harlem Shake and running man on the grave of my abuser. But how I feel about my abuser doesn’t matter because neither Heaven or Hell, me or him belong to me. What if I told you that Bishop Eddie Long was in Heaven? Speaking about a believer’s sin after they pass gives the power to the sin and not to Jesus. I feel like I’m defending Bishop Long and it does not FEEL good. Obeying God, being a Christian, Evangelizing… doesn’t always feel good. A believer goes to Heaven. Period. It says WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in my Bible… not whosoever acts right.

Next example, I feel lonely. (I can’t believe I’m sharing this with yall.) I feel isolated from my friends and family. I’m an introvert but I’m bit of a social butterfly at times. For whatever reason I cannot get anybody closer than arm’s length right now.. All I keep hearing is ‘focus on yourself’ when I pray. Working on Carrie is the best thing to do right now but it does not FEEL GOOD!

Third example, I decided to not give my biological father the opportunity to disappoint me any further. He does not have the heart to be a parent and I don’t chase grown ass people. He has me (and my mom) blocked on Facebook (lol) and he didn’t get my new number when I changed it recently. That doesn’t just not feel good. It feels horrible. The dude that made me doesn’t want to parent me? It’s so tragic its funny. (More on that later, that’s a good story)

Final example, I left my corporate job. I did the right thing. I went to school, got a degree (BARELY) and a nice job.. and that did not feel good. I was very unhappy.  I had a mental breakdown as a result of doing what I THOUGHT was right. After I left my job, I lost my insurance and of course that paycheck. I was broke and could not afford the care I needed (still can’t).

But in the midst of doing what was right and not what felt good I found peace. I felt better the MINUTE I made the decision I wasn’t going back to that job. I realized that I should not be sitting at a desk working for somebody. I am an artist. I’m a hustler. In the midst of this revelation, my mom and I started a T-Shirt Company: HunnTees. I started driving for Postmates and have a few more projects in the works. I am broke (for now). I have no insurance (for now) but I am at peace. I am not miserable. I haven’t been able to say that since July.

So, my advice to you is that I know it doesn’t feel good. But keep going because it does not stay that way. Doing what is hard builds character and perseverance. There’s no getting better without suffering. Count it joy! #ThatsBible

-Carrie

 

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I would like to front for yall. I’d like to tell you I have it all together, that I’m healthy and not broke. I’d like to tell you that I know what I am doing and what I want to do in life.

I can’t.

I’m stressed. My skin looks bad and my hair is thinning. My cycle is irregular and I ain’t got an appetite. I am not myself. I’m super sensitive. I’ve had 2 bad anxiety attacks in the past two days (at the time I’m writing). My father has me blocked on facebook and I didn’t hear from him on my birthday. I’m fighting mad at him. I’m broke. I was sick on my birthday. I am grieving. I don’t enjoy the holidays. Seasonal depression. Crazy dreams. Donald Trump is the President-Elect. So, I’m not ok.

BUT.

I’m still here. (Runs around sanctuary)

There comes a time when you have to get honest and make a decision. I WANT to give up. But, I’m still breathing. I still wake up every morning and that means it aint over.

fb_img_1481767149017I got this damn semi colon tattooed on my hand.

I was inspired by project semicolon. Check them out.

Yall know I’m a grammar/spelling snob. Punctuation is useful. A semicolon separates two independent clauses; I like to think of it as more than a comma and less than a period.

The semicolon project brings awareness to people who have struggled with mental illness, for people who have struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The idea is that if we are the author of our lives, a semicolon goes after that struggle, not a period (oooh, i almost shouted. The Holy Ghost almost threw me off of this couch).

I am at the point right before the semicolon. I’ve learned that God will keep you in the storm until you learn your lesson. I am hardheaded and oblivious. It took a year almost to learn why I was struggling. So what did I learn?

I learned that I am not invincible.

I learned that I need people. I need friends and family that will listen or just sit with me until I’m ready to talk. I need friends that will go off on me if I’m not taking my medicine.

I learned that I must struggle (financially, physically, mentally) in order to help people who are struggling. Hebrews 4: 15 says “… we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one… who was tempted.. yet did not sin” Our greatest help went through what we go through in order to identify with us and intercede for us. I ain’t Jesus by a long shot. I certainly need a lesson or two in sympathizing. I feel a calling to help people. I believe good help comes from those who can identify with those in need.

I read 2 Corinthians today. Paul and the thorn. I wonder what Paul’s thorn was. I have my theories. My thorn (one of them) is my mental health. God didn’t take away the thorn even after Paul asked 3 times. But he did give Paul grace to deal with it. How would we know the power of God if we had the power? God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (v. 9) so we can boast about our weakness because that is when God sees us.

Thus are my birthday reflections. Thank you so much for your support.

– CAGW

 

 

Reflections on The Black and Blue Lives Matter Form

bluelives 2Let me preface this by saying that the following reflections are mine and mine only. They don’t reflect the thoughts, feelngs or values of any organization. Don’t hold my ratchet mouth against anybody but me (but know idgaf).

This flyer (left) appeared on my Facebook newsfeed last week. I reposted with the caption #Nope. I then shared it in a certain group and on my Timeline with the question “Why do we (local BLM activists, millennials and regular ass people) keep getting left out of these conversations?”

A few people had the “kumbyah we all need to unify” rhetoric. I ain’t with it. I’m a proud member of the #CallOut Ministry. The old heads keep having forums and panels with the #BlackLivesMatter tag AND keep not inviting the activists or anyone under 137 years old. There is an official BLM chapter in Louisville. If BLM is not invited, don’t put #BlackLivesMatter on your flyer. RESPECK THE NAME. Is we finished or is we done? I’ve had to voice this to two events. In the words of Snoop Dogg “Do I look like the type of nigga that likes repeating himself?”

In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with beef and arguing. Especially if we have the same goal ultimately. Should we do it publicly? Absolutely not. But we should do it. (I’m sure Dr. King and them argued. I’m sure somebody was like Dr. King can you quit fucking everybody?)

Nevertheless, we had a good conversation and somehow I got bamboozled into attending. I’m still not sure how it happened but here I am on Saturday at 9am at this fuckshit forum.

9am on Saturday was the first mistake. People my age and younger are not going to be anywhere at 9am on Saturday given a choice (I don’t even go to work until 10 at the earliest). People my age and younger are also the ones that are victims of police brutality. You cannot have a conversation ABOUT people that you won’t have a conversation WITH (Darrell Scott and Omarosa don’t count, Donald Trump).

2nd mistake. There was no repast. Jesus preached, and then everybody got fish sandwiches. Any time I’m a guest at somebody’s church I expect to sample the punch of the shadiest church motha. WWJD?

For this reason (in my opinion) there were only about 30 people tops. Which looks like 5 when in a sanctuary.

The forum was held at Spirit Filled Ministries (Louisville, KY). I THINK Bishop Kelsey (a retired police officer) is the pastor. That’s another mistake. Having a forum in the sanctuary. The sanctuary of a black church is (typically) NOT a space that young people or women can be comfortable speaking out. I also am not going to cuss in the sanctuary and I need to be able to cuss at a forum called Black and Blue Lives Matter.. ’cause yall out your rabbit ass mind for that title.

The first speaker was attorney (Tibbs) that gave us this handout. (below) I’ll try to provide a better pic tomorrow. Yall gon deal for the time being.

bluelives 1

His main point was to know our rights, not argue with a police officer but instead take up our issue with the police officer in court. So I asked “what if the police officer kills me first?”. Tibbs and Kelsey responded by telling me to get involved in local politics. Bishop Kelsey also kept calling me ‘baby’ and cut me off. I passed the mic and knew I wasn’t going to take it anymore.

How in the entire hell can I get involved in politics if I’M DEAD MY NIGGA? Somebody told Philando Castile to be respectful to the police. He was and he was still killed. When are we going to address police officers behavior and not victims?!?!?!?!!? Whew. Let me calm down.

I AM involved in local politics. I’ve worked on (winning *flips hair*) campaigns for judges, council members and state reps. That doesn’t make a bit of difference if a police officer with bad aim and bad judgement pulls me over.

“But officer, I work in local politics!”

“Oh you do?” *Puts gun up*

The next speaker was DeVone Holt. He could only stay for so long because he had to get to the studio for his radio show. He finessed that appearance so he could talk and not have to answer questions. He talked about how he’s not going to vote for Trump or Hill and how Black America hates him for it. As a member of Black America, I don’t give a damn what DeVone does much less who he votes for. Hell, I #barely know who he is. Negros are soooooo important. *Rolls eyes* I don’t know what any of what he said had to do with the forum.

The speaker after that was Ray “Sir Friendly C” Barker. He got up and talked about… himself. He discussed the thousands (i promise he said thousands) of children he mentored and his experiences as a cop.

He was reminiscing about the good ole days and trying to defend shooting somebody. He said that cops are trained to shoot twice in the chest (not the leg or arm) and damn near had an orgasm talking about it. He also talked about how he didn’t agree with some of the ‘antics’ of the BLM movement. I think this was the point I wanted to lay in the pew and scream at the top of my lungs. But God. I. got. your. antics, old man.

My fellow activist friend and Sir Friendly got into a heated discussion and a few of the men of the church including Bishop Kelsey surrounded him. My friend was speaking passionately and using his hands, but he wasn’t a threat. Back up off the homie.

I got up and used my womanly charm to defuse the situation. These soft hands, tiddies and eye lashes serve many purposes, one is to manipulate men.

Bishop Kelsey and I ended up exchanging numbers and he’s gonna invite me to some talk he’s having with somebody next week. Negros aren’t getting another Saturday morning out of me for a few months so it better be on a weekday evening and HAVE REPAST.

After that Judge Denise Brown got the mic and stanched edges. She said not voting is the ‘dumbest argument’ she’s ever heard. I again resisted the urge to lay in the pew.

I then got up and observed conversations in the lobby. This lady, wife of a police officer asked me and my fellow activist friend if we wanted to be police officers. #Nah, Lady. I’m tired of people telling us (young black people) to become police officers whenever we have criticism for the police. I criticize my doctor. I’m not going to medical school. I criticize my mechanic. I’m not going to mechanic school. I don’t want to be a police officer. I shouldn’t have to be one to ensure my people aren’t getting killed.

I told her we could set up some programs in predominately black high schools that puts kids on a track to become a police officer like ROTC but I certainly won’t be becoming a popo. I can’t pass the drug test. 

This concludes my reflections on The fuckshit Black and Blue Lives Matter Forum. I’m not going to anymore forums/panels/discussions/pow wows/hotep meetings. I AM going to invest my efforts in programs and organizations that are worthwhile though. Stay tuned.

It’s 2am and I got *sings* church in the morning.

-CGW

 

 

 

 

 

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#CarriesLifeMatters

Britney shaved Yall remember when Britney Spears had a break down of sorts and cut her hair off in 2007? Thats what I’m coming out of. Maybe it was a quarter life crisis. Maybe I called in black for a couple weeks. I still have my hair but I wasn’t at work from July 6th-July 25th. #Imbackbitches

No seriously, my depression and anxiety took me to a place where I was unable to function. I was in the bed MOST of the time. I was working and sleeping and working and sleeping. Rinse. Repeat. I was existing, not living. I stopped going to church. I didn’t have the social energy church required. I didn’t have any social energy or any motivation to DO anything.

What’s important to know about depression is that you may not necessarily feel sad. For me, it’s more of feeling just absent which may or may not make me feel sad. I was absent for months and did not realize it.

I also have anxiety attacks that were becoming more frequent and making it hard for me to sit down at my desk at work for long periods of time. I was also making lots of mistakes on my work.
I haven’t been myself this year. I got fired in January. I THOUGHT I bounced back (because them bitches had to hire me back) but I had not bounced back. I hadnt healed from a very traumatic experience that hurt. Getting fired sucks and I should have taken the time to deal with it. All I did was fight for my job back and go right back into the situation that was harming me.

Looking back there was no reason for me to be mentally healthy. I was fired in January and hired back a month later under the same supervisor that obviously didn’t want me there. I had to work under someone i wanted to punch in the face for months; no wonder i lost it. Also, my medicines had not been adjusted in YEARS.

I went to my hometown for the 4th of July weekend Its always a festive time because all my family is in town and it’s my mom’s birthday on the 6th. I did not have a good time. Again, I stayed in bed most of the time with no social energy. I WANTED to have a good time with my family but it was like I couldn’t. Depression on top of anxiety and a constant headache.

On July 5th when I went back to work after the holiday wknd. I was too anxious to sit at my desk and do my job and thought to myself “I can’t do this.” I told my mom, my therapist and a few trusted friends that I need to go get treatment for my depression TODAY.

I made arrangements to take a leave of absence for work. I told my boss. She prayed for me (laid hands everything and chile) which is funny because she’s a big part of the reason I was so sick. Ho.

Anyway, that day after work my friend “Isabella” came, got me and took me to the hospital to get me an assessment.  I would not have gone without her. I came home that day after work and got in the bed with plans to go the next morning.

Chiiiiile, I had to wait 4 hours to see a clinician. I would have gone home after 20 minutes. I’m so glad Isabella was with me cause I don’t like waiting on a good day and that was a bad day, honey.

I wish I had time to tell you all about the people that I had to wait with. It probably isn’t a good idea to have a bunch of anxious ass people in a quiet ass waiting room (and my phone was dead!!!!!).
I finally got to see a clinician and she asked a bunch of questions and decided that “Intensive Outpatient Therapy (or IOP)” was good for me. I didn’t need to be admitted because I didn’t want to hurt myself or anyone else.
IOP was a group therapy setting Mon-Fri from 9am-12pm. I would also have access to a psychiatrist.
In short, group therapy did not work for me. The room was too bright, no windows, the chairs were uncomfortable and I had nothing in common with the people in group nor was I interested in their problems.
When we would first come in the morning we would do ‘mindful meditation’. We’d sit there and stare for a few minutes. Again, did not work for me. I had to sing a song (usually a hymn) in my head and rock back and forth to not have an anxiety attack.
We would go around and do ‘check-ins’ where we would talk about how we were feeling. On one of my check-ins I needed to talk about how frightened I was that Donald Trump would become POTUS and the therapist stopped me because we couldn’t discuss politics. That was the day I decided I was over ‘group’. If I can’t talk about politics or white people, the sht ain’t therapeutic.
In the mean time, I had seen the resident psychiatrist and he had adjusted my medicine. I was feeling better. I had more (social/mental/emotional) energy. The downside is the medicine has become more expensive but feeling better is worth it.
I told them I needed my walking papers and was going back to work. I have learned that it is important in this broken healthcare system to decide what you are going to do because often times providers are more concerned about money (especially those with mostly medicare/medicaid patients) than your care and aren’t going to necessarily do what is best for you. Them people would have had me in group therapy miserable for as long as my insurance would cover it.
Don’t get me started on insurance, Jesus.
OH! and in the middle of all that I got food poisoning! On Tuesday or Wednesday of group I woke up feeling very anxious but went to group anyway cause therapy is supposed to help right? I’m not going to give yall any details but I ended up going home early from group and was very sick for the rest of the day. I thought I was a goner, yall. I was writing my obituary in my head. I’m dramatic. I THINK I got food poisoning from Papa Johns because that’s what I had to eat the night before.
Thank God for Jehova-Rapha, I don’t look like what I been through.
My mother named this #CarriesLifeMatters probably because I stress myself about the happenings in the world and my vessel was empty so I was useless to the movement. I haven’t been able to do any activism work locally for a long time. I will be back soon though.
There were a few things I had to do and a few decisions I had to make when it came to getting better. One decision was that I was going to stop trying to convince white people and men of racism and patriarchy. I cannot wake everybody up. It isn’t my job and it is stressful because stupid people tend to do that. I’m no longer going back and forth on my social media posts. If you don’t get it, I’m sending you on your merry way. My people are getting killed. I have to use my energy to fix this thing.
I also have to make sure that my physical spaces (namely my bedroom and car) are not cluttered. Lack of motivation comes with depression and I wasn’t motivated to clean my space it really made my anxiety worse.
The adjustment in my medication almost instantly helped my energy and my sleep schedule. Once that I’m used to it (and ain’t broke no more). I’m hopping back on this get healthy train. I am the heaviest I’ve ever been. It’s 100 degrees outside. The devil is a liar. I could not get physically healthy because I was not mentally/emotionally healthy. Knowing is half the battle. I’ll post the #CarrieShrinks plan next week.
Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me a message of encouragement and or prayed for me. I needed it more than you know. Hope I can catch you all individually.
I’m STILL HERE.
-CGW
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10 Things That Tickle Me about the Black Church Experience

This article was inspired by Very Smart Brotha’s “10 Randomly Specific Things to Blackness that Always tickle the Hell out of me” shoutouts to Damon Young and all the brothas at VSB.

I’m told that I first went to church when I was 8 days old. I was born on a Saturday, Lisa (aka momma) rested the next day, but when Sunday came back around her super saved self was in church with a big ass newborn. I have always been chunky and I have always been in church. Since my granddaddy was the ‘passa’ I was probably in church more than the average church goer. The black church was all I knew until my white home girl from middle school had her confirmation and invited me down to the white Catholic Church. I was amazed and confused. (I need a white contributor to the blog, affirmative action)

I have “backslid” to one service per Sunday and since Empire comes on Wednesday, I usually miss bible study. I’m gon watch via streaming faith this afternoon though. Here are 10 things that tickle me about the black church experience.

 

The Ushers  

The ushers are the church’s bouncers and you want to be friends with them. For some reason, their right, (left?) hand is stuck to their back. If church is full when you show up, they will tell somebody to scoot down while looking over their glasses and show you your seat.

No, you can’t sit with your friends/family. You’ll sit where the hell she/he told you to. Sit on your coat/jacket or put it on the floor. You can’t save seats, and put the lap scarf on she/he gave you even if your dress is down to your ankles. Don’t argue.

Get a fan or envelope when they come down the aisle. Cause if they have to come back you will get a side eye.But they will take care of you, I was distraught at my grandaddy’s funeral and the usher wiped my eyes for me WHILE fanning me. They the real MVPs.

Believe it or not, I was an usher back in my day. I quickly realized that I was not humble enough to serve in this capacity and put my white gloves up. I haven’t picked ‘em up since… ain’t going to.

The Musicians 

My daddy and brother are musicians so I got to deal with musician foolery 7 days a week. They may have on a 3 piece suit. They may look like they are about to go hoop at the Y. They will not have the right colors on. They disappear like your baby’s daddy during the sermon (especially if your church has multiple services). They probably played down to the bar last night and will start a groove during offering and forget and slip some secular music in there.

The length of service 

My church at home has combined men/women’s day (see the next one) and we were in church until 2pm that service; in large part because somebody let my mom and her sister (aka my auntie) on program. Make sure you bring a bag of grippos and your soda/juice of choice to service (there’s a store walking distance of every black church in America). You’re in it for the long haul. 10 songs, 2 scriptures, memorials, offering, prayer, 10 more songs, shouting and THEN the sermon, altar call, remarks, and benediction. I usually get a headache mid sermon.

The “Days”   

Children’s Day, Youth Day, Young Adult Day, Men’s Day, Women’s Day, Senior Adults Day is what I grew up with. We called it “Loyalty Month” not sure why. Loyalty month is the only time we saw most of the participants. These hoes ain’t loyal.

Women’s day is coming up. The theme is “Get In Formation”. I’m probably gonna participate just out of curiosity of how we’re going to take Beyonce’s song and put Jesus on it.

The “Days” are a big production, complete with a theme, assessment ($$$) and what colors the ushers and choir are supposed to wear. There’s always one person that isn’t going to buy a new outfit and will either wear their black suit/white suit REGARDLESS of the colors (ask Lisa if she buying something. She ain’t)

The kids/teens 

Somebody’s baby is crying. EVERYBODY turns around to see who it is and why they ain’t took that baby to the nursery. As if there aren’t some grown folks that don’t want to throw a fit from sitting for 3 hours. Lots of churches have a separate service for children now. I’m pissed because I didn’t have a separate service to go to when I was a kid. I had to sit with my auntie (my mom was in the choir) and endure. Spoiled brats.

The teenagers do not want to be there and have no problem showing it.

The “muthas” 

I’m not sure the history of the mothers of the church. But a group of older women are the matriarchs of the congregation. They have their own row at my home church.

Give them the correct title, not “Sister soandso” or Mrs. “soandso” MUTHA soandso.

If your skirt is too short, a mutha will pull you to the side (maybe) and let you know. If you need a perm, a mutha will ask you when you’re getting one (even if you’ve had an afro for a year… happened to Lisa. I DARE you to ask her the story. She’ll go off) No matter how shady she is to you, you have to respond ‘yes ma’am’ and be respectful for no other reason than she’s 100 years old. I think it’s extra points in Heaven when you can stay respectful to Mutha Shadyboots. She always has her head covered in the sanctuary. Dressed impeccably, accept the shoes. She’s been on this world a few decades and is gonna put her sneakers to come to service.

The Deacon Board 

I suppose this makes the Deacons the fathers of the church. They have been serving communion/Lord’s supper since the Emancipation Proclamation but still manage to argue and look confused when 1st Sunday comes around. The pastor/church’s body guards, a few of them are packing. They take the offering to God knows where and count it. Their wife is on the women’s usher board and also participates in serving the communion but knows what she’s doing.

The Kitchen Committee/Culinary Ministry   

On special occasions, such as a ‘day’ or anniversary the church has a meal after service. The church pays for the meat. The members got to bring the side dishes. Everybody takes a to-go plate. The senior citizens eat first.

This is the best seasoned food you’ll ever taste. Ever. There are a dozen cakes/pies to choose from and the tea will put you in a diabetic coma. It’s made with the Holy Ghost and crack cocaine. Give yourself time to nap before evening service.

I think being mean is a requirement to work in the kitchen at church. I also had a short-lived stint in the kitchen. When I was a teenager, they had the youth help in the kitchen/dining room for some event and the saints were so IGNANT the youth refused to ever work in the kitchen again. I think that was the first boycott/protest I organized. They had 16-year-old Carrie ALL THE WAY FCKED UP. I hadn’t been saved that long.

Funerals 

No matter how much of an asshole you were, if you went to a black church, we’ll MAKE UP some fond memories of you to reflect on at the funeral. These services can also be very long (bring a snack). The ushers have backup in the funeral home staff. They have extra supplies (fans, peppermint, bottled water) and you AIN’T getting a program before the family comes in. If the family is large and takes up all the programs, you’re not getting a program. If the family is large and needs more seats, you may have to stand. Do what the usher says. Please. You can find one after service. Somebody left one in the pew.

White Jesus

You may go into a church with black people and a black pastor. There may be a picture/painting of white Jesus somewhere. There isn’t in either of the churches I go to. I’d have them take it down. White supremacy runs deep. If I talk about it any further I’ll start cussing.

 

 

Thus is my list of of 10 things that tickle me about the black church. Honorable Mention entries that I didn’t have energy to cover: The First Lady, The Church Secretary, Offering, Pastors/Church Anniversary, The politicians we see once every few years and Testimony Service.

-CGW

CP Time: Black people always late!

Ok guys, I guess I’m going to be the one to address this. Black people, WE have got to stop being late everywhere and for everything.

Disclaimer:

I am not talking about one particular person, group, organization or event. If this sounds like you, your business or event, then do stuff on time, I guess. God bless your heart and all your parts. Don’t send me any messages please.

Furthermore, this is a WE/US discussion and not a “Y’all/Them” discussion. Timeliness is something I struggle with as well in my personal life and events. If you’ve ever been to one of my events and you’ve had to wait more than 30 minutes for the event to start, your next ticket is on me. I am sorry. We will do better. Thank you for the support. Send me an email for your coupon.

CPT or “CP time” refers to “Colored People’s Time”, an African-American expression that dates back to the early 20th century. It is the idea that black people are late for everything. Even those of us who don’t have a clock-challenge have trained ourselves to be late because we know our peers will be. It crosses generational lines.  In the biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the author notes that MLK and his staff regularly operated on CPT.

In 1972 Ronald Walcott said this about CPT in Black World in 1972:

“CP Time is actually an example of Black people’s effort to evade, frustrate and ridicule the value-reinforcing strictures of punctuality that so well serve this coldly impersonal technological society.”

I get that, and I agree. But the issue for me comes when my money is involved. If we are not going to succumb to the parameters of time, why are we still sticking to expensive ass tickets?

Dustin J. Seibert said it best when talking about Rita Louise Watson Ms. Lauryn Hill. “If you’re getting a fat check to do a thing and you have thousands waiting on you to do that thing, you don’t get to decide when you want to get started to do that thing.”

If I told my supervisor (as Lauryn told her fans in Atlanta) “I don’t’ have an on/off switch. I am at my best when I am open, rested, sensitive and liberated to express myself as truthfully as possible.” When I show up to work at 11:47am instead of 9am like I’m supposed to, I wouldn’t have a job.

I am one of Lauryn Hill’s biggest fans. That being said, she is trifling. You got the nerve to be late for people that keep you in good standing with the IRS after not releasing a new album since the Great Depression? If my black ass waited until I was rested and liberated to do anything, I’d ALWAYS be at the house. Get your ass on stage L-Boogie. ON TIME.

Let me calm down.

My mother threw a birthday/tenure party for my aunt a few weeks ago. It started at 2pmEST. I showed up at (my mother’s house in Lexington) at 1:45 to help my mom with last minute party stuff. She had prepared games and wanted to wait for everybody to get there to play said games. We did not start games until around 4:30pm. I had somewhere to be in Louisville at 7:30pm. I left Lexington at 6:30pm.

My friend (who has been black longer than me and don’t play that late shxt) had invited me to the Louisville Orchestra’s final performance for the season that same night. It started at 8pm. I told her we could meet at 7:47pm. She said ‘girl, this ain’t a black event, that’s too late’. I was rushing to get to the event. I left Lexington too late fooling with my late ass family/friends.

My black ass showed up a little after 8 and had to walk across about 100 white people to get to my seat in the middle of the aisle. (If you’ve been in Whitney Hall you know what I’m talking about) It was 8:03. Thank GOD they were still making announcements and giving out Thank Yous. (It is BAD musical etiquette to be walking around while the orchestra is playing). The event started at 8, I got there RIGHT AT 8 and EVERYBODY had BEEN in their seat for a minute. My black ass was embarrassed.

“You should be honored by my lateness” – KanYe West

This is my mantra when anybody questions my timeliness. I’m grown and my stay at home game is strong. Be thankful I showed up at all. I had to stop and get rellos. But when we are late you know what we’re saying? We’re saying that you, your event, or whatever is not important enough for me to put forth the effort to be on time.

WE can be on time. It just takes effort. Are you late for work? for court? for the 9:05 showing of a movie? for free before midnight at the club? Right.

I was on time to my mom’s party because I love and respect my mom. I am on time to work (most days, help me Holy Ghost) because I’m broke I like that direct deposit every other Friday.

As a young entrepreneur, the goal is to change the world and make a lil change. I want to be taken seriously and that is hard because of the two strikes against me (black, woman).  I cannot afford to be sloppy when it comes to timeliness. I hate going to events (after I’ve bought a ticket) and waiting an hour or 3 for the show to start. I didn’t buy a ticket to watch you set up. On the flip side, people don’t support my events to sit around for an hour after the advertised show time waiting for the talent to show up. We’ve got to do better, yall.

I’m making a commitment to be on time both at my events and in my personal life. If you aren’t doing better, what are you doing?

 

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Nobody Cares What You Think

Breaking News! This just in. Nobody cares what you think!

But Carrie, there are people in my life that love me and ask for my opinion/advice. Ok, we not talking about them (they don’t care either quiet as kept).

Social media has us confused. Platforms like Facebook have given everyone, from the informed to the ignant their own personal soap box to stand on. Now regular people (and celebrities) are spitting their personal opinion like it matters or stands to benefit anything.

I wouldn’t know how dumb, ill-informed, ignorant and down-right dreadful some people are had we not gotten connected on Facebook. I want my blissful ignorance back!

There are a few events that led up to this blog entry. In no particular order:

  1. White people figuring out Beyoncé is black
  2. That child from American Idol saying she didn’t agree with the ‘gay lifestyle’
  3. A guy on Facebook ranting about transgender people using the bathroom they want and the ‘gay agenda’.
  4. Two train-wrecks named Iggy Azalea and Azealia Banks
  5. Judge Selfie Olu Stevens’ Facebook posts and everyone’s support despite the fact that what he did was ignant.

If you’re a fat country black woman with a big ole afro that SANGS (not sings) named La’Porsha Renae, you need the geighs on your side, honey. If you’re a white culture vulture that raps, you need the blacks on your side. Iggy, Banks and Porches could come and give a free concert in my back yard and I’m going to be busy that day. Why? ‘cause they didn’t have since enough not to find a HUSH.

You cannot alienate people then expect them to support you in the form of buying tickets to shows and your music. You don’t agree with my “lifestyle”? That’s your prerogative. I’m not buying any tickets though. You hating on Queen Bey?! You outcho natural mind. Where is everybody’s publicist? Does nobody have a friend that says “No girl, don’t say that out loud.” I do. I have a few friends that make me take down various posts. My delete game strong. Get you a friend or 5 that love you enough to tell you that you said something stupid .

Yall know I have an opinion about EVERYTHING but I also have lot of bills. For example, I don’t think people should have babies with more than one person or before they get married. But I host shows, am a spoken word artist and I need those fornicating mofos to buy some tickets so I can pay LG&E. My opinion of their life doesn’t matter.  I am only hurting myself if I get up on my soap box and alienate a group of people because they sin differently than I do.

Judge Olu Stevens has made national news because he dismissed an all white jury from a criminal case. More diverse juries are a worthy cause and certainly something that needs to be addressed. Judge Stevens and his wife got on Facebook talking shit after mediation between them and commonwealth attorney Tom Wine.

Now, if y’all are making progress and have come to some sort of agreement to work together towards more diverse juries, why get on Facebook and accuse the commonwealth attorney of ‘protecting all-white juries’? That is not what Tom Wine was doing. Sometimes, you have to put the cause above yourself. Judge Stevens isn’t hearing any criminal cases and juries are STILL all white. I don’t know Tom Wine. I do know that he is human and so am I. If you get on Facebook talking shit about me, I’m not going to be inclined to cooperate with you.

There is wide support for Judge Stevens in Louisville. I have not jumped on the bandwagon. I support the cause of more diverse juries. But I believe Olu could have acted differently and is more concerned about Olu than he is about more diverse juries or the community. That being said, I still have the utmost respect for my friends and colleagues who have been fighting for Judge Olu Stevens on the front lines. No need for us to argue (again). Let’s use our energy to better our community.

In the past few months, white people have figured out Beyonce was black and are losing their damn minds. Hell, I didn’t know Beyonce was black until Blue Ivy came out with that afro. I think we must realize that Beyonce has been in the spotlight since she was a teenager. She is a grown ass woman now and her art has evolved. I read pieces I wrote at 17 and I was a completely different person. I wouldn’t expect Beyonce to still be singing “Bills Bills Bills” at this point. Her art has become more conscious. She paid homage to the Black Panthers at this year’s Super Bowl. She snatched everyone’s edges off with her new album “Lemonade” (I haven’t watched yet). White people are in an uproar.

I find it interesting that as long as black women are miserable or bent over, nobody has an issue. But a black woman puts out a meaningful thoughtful piece of art and everyone is up in arms. White people, Beyonce is not here for your consumption. Lemonade was not for you. That does not make it racist. That means it is not for you. You may have lost Beyonce but you still have everybody else. Becky and Piers Morgan, sattdown. If celebrating blackness offends you, that is your problem and not Beyonce’s. Nobody cares what you think.

Finally, anytime I give advice, I’m giving it to myself first. I had to realize that nobody cares what I think/feel at my job. It was a hard lesson to learn because they do ask what I think and how I’m doing but they don’t want me to be honest. Last time I was honest at a meeting, my supervisor looked like she wanted to strangle me and didn’t talk to me for 3 days. Honesty is not always the best policy, chile. I’m not telling you to lie. I’m just telling you to learn to put shut and up together every now and again.

You have a strong opinion about something? Before you take to Facebook, ask yourself what that opinion means about you. Are you worried about a transgender person using the bathroom with you? What does that say about your motives when you go to use the bathroom? When you go to post something on social media, ask yourself. Is this empowering? Will it hurt somebody’s feelings? Is it useful? Would I say this to anyone in person? If you answered ‘No.’ more than 2 times, put your phone down and take a deep breath.

Say it with me, “Nobody cares what I think.”

As always, thank you for reading. Don’t hesitate to share and comment.

-CGW

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