It’s A Shame; He Was Doing So Well With His Shoveling

“When you have depression it’s like it snows every day.

Some days it’s only a couple of inches. It’s a pain in the ass, but you still make it to work, the grocery store. Sure, maybe you skip the gym or your friend’s birthday party, but it IS still snowing and who knows how bad it might get tonight. Probably better to just head home. Your friend notices, but probably just thinks you are flaky now, or kind of an asshole.

Some days it snows a foot. You spend an hour shoveling out your driveway and are late to work. Your back and hands hurt from shoveling. You leave early because it’s really coming down out there. Your boss notices.

Some days it snows four feet. You shovel all morning but your street never gets plowed. You are not making it to work, or anywhere else for that matter. You are so sore and tired you just get back in the bed. By the time you wake up, all your shoveling has filled back in with snow. Looks like your phone rang; people are wondering where you are. You don’t feel like calling them back, too tired from all the shoveling. Plus they don’t get this much snow at their house so they don’t understand why you’re still stuck at home. They just think you’re lazy or weak, although they rarely come out and say it.

Some weeks it’s a full-blown blizzard. When you open your door, it’s to a wall of snow. The power flickers then goes out. It’s too cold to sit in the living room anymore, so you get back into bed with all your clothes on. The stove and microwave won’t work so you eat a cold Pop Tart and call that dinner. You haven’t taken a shower in three days, but how could you at this point? You’re too cold to do anything except sleep.

Sometimes people get snowed in for the winter. The cold seeps in. No communication in or out. The food runs out. What can you even do, tunnel out of a forty-foot snow bank with your hands? How far away is help? Can you even get there in a blizzard? If you do, can they even help you at this point? Maybe it’s death to stay here, but it’s death to go out there too.

The thing is, when it snows all the time, you get worn all the way down. You get tired of being cold. You get tired of hurting all the time from shoveling, but if you don’t shovel on the light days, it builds up to something unmanageable on the heavy days. You resent the hell out of the snow, but it doesn’t care, it’s just blind chemistry, an act of nature. It carries on regardless, unconcerned and unaware if it buries you or the whole world.

Also, the snow builds up in other areas, places you can’t shovel sometimes places you can’t even see. Maybe it’s on the roof. Maybe it’s on the mountain behind the house. Sometimes, there’s an avalanche that blows the house right off its foundation and takes you with it. A veritable Act of God, nothing can be done. The neighbors say it’s a shame and they can’t understand it; he was doing so well with his shoveling.”

This was an explanation of depression shared anonymously on a Reddit thread and went viral. I’m sharing because mental health issues are still taboo in our first-world country and my wish is society as a whole would be more welcoming to those struggling with this ‘invisible’ disease.

Every year the foundation I work for hosts an annual fundraiser called Fight Night and splits half of the night’s net proceeds with another local at-risk children’s charity. This year we’re partnering with CHOC Children’s and its pediatric mental health initiative.

Here are some facts based on CHOC Children’s research:

  • Half of the children who struggle with a lifetime mental illness had symptoms before age 14 but received no help.
  • Only about 1/3 of children with mental health problems today receive any treatment.
  • Children with chronic medical conditions like asthma or diabetes are 2-5 times more likely than their healthier peers to have mental health problems.
  • Stigma, denial, and lack of access to care are barriers to healing.
  • The earlier a child receives high-quality, evidence-based care, while the brain is rapidly developing, the greater the possibility of a positive outcome.
  • Effective treatment in partnership with the family can change the trajectory of a life.
  • Suicide is the second highest cause of death with young people between the ages 10 – 24.

Clinical depression [1] is a “whole-body” illness that affects your mood, thoughts, body, and behavior. Many factors can contribute to clinical depression, including cognitive issues (e.g., negative thinking patterns); biological and genetic factors; gender (it affects more women than men); other medications; other illnesses; and situational factors.

For some, a number of these factors seem to be involved, while for others a single factor can cause the illness. Often, people become depressed for no apparent reason. In an effort to cope with the emotional pain caused by depression, some people try to “self-medicate” through the abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs, which only leads to more problems.

I was also made aware African Americans are even more less likely to seek treatment for mental health issues. The following [2] statements reflect some common misconceptions about African Americans and depression: “Why are you depressed? If our people could make it through slavery, we can make it through anything.” “When a black woman suffers from a mental disorder, the opinion is that she is weak. And weakness in black women is intolerable.” “You should take your troubles to Jesus, not some stranger/psychiatrist.” 

The truth is that getting help is a sign of strength. People with depression can’t just “snap out of it.” Also, spiritual support can be an important part of healing, but the care of a qualified mental health professional is essential. And the earlier treatment begins, the more effective it can be.

So…stop the stigma. Talk about it. Mental health matters. We need each other.

Everything you have ever wanted, is sitting on the other side of fear.-9

 

 

 

I Know Suicide

I’ve had two friends try to commit suicide and another one succeed. Once when I was seventeen, and twice within one month when I was twenty. These experiences are why I have zero tolerance for those feigning ignorance regarding suicide and mental illness, and why 1-800-273-8255 Your Life Matters might’ve sounded like a rant…

Two days ago I wanted to write this blog instead but chickened out because I didn’t want to come across as insensitive or bragging…I don’t know, my anxiety was telling me I’d fuck up the delivery and I didn’t want to disrespect anyone.

What’s changed? I believe understanding mental illness and all of its tangled branches is important to our growth as a population AND community. We need to do the work, together, and how does that happen? By talking about it.

stefan-cosma-362616-unsplash.jpg


We were seventeen and extremely close. Every night after school we’d meet under the street light, sit on the curb and talk about our day, our future goals and what our parents did to piss us off.

After months and months of spending time together, we tried to date. It only lasted a week. It just didn’t feel right, we were SO close. The day after we broke up he skipped class and hung out with a mutual friend.

At the end of the day, that same friend came running to my house after dropping him off to ask, “what the fuck did you do? He said he wanted to try the 24 pills in the 24-hours thing, he’s been out of it all day and I don’t know how many, if any, he’s already taken.”

Before he could finish his sentence I had sprinted off towards his house in just my socks. My heart was pounding louder than I was pounding on his front door. His two sisters answered, the youngest one in tears begging me to not call the police (he was on probation for drugs).

He was laid up on the couch, unconscious. His face didn’t look normal and I freaked out, jumped on top of him and shook him while screaming his name until one of his eyes opened and then rolled to the back of his head.

I was shouting questions to keep him awake while his youngest sister was shouting, “please don’t call the cops, mom will be home soon. He can’t go back to juvie!”

So I didn’t.

Instead, I went back home and waited, and waited, and waited. Deep down I knew I should’ve called 911. I fucked up, he was going to die. I sat on the front porch waiting and waiting.

Finally, sirens came.

All I remember is running out to the front yard and losing it in the lawn. He spent two days in the hospital, got his stomach pumped and the story his mother told was, “she had hidden her muscle relaxers in her migraine medicine bottle. It was her fault he had taken the wrong pills.”

jonathan-perez-409943-unsplash.jpg


We were closing together and it had been a long night. We both had gotten our ass kicked with the late dinner rush and per usual, I was behind the grill helping push tickets out. It was stressful but my coworker was feeling the pressure more so than me.

For the past couple of weeks, he had been living life medication free and not by choice. A problem with insurance refusing to cover its portion of the payment for his meds left him powerless and unable to afford his stabilizer.

He suffered from schizophrenia. When he was on his meds you’d never know, but when he was off them, you knew.

This night hadn’t been his night. He had lost his temper on an elder couple when they spilled their drink and demanded he clean it up and bring them another. Instead of letting it go he walked out with a child’s sippy cup and told them, “this might suit you better.”

The couple complained and he got reprimanded by the manager on duty. After the scolding, it went south fast. We got our ass kicked, food wasn’t coming out quick enough and when I jumped on the grill to help he lashed out.

“Where the fuck is my food!” he shouted while launching the stack of grill trays toward me on the other side. I responded with an equal amount of anger and chucked a plate in his direction.

He disappeared.

Me and one other server were stuck trying to play clean up and catch up.

I found him later mumbling in the breakroom, pacing and unable to sit still. All I remember is he kept repeating, “tell my mom I love her.” When I pushed for him to explain he bolted out of the breakroom.

He had been writing suicide notes and had only managed to grab two of three he had written. After finding and reading the note I brought it to my manager’s attention. My manager claimed, “he’s doing it for attention, forget about it and go home.”

I called the cops anyways.

They put him in holding, got him his meds and he now lives in South Florida.

lance-asper-188744-unsplash.jpg


She didn’t have a stable schedule at work. She’d work for months and then I wouldn’t see her for weeks. Sometimes she was the life of the shift, made the hustle fun, had a joke for every moment and was full of life. 

Other times you couldn’t approach her. She was silent, deadpanned, and unresponsive no matter how hard you tried to make her smile.

“Not today Shannon,” my coworker (who had been around awhile and knew her the best) would tell me. “Today isn’t her day.”

She suffered from depression and bipolar. She was in her late forties, still lived with her mother and didn’t have any family of her own.

After a couple of years knowing her and honestly being pleasantly surprised each time my shift coincided with hers, one day she didn’t show up.

The next day we found out she had committed suicide, Mom found her. The hardest part was working the next week knowing when she was supposed to be there and having to pretend like it didn’t happen. Nobody wanted to talk about it, not the managers or a majority of coworkers.

andraz-lazic-686953-unsplash.jpg


The first story I shared is mostly why I didn’t want to write this post. I carried guilt for many years, even despite the fact we were still friends for a while after this instance. It felt like his family and our mutual friends blamed me.

For the few who knew, his overdose was never mentioned without noting I had broken up with him.

I now know this wasn’t fair. He had been struggling for many months with hard drugs, pills and staying in school. Me breaking up with him wasn’t mean or “the ultimate friend zone” jab. The relationship didn’t feel right when after I was expected to kiss him, and I couldn’t pretend because it wouldn’t be fair to either one of us.

He was depressed and struggling to fit in at home. He had his own issues to sort out with no information or help from the adults in his life. Bottom line, he (and everyone else) is responsible for his own actions. He popped the pills.

The second story opened my eyes to the importance of having affordable access to medication and truly understanding a person with mental illness is powerless to their disease when left without meds.

He couldn’t help it how he acted off his meds. If he had a choice I’m sure he would’ve chosen to not manage life with schizophrenia.

And for the third story, I don’t think I ever grieved her death. Whenever her name got brought up it fell quiet, so we all pretended like it didn’t happen and never let ourselves go there. It’s like she never existed, and that makes me extremely sad because she was an incredible lady.

There’s a bit of information or understanding to be learned from all three narratives, and I hope it further drives home my point that mental health matters. You’re life matters and may we all remember, everyone is fighting their own daily secret battles, so be kind.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for these three difficult life experiences that opened my eyes to a whole other (semi) understanding of the importance of mental health. What are you feeling grateful for?

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

1-800-273-8255 – Your Life Matters

We are way behind the bell curve when it comes to understanding mental illness and it grinds my gears when there is no compassion or tried understanding. And I get it, not everyone is capable of understanding or compassion but what the hell is everyone else’s excuse?

Yesterday my husband and I ate a late lunch at our favorite sushi restaurant here in Orange County (Minato Sushi in case you’re wondering), and I overheard the table behind us discussing the recent suicides of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain.

The adult son claimed, “Kate Spade’s suicide was more of a shock than Bourdain’s, at least he had a long history with substance abuse.”

I tried not to glare. How can one suicide be more shocking than another? Isn’t all suicide terribly shocking? And to me, it sounds like he’s trying to justify one suicide over the other by understanding the public personas each person put on while out in the public, which leads me to the next two questions…

How come we have to assess “who is more broken” in order to determine our own emotions about someone else committing suicide? Since when does suicide make sense? And PS: just because you feel like you know celebrities, TV personas, etc. doesn’t mean you have the full story.

Let’s talk about mental health. Did you know that suicide is the leading cause of death in the United States? According to the CDC, it is now the number one fatal injury across the states, surpassing automobile accidents.

In this same report, the data shows men (in every age group compared with women) kill themselves at a higher rate than women. See that diagram, here.

This stat shook me, too. How come men are more prone to suicide? Is it because of the societal pressure to be a strong figure who provides, never cries, and will always come swooping in to save the day on their white horse for the family?

It’s impossible nowadays to have a one-family income support the family. So let’s let this ideal die with the same notion woman aren’t as valuable as men in the workplace and everywhere else.

I proudly stand with the women’s movement, chant for equal pay, and felt relieved when the #metoo campaign caught fire. And I also have that same passion forward thinking in regards to how we’re raising our young men. This ain’t 1950, boys can cry if they want to, too.

Suicide is defined (like I’m sure you know) as a death caused by self-directed injurious behavior with intent to die as a result of the behavior. Suicidal ideation refers to thinking about, considering or planning suicide.

Suicide is a MAJOR public health concern.

Logic made a hit record about suicide prevention. Jada Pickett Smith and others in the spotlight made a statement about their own personal struggle with mental health issues. Conversations are happening; let’s collectively continue improving our understanding of mental health.

What’s the first step? Does anyone have any ideas?

I think misusing the term mentally ill is a good starting point. We’re in a culture where words don’t matter because they can be slung anonymously over the web. We self-diagnose and label others easily and incorrectly. Not everyone is a narcissist. Mom’s an asshole but she’s not mentally ill. Not every school shooter is mentally ill.

Words matter and we should be careful with them.

Once we regain the word maybe then we can begin to redefine it in a way everyone can understand. Mental health is the umbrella word like marketing is to communications. Mental illness includes everything from panic attacks and anxiety to bipolar and schizophrenia.

Suicide is complicated and sad regardless of who commits the act. May no one reading ever know what it feels like to truly believe family, friends, and children, would be better off without you in their lives. If you’ve had suicidal thoughts or are having suicidal thoughts call 1-800-273-8255 for help.

It’s okay to not be okay and ask for help. Your life matters.

Now to keep up with my promise to practice gratitude to fight my tendency to forbode joy: Currently feeling gratitude for everyone sharing their own personal mental health story to help spread the awareness. What are you feeling grateful for?

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. RamblinRandol is my personal journey about understanding myself more with the hopes it’ll help someone else in the twenty-something/pushing thirty struggles.

 

 

 

Shame. What Is It Good For? Absolutely​ Nothing.

Do you have shame? Apparently, we all do according to Brene Brown. Here’s what I learned after reading Brown’s chapter about shame and how to combat those nasty gremlins talkin’ nonsense inside your head. Sharing in case it helps one of you, too. 

neonbrand-432959-unsplash

Do I have shame? “Well, I don’t know,” was my first thought after reading the question. On the surface level, I’m not ashamed of who I am, how I got here or where I want to go. There’s a chip on my shoulder I’m a bit proud of and have a deep inner strength that propels me to keep pushing forward–no matter what. All characteristics I’m proud to own.

Shannon in a nutshell; moved out at a young age and paid all her own bills without EVER having to ask for help, got herself through college and graduated with a Bachelor’s despite having to take a year and a half off to deal with the joys of being a Navy wife. It took longer than everyone else, but I paid my way through junior college and figured out how to manage University with loans, internships and a solid year with no day off to get me in the position I am now.

Point blank, nobody thought I could do it and nobody paid my damn rent or filled my refrigerator with groceries, or gave me daily pep talks to counter-act all the other shit that life was flinging at me in those years.

I did it, and then me and my man did it, together. And I’m proud of those years, proud to say we did it alone. The flame that burned deep in the pit of my gut kept me pushing, climbing and propelling myself to the finish line, is what I’m truly proud of about myself because not everyone gets the guts and glory.

But wait, one simple question breaks all that internal strength and leaves me fumbling for words. So, where’s your family? Boom. Instant shame. Well, instant shame mixed with anger, let me explain.

When people find out I’m not from around here (or wherever I’m living at the time) they immediately want to know how I got to the patch of grass we’re now sharing, which is great because I’ve gotten extremely good at giving the watered down ‘me in a nutshell’ version to people.

I’ll get to the end and without fail, the first question is, “so, where’s your family.” Cue anger. “Wtf do they have anything to do with this conversation,” is what I want to say, instead it’s, “oh, we’re spread out. Some live back in New York while others have planted in Florida.”

People are curious, I get it. But can I just control the conversation and only talk about what I want to talk about? Of course not, and this is where I begin to understand shame.

My family couldn’t pay for my college tuition, or give me the movie ‘going away to college’ experience. No dorms. No sororities. No college keggers. I had to pick (what I say in my mind) lower end schools because I couldn’t afford the fancy four-year state universities my friends got to attend. I had to work, pay bills AND try to finish school.

That’s shame.

It sounds silly to write down, but it’s true. The shame gremlins (what Brown calls the nasty voices in our heads) tell me I’m not smart or good enough because I didn’t go to a state university with a competitive football team, which leads to the circumstance of my parents not being able to provide that luxury.

On one hand I’m proud to have hoofed it myself, but on the other hand, I’m ashamed of why I had to hoof it. The reason I’m proud of myself for making it through is the same reason I’m ashamed, strange right?

I don’t want to be labeled, ‘less than’ because of circumstances out of my control i.e. finances. So when somebody asks me about my family after learning of my life’s journey, I assume it’s because they want to know where the hell my family has been through all of this and I instantly feel shame, not because I’m ashamed of them but because the person doing the asking is probably judging them for ‘not being around,’ and that makes me angry, too.

Brown says, “shame is universal and one of the most primitive human emotions we experience. The people who don’t have it lack the capacity for empathy and human connection. Here’s your choice: Fess up to experiencing shame or admit that you’re a sociopath. Quick note: This is the only time that shame seems like a good option.” 

Okay, Okay, I admit it, I have shame.

According to her definition, shame is the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging, and that there are 12 shame categories that’ve emerged from her research.

  1. Appearance and body image
  2. Money and work
  3. Motherhood/fatherhood
  4. Family
  5. Parenting
  6. Mental and physical health
  7. Addiction
  8. Sex
  9. Aging
  10. religion
  11. Surviving trauma
  12. Being stereotyped or labeled

Sidebar: There’s a difference between shame and humiliation (yup, apparently they’re not the same thing even though they sound pretty mutually exclusive). Shame is thinking “I am bad” while humiliation or guilt is “I did something bad.”

Shame holds us back and keeps us from being our best self. My best guess is that because I think less of myself I limit myself to opportunities that seem “too grandiose,” and possibly in other ways I can’t even see because I’m still operating out of shame, fear, AND guilt. WOOF.

How do you combat shame? Talk about it. Give it a name. The more you talk about it the less control it has over your life.

Cheers to hoping that Texan Brene Brown is right, because my damn gremlins are telling me this whole post was a waste of time and it’s not helping anyone, and that I just want to bable about myself…

Cultivate it.

I play better on Instagram than Facebook but regardless, come be my friend online. 

10 Ways to Dare Greatly According to Brene Brown – How Many Are You Doing?

Hey, it’s Monday and my eyes and nose are so swollen I have to keep my eyebrows raised in order to see through my eyelids. No really. I tried this new face cream by Loreal and it blew my face up like a balloon. It has collagen in it and I don’t think you’re supposed to carelessly rub it all over your face, which I did because patience is not my strong suit.

Anyways, I hope everyone reading is having a good start to their week and if you’re not…at least you don’t look like this….

IMG_3207

Last night I started reading my first (and I’m assuming the first of many) Brene Brown book titled Daring Greatly and within the first damn page had me pegged. The fact she nailed down one of my biggest flaws regarding relationships almost sent me slamming the book shut out of pure stubbornness and refusal to believe some random stranger could know me. As if!

The line that got me was this, “keep people at a safe distance and always have an exit strategy,” and the first thing I thought was, “No! Other people do this, too? This isn’t a problem!”

For as long as I can remember, having an exit strategy has always been super important to my own mental survival and not just when it relates to relationships or connecting with others.

Whenever I’m surrounded by large crowds (parades, movie theaters, restaurants) I make sure to note where the exits are in case of an emergency. Even when I get stopped waiting for a train to pass, I leave a car length spot in front of me just in case I have to be able to maneuver out of the line of cars to safety.

Being trapped and not being able to get out is my number one fear. It’s what my nightmares depict, so it only makes sense I keep people at a safe distance paired with an equally safe (for me) exit strategy.

What’s equally as interesting is that for the past two decades I have spent a good chunk of time getting myself out of sticky, tricky, and sometimes life-threatening situations. So how come I still fear it? Do I lack self-confidence in myself or am I paranoid?

I struggle with self-confidence but not in this aspect of the word, protecting myself and staying safe has consistently been my strong suit and it’s possible I’m too good at it. So much so that I know I don’t technically need anyone to help me make big decisions or guide me through life. I’ve proved it true numerous times, so it reinforces the thought “relationships are a burden.”

This safe distance blockade I’ve built was invisible to me up until a year ago. I didn’t even know I was doing it, or aware/curious that this might be why I struggle with every relationship I’ve ever tried to have, and recently realized my technique for protection didn’t avoid my marriage.

It sucks to have to write this sentence, but it’s true. I feel like we all know marriages these days don’t last, and while I love my husband like no other and would kill for him if need be, I still have an exit strategy just in case it doesn’t work out between us in the end, because I don’t want to be unprepared for the worst and depending on someone else to get me through.

The thought of asking for help is still widely unpopular with me. I’d rather have a couple root-canals and do leg day every day of the week than ask for help.

In short, reading this book is going to be interesting. There’s a part of me who’s really excited to see where this journey of self-discovery is going to lead, with a high hope me sharing will help someone else reading.

But I’m also afraid I might recognize a few traits I’ll need to alter that will be easier said than done.

Brene Brown also gives a list of guidelines to wholehearted living that I want you to ponder, as I’ve been mentally digesting it for 24-hours now and is also what Daring Greatly helps get its readers to do.

  1. Cultivating Authenticity: Letting Go of What People Think
  2. Cultivating Self-Compassion: Letting Go of Perfectionism
  3. Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting Go of Numbing and Powerlessness
  4. Cultivating Gratitude and Joy: Letting Go of Scarcity and Fear of the Dark
  5. Cultivating intuition and trusting faith: Letting Go of the Need for Certainty
  6. Cultivating Creativity: Letting Go of Comparison
  7. Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting go of Exhaustion As A Status Symbol and Productivity As Self-Worth
  8. Cultivating Calm and Stillness: Letting Go of Anxiety As a Lifestyle
  9. Cultivating Meaningful Work: Letting Go of Self-Doubt and ‘Supposed To”
  10. Cultivating Laughter, Song, and Dance: Letting Go of Being Cool and ‘Always in Control”

How many are you actively doing? I can only say two or three, possibly. I’ve never struggled with perfectionism and exhaustion as a lifestyle doesn’t seem like a thing I do, who knows, I might get to that chapter and choke on my own words.

So, to all my ladies out there still reading this long ass post—download Audible and create an account if you don’t have one because you get one FREE book as a thank you for signing up, so go read this damn book and join in on the convo with me.

Cultivate it.

Step One: Getcha Mind Right

I skipped Friday’s post, and I’ve felt guilty about it all weekend. A lot has been going on and I couldn’t bring myself to silence my anxiety long enough to sit still and write down what was going on in my head.

My personal to-do list feels like it’s growing by the hour, without any progress or satisfaction of checking off a number of to-dos, daily. Instead, it feels like I’m drowning and it’s my own hand that’s holding me under.

Every morning I want to perform a checklist that helps actively grow my social media presence with an end goal it’ll help my podcast and ultimately promote my personal brand of small biz marketer consultant.

This includes posting every day on Facebook and Instagram, three blogs on ramblinrandol.com, trying to convince people to let me interview them and write out this damn business plan so it’ll help my pitch when I ask brands to give me a landing page.

This clearer vision ALSO requires me to REDO my landing page AGAIN. A need to square up my IG page and create a highlight that lets people know what they’re going to get from me, but I’m stressed about being honest because people from my past are going to judge HARD and it makes me want to fight.

Basically, I’m conflicted.

Thursday night I finally said out loud a truth I’ve been thinking about for awhile.

“I already hustled my way through my twenties, how come that couldn’t be enough?”

I’m tired of busting my ass, was feeling sorry for myself and sick of wrestling the frustration within my own head, so I offered it up for my Hubs to analyze.

His response was profound (I don’t give him enough credit, he knows me better than I acknowledge) and helped give me the perspective I needed.

“Your hustle in your early-twenties did exactly what you intended it to do, got you out of the restaurant industry and graduating college with your Bachelor’s degree. You met those goals so you created more, right? So now you’ve got to adjust your hustle to accomplish those goals.”

Well, hot damn, how come I couldn’t come up with that obvious answer on my own?

If I were content with life as it is now, then great, no harm no foul. But, I’m not. I’ve got bigger dreams I want to achieve. The quicker I get rid of the “I already busted my ass and beat the odds” mentality, the quicker I can get my ass in gear.

Not to mention I need a better system because I am OVERhelmed, but I do believe If I get my mind right the rest will systematically fall in line.

Step One: Getcha Mind Right.

Cultivate it.


RamblinRandol is about finding yourself and learning to love yourself again. Life is real and raw, there’s no room for perfection here. If you’d like to join the Hot Mess Express tribe where we discuss the daily struggle and bring real life to light, come hang out in my new Facebook group, here

OR

Be my friend on Instagram @shannahan22  

What’s Love Got To Do With It?

What’s love got to do, got to do with it
What’s love but a second hand emotion
What’s love got to do, got to do with it
Who needs a heart when a heart can be broken

Tina Turner said it best, what does love got to do with it? Apparently a lot, love has a lot to do with it.

Love is defined as an intense deep feeling or connection. Does that sentence make sense to you, do you grasp the concept of love based off that sentence? Well, I don’t.

When I read the definition of love, I feel a protective film of hazy fog fill up the spaces between my cognitive thinking and my heart. A few weeks ago I couldn’t understand what the haze was doing or recognize it was there, but now I understand.

The fog is protecting me, protecting me from feeling and absorbing love. The fog is confusion and it’s my defense.

What's Love Got To Do With It blog image

I’m lonely and my prayers for comfort fall on deaf ears. I don’t look into a mirror because if I catch my own eyes, they give me away and I’ll have to explain. Instead, the mirror is exclusively used to examine how far out my gut sits and help make mental notes on what to do at the gym.

It’s easier for me to digest the negative and hate than comprehend the love and compassion. This doesn’t mean I don’t have love or compassion for others, my heart is huge for others suffering.

I just can’t give it (grace) to myself.

A few weeks ago I was speaking to a youth pastor about God and why I’m not a believer. I explained it’s not religion that makes me uncomfortable, I find the stories of creation interesting (all of them). The psalms, prayers and big guy in the sky doesn’t scare me out of church. “It’s not even because I didn’t grow up in church,” I told him.

It’s the unconditional love from God that keeps me away. How can someone who doesn’t know you or have to love you, just give you love? “God loves all his children and died for you,” as the saying goes. I don’t get it.

What's Love Got To Do With It blog image

A dusty box that sat unnoticed for many years made its way back to the light a few months ago. It contained journals, diaries and notes from when I was 7-years-old all the way up to my Senior year of High school.

It seemed like a good time to relive old memories. My twenties have been tough and there’s still two years left of them. I had been feeling like I didn’t know who I was and could use reminding, so I popped them open and started the Dear Diary series, but I still avoided one box. Until yesterday …

That one box contained a handful of letters that were written to me by the first man who tried to love me.

He wrote me poems, called me Angel Dove and would go into great detail about how much his love for me burned and loved to tell anyone who would listen how much he loved me. As of yesterday, I still couldn’t read his letters in their entirety.

It’s not hard to guess what happened next.

I broke his heart, shattered it. Told him he made me sick and that I never wanted to see him again. When he came back to town for the first time after I split it off, my yard got trashed, car got egged and my voicemail was filled with a few hurtful messages. But in a way I knew I deserved it, so I didn’t fight it or respond.

A number of years later I fell in love again and did everything in my power to fuck that up, too.

Love seems easy. You read about it all the time and plenty of movies depict the art of falling in love, so is it possible to not understand what unconditional love feels like when its all around you?

If it’s possible, is that why I feel so disconnected?

286ebf0e5780d8c10e6ee390ccb8d2c6

What if love felt like it wasn’t supposed to be a feeling because those things were for pussies and love was only conditional and through actions, because actions speak louder than words? Can someone who can’t feel love figure out how to be loved?

Is any of this making any sense?

In a nutshell, life has been considered unstable in my book. Friends don’t exist because in a few years you’ll lose them when you move again and acquaintances can only be trusted as far as you can throw them. This is what I tell myself.

What’s the point? Nothing lasts forever so don’t get attached, have an out and wait for the bottom to fall out.

But I’ve been telling myself a lie and doing myself an injustice. I deserve love and it deserves to have me. I matter and I am enough. Ignorance may be bliss, but awareness is enlightening. My quarrels with love and loving myself can only get better if I recognize the problem.

I deserve to be the person I know I can be and so do you.

I will rise up, despite the ache.

blog bumper for ramblinandol.com posts