Stressed + in Between

Today I struggled with saying no to the flaming hot Cheetos that live in the vending machine at my job. Why? Because for some reason every week since I’ve began my health and wellness journey again no matter how much water I drink or how many meals I prep those chips seem to call my name every single time.

The first few weeks I thought it was happening because I was working on becoming more self-controlled in my decisions so I gave myself permission to slip up once. Then once became twice and now every week no matter how good I’m doing with sticking to my plan my mind tends to wonder what those flaming hot Cheetos would taste like if I were to substitute them for one of my meals. I’ve even begun to accept the calorie count on the back of the bag as me just needing to exercise a little more. Although I have been able to continue to lose weight, I struggled with the guilt that I could’ve done more if I would’ve followed the plan.

So when it happened again today, I decided to talk to my trainer and ask him “Why am I struggling with wanted to eat something other than what’s on my food plan?” and his respond was “because you are stressing about reaching your goals so much that your mind is telling you to eat something else to deal with the stress.” Aha!! This ring of some truth and makes a lot of sense to me as to the reason why this is continuing to come up for me. For me when I understand why things happen to me I find comfort in my decision going forward.

So will I have more struggles? Of course, but today I choose to work on stressing less on the scale’s number and going back to enjoying the journey towards the finish line.

What are you struggling to finish in the next hour, day or year?

National Child Abuse Prevention Month – Day 3

April 3, 2020

18:22 p.m.

**A trigger warning has been placed on this content**

As a survivor of child molestation I spent over twenty years trying to figure out who I was meant to be….

Subscribe to The Pen Letter for weekly survivor support. Happy Healing!

Living in a Safe Place

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

March 30, 2020

9:43 p.m.

Never in a million years would I’ve ever thought the place and space I would grow up in as a child would be full of broken safety. I spent a lot of time trying to find my place in the world. I never felt like I fitted in anywhere. I was always the outsider in the group. I had a hard time making friends even before the abuse happened. I made up in my mind that I was just different instead unwanted. I just wanted to feel safe and that’s what happen when I started writing my feelings down on paper.

I wrote in the dark with tears stream down my face many nights. I allowed my journal to keep my secrets feelings of suicide and low self-esteem so I could sleep at night. I continued this practice well throughout my teenage years to cope with my abuse. I couldn’t trust anyone so I decide to trust me and the way I showed trust to myself was through my nightly writing session in the dark.

Photo by Josh Nuttall on Unsplash

When I became an adult I transitioned into writing songs and poems to continue to strengthen this very safe place I had created for myself with the support of God’s hand on my shoulder for reassurance that things would get better just keep writing yourself those letters. It has been a pivotal part of my healing process that I continue to do each and every day. Although I have come a long, long way from when I first started this journey I still have some work to finish. I hope your safe place is still safe for you as well.

With lots of love and a big hug,

Lakell

Generous living during Covid-19

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

March 25, 2020

8:48 a.m.

I woke up to another peaceful morning of stillness. It is amazing to me that despite the Covid-19 statistics and the constant 24 hours updates on the dead tolls from this deadly virus, peace still has a way of showing up every day for me.

I don’t know what it is but it is good to see the world slowing down even if it is by force. I’m one of the many people who still go out to the grocery store and to workout like nothing is going on. I know, I know…. I need to keep my butt in the house especially when I’m not at work. I could feel your energy as I wrote that admission of slight disobedience to the instructions given only by the CDC, WHO and your president. I promise I will do better starting today.

So back to my original thought for writing this blog post. While you are out and about buying the essential items needed for your household like food, paper towels and toilet tissue please remember to be generous. Please leave something on the shelf for your neighbor. It makes no sense to have a whole room full of toilet tissue if you don’t need it all right now. If you’re going buy it all at least drop off some to a senior citizen that can’t get out the house, or a single father or mother who may not have the time to stop by a grocery store after work. We can’t forget to be a blessing to others despite our fears.

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

If you can’t find any toilet tissue right now make sure to check with your local Family Dollar and Dollar General. These stores will have plenty in stock due to there limit restriction per household. I was able to pick up a few first thing this morning not only for me but also for my co worker’s family.

If you are blessed to still have a job, a roof over your head and food in the fridge be thankful but don’t be greedy.

Stay safe, wash your hands, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and don’t touch your face.

With lots of love and a big hug,

Lakell

Psst…before you go my friend don’t forget to sign up my weekly newsletter The Pen Letter, a safe place for survivors to grow.

Living with Inner Me

When I received the great news from my boss that I was leaving from work in ten hours instead of twelve hours today I said”Ok, that’s good. I’ll be able to go ahead and get the gym out the way.” Right? Right!! I was excited and ready to go. So, when the time clock struck 16:06 p.m. I was out the door. This is when the nonsense in my mind began.

Now I’m driving down the street as the entrance of my job gets smaller and smaller in my rear view mirror until it was out of sight. I’m feeling good and energized about hitting that elliptical machine as soon as possible. Then all of a sudden something happened.

As I was making a left turn onto the expressway an extreme heaviness suddenly came over me. My eyes started to water and my mouth is stretched open wide with the repeated sounds of yawning coming out of it over and over again. Ok really? so now I am tired? “Umm ok but you are still going to the gym.” I said to myself. The closer I got to the gym the more exhausted I became. It was ridiculous. I promise this has been happening more and more lately with the things I really need to accomplishment. Not today sis. Not today.

So, as I continue to make my way to the gym, the inner me says” stop by the house and drop off your lunch bag and take a nap.” At this time, I’m full-blown tears in the eyes tired. That nap sounds really good and feels really necessary. So, I told the inner me “No. I will drop off the lunch bag so the food in it won’t spoil then I will get dressed and get back in the car to go to the gym.” Well I think you can imagine how that worked out. I eventually got back in the car but it took a few minutes longer of course. I should’ve taken my behind straight to the gym. But noooo I had fresh lunch bag food that need to be refrigerated. Just another excuse provided by the inner me.

I’m back in the car and the inner me says” Why are you pushing yourself to go to this gym? You can work on losing weight tomorrow.” What in the world in going on? This inner me chic is acting foolish as I continue to make my way to this gym. She will not win at sabotaging my effort. Not today or tomorrow. Finally I have arrived. Now here’s the funny part.

I walked in, said hello and gave the young lady my key chain badge. She says” Have a nice workout” as I began to walk towards the ladies’ locker room and low and behold this feeling of exhaustion hits my body again. Nope I’m here now. I will work out. I picked up my water bottle and my towel and walked out the locker room. Then next thing to happen is a total inner me move. I walk up to the elliptical machine, put my water bottle down and begin to step up on the machine as the inner me begins to say” I don’t like this machine.” So, because I was already tired, I stepped down off the machine and spent the next five minutes walking around the gym to find another machine I liked or I was leaving. Who is this person? and what the hell is going on? The inner me chic was really pushing her luck. So, after my self-imposed tour around the gym I went back into the locker room to regroup as I told my inner me” We are not leaving this gym without working out.” and that’s just what I did. I got my mind right and my thirty-minutes of cardio in. I felt really accomplished and happy about pushing past how I felt in the moment to give my body what it really needed. Now I can rest and know I did everything I was supposed to do. Despite the inner workings of the inner me.

Living Familyless

survivor's shadow

For the last few days I’ve been waking up asking God first thing “Why am I alone?” I know I left my ex-husband eight years ago because I was struggling with some hurt of my own but I never expected to be single for the rest of my life God.” Or at least that’s how it feels. Then I began to reflect on the fact that I am alone when it comes to family as well. As large as my family is I have not one cousin who I can just pick up the phone and say “let’s hang out. I’ll be over in a minute” Why is this? Not to mention I have no kids at the age of 42. Again, I ask “Why is this?” and the way my mind works these questions will stay on repeat until they are answered. Luckily all my answers showed up this evening.

As the hours passed through the day, I felt better about something really significant. With all the responsibilities of being a parent to my siblings growing up it is probably time for me to be alone in order to reset and reflect on what I want my life to look and feel like at the end of each day. So when I was invited out to catch up with a friend that was in town visiting I jumped on it. Not because I needed something to do but because I knew the energy, I would be spending with this group of individuals would be reciprocated.

So around 6:30 p.m. we met up for dinner. We talked, laughed, ate and talked some more. It was a great feeling to catch up on what this particular friend had going on since they relocated to be closer to their family. I felt at home as I spent time with them. It was at this moment I realized the feeling of being alone wasn’t due to the lack of positioned people such as a husband, cousin or a longtime high school friend. It’s due to my lack of appreciation for what I already have in my life. Family members cross my path in unexpected ways all the time. No they aren’t blood related but sometimes the best love come from the people you don’t know. The best thing about this is I know them when I feel them. The love and energy are undeniable.

So back to me feeling alone. Sometimes I just need a gently reminder that I’m never alone I am just sitting still. My life is more than a shadow.

Living for my Nephew (Open Letter)

Hey friend,

How are you feeling today? Pretty good. I’m glad to hear you’re doing well. Let me ask you question. Are you an auntie? Yes you said. Oh good so am I!! Isn’t auntiehood a blessing? Yes I made the word up lol.

Well I asked you that question because I want to share a letter with you I decided to write to my nephew.  I want him to have something he can look back on and read forever.  Do you have a few minutes to read it? Yes you said. Ok good. Here it is…

My dear nephew, 

I love you today, tomorrow and yesterday.  From the first day your mommy brought you home from the hospital I’ve been in love.  You’ve always been a happy child with a smile that would light up a room for days.  Never change this about yourself.  It’s a rare trait to possess in today’s world and since God gave it to you it’s a must you never lose it.  

open letter to my nephew

I’m writing you this letter to encourage your journey ahead as a sophomore in high school.  This is the time for you to start preparing  for your next move in life.  I want you to begin asking yourself questions like” What do I want to do? What do I like? What do I love? How will I show up in the world?”because although your parents brought you into this world you have an individual assignment to fulfill.  You are responsible for how you choose to live your life from this day forward.  I know you want to make your mommy, daddy and sisters proud which is perfectly ok but never forget about making yourself proud first.  Now I know you may not be able to answer the questions I mentioned earlier right away but I want you to start preparing your mind for manifestation.  What is manifestation you ask?  Simply put it is asking God for what you want then waiting on Him to reveal it to you.  You deserve it all.  I want you to be ready for when it comes.  You are a beautiful soul with a big heart.  You are hard-headed sometimes but I’ve seen the lessons learned make you stronger.  

I want you to continue to learn your craft.  Your talent for singing has elevated you to a nurturing school enviornment with unlimited opportunities.  Take advantage of them all.  This is a blessing that not everyone will get to experience.  You were chosen so don’t ever forget to let God know you’re thankful.  

The last thing I want you to do is to continue to love honestly.  Check in with your heart often to see if it’s getting all it needs.  It’s important in order for it to continue to work correctly.  Ask questions and start again.  Enjoy the journey and never give up!!

I love you always and forever Monta,

With Hugs and Love,

Auntie Kelly

 

What advice would you give your nephew?

Mental Suicide

Dear Thoughts,

You are not always there for me.

Like I expect

You’re sometimes mean to me.

Like I expect

You are that comfortable pain.

Like I expect

But don’t misunderstand

Although I expect different

Sometimes different is unhealthy

That’s why I require daily check-ins

Just to make sure we’re still ok

Although suicide was the plan

I take a stand.

To fight for our mental state.

 

Learning to love me always,

Lakell

 

How are you feeling mentally?

Happy Valentine’s Day

02/13/22:57

Dear Love,

We made it another Valentine’s Day together separately.

We have grown in love individually with ourselves then one another.

In love completely

From the moment God said you were ready for me and I for you

Instantly in His time

You respect me inside and out

All of me

Even when I didn’t love myself

I grew up in my thoughts

Because you support me

You laugh with me genuinely

Since I have no sense at all

When funny things occur around me.

You protect me physically and hold my dreams close to your heart as well .

You pray for me.

You pray with me.

God set this up nicely.

I love you

Because HE said it was safe to

I love you

Because you bring the best out of me.

I love you baby,

Happy Valentine’s Day❤❤❤

I apologize to you

11/16/17

23:26 pm

Hey Survivors,

I apologize for not showing up for you guys tonight.

I wasn’t prepared with any content as promised for Thursday night and for that I’m sorry.

Have a wonderful weekend and live every moment out loud.

See ya Sunday!!

With Hugs and Love,

Lakell