More than just a Girl from the Projects…

To view all mental health content or be apart of “Where the Healing Begins Forum", become a member for $17.00 a month! Details listed under “Welcome to Healing & Growing Mental Health Life Coaching Company LLC, -Michelle

 

Control is a Trauma Response

To view all mental health content or be apart of “Where the Healing Begins Forum", become a member for $17.00 a month! Details listed under “Welcome to Healing & Growing Mental Health Life Coaching Company LLC, -Michelle

 

And just like that my life changed…..

To view all mental health content or be apart of “Where the Healing Begins Forum", become a member for $17.00 a month! Details listed under “Welcome to Healing & Growing Mental Health Life Coaching Company LLC, -Michelle

 

Fitness helped improve my mental health.

To view all mental health content or be apart of “Where the Healing Begins Forum", become a member for $17.00 a month! Details listed under “Welcome to Healing & Growing Mental Health Life Coaching Company LLC, -Michelle

 

There is Light at the End of the Tunnel

The light at the end of the Tunnel…

Cambridge Dictionary defines the light at the end of the tunnel as “signs of improvement in a situation that has been bad for a long time, or signs that a long and difficult piece of work is almost finished”.

Recently I have discussed the trials that I personally have experienced during the pandemic as well as what I have experienced during the 1st trimester of my fourth pregnancy. I described in my last blog titled “This too Shall Pass” how depression had taken a course on me. Yes, the pandemic has been challenging and, starting around the beginning of November 2020 I began to feel isolated, as if I were sucked into a dark place and I could not escape. I am a mental health awareness advocate, because being a combat veteran, and a sexual abuse survivor I know that mental illness is real and challenging.

I have remained in therapy for over 6 years on & off, and while in trauma recovery therapy I have acquired ways to cope with my own mental illness. I was educated about the tools that I could use when I feel sucked in by darkness. I believed before November 2020, that I was mentally tough & able to conquer anything that comes my way with the tool bag that my therapist had equipped me with. It was not until January of this year that I realized I had been isolated and in darkness since November, and I felt cold, secluded, depressed, and that dark place had become my everyday life. I describe it as “the darkness” because when I start feeling this way, nothing or no one can make me happy. It literally feels like being locked in a dark room, and not being able to get out.

In society today there are rarely mentions of depression, or mental illness and I want anyone reading this who may also deal with “the darkness” that depression causes, to know you are not alone! Struggling with depression triggers you to second guess who you are, and your purpose in life. I had been depression since November until recently I was sitting on the bed in my bedroom, and even with blacked out curtains the sun had seeped through my windowsill and I could see the light from the sun peeping through. It was only a glimpse of light, but when I noticed it, I began to smile, and I realized that God was sending me a personal sign. My higher source was assuring me there is always light at the end of the tunnel. I got up that day and although I was not 100% okay, I had the strength to clean, cook, sing, dance, & smile. I felt like I had been revitalized or brought back from the dead.

There is light at the end of the tunnel. With so much transpiring in the world from politics, injustices, death, and the pandemic the effects of depression are happening to the happiest people. But I want to inform you that depression is not a sign of weakness or a character flaw. Never feel ashamed because depression can literally happen to anyone. Do not allow the depression to win, allow some light into your life. A new you, a happier you, and a happier phase in your life is possible. If you are an someone who deal with depression know that your life has a purpose! You were placed here for a reason. Aligning with your Purpose is not always going to be an easy task, but if you just focus on the small amount of light in your life there is a chance to turn the sadness into happiness, darkness into light, and what feel like the end, into a new beginning. There is also assistance our there if you need it. I have listed resources below that may be helpful. I wish you joy and happiness during this time, and my prayer is that you or I never give up, because there is always light at the end of the tunnel!

https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/education-awareness/shareable-resources-on-depression.shtml

https://youtu.be/lQhpetkwWnM

 

I will never give up, I will never accept defeat!

Today is Veteran’s Day and I am proud to have served, deployed, & retired from the United States Army! The military was one of the best decisions I ever made in my life. I joined the Army in hopes of removing myself from the toxic environment I was living in. I did not know how much I would learn, how strong I would become, & how it would change my life forever. I can remember like yesterday arriving at Fort Jackson, South Carolina for Bootcamp, and feeling nervous and scared! I did not expect to be yelled at immediately and made to feel so small, and I did not understand the point of the drill sergeants yelling & screaming all the time. While in “Reception” the start of joining the Army, you learn the Army Values, & the Soldiers Creed! When I first seen the Army Values, I did not take it seriously, and I felt the same about the Soldiers Creed. My first thought was “This is Dumb”! If only I knew how the Army Values & Soldier Creed would change my entire outlook on life.

The Soldier’s Creed

The Army Values are loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor integrity, & personal courage. Personal Courage is the most meaningful core value because before the Army I was timid and introverted. Before I joined, I never had much confidence in myself or anything I participated in. I used to always second guess myself.  The soldier’s creed has so many great points, but my favorite two lines are I will never accept defeat & I will never quit. It took about a year of reciting the Soldiers Creed & the Army Values before I started to take it seriously. I woke up every morning and I would remind myself that I can face adversity, and no matter what occurred that day I would always face my fears and end the day by moving forward positively. The Soldiers Creed reminded me to never accept defeat & never quit.

Once I was Medically Retried from the Army it took every being of my body to remember what the Army taught me! I was depressed, struggling with PTSD, finally divorced from a toxic individual, and a single mother. All I knew was the Army and that terrified me. I did not think I could do life without waking up in the morning being apart of something so great. I felt so alone without my battle buddies (military friends) who were my biggest support system and more like family. I stayed in a rut for months until I was presented with my retirement award and realized how much I had given to my country. I had deployed to Bagram, Afghanistan, I had served honorably & I had to remind myself that even if I was no longer in uniform; I still mattered, I still could serve my community, I still had so much to give, I was still resilient, and now was not the time to quit!

Blogging  has brought me to a place of needing to remind myself that I will never accept defeat & I will never quit. Sharing my life, my art, and being 100% open and on display for others has not been easy, and neither has staying positive when I am not always receiving reviews or sales. There are days I feel like quitting and I do not think I am doing enough. My goal with The Pearl Blog & Majorie Arts is to help others heal, but in all honesty, I am healing from it as well. It helps my emotional & mental health to let all my pain out through blogging & art. Anytime I am writing, capturing pictures, or being creative it makes me feel good about myself. My goal is not monetary, my goal is humanitarian. I intend to help others heal from their hurt. I am a firm believer in never giving up, never accepting defeat, and always showing personal courage, but also sowing those gems into those around me. Those three things seem so simple but are the hardest during your moments of despair. To the person reading this, please never give up. No matter if life is not going the best for you today, move forward to tomorrow and try again!

Happy Veterans Day,

 

Who is Toni?

Who is Toni?

Toni is a Mother, wife, Army veteran, & lover of Arts! I was born and raised in Athens, GA. I Grew up right downtown from the University of GA football stadium. I was raised by a single mother in one of the worst low-income projects in the Athens area. I remember growing up I had an huge imagination because I always wanted to escape my reality. I would pretend I was somewhere else, doing something besides what I was doing. We did not have much growing up, but my mother made the best out of what we had. I always told myself I would get out of that place one day. Every time I made a wish on my birthday or wished upon a star the wish was always to leave the projects & be on my own. I was a victim of sexual abuse as a child, abuse that occurred in and outside of my home and it affected me tremendously.

I remember growing up I had an huge imagination because I wanted to escape my reality

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I started writing and drawing in elementary school & middle school to cope with internal pain that I was dealing with. I would write poetry about my everyday life, and I would draw people who I wished I were. I graduated high school, and I went straight into the Army. I served in the Army for 7 years, and was medically retired after a deployment to Bagram, Afghanistan that added on to the pile of trauma I was already dealing with. I have been told I am depressed, I have PTSD, anxiety, OCD, and many other diagnoses. But I have not allowed any of them to hold me back. I lost my grandma and father within 4 years of each other. I am a domestic violence survivor, and I am a mental health advocate. I am so many things. I have so much to give, and so many life experiences to share in hopes that I can help someone else heal. I am an open book if you have questions please ask. Do not be afraid to engage with me. I suggest you subscribe & learn something new that could help you heal or better yourself. Writing and photography has helped with my healing so much in the last year. Majoriearts.com & The Pearl Blog are my healing places & I am so glad to share them with you!

Enjoy!

The unseen “Battle”.

In war there are no unwounded soldiers… Whether it is an actual war like the one I deployed to in 2014, or if it is an internal war with oneself. War can be many different things. I define war as “A battle that is not always seen by those around you”. My initial battle started way before 2014, I was a child of my first sexual abuse at the early age of 11. As a young girl I attempted to escape the horror of the battles I was fighting by falling in love with the arts. I wrote poetry, I wrote short stories, I drew animated pictures, and as I grew older I feel in love with the stillness of photos. Photography was a hobby that turned into a passion. I like to capture still images, and every image I capture has a story. This picture here was taken a week before my entire life changed. At this very still moment I was on a military truck with a locked & loaded M16 in Bagram, Afghanistan thinking this exact thought “I can not believe I am here” Bagram in the Summer months is hostile, and very scary so I escaped when I was able to capture moments like this. This was just another day on a 12 hour shift, and I was just thinking of my kids and what I would be doing when I went back to the states. The deployment ended sooner than I expected due to an “unseen battle” that I was fighting and almost lost. God had better plans for me, and this picture reminds me of just that. This is a still moment of a wounded soldier fighting a battle that no one else could see. This photo is my replica of a Daguerreotypes photo. I enjoy old, black & white images. Some of the best photography is the ones without color. I wanted to share this photo as a reminder that battles can be won…if you continue to fight!

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