Trying to Forgive

Hi Daddy,

This letter has been a long time coming, but I want to say that I forgive you. I forgive you for not knowing what I needed from you as my father. I forgive you for losing sight of me and not realizing that you were hurting me. I forgive you for unknowingly choosing my sister over me. I want to say that I will forget all this, but I’m not sure that is something I can or want to do. The pain is deep, daddy. How could you not tell that I was in pain? How could you not see the sadness that I carried? I know that it was not something you wanted to do, but it happened. I also know that you want to jump right into a relationship with me, but I want you to know I need time.

I wish I had more to say to you. But honestly, I get emotional thinking about saying more to you. I cannot get back the daddy-daughter dances or the debates meets I wanted you to see, but I hope that we can talk without me feeling like a stranger to you. I don’t know if you would ever understand the pain and hurt I felt, but I want you to realize that I will try to work on us if you are willing to put in the work.

I love you daddy.

Forgiveness

Ari,

I am sorry that I have been hard on you. I did not realize how pushing you to pass your limits would make you cry. You are smart, and doubting you were the worst thing I could do to you. You do not deserve to hear the harsh words I say to you. You do not deserve to be beaten down for making small mistakes. I understand that making mistakes only helps you grow and reach your goals. I am sorry for making you think there is a right or wrong way to get to your dreams. You are allowed to march to a different beat from others. I get it now, Ari. I get that I hurt you, and that was not fair to you. You were born to live a life that fits you, not you trying to fit a life that was not designed for you to wear.

Please forgive me, Ari.

I did not know any better, but I am willing to sit back and trust the process that has been made for you.

I love you Ari, and I am willing to do what it takes to love you every day.

Words of Encouragement to Self

Hi Ari,

I know that the last two months have been tough for you but know that we will get through it. We don’t have to be perfect. We are fine the way we are. I know you feel that we should be on at all times; however, we are not a performer. We deserve to take breaks and try again later. We have to be patient with ourselves. We are not in a race with anyone. We can take our time until it is our time. We are loved and respected regardless if we make our goal today or two weeks from now. Ari, we have to stop being hard on ourselves and love ourselves harder. We will be okay. We are everything we need right and more. We do not lack for anything. We have our whole life to get to our calling. Don’t rush the small victories to see the main prize.

WE ARE LOVED ARI. Please remember that.

NO.

How hard is it for you to say no? If you are like me, saying no feels like slapping someone in the face. Saying no makes me feel guilty even when I have a reason to say it. So what do you do? Should you say yes forever? Well, I have a list we can all use to help fight the fear of saying no.

It is okay to say no…

If it doesn’t make you happy

If you feel as if someone is forcing you

If it doesn’t fit your plans

If it makes you uncomfortable

If you want to be by yourself and relax

If your feelings are not being valued

If it goes against what you believe in

If it’s a family member

If you have no reason other than you wanting to do it

Understand that it does not happen overnight. But remember, you have the right to say no to anyone about anything. Saying no helps protect your feelings, so use it when you can.

10 Things I Need to Stop Worrying About

Writing this list was hard for me because worrying has become like second nature to me. Hopefully, by writing this list, I can help not only myself with worrying but help whoever reads this.

Stop worrying about things that are outside of your control. You can only handle what you can touch.

Stop worrying about people’s approval of you. You are entitled to make decisions for yourself without someone telling you that your choices are okay to them.

Stop worrying about the “what ifs.” When you allow yourself to focus on what may or could happen, you slow down getting to your goal.

Stop worrying about the future. It is your job to enjoy the time that you have right now. Tomorrow is not promised.

Stop worrying about how to fix other’s problems. When you take on someone’s problems, they began to become yours that you will never be able to fix. Your job is to focus on what you need to fix for you.

Stop worrying about being perfect. Sweetheart, we will never be perfect. But what we can be is our best while embracing our flaws.

Stop worrying about if you are where you should be. It is not about getting to a place at a specific time, but the lessons you learned on the way to that place.

Stop worrying about money. Your needs will be met. Trust the timing.

Stop worrying about issues from your past. You are not your past. You cannot change what has already happened, but you can grow from it.

Stop worrying about change. How will you grow and progress without changing? Changes bring on new chances at winning.

Dear 20 Something Ari

Hey Girl,

Right now, I am sure you are writing your fifth 10-year goals list, hoping that 30 never comes for you. Well, sis, it’s coming sooner than you think. But guess what? You do not have to have it all together before 30 comes. You are at a place where making mistakes should not drive you to think less of yourself, but the mistakes should be taken as lessons being taught to you. You are smart enough to reach any goal you set your mind to; just stop trying to focus on how quick that goal is achieved when it’s not the time for you yet. I know you see people you went to high school with having their degrees and starting new chapters for themselves, but understand you did not do anything wrong. We are not supposed to move the way we see others moving. That’s not how we were made. We were made to march differently and do so with ease.

Lastly, Ari, you are killing it! Just take your time and do not allow what you see others doing; keep you from being your true self. We have time, so take the time to enjoy the journey.

Love,

30 Something Ari

Alone at Last

When I am depressed, I find myself pulling away from people that I usually like being around. Most people have told me that if you are alone when you are dealing with something, it will only make you feel worst. That’s not always true. I know for me, being alone helps me handle whatever issues I might be dealing with at that moment. See, I still want to be viewed as the one who has her stuff together. Being anything less than that will not work for me. I want to make sure I am okay before I spread any negative energy around people I love. I also chose to be alone because it helps me get my feelings in order and ease the anxiety monster hiding under my bed. The more people I am around when I am depressed, the more likely she (anxiety) will show that cute little face of hers (I kid, she’s a mess, but you didn’t get that from me), so alone I stay until I am out of my depression. I need that alone time to get me together, so I know how to face whatever this life has in store for me the next day. If you are like me and need that time away from people, take it. Do not respond to people who say that you are funny when you decide to be alone. Only you know what you need to get over your depression. Your peace is what matters the most. Choose peace over anything else. Trust me, and it is worth it.

Being alone has a power that very few people can handle.

Steven Aitchison

A Letter to a Long-Lost Friend

Hi,

I know it has been a while since we have spoken. To tell you that it is hard not to reach out to you is a huge understatement. I want you to know that I am not mad at you. I want you to know that it was not your fault that we are not speaking. I just think that although we share great memories and love, we need to be a part. I don’t know how long it will be or if we will ever be how we once were. I play a role in this separation too. I know I push things more than allow things to happen when it is the right time. Forgive me for that. I mean no harm by it.

I want you to know that you are a person that I will love forever. You are very important to me, friend. There is nothing I would not do for you. I hope you still know that. You are family, and sometimes family gets distant. But the distance does not change the fact that you matter in my life. I hope when you read this that you are not bothered by this. I hope that no ill feelings are resurfaced. I want to know that this letter gave you time to reflect on great lasting memories.

I love you, friend, and no time apart will take the love I have for you away.

Love,

Ari

Mirror Talk

My love language is words of affirmations, so if you could only afford to give me a card as a gift, trust me, that card would be cherished far more than any piece of jewelry would. If you do not believe, ask my husband how many times I cried over a card without giving the actual gift any shine. Because of this, I use positive words of affirmations to get through some of my depressive episodes. I want to offer you 30 positive affirmations to tell yourself in the mirror (hence the title of this post).  I hope you can find the self-love and positive self-talk you have been searching for with this list. Oh yeah, shout out to my therapist for getting me out of that “stinky thinking.” Thanks, sis! You are with my copay and then some!

So when you are standing in front of the mirror getting yourself ready to start your day, recite some of the following affirmations:

-I am love.

-I am in charge of my feelings today.

-I will not compare myself to anyone.

-I am enough

-I have the power to create change

-My presence is my power (This one hits hard)

-My past is not a reflection of my future

-I will succeed today

-I am confident in my ability to [Fill in the blank]

-I give myself permission to make mistakes today

-I will trust myself to make the right decision

-I have value

-Positivity is a choice

-I will find the solutions to my problems

-I am fearless

-I forgive myself (another fan favorite)

-I learn from my past

-I am grateful for my life

-My life is just beginning

-My fears of tomorrow are fading away

-I believe in myself

-I am in charge of my life

-I deserve love, compassion, and empathy from myself and others

-I release self-doubt

-I let go of what no longer serves me

-My thoughts become reality (good or bad)

-I will not worry about things I cannot control (Ouch! I step on my toes with this one)

-I am proud of myself

-I do not fail, I learn, and I win

-I was not made to give up (thanks mama for this one)

I hope that this list gets you to the love you need. Please feel free to share this with anyone you know that needs a little pick me up.

Thoughts of a Manic

I have been dealing with mania for about two weeks now. It could be longer, but my mind is all over the place that I thought yesterday was Tuesday. WRONG! This post has no real topic, just different ideas floating around in my head while I try to work on anything, or even when I try to hold a conversation with people. I hope that this helps anyone that is also suffering from manic episodes.

A rundown of my day:

7 AM:

Hey girl! Let’s start our day!

Do you know what you want to do today?

Let’s work on our business plan.

No, let’s read a little.

No, how about we look at our assignment for next week.

I wonder if they received my mail-in ballot.

What time is it?

Let’s workout.

You should call your mom and see how she’s doing before you start your day.

What time is it?

Why are we still laying down in bed?

What time is it?

GET UP, GIRL!

9 AM:

We should go for a walk around the neighborhood

Let’s play Animal Crossing

Our business plan is top on the list for things to do today

I wonder if Donta is busy at work.

Let’s go for that walk.

What’s the weather like?

Why am I on YouTube?

Go to the Weather App.

What is the name of that song by Drake you like?

Noon:

We still have a lot to do.

Why are we laying down?

No, don’t crash. We have stuff to do!

Ariel, you are so lazy!

We do not need sleep. We are rested!

Let’s check our emails.

What time is it?

Today is going too slow.

I need to do some research regarding my plan

I. WILL. NOT. LOSE.

I’LL SLEEP WHEN I DIE!!

7 PM:

What is he saying to me?

That debate was insane.

If I were debating, I would have wiped the floor up with both of them.

What time is it?

I think I need to do more research on this plan.

I might need to pull an all-nighter to get this assignment done.

What day is it?

What is this conversation about again?

Focus. Focus. FOCUS ARIEL!

I should get my nails done.

Focus. She’s talking to you.

Do I have enough money to last me until my next job starts?

Focus. What did she say?

Do I need more leggings?

Stop going on Facebook! You know it upsets you.

What day is it?

Focus on the conversation you are having with your friend!

She probably thinks we don’t like her because we aren’t responding.

What did she say?

Should I eat? I not sure if I am hungry.

Focus.

Midnight:

I hate that I am up by myself.

Let’s go on Twitter.

No, try to sleep.

No, let’s sit down at our desk and write.

Write what?

What time is it?

You did nothing all day.

I need to work on my next assignment.

He sleeps so peacefully. One day I will know that. NOT.

Should I eat something?

I wish I had an idea of where to go to get my plans off the ground.

Focus. Focus on the plan

I am a screwup.

No, I got this! I will make it!

There is no time to sleep. Just work!

Damn, you forgot to call again!

I think I am going to start a podcast.

NO! I’m going to keep up with blogging.

YOUTUBE FOR THE WIN!!

3:00 AM:

KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN

Is he breathing?

Good, I can hear him!

What time is it?

Play one more game!

I hate that he’s asleep.

Google…

I finally allow myself to go to sleep, but my mind is fighting me all the way.

I hope that sharing this moment with you will help you seek help if you are dealing with racing thoughts. Finding someone that you can work with to assist you in navigating through the rough patches. I know that that rush of mania can be intoxicating, but what goes up must come down.