#EmotionInMotion: How I Deal With Feeling Overwhelmed



I haven’t written about my emotions in a while, yet it’s therapeutic, so when I was asked to write this post either about feeling glamorous or overwhelmed for Bernadette Pleasant’s #EmotionInMotion Blog Tour along with other emotional and expressive women bloggers, I thought it would be a good idea. I am an empathic, compassionate, sensitive, highly intuitive and emotional Moon Child who knows a lot about feeling overwhelmed.

The picture you see above would be me, of course. I don’t remember much about that day, but I was about 9, it was Easter, and I was definitely overwhelmed by frustration about something. In that moment, I’m pretty sure that whatever it was that was bothering me was petty. I vaguely recall my mother telling me that I couldn’t do or have something and so, I made that face in an attempt to wish her into the cornfield. She sometimes took photos of me making that face in an effort to get me to stop. I still make that face today because I’m hard-headed, and I still get really overwhelmed by my emotions, and especially adulthood, but at least I now look at that photo and chuckle.

If I could go back in time and send that little girl a message based on what I know now, I’d tell her how much more disappointment she’d face and how much stronger she’d become because of it. I’d warn her about the anxiety and depression that she would be so easily overwhelmed by. I’d urge her to focus on things that feed her soul, especially when she’s feeling swamped by the weight of everything, and although this is cliche, I’d encourage her to not sweat the small stuff.

The grown woman that that little girl has become is still an empathic, compassionate, sensitive, highly intuitive and emotional Moon Child but it’s only now, several years later, that she is learning how to cope.

I work in media, a high pressure field that in the height of my depression in 2013, I had to take a break from because it made me want to either lash out or die, sometimes both at the same time. I was so overwhelmed by my desire to feel better and be better that I got stuck and very sick. I made no progress creatively or mentally and while I haven’t been literally suicidal, I’ve come close metaphorically. I have questioned whether I wanted to continue living. I found myself weighing the pros and cons of whether it would be worth it to get out of bed. I beat myself up about my career not going the way I had planned, or hoped. I wondered why a lot of the people I had encountered in my field were so shitty. I had grown accustomed to a culture of staff getting cursed out in meetings or being berated for looks, weight, not having enough Twitter followers and other arbitrary, trite things. I wondered why people in general were so crappy toward each other. It was a stifling phase I was in.

Eventually, tired of being deluged by so many negative feelings and tired of not wanting to participate in my life, I got therapy. I also started consistently pursuing hobbies that speak to my soul, like dance, and pole dance, being active in general, and writing for myself, not some magazine and not an audience. I’ve learned how to say no, how to prioritize, how to eliminate toxic people and environments from my life, how to stop beating myself up and how to get over being overwhelmed to the point where I’m not making progress, and I’m starting to feel better, one day at a time.

Emotions can be transformative as long as you allow yourself to feel, identify and understand.  If you’re ready to further explore those feelings through movement, then keep reading to find out more about Bernadette Pleasant’s #EmotioninMotion tour.

EiM FB Cover 1

Bernadette Pleasant, the creator of Emotion in Motion has developed a safe and sacred day-long journey that engages the mind, body and soul. Weaving together the use of music, percussions, meditation, and hands-on healing. Her January 4th workshop will create an impactful, life-changing experience for each participant! You can purchase tickets here or participate in her latest giveaway.

To enter the giveaway go to her website and leave a comment answering the following question, “When someone says you’re emotional, what does that mean to you?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

A Push For Faith: Unloading Last Year’s Baggage For a Better 2014

Marveling at the view from the London Eye

In retrospect, last year wasn’t bad. It was a rollercoaster–the past few years have been–but it was pretty good.


That was the first time I have admitted that fact and it felt damn good.

I have a problem with stealing my own joy by focusing on the negative and what I don’t have and what I want to happen now. It’s a character flaw that drags me down into the depths of depression. I spent last year, and the year before that being really depressed because my career isn’t flourishing. I have tried, for years, to establish myself as a multimedia journalist, and to eventually get paid to do what I love but it hasn’t worked out the way I dreamed for a variety of reasons. I have been laid off twice since 2009. I worked a lot of freelance gigs in between that stole my soul  because my ideas and talent weren’t respected but I needed checks and so I chased them and lowered my standards. I dealt with companies that didn’t want to pay me a decent enough wage to survive in New York, and companies that forced me to stalk them for my money and then I dealt with people who  treated me like a dog. A lot more people than I imagined just don’t give a shit about people’s feelings and I gave them my energy at my expense.

A lot of my identity was tied up in being able to get paid doing what I love but the reality of what was happening with work and in my industry (which has tanked tremendously) crushed me. I also compared myself to other people who were seemingly achieving the type of progress that I wanted to see for myself. It made me feel worse…and useless.

I still struggle with that sadness but in retrospect, I realize I had no business working on anything but myself because I was dealing with PTSD from past job experiences. Job PTSD is really a thing, according to my therapist. I’m tenacious, so even though I knew I needed to work on healing, I still didn’t let go. Last year, when I was isolated in a city where I really didn’t have a network or familiarity, and my husband was working all the time (he’d leave at about 9:30 am and I was lucky if I saw him by 11 pm) and becoming a different person because the job he had drained his soul, I fell into such a dark place that I got to the point where getting out of bed was a struggle. It was scary.

People who have never been seriously depressed usually don’t understand what that feels like. The best way I can describe it is that I was possessed by an invisible but palpable entity that wanted me to die. If you’re familiar with Harry Potter, then think about the dementors.

I finally got serious about finding happiness after my therapist suggested being evaluated by a psychiatrist for medication.  I couldn’t bring myself to getting on anti-depressants so I needed to get over myself. It wasn’t as easy as it sounded–I still struggle–but I started with thinking about the things that make me happy. Aside from family and friends, there was pole dancing. It was all I had in my isolation and it gave me a sense of normalcy, so that’s how I started passing my time after not having poled in several months since relocating.

Pole dancing lead to Pilates and doing more H.I.I.T. and strength training, and learning about Ashtanga yoga, which I plan to tackle seriously eventually. I also mustered the courage to post my pole pics on Instagram. I did my first Ayesha. My form was off but I celebrated because I hit a milestone that used to seem impossible.

Pole Dancing Ayesha

When I wasn’t poling I was working on my novel that I had been working on for over a year. It was taking me forever to finish because of work obligations but I finally completed the rough draft. Now it’s time for me to get a presentable draft together to pitch to potential literary agents.

I quit a job that I hated because it was more of the same of what I had been going through years prior, but not before I was able to save up for travel goals that I had for 2013.

My first goal was to pay for a New Orleans trip to the Essence Festival, where I spent time with the hubby, and even saw friends and family from New York. A couple of months later, I went to London with my mother (it was initially going to be a solo trip but my mom expressed interest in going), which was another goal and then two months after that I went to Barbados. I saw three friends get married and the hubby got a job that allowed us to move back to NYC.

New Orleans
New Orleans
Barbados Oistin's
Oistins Fish Fry, Barbados
Abbey Road Zebra Crossing
Crossing Abbey Road With Mum =0)

Being back in New York has made me happier but being in the midst of where my industry lives and not being where I want to be is still a struggle. With that, I realize a new set of tests has begun. Living in Chicago allowed me to reflect on my life from the past few years and I realize that it’s important that I build on the lessons that the universe has been trying to teach me in order  to move forward.

My career approach will be different. I don’t know how just yet but I’m thinking about it and I have to be OK with that. I must be nicer to myself by nurturing activities and thoughts that make me happy. I will stop comparing myself to other people because I only know my journey. I have to stop letting other people’s behavior drain me especially because 99% of their behavior has to do with them and not me. That doesn’t mean that I have to be a doormat but I also don’t have to fight everyone, including myself. It’s OK to relax and not get caught up in that no sleep hustle culture because unplugging is necessary. I must see everything through. I am impatient and when I don’t see the results that I want when I want then I give up. I also lack faith and have a general cynicism toward my life because it’s a defense and coping mechanism that I have developed. It was easier to expect the worst rather than be blindsided by hurt and more disappointment. I’m not afraid of disappointment. I just got so used to it that I made it second nature and I got tired of wondering if the right doors would ever open.

But having faith is important.

Even through the struggles, my life seems to fall into place when it needs to but I don’t trust the process. I’ve been leading with my ego and emotions but it’s more important to focus on abundance, gratitude and the process during the journey. It’s easy to write that and to say it but hard for me to put it in practice.

So, for 2014, I intend to keep myself busy and happy by focusing on what I’m passionate about and being consistent on the path that was meant for me.