Healing

Time does not heal wounds, it changes your perspective. What occurred is an imprint. It does not determine who you are, but will be a factor in who you become. Healing has no sense of time,  and everyday is a day of forgiveness and rebirth.  An opportunity to see your past through today’s eyes, and the ability to foresight a better future.

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Last time

I recall speaking to a friend of mine about my process and interest in writing a blog. This was almost a year ago. My goal was to eventually branch off and focus on my book, and the time has finally come. Before, I started writing I needed to change the way I shared my story. I didn’t want to repeat my story to the point I would attract the very things I spent all this time healing from. I knew that I wanted to tell my story from a place of appreciation and peace. It took me almost six years to get here, but time has passed and the memory still remains like yesterday. Healing is a process that takes time, and it varies from person to person. I want to be clear that the contents of my story will be shared through the book, and will be the last time I share my views from the old Kieona. I am currently in the process of writing myself a new story. A story in which I control. I have become so aware of my thoughts on this journey, and have seen so many changes with how I process things outside of myself. This book is for me and my son. Of course I want to touch as many people as possible, however I will be fulfilled with just one. My story was my journey, my perception of everything that occurred around me through my eyes. It was my personal experience. Everyone has their own experience and perspective of every situation. This is my last blog…and last time to share my story of loss from the views of my old self. Londosnprints2017

Dreams

Tonight, I have made the decision to say ” Fuck this medical writing class.” As early as Monday morning I am dropping this course, and deciding to take some time off. My frustration has been rising with my current professional journey.  To be honest it has been this way for a while. I have always tried to squeeze my size 10 ass into society’s box . A small space that has restricted me from living the vibrant life that I know I am destined to live.  All of my accolades and goals accomplished for the last 32 years, did not belong to me. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. We were taught to work a job for twenty years, become a homeowner, get married, have children, travel if you ever have extra money, and die. We were taught to silence our dreams, and not to aspire to do more, as this would bring attention to yourself. I have been trying so hard to find my niche in the clinical research world. A world of scientist that are trying to find out why people of color refuse to participate. A world that is extremely technical with a hypothesis and statistic for everything, but lack research of people of my kind. I am a blog writer, a creative energy source that writes about her emotions and the toughest lesson anyone will learn…life. I am not physician, I am the patient. I’m in a class with physicians and medical workers focused on cardiology and musculoskeletal education for the emergency room.  The articles have no soul, no content, but papers of bullshit research. That is the problem with the world today, everyone believes in all things seen by the eye or tangible. However, everything that truly means something can’t be seen by the human eye or even be duplicated. I guess it angers me because I was that patient. That statistic that was left to follow the words of my physician because they were educated, and my words, comments, questions, and opinion were silenced by my intimidation. I’m tired of not being taken seriously. Every position I have ever upheld, I worked my ass off. I was the “token black girl”, the one who would do extra just to have them catch a glimpse of my dedication and hard work. I will no longer prove myself to anyone, including an employer. Every time I look at a job application, I cringe. I feel for the generation today. Every time I got the courage to ask for what I wanted from an employer, they would increase the requirements, or deny me because I did not prove to them why they should choose me. Our society is currently placing a cloud on the youth’s dreams. It is hard to dream when your reality says otherwise. We have a president that couldn’t care less about the issues of our country, aside from his intentions with money and businesses. Graduates searching for jobs to survive and landing positions that can barely pay to live, never mind pay for their schooling. We are taught to live in a box, we earn and purchase, and never really own. As much as I want to have more income as a single parent, I refuse to spend less time with my son. It’s already bad enough that I don’t have time for a social life. I can go on and on about this very topic. Today I decided to no longer prove myself to any employer, family member, spouse, friend, or associate. I will no longer do the very things that are “expected” of me. Instead, I am going to continue to work and fund my own dreams. There has been so much resistance between me and the path that I was choosing.  I chose the pharmaceutical  industry because it is lucrative however I am not passionate about it. From today on before making any decisions I will stop and ask myself why do I want this? I have my own mission, and my own goals. My resume is extensive and extremely diverse. I appreciate this journey, but it’s now time for me to live out my dreams. I’m breaking away from societies standards, and beginning to build an empire of my own. I no longer want to support someone else’s dreams. It is time for mine!

The Miseducation of Postpartum Depression

Medical Blog

Postpartum depression/Postnatal Depression, also known as PPD, is a very common medical complication amongst new mothers. Our Society has created this perception that childrearing is supposed to be one of the happiest times in a woman’s life. Imagine the pressure of a new mother when she doesn’t feel those exact emotions. Confusion immediately sets in, and the mother fears something is wrong.  Little does the new mother know postpartum depression occurs more often than publicly mentioned. Starting a family is an exciting time, but new additions and responsibilities can result in more stress, and lack of sleep. Depending on the woman’s family support, economic status, and spousal support, these can all contribute to her depression and mood swings. This can occur especially if there is a lack within any of these areas.  The miseducation of depression, and the fear of being diagnosed, is the misunderstanding and lack of knowledge about the disease.  The truth about postpartum depression is that it is normal, and about half of women experience depressive moods after giving birth.

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PPD occurs in 15 out 100 women within the first three months. Half of the women have mild to moderate cases of depression.  PPD can also be a more severe case, such as postpartum psychosis which is very rare. PPD symptoms are much stronger than the usual “baby blues” and last longer than the first couple of weeks postpartum.  The symptoms of postpartum depression are as follows:

Anxiety

Lack of sleep (Insomnia)

Loss of appetite

Poor Concentration

Not being able to enjoy your usual favorite activities/No energy or Motivation

Low Self-esteem

Feeling down/Crying spells

Thoughts of harming the baby or yourself

Postpartum depression is not dangerous, and without treatment symptoms will decline within four to six months. New mothers have been found to have thoughts of harming their newborns or themselves. Postpartum depression becomes an issue if the mother acts on those very thoughts. This is when the disorder turns to potentially dangerous to the child and the mother. If the mother is acting on these thoughts, or feeling suicidal, it is important to contact the OBGYN or primary care doctor. The Pennsylvania Suicide hotline and the Emergency 911 are resource available for those with an immediate assistance need.

Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

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In the past, hormones theoretically were the belief behind postpartum depression. Hormonal changes affect the brain chemistry that is responsible for our emotions and mood changes. There is minimal clinical research to prove this belief. There are many contributing factors that may increase a new mother’s susceptibility for postpartum depression. The factors include being previously diagnosed prior to pregnancy with anxiety or depression. Women with a family history are likely to have depression.  A woman who experiences high levels of stress during the pregnancy, and after the childbirth can contribute. Having unhealthy relationships with domestic partners and family members can also ignite the disorder. It is important for the expectant mother to focus on both her physical and mental health, as she is bringing forth a new life.  Non-judgmental emotional support can minimize depressive symptoms, and create an environment for the expectant mother/new mother to express her true emotional state.  It is important for her to know that she is loved and supported.  Unfortunately as women we carry the burden of taking care of the family, but we can only do so if we are in a good physical and mental state.  Treatment begins when we acknowledge there is an issue.

So what do you do if you are experiencing these symptoms?

Contact your OBGYN office and make an appointment immediately. Total Women’s Health provides an extensive amount of resources and information for postpartum depression. There are many different treatment avenues for a new mother to choose. Counseling and anti-depressants are possible options for mild cases of post-partum depression. There are some holistic ways in treating depression as well. Simple things such as changing your diet, incorporating exercise, aromatherapy, massages, acupuncture, support groups, and light therapy.  Postpartum depression can seem like a lone experience but this does not need to be the case.  This is a fight you don’t have to fight alone. Contact Total Women’s Health today for resources and potential treatment options. Fear is because of the miseducation of this disorder, educate yourself.

 

 

Written by Kieona Fairley Founder of London’s Prints LLC

Cloudy mirrors

For some of us, the way we see ourselves is not truly who we are. In fact the ego really creates this facade of greatness and lack of shortcomings. A true person on the path to self discovery has endured the emotional rollercoaster of seeing through a clear mirror. Everyone that we attract is a reflection of who we are or what we are at that very moment. The very things that are highlighted to you through the negative behaviors of another, is you  finally seeing through a clear mirror. Everything vibrates on a frequency, what our mind thinks we attract. Trust me it’s a hard pill to swallow but every circumstance and situation we unconsciously attract it. Your baby daddy that you reallly dislike, or girlfriend that betrayed you is all a reflection of your internal thoughts. Wiping the mirror clean takes a lot of self-reflection and pain because of the truth being revealed. That very thing that you dislike about someone, and you continuously encounter is a lesson for you to learn. I had to learn the hard way, about the things I don’t want, to become clear with the things I do want. My emotions have always been valid, and the answers have always been internal. I have sought out answers through books, loved ones, and others through experiences, only to realize every situation and circumstance is tailored to you. Just you! The truth hurts. The best advice I can give is to spend time evaluating those who frustrate you, because deep down they are a reflection of you and the reason for your cloudy mirror. Getting an understanding of them, clears your mirror of the debris. So you can make the appropriate changes of thought to create a different life for yourself. One without doubt and support of the ego. Stop looking at yourself through that cloudy mirror.

Emotions of a Kindergartner

Thursdays I have to be physically in the office. In the last 24 hours so much has occurred, and my thoughts would not allow me to sleep. I was exhausted and hit the snooze button way too many times. Between a six page research paper due today, and a pile of work to do in the office, I just didn’t want to adult today. However, I had to, and proceeded to prepare myself and my son for the day. Upon my son’s arrival in class, his teacher engaged me in a conversation that made me linger around for longer than usual. I was caught up in the conversation, and was suddenly interrupted by one of my son’s kindergarten classmates. We will call this young man Jake. Jake asked the teacher “How do I spell DO?”.  She then responded by pronouncing the word, giving him an opportunity to figure it out himself. Jake immediately grasped the letters and continued to write on this plain piece of paper. Five minutes later, this young lady comes over ( we will call her Anna) and appears frustrated with the paper she had in her hands. She looked at me, and then her teacher, and said ” Jake gave me this paper that says I don’t like Anna.”. This whole time, Micah’s teacher and I were speaking, this young man was plotting to ruin this little girls day. Here I was thinking, he was drawing a nice picture for his parents for when they pick him up. Or, he wanted to show the hard work he put into making a sentence. Instead, Jake sat there and spent a lot of time and effort into displaying negative emotions through a note to Anna. The unfortunate aspect of this display of disdain was he actually did not feel that way about her. In fact, Jack really liked Anna. I looked at Anna, this innocent, and beautiful young girl and her confusion. I could tell she didn’t understand why he felt that way, especially so early this morning. Why did he write that in a note and instead verbalize this very thought? What did I do to him to make him feel this way about me. As a very grown ass woman, I told her to do what I would have told my younger self. I told Anna lets have fun, and rip and shread those very mean words that he gave you. You don’t have to own, or accept none of that negativity he just handed to you. She smiled as she tore through the paper, and even asked for my help to get rid of it. We threw it in the trash, and just like that, she went on to play like nothing ever happened. crumpled

Today, I saw the makings of a Man-boy. Jake is still young, so there is still time for him, however they need to catch him while they can. As a grown woman, I encounter men with emotions of a kindergartener. Men who are unable to be vulnerable, or able to express their true feelings. A man is not just a man because of what is between his legs, or how much money he has in his bank account. A man is a man because he prides himself on becoming a better version of himself. He is mindful of his behaviors, and how he treats the ones he love. His respect for women does not rely on how they treat themselves, but how he respects and values the women in his life. The men with emotions of a kindergartener are found mirroring their view of themselves unto love interest, or women they love as an act of love from their level of understanding. Jake wanted any kind of attention he could receive from Anna, but it wasn’t pleasant. His fear of rejection was there, and before she could hurt him, he decided to hurt her. We need to teach our children how to handle their emotions. Teach them that it is okay to feel.  Voice what you feel and as parents help them find positive ways to manage them. At thirty two, I was still getting those letters like Anna. Instead, they came as text messages, or verbally from someone who loved me, but a love with fear. We have to rip those papers, opinions, and negative behaviors apart, and don’t own them. There are so many beautiful young women like Anna that began to dislike themselves, because they owned what Jake or other young men said about them. Take those words, behaviors, and actions and ignore the childish ways.  Throw it away, and protect your energy.

Flowers

It all started with a bouquet of roses and and a hanging flower arrangement for my home.  A nice bottle of red wine, and a whispered promise of dreams I once had. I held unto those dear flowers for my life, as they were the first gifts I received after all the pain. That night I was seen through the eyes I wished would remain for the rest of my life. The eyes of appreciation for the life I gave, and the woman I had become. With time those flowers began to wilt, and today was the day I finally threw them out. I wasn’t consistent and neither was he. The flowers would go days without water but withstood the summer and high heat. Those beautiful flowers began to wilt because the love and care just wasn’t something I could give. I would go days without remembering to care for them. They just weren’t my priority. I gave up on the plant because I am not the one with a green thumb. My ability to care or acknowledge the importance of greenery has just never been my thing. I appreciated its beauty when they were nicely cared for, but disliked its appearance when the petals became wilted. I gave up on continuing to breathe life into that plant. Now I understand there are just some things people are incapable of doing. Today, I saw its potential of what it could be, if I only invested time in watering it properly. Filling it up with water and light, just to see it grow and flourish. Instead I made a choice. A choice to throw it away and start over. I will stick with the fake plants for now since they are easier to care for. Now I see, why he did not choose me. I needed light and love and that was too much of a distraction from what he was used to. I required from him, something he was unable to provide me at the time. In the end, he threw it all away. He decided that the fake flowers, the ones that withstand his lack of emotions and care are good for now. It all started with flowers and a bottle of red wine. I never ask for much. The things I require should come naturally. My petals began to weep, and once he threw me away, I had no choice but to start all over again. Flowers 

The season finale of Insecure…

I enjoy interpreting literature and film, just as much as I enjoy watching well written shows. I would love to have a convo with Issa in person, but until then, I will share my perspective via my very own blog platform. Issa if your looking for someone to help write for next season, look no further. This is my personal take on the show. So, there was a lot of emotions and situations from the cast to share in just the span of a half an hour. Issa and lawerence alone could have consumed that entire time. Since Issa is the main character I will start with her. Issa currently is frustrated with the way everything is going. Not only did she feel liked she “fucked up” a good thing with Lawrence (because as black women, we feel a good black man is hard to come by), but she is being extremely hard on herself about her choices. The affects of the relationship are starting to catch up with her, and she feels like she is getting the short end of the stick. We have all been there, where the world we knew, seemed to be crashing all around us. In reality, things are being shaken up because Issa is resisting change. She encounters her ex Lawrence in a new relationship where she creates this idea that he is extremely happy with the new woman. She believes in her mind that he has completely forgot about her. The truth is, he still has love for her but the way things ended is affecting his ability to start over. We have all been in relationships where we have lost the sense of ourselves. Trying to maintain the spark of the relationship while fighting individual battles. When the relationship goes sour it is not just on one party but both. It took time apart for them to evaluate there situation and realize that through the hardships, love still remained. Loving someone doesn’t mean that you are meant to be together but starting over doesn’t always mean you start with a clean slate. Whatever issues you had within the previous relationship you are bound to carry on the new one if they were never acknowledged, and or resolved. I think Lawrence is jumping into things to quickly, as he needs time to himself to resolve his underlying issues, and remain focused on his career.  Issa the outsider looking in is making life harder for herself. As a result of the pain she caused Lawrence, she is punishing herself. Once you have the mentality of what else could go wrong, trust me something else will go wrong. She is trying this “Hoe” phase that is not working out for her. I believe she is trying to correct her mistake in any way she can but she keeps creating more problems. The relationship she has with the DJ guy is good for her. Although he may want more, I think at some point they will establish a healthy friendship. He is a seasonal guy, the guy that helps Issa forget about her issues and fills her cup. Now that I think of it, most of the cast are currently in seasonal relationships, especially Molly. 

Everyone disagrees with Molly and Dro, I personally think he is imperative to Molly’s growth process. Dro outside of his marital status and open relationship, reminds Molly of “who the fuck she is”. Molly was having issue within her value at work and in her social life. Meeting up with Dro opened her eyes to how others view her. Sometimes as women we need that. Dro’s situation on the other hand is a tailored relationship that works for him and his wife. Who can say they are wrong when it works for them? I know personally that along with these situations come emotions and confusion, but can be beneficial to Molly while she is in the meantime. I think one of the biggest moments during this season was Molly finding out about her parents imperfect marriage. I struggle with my idea of relationships as I realize how unique they can be. We are taught that marriage and children should be the end result, but not everyone truly desires that. A commitment between two people should be a commitment they have made amongst themselves, and how they work and manage that commitment is between them. The encounter that Molly had with her parents, changed her idea of the happy ending and made her question her views on relationships. Do we as women have unrealistic ideations of relationships?  I blame Disney for this. Everyone in the show whether attached or not is growing out of there own insecure phases. Each and every character has an aspect of their life they are insecure about. While they are figuring things out, there will be people they meet along the way. Each to teach them they lessons they need at that time. I know after my divorce I had the “remind her who the fuck she is guy” and the guy that I wanted to rush things with, which displayed my lack of patience for the process. Where they are now is exactly where they need to be to prepare them for the next stage. It broke my heart to see Issa display her dreams of her and Lawrence, only for him to leave with a goodbye after displaying his love. If they are meant to be they will be. There is a process they need to go through to prepare them for that stage that Issa dreamed of. Love hurts sometimes especially when it’s being forced or comes at the wrong time. I’m still team Lawrence. I appreciate the show displaying the evolution of relationships and love. From women being sexually liberated, to open relationship, and same sex relationships.  The most important thing about the show is that no matter who you may be attached to, your responsible for your individual growth.  People are constantly changing and growing whether in a relationship or not. The insecure cast is showing the process of change. Change is not perfected overnight it is a process of constant decision making. It is trial and error even through your insecurities.

By the way… I don’t own the rights to these photos. 

Puppy Love

I recall being young and in love. The elders would call it “puppy love”, terms they used to express young innocent love. After my experience today with my son, I think it’s the elders/adults that got it all wrong. Okay, maybe not all wrong, but they could learn a thing or two from “puppy love”. Today I got my tail back in the gym and did my normal workout. After I did my thing, I headed back to the childcare center to grab my son. As we were walking out of the YMCA, Micah ran into a classmate. I never met the young girl but she sure knew who my son was. The mother was originally distracted by whatever she was trying to do, until she heard her daughter call my son’s name. She immediately looked at me and asked “Is his name Micah?”. I responded “yes” and watched as she repeated the question to her daughter. The little girl, I will refer to as jasmine, was standing holding my son’s hand staring into his eyes. The mother turned to me and said “Ever since she started school, she would come home and tell me she was going to marry Micah.” Now, I had to give it to this little girl, she knew what she wanted, and at the tender age of five. I’m not going to lie, it hurt me a bit to see some other girl so head over heels over this beautiful chocolate boy. Her mother and I stood in awe at her presence and admiration for my son. All the while my beautiful five-year old son was completely oblivious as to what was going on. He started trying to give her high fives, and create a special handshake. He then proceeded to give her a hug but reminded her that it was just a “friend” hug. The mother and I exchanged numbers to set future play dates for the two and jasmine had a hard time saying goodbye. As a mother, I now understand what it feels like to meet that special someone. I know they are only five, but it was a sneak peek into what I truly dreaded.  The young girl’s mother was a nurse practitioner. Jasmine seemed to come from a good family. I told her maybe we could think about this arrangement twenty years from now. This little girl stole my heart, because her intentions were so pure and kind. She admired the child that I created. Just like a typical guy, Micah was clueless and focused on what we were about to do next (as he should have been at that age).  Jasmine whose name is not really jasmine, reminded me of the character off of Aladdin. She looked middle eastern or of Indian descent. They never not once cared about nationality, religious backgrounds, nor what we as the mothers thought. Something intrigued jasmine about my son. She was gentle and fearless and didn’t have a worry in the world about trust, or being hurt. Her heart was open and fearless. She took a chance and expressed her feelings regardless of what my son may have felt. She wanted him to know she felt something special about him. Fast forward twenty years from now Jasmine most likely will not have that same confidence. She may be afraid to share her feelings with someone because we all fear rejection. Her heart most likely will have been broken by some high school jerk. She may have beginning signs of trust issues, and love in pieces. My son was extremely distracted but instantly took to the energy she was giving him. Puppy love is the most purest innocent form of love. That is what I want to get back to. The adult understanding of love is a result of negative experiences. At first, I always wondered how I would feel when Micah started dating, but after meeting Jasmine today she eased my mind. Why wouldn’t I want my son to experience a love that is unconditional. Why as human beings are we so territorial. Not allowing our loved ones to experience love from different places, including the opposite sex. Jasmine taught me today to love like I have never been hurt, and to take chances in love. Puppy love is the purest form of love, adult love, and views on love, can be tainted because of previous relationships. Puppy Love is fearless and guided by our internal compass, our heart. My job as Micah’s mother is to raise a gentleman. A man who respects and values women. I’m sure one day some girl is going to break his heart, but hopefully he will learn from me that there is love after loss.

Naomi

“You are destined for a girl.” says my  spiritual coach. Her name already written in the cards. I did not see this for myself, as I go back and forth on whether another child is what I truly desire. What I see for myself, is blurry due to my current relationship status. What God has planned for me is a whole other story. My spiritual guide was able to see it clearly and the first name that came to mind was Naomi. My daughter will be the symbol of resilience. Naomi biblically was a woman of loss. She not only had lost her two sons, but also her husband. The pain she endured from the loss of loved ones resulted into bitterness, and a cold heart. Naomi wanted to change her name originally meaning “pleasantness”, to Mara which means “bitter”.  My entire life was surrounded by love and loss. I watched my grandmother endure the same pain as Naomi, to the point she died along with the dead. Bitter is the pain we feel when dreams and life turns sour. Bitterness does not require for you to just physically lose something, it can also mean losing emotionally or parts of oneself. In spite of all of this pain, we are required continue on. The world continues on, even when our hearts stop. My daughter Naomi will be the symbol of strength of her mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.  Before my grandmother passed, she became Mara. No one would go visit her and most kept their distance. They would ask about her well-being but her pain was contagious and draining. Bitterness and anger drain energy. The loss of children and a spouse made her question her life. As women we are taught that marriage and children are our main priorities, when these are not obtained or are lost, a part of us dies. Our innocence towards love and life are broken. We view the world through a different set of eyes. One in which the pain and fear over shadows the true beauty. We live in a society that does not allow us to feel. A society that forces us to “get over” instead of to “go through”. People are forced to pretend they are healed, as opposed to go through the healing process.  Some self medicate, self inflict pain, and cause more harm than healing. I am still going through the emotional rollercoaster. Trying to understand the emotions and validating why I feel this way and understanding that its okay. In this cold world, I have found myself between both Mara and Naomi. That moment when all faith was lost, my grandmother stood alone. She gave up on love and life. She however has redeemed herself by guiding me. She is a voice and a reminder for me to choose life over death. She reminds me that every time I choose to be happy, or help others, I am choosing life. God knew what he was doing when he sent my son Micah. I’m sure my grandmother put in a request to make sure it was a boy. When I became Mara, all it took was my son. a glimpse of God, and his unconditional love to return me back to Naomi. Everyone dislikes miserable people, but refuse to provide them with the very remedy they need. Love. A reflection of the life and love that they once knew to be true. The reason I choose the name Naomi is not only because of her resilience, but also because of her biggest support. Naomi may have lost the love she once knew, but also gained love and support from her daughter in law Ruth. Ruth vowed to be with Naomi and exemplified the true meaning of a friend. Ruth was willing to love Mara back to Naomi. Ruth is my grandmother’s name and one of my spiritual guides. The life before me, guides me, and continues to inspire me. #Naomiruth