This is supposed to be a shared experience. It’s in my mission statement and everything and, admittedly, I have not been sharing. So much has happened since the New Year, and I’ve been Definitely Slacking on my blogging. Since there’s a lot to unpack here, I’m going to break this blog down into 3 categories: mental health, nutrition, and other stuff. It’s interesting that I finally decided to update this blog today, the first day of Mental Health Awareness Month. The purpose and mission of Nikky Definitely Inc. is to educate WOC about mental health issues and eating disorders. Today is a great day to start blogging about my experiences with those disorders again. The idea of this blog is to be as transparent as possible, so I’m going to be honest. I am not the best patient. I’ve learned that I am impatient, and sometimes unwilling to follow directions. I thought I would be pretty much done with anxiety by now, and that panic attacks would be a thing of the past. The truth is, I had one not less than two weeks ago when I was forced to shop for new clothes (I’ll get to that later).
Anxiety and I have a complex relationship. On one hand, I hate that I always expect the worst-case scenario. I find that I have to rationalize with myself often. For example, I may find myself saying, “Nicole, you do realize that just because (enter person's name here) didn’t answer your text right away doesn’t mean that they’re in a ditch somewhere, right? You know this!” And my response will be, “Yeah, yeah I know. But… technically… (enter made-up statistic here).”
On the other hand, there are times when I will tell myself, “Okay, but just go and check ONE more time and make sure you turned off the hot plate.” And sure enough, I'll find that I've left the hotplate on again, and I’m like, “High-5 Anxiety! You rock!” I know most of you probably call that second scenario a hunch, but in my world anxiety and hunches feel and act the same. So I’m never really sure which is which. I’m still learning how to manage anxiety and panic, and I hoped I would be an expert at it by now. I'm still learning to be patient with myself.
My depression has gotten a bit better. Turns out that actually talking about your problems makes things better. Most of my life I’ve been told that I shouldn’t share my emotions, and how nobody likes a pity party and all that. I was never looking for pity; I just wanted someone to listen. But after being silent for 38 years, it was hard to speak up at first. I still have counseling sessions where I would rather not address the issues that need attention. But that’s getting better. The more I talk, the better I feel. (Side note: I wrote a short blog on IG titled “Why I Fired My Therapist”. Maybe I’ll move it here so it’s easier to find.)
In general, I feel a little more stable than I did 8 months ago when our house flooded in “The Great Flood of 2016”. I still look around the house and wonder how on earth we will ever get this place back to something recognizable. I don’t talk about the house much; I didn’t realize that this silence would lead some of my friends to believe that our house was already repaired. I know that there are people who got so much more water during the flood than we did, and I feel like I have no room to complain if there are people worse off than we are. But FYI, we’re practically camping out over here, hence, the hotplate situation.
Having a nutritionist has kept me mostly honest about my eating habits. I don’t always get three meals a day, but when I skip, I have a meal replacement drink. I know that I need to stop skipping meals. Most of the time I skip because I’m busy, and I’ve not been restricting as much as I used to. I have reached a healthier weight, but apparently, that’s not enough to say I’m fully recovered. Last week my nutritionist and I did a body tracing. After we were finished outlining my body, I looked at the paper and immediately thought, “who is she?” I was supposed to lay the drawing out at home and write my feelings on it… she’s still in the back seat of my car. I suppose moving her inside would be an improvement from the back seat of my car, even if I don’t want to look at her right now. Thank goodness my nutritionist has been patient with me.
So back to clothes shopping! When you gain weight, you outgrow your clothes. When you lose weight, you shrink out of your clothes. I’ve grown and shrunk out of my clothes so often I’ve kinda gotten used to it. But once I started gaining weight and keeping it on, I realized I needed new clothes. It was that, or lose the weight again, and losing the weight would be counterproductive. I went shopping for new clothes out of sheer necessity. I don’t enjoy shopping of any sort, so this wasn’t a fun experience for me. I was with my sons and we were in a store that had really hot spotlights for some kind of marketing affect I suppose, and I think their air conditioner must have been broken as well because it was at least 1000 degrees in there. Combining my sheer hate for shopping with the sweltering heat, I was having a pretty miserable time. I finally got out of there with 4 pairs of pants and a couple of shirts and then the next thing I knew, the palpitations started. I was sweating even though it was much cooler outside of the store. I knew the signs; I knew I was panicking. These days, when I start to panic there’s a feeling of disappointment. Like, really? You can’t even handle a little shopping? I told the boys I would be back and went to the bathroom to wet my face. I sent my husband a text. We chatted a bit. I took some calming breaths. I finally felt good enough to leave the mall without causing a complete scene. I came out of the bathroom and my younger son says, “Were you pooping? Eric says you were pooping.” Needless to say, I won’t be clothes shopping again anytime soon. These pants are going to have to last awhile.
I’ve met a few Black women online that have ED and body image issues. It’s been interesting. At first, I wanted to find other Black women with these issues because I figured we could support each other. But when I finally found them, I realized how sad it is that they are going through the same thing I am and that I actually wish that they were totally healthy and happy with their bodies. Every now and then I wonder if reaching out to the public with my story was the right thing to do. But then I get a text or an email or a phone call from someone telling me about how my story has helped them… and then I just keep sharing.
So let’s see. I was following Trump’s first 100 days up until about day 67, and then I gave up. Not sure how far y’all got. That’s all I have there. Then I started doing the baby bump watch. Beyoncé, Ciara, and now Serena have kept me pretty much covered in that department. Ciara had her baby recently, and I am anxiously awaiting the birth of the Royal Twins. Blue Ivy is going to be such an awesome sibling manager. I’ve been keeping up with the Obama’s. That should be a title of a reality show. I think my favorite POTUS is up to something, whatever it is, it’s gonna be epic. Oh, and I’ve become a podcast junkie… I’ve got 9 in heavy rotation right now: Side Hustle Pro, Edge of Sports, Politically Re-Active, Black Girl in Om, The Read, The Extraordinary Negros, University College, She’s Beauty and the Beast, and Myleik Teele’s Podcast. I stay pretty much current on all things business/politics/and non-sense this way. I think that’s it for Other Stuff.
I won’t make any promises that I can’t keep. I hope to blog more often than every 4-5 months. If you’ve been following me on IG then you already know that I have a lot of irons in the fire, and they keep me pretty busy. Thank you for following my story, and stay tuned!
– Love, Nikky