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Colored Girls Guide to Staying Sane in 2011

January 3rd, 2011 · 15 Brilliant Opinions · Random Things That Make Me Smile

 


Orchids

I’m a great believer that everyone is a little bit “crazy.” Not  funny, haha,  crazy but teetering on the edge of insanity. Take a genetic predisposition to depression, schizophrenia or bipolar disorder (I don’t think  I know any one who does not have a relative with at least one of these ailments), add a stress-or (job loss, marital issues, money funny) and the “right circumstances” and guess what – you’re the lead story on the 6 o’clock news!

This is a list of the 10 things I did in 2010 – that I think will hopefully keep me out of the rubber room in 2011.

1. Got on the couch – with a good therapist. When I was feeling “edgy” about my marriage (felt like pummelling my husband with a baseball bat) I went to a therapist who suggested I have sex to take the edge off.  Oh, but not with my husband.  Ok  adultery as a cure for ????   It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out she was nuttier than me.  A good therapist can work wonders and give you sound objective advice.  Key word here is good.

2.  I got out of the gym and went outside. Exercise can work wonders for depression.  But when I was at the gym I would get anxious about the wait for the StairMaster or about catching MRSA from the sweat dripping on the machines.  I parked my car and walked to work which guarantees me 40 minutes of aerobic exercise a day.  It gives me some alone time before and after a stressful day.

3.  Pray. Read the Bible. Go to Church. One of the best things a friend did for me in 2010 was send me this link to the Upper Room online.  Every morning  I get a scripture, reading and prayer to start my day.  If you are not into religion, consider meditation. But be still for a moment – every day.

4.  Learn something new. I finally starting taking piano lessons. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do. My daughter has played since the age of 5 and now she wants to do a duet with me.

5. Do something new. What’s worse than being depressed? Being boring and depressed.  I’ve always wanted to write.  Blogging gives me the opportunity to do something fun and new.  Did I mention I am also learning a lot and meeting great folks in the blogosphere?

6.  Lose 10 pounds. I have to be honest. I did not lose body mass…I just threw out the bathroom scale (hey it was heavy!)  I don’t do fad diets but I obsess a lot about my weight.  Other people obsess about germs, are neat freaks, hoard …trust me obsessing about anything (even your health) is a slippery slope to coo-coo land.

7. Look good feel good.  I started wearing more makeup and even went to MAC for a professional application and lesson.  After my daughter told me I was “dressing old” – I invested in some better outfits.  Its harder to feel sad if everyone tells you look good. Also, when was the last time you saw a well dressed woman in heels being led away from a crime scene in handcuffs? (Are you feelin’ me now?)

8.  Less drinking – more chocolate. I write about wine and love a good cocktail.  When you are feeling down, drinking is a big no-no. If you are tempted eat chocolate. It will load you up on calories (but so will alcohol) but you can be a chocoholic and still drive safely.

9.  Lose the negative peeps. I love my girlfriends as much as anyone else – but misery loves company.  If you want to be skinny – hang out with thin chicks. If you want to be successful – hang out with sharp, smart, honest businesspeople who want to mentor you. If you want to stay married…ok you get the picture.  I cut a lot of negative sistas loose in 2010. (Poof! be gone gossipy negative, whiny, psychos!)  I may have one friend left – no lie!

10.  The more sex I have – The more sex I want to have. You work hard. You’re holding it down at home and at work. You’re nursing, tired, pregnant yadda yadda yadda. Sex will relax you and make you happy.  Please be safe  (HIV is a downer) and be committed!

Ok … that’s my list.  This colored girl is putting old hurts behind in 2010 and looking forward to new joys in 2011.  What are you doing to stay sane this year?


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15 Comments so far ↓

  • Juli

    Love This!

  • Ann

    Thanks Juli – I was a little nervous about writing it. Depression is real and a very serious issue, particularly for women of color. Hope this post helps someone.

  • patsy

    That was awesome, some I am doing already the rest I will now do. There are to many crazy people in my family so maintaining my sanity is priority

  • Ann

    Patsy – My mantra is “happy mama” – “happy family.” Thanks for reading!

  • Darbi

    Luved your list, I already do some of them. I am trying to make #3 a #1 for me, it really helps when I do it.

  • Ann

    Darbi – that’s why I like the Upper Room online. Its in my email box (so no work on my part), the bible verse is there (so again no running all over my messy house looking for a Bible) and there is a short passage that the guest writer uses to reflect on the lesson. Its not all “fire and brimstone” either just some down home nuturing text. Stay strong!

  • Notorious Spinks

    I love this post. I agree that many of us need to get comfy w/ a therapist. That is one of the things on my 2011 list before I go loco. LOL!
    I’m about to check the upper room out too.

  • Ann

    Spinks – Thanks for checking out my blog (and thanks for the info on email subscribers). Two friends also mentioned to me that I forgot to add that helping others is also uplifting to the spirit. That is very true – just need to be sure we are keeping our own “wells” full.

  • Cayenne

    Love this list! Glad that you mentioned depression which is a real issue in our community and one that I wish that more was said about it.

  • Ann

    Cayenne – Yeah, I wish there was a little less ‘hair obsession” and more discussion on mental health issues. Its something I struggle with myself and I really have to work hard to get and keep some happiness. Thanks for reading and joining the discussion.

  • Cayenne

    lol @ hair obsession. As my mother and father say it’s just hair. After suffering post-partum depression after my 1st child I am eternally gratefully to my family for recognizing that something was not right and getting me some help. Good therapist / medication / some time in the sun worked wonders. Keep working on Happy I have no doubt that you’ll get and stay there.

  • Ann

    Cayenne – I have a theory that depression is contributing to a lot of the weight issues in our community. Ok – I am trying hard not to obsess about it – but I think a lot of binge eating is going on and that it has become a coping mechanism.

  • Big P

    An ouch to #1

  • Lisa

    Ok, you’ve just become my hero. I agree with you 100% about the mental illness issue in our community. I appreciate your candor.

    One thing I will add to your list is: Stop apologizing for who you are. Not that we shouldn’t be kind to others, try to compromise when appropriate, or try to change our ways, but we are who we are for a reason, and why spend your life apologizing for it? I guess a related one to that is: Stop living someone else’s reality/dream.

  • Ann

    “Stop apologizing for who you are.” That’s a deep one. As women of color, I think we spend a lot of time “apologizing” for being too loud, too angry, too educated and just too damn much! I’m just going to try to “do me.” Oh, we can be each other’s hero 🙂

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