This Time Won't You Save Me
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What do you do when you feel yourself drowning, but you can’t swim? Do you pray, stay calm and fight to stay afloat, struggle as you sink deeper into the darkness, or do you look to shore for a helping hand? What if the answer is none of the above? What if you just close your eyes, throw you head back and ride the wave. There are lessons to be learned, and you can’t learn them if you keep looking to escape the trouble. Contrary to what fairytales may want you to believe, there is no knight in shining armor coming to save you. What’s the best advice I can give you? Save yourself.

This current journey that I’m on has taught me to be self-reliant. It has taught me to believe in myself. I have the power to change any situation. I’m not looking for someone to swoop down and come to my rescue. I have learned that, in order to better my situation, I have to do it by myself and for myself. I must be my own knight, put on my own armor, ride my own damn horse, and rescue myself. Having been attached to someone else for fifteen years, it is easy to fall into the habit of looking for someone else to help me make decisions and justify my actions. Not this time. This time, I’m the hero of my own story. This time…I WILL SAVE ME.

TT

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Tanasia Thomas
STRONG/WEAK
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Everything that has happened to me in this life, has shaped me into the person I am. The situations that we’ve been through can make me change or teach me a lesson. In the midst of it all, I have had to learn to cope, especially when people (kids) are counting on you. When you call yourself coping, which really isn’t coping at all, your feelings about your recent issue or disaster gets stuffed into the closet with the rest of your emotions. You know that the mess is there, but you don’t have the time or energy to take it out and try it on. You just buy another outfit and move along. Deep down inside, you know that one day, all those things you stored away will come crashing down on you. There are so many people you can talk to, but you understand that they all have their own lives.

Seemingly, you make it through your situation, and each subsequent one after that, without going bat-shit-crazy. It is then that you begin to hear it. “You are so strong.” People say that to you so often, you convince yourself that it is true. Despite the feelings that you have, you keep moving. The fact that you are making it has nothing to do with strength, and everything to do with the need to survive. Every day, you look in the mirror and see the scars of battle, then cover them with a mask. The mask allows you to smile, despite the fact that your world is falling down around you and the tunnel I’m walking in knows no end.

The sad part is, we often walk through our darkness alone. I can’t count how many times well-intended people know that you’re going through, then promise to check-in on you or be there if you need them. You have your moment of weakness and decide to call, text or inbox them. In return, you get nothing. Many are slow to respond and some don’t respond at all. The moment passes, and whatever your need was, whatever you were feeling, and whatever you had to say is swallowed up by all the things you have to do. You tell yourself that you are strong and that this is life. C’est la vie.

Well, I’m tired of pretending that I’m okay. I’m done being strong. Right now, I’m weak. I want to give in to the tears and hide in the bathroom to cry. There are nights I cannot sleep and I just pray for relief to come. Most of all, I fight against the times when I think about relieving myself of this life. I need someone to be there for me, the same way I have been there for them so many times. I want to be held. I want to be heard. I want someone to give me a way to escape. I want to scream. I want to curse. I want to punch the wall until blood pours from my hand. Most of all, I want to walk away.

Check on your “strong” friends, they need you.

TT.

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So, I did it.

I got up. I brushed aside the stereotypes that many of us have about seeing a therapist and talking to someone about life and its problems. I mean, seeing my therapist is actually a part of my weekly self-care. She is budgeted into my busy schedule and worth every penny. It is a relief to have somewhere that I can go, express my feelings, pour out my heart, and be transparent without feeling judged or belittled. I leave feeling empowered and ready to use the strategies she gives me.

Yes, I believe in God, and I have a strong faith in the miracles He can do, however, through prayer I knew that I couldn’t get through this alone. I needed help. When I looked at my babies, and the love they have for me, my thoughts of no longer existing and ridding myself of this life was not an option. I had to survive. I had to live. I had to save myself for them. Writing these words have make me cry, but they also make me a survivor. I didn’t allow the darkness to take a hold of me and carry me down into the pits of despair. I’ve learned so many things through this time that  I will be sharing with you.

For now, just know that I’m good. I’m in a place where God is allowing me to meet awesome women who I can connect with. They can pour into my life and I can pour into theirs and together, we can support each other through this life. I’m at a place where I feel, although my flesh and blood family are miles away, God is using this distance to not only restore my relationship with them, but to gather such a tribe around me that I feel safe and at home. For that, I am forever grateful. I must offer one small bit of advice before I go on about my day: Check on your strong friends, we aren’t always okay. We suffer in silence. We hate to feel vulnerable, but that’s exactly what we need. The security to feel vulnerable. Be that person for someone. It could save their life.

To be continued…

TT. 

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Tanasia ThomasComment
Darkness
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Moment of transparency.

We all have times in life when we feel inadequate. Times where, no matter what we do or how many accolades we receive from others, we just don’t feel like we are worthy. The timing of our heartbeat is off, our soul is wounded and there’s an empty black space inside of us. It’s like you’re fighting your way through a thick fog. When you’re walking in your cloud of darkness and despair, there seems to be no end in sight. Every step you take saps your energy, daily tasks are a burden, and finding something to smile about in life just seems to be impossible. I can vouch that I’ve been there, where the trouble that isn’t supposed to last always seems to be a never-ending rain. You pray for relief but all you get is another deafening blow. Your hope is hanging on by a thread and your faith is almost gone. Your mind has taken over and, instead of being a source of encouragement you can’t even bring yourself to face the person in the mirror.  

Depression is a topic that is continuously swept under the rug.  If you’re like me, you are clever enough to hide it; paint on a smile, swallow the tears, will my heart not to bleed, and drown my pain. Then, when I get home, the mask comes off and the tears flow. My feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness stalks in and clouds my psyche. There is a dull ache inside that medication can’t fix. I’m broken and unable to be repaired. I feel alone. I can’t get a grip on my sadness and I’ve taken too many blows and suffered too much loss to recover on my own. Still, there is hope, waiting at door. All I have to do is get up.

To be continued…

TT.

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Manifest: Not So Young, But Still Restless
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Manifest: to make evident or certain by showing or displaying. To be evidence of. To prove. To become apparent.

I have to admit. The term young and restless has always applied to my life. Currently, it still does. I don’t have the itch to change what I am doing with my career. I just landed a great position that allows me to use my public health knowledge and apply it to assisting patients with their health needs. Eventually, I will move up in the company. It’s all apart of my one year plan. My restlessness seems to have another source these days. There is a rumbling just beneath the surface that seems to have me in its grasp. The questions I contemplate over are running through my mind and preventing me from sleeping at night. Am I doing the right thing with my life? Am I in the right place? What is my true purpose? Am I living up to my full potential?

There are people that would tell me I'm blessed, educated, successful, and in a position that many people would envy.  I am and always will be forever grateful for the life that I have but, I can’t help but feel like I am not doing enough. I am constantly on the search for more. To be able to reach more people with life's story; my talent; my wisdom; my encouragement; my personality; myself.  How can I be a bigger blessing to others? To give them the strength to continue to run in this race called life. My dreams are so big, you wouldn't believe them if I told you. My spirit won't rest until I make it to the top and bring a few people with me.  I want to win so bad. Not just for myself, but for all the little girls out there who have the desire to be great, but continue to doubt the greatness they possess.

Will I ever reach a level of success that satisfies me fully?  Will I ever not have this urgency inside to do more? To keep going? To reach an even higher level than I already have? Will I ever feel like enough is enough? I'm not sure. What I do know is, I won't stop until every last one of these questions is answered and I don't have to wonder anymore. It’s my time to manifest.

TT

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Tanasia Thomas
My Love/Hate Relationship with Women
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There is no doubt that I am a woman; curvy, beautiful, intelligent, fashionable, nurturing, intriguing and constantly changing.  I am the first to cheer my fellow sisters on, to encourage them, offer them advice, lend them a helping hand and be an ear when they need to listen.  It is an automatic. When my sister wins, we all win and the world shines a little bit brighter. With no biological sisters of my own, I am one of those women who has to rely on outside sources to fill the void and make sisterly connections. I must admit, there is something about sisterhood that delights me, yet scares me at the same time.

I love the fact that women are so versatile; strong enough to bear the children and soft enough to make a man weak in the knees.  We possess the power and wisdom to be the backbones of every nation—birthing and rearing presidents, generals, and inventors.  We’re the glue that holds our families together, the concrete that keeps our children grounded, and the heartbeat of the world.  With all those compliments and accolades, it seems like it should be easy for anyone to love a woman. Not me. I admit, I have a love/hate relationship with the women.

How can I hate women when I’m a woman? It’s not hard to do.  I don’t like the ways of women. Among the tribe, there is a serious lack of sisterhood and an ever present plague of gossiping, fighting, and backbiting. Instead of seeing our sister as a reflection of ourselves, we see her as the enemy. We can’t praise or be genuine with one another because of envy. We may smile and congratulate, but as soon as their back is turned, we are marring their success.  When we see them in love and happy, we find ways to place seeds of doubt in their head because we’re lonely and miserable and we want our sisters to be that way too. 

In their bad times, we rub their backs and hand them tissues, then walk away and spread gossip filled with our sister’s shortcomings and issues.  We air her dirty laundry with reckless abandon and ignore the possible damage, pain or loss of trust our words may cause. We see one another as competition; I have to look better than her, be better than her, be skinnier than her, prettier than her, heels higher than hers, diamond and bags bigger than hers, kids smarter than hers, an ego larger than hers, hell I want to be her, steal her man, take her kids, or whatever just to get at her.  I FREAKING HATE HER! Sound familiar?

In these days and times, women battle more than they come together. Women are constantly videotaped fighting, arguing, and disrespecting each other. Shows like Love & Hip Hop and the Housewives glorify terrible behavior from women. These women are paid and placed on a national platform for exhibiting ratchet behavior. They are admired by many and given endorsements, brands, and wealth from stabbing other women in the back, backbiting, and spreading rumors and gossip. No wonder women feel the need to battle rather than connect and unify. Our country is known for rewarding bad behavior.

One day, we will all realize our power as women: that we are all gems who shine and emit light then, maybe, just maybe we can all be sisters again. When we stop coveting what our neighbor has and focus on bettering ourselves, being mothers and wives, we can come together again.  We can renew our bond.  When we stop worrying about the streets and impressing Mr. and Mrs. Jones, we can once again become one.  Join hands and march like we did with Dr. King, or dance and rejoice, praise and enjoy one another again. Love one another. Offer a hope, encouragement, love, loyalty, honesty, and genuineness. Once again, be friends.  Be sisters.

Tanasia ThomasComment
Let It Go…
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What is one behavior you need to let go of?

Immediately, I knew the answer to this question. Worry. Worry plagues me. It is the grim shadow in the corner, waiting to swoop in and take over my thoughts. Worry stands over my shoulder casting an ominous shadow over the checklist of tasks I have in my head. Worry engulfs me in needless anxiety and is probably the sole contributor to my high blood pressure. Why do I worry, you may ask? I’m educated, employed, financially secure, and happily married. I shouldn’t have any worries…right? Life happens to us all, but for me, worry is a constant in my life. It is something that I fight against every day and a flaw that I’ve vowed to put an end to this waste of energy and inner peace.

What is worry? Worry is to give way to anxiety or unease. Worry is to allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles. Worry is a state of anxiety over actual or potential problems. The first thing I’ve had to do is get to the source of what causes me to worry. I could blame it on a couple of things; past experience, life traumas, disappointments and failures. Honestly, those things are not the source. The reason I worry so much can solely be attributed to my need for control. I have come to realize that I do not want to ever feel weak or out of control. When a situation arises that I do not have total control over or could possibly cause an issue in the future, my habit of worrying kicks into over drive.

Worry is counterproductive. It doesn’t do anything except cause me anxiety. It floods me with bad thoughts of “what ifs” and “worse case scenarios” when it is better to either take action or allow the chips to fall where they may. I cannot plan my way through every life situation. I can only continue to live my life, save my coins, and raise my children while tackling the challenges as they come along. I have a plan and a strategy for breaking the chains of worry in my life and starting fresh.

Instead of worrying, I will be more productive by writing out my thoughts, strategizing, practicing relaxation techniques, praying, meditating or exercising. Lastly, I plan to increase my faith. Lack of faith is a current struggle of mine. So many things have happened to me in the last few years that have caused me to not have hope for certain situations changing in my favor. That’s a post for another day. Right now, I am choosing to focus on the fact that I can no longer remain imprisoned by my thoughts.

Today, I release all feelings of worry and dread. I let go of the bad thoughts and will allow myself to live life with the understanding that I am fully equipped to handle anything that comes my way. Why? Because I have all the tools I need to succeed in life and adapt to whatever may come. I pray that this post helps someone who may go through the same thing.

Peace and blessings to you all.

TT.

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2019 Accountability Academy Week #1
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For 2019, I have partnered with a group of friends to create an accountability academy. We have pledged to do the work to achieve the goals that we have set for ourselves this year. 2019 is the year of change. The year of accomplishment. The year when excuses are no longer acceptable. I have decided to make our journey and the assignments that we are doing to better ourselves available to others who may not necessarily have people to share with.

Assignment #1: Choose one word (I have two) that will be your mantra for 2019. This word will serve as your focus for the year and the majority of your goals will be centered around it.

Example: My word is focus. I chose focus because I feel lost at times and unsure of the direction I should take. My secondary word is faith. I need to increase my faith and stop worrying.

Come on and take this journey to a better you. If you would like to participate and want someone to check in with you, please contact me on all of my platforms.

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Word for 2019: Focus
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January 1st. The day when everyone makes proclamations to become new people, profess to leave old things in the past, and making plans to change behaviors. My mantra for 2019 doesn’t have anything to do with becoming someone new. I just want to Focus. Focus on myself, my dreams, my goals, my happiness, my sanity, and my soul.

The definition of Focus is to be the center of activity or interest, pay particular attention to, or the state or quality of having or producing clear visual definition. The word describes my goals for the year perfectly. I am placing own well-being at the center of interest. As a wife and mother, I spend so much time taking care of other people. This year, I am promising to take care of myself; eat how I want to, go out with friends more, travel without waiting for someone else, and experiencing new things—even if it means doing it alone. I am placing my dreams and goals at the center of 2019. The first step has already been taken, all I need to do now is begin this journey and focus on elevating myself to the position I desire. Yes, it is going to take some hard work and not taking myself too seriously when I’m not progressing as fast as I want to. Patience will be a part of my focusing journey as well. By focusing on myself, happiness will come and my vision will be clear. Getting back to the basics: reading, writing, blogging, and seeking my Creator will lead to happiness and peace of mind. It’s time. My 38th year of living on this earth will be one for the history books. I am determined to manifest all the greatness within me.

So, instead of making promises to lose weight, to drink more water, to eat healthier or whatever people do for New Year resolutions, I ask you to choose one word. One word to define the path that you want to travel this year. Write that word somewhere that you can see if every day. Use it as your vision board and make a daily conscience effort to fulfill what you need to stay on the path. I hope your 2019 is amazing. The atmosphere is shifting for us all. Be blessed.

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Tanasia Thomas
Learning to Put Myself First
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As a woman, I know how hard it can be to focus solely on yourself. The thought of putting away the “to-do” list, ignoring the children shouting various versions of “mama” and silencing all distractions to pay attention to ourselves seems impossible. It doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to accomplish everything, let alone to set aside even five minutes for myself. There’s work, making dinner, doing homework, preparing for the next day, and giving my family the attention that they need. Where does “me” time fit in? The reality is, that it doesn’t, however, the more you mature, the more you realize that taking care of yourself is essential to having the energy to take care of others.

The first step in self-care is realizing that you can’t be everything to everyone. Yes, the people and things in my life require my attention, but before I can give them 100% of me, I need to give 100% of me to me. What’s crazy is that it has taken me over thirty years to realize this. As a wife and mom, I would always feel guilty when I spend time alone with my friends, took time to relax, allowed the laundry to pile up, ignored the dishes in the sink, or took a nap when there was cleaning to be done. I’d convinced myself that I can rest when I’m done doing everything that I need to do. The way life is set up, I’d only be able rest in my grave. I had to realize that, even if I conquered my to-do list, the pile will grow again tomorrow. With that being said, why not take time out to recharge.

The next step in self-care is recognizing the signals your body is sending you. I can remember times when I was utterly exhausted, yet continued on as if my body runs on Energizer batteries. My energy level and health dwindled while my list of expectations continued to mount. The end result is feeling ill or becoming so exhausted that I couldn’t do the one thing on my list that mattered to me the most. Lesson learned. Now, when my body says it needs to rest, I rest. Yes, my planner says that I’m supposed to be working out right now, or reading, or folding laundry, or even writing blog posts, but my body is the commander-in-chief. I’ve learned to never feel guilty about giving my body what it needs.

Self-care means taking time to focus. I don’t know about you, but my mind runs like a Ferrari, on Red Bull. There are times when I am a prisoner of my thoughts. The constant influx of information, thoughts, lists of things to remember, and mental check-offs can be overwhelming at times. It seems I have never been able to shut my mind off or mentally reflect on what I need because I’m so busy trying to keep up. My counselor (yes, superwomen need counseling too) challenged me to create a space where I can go and let my mine be free. Those of us who are mothers know that the bathroom is not that place. Children will hound you as soon as you close the door and the peace you are searching for will never come. I chose my closet. Decluttering it was liberating and worth the labor because the end result is magnificent. I now have a place where I can hide, turn off the lights, lie down with my comfy blanket, and reflect. Or read my Bible. Or meditate. Or pray. No matter what, I can go into my little slice of heaven and gain a few uninterrupted moments of solitude. I never realized how escaping and being alone can leave you feeling refreshed and ready to take on life’s challenges.

Lastly, self-care means doing things you like with people you love. At least twice a month, I make an effort to connect with my friends and have sister dates. Believe it or not, it doesn’t matter if a woman is married or single, we all have obligations that consume the majority of our time. Being able to connect with other women, vent about our lives, share our accomplishments, and hash out our fears is essential to taking care of ourselves. Just having another set of ears to say, “Girl I understand” or a chorus of “Oh hell no!” can work wonders when you doubt your sanity. Some of us can’t afford a therapist, so as women, we can be that for one another. Having time away from the house where you aren’t focused on the needs of others and you can be an “adult” will re-energize you while also giving you something to look forward too. As women, taking care of our family can cause of to lose touch with our friends. I’m here to give you permission to cultivate your sisterhood and make a conscious effort to plan time with your friends. Sip your wine, or tea and be you. .

Self-care is how you take your power back
— Lalah Delia
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