My Constant Companion, The Darkness.

The big ‘D’ word no-one wants to hear about, and yet we all fight the same battle just in different forms… meet Depression.

It feels like you’re numb all over.

One of the best ways for me to describe how I feel when my good ‘ol friend depression comes to visit me is numb. It’s the oddest feeling. My whole body is numb, but my brain feels fizzy. It’s like when you eat pop rocks. You can feel and hear the fizzy sensation/noise that it makes in your mouth. Now imagine all of that going on inside your mind.

I call my depression The Darkness. When I feel it creeping up I try and get ahead of the game: I buy groceries, wash up all the clothes, clean the house, wash my hair, shave my legs, everything I can think of that I know without a doubt I’m not going to want to do. The Darkness and I are old friends so I know how it plays out, or how it usually plays out. It never fails. You can’t stop it.

Once, a couple of years ago, he hung around for 2-3 weeks. That first week I remember sitting on my couch looking down at the floor. I glanced over at the clock and it was 11 am. When I “blinked” it was 3 pm that fast. I have literally been staring at the floor for 4 hours and I didn’t even realize it. It was as if I blacked out and time was never a factor. I had errands to do and responsibilities to uphold. The Darkness didn’t care.

Before 2020 I could work out harder, increase supplements and water intake, or schedule some days off the go somewhere. All those steps helped me build up my weaponry to fight The Darkness. And it worked… a lot!

But than 2020 happened.

And not just the ‘world is ending’ part. I sold my business, moved from the South to the North for a relationship, adjusting to the relationship and lifestyle (and the weather), stepdad passed away, trying to help run the family business without him AND being 700 miles away, raising a teen, and with all that going I found out that I couldn’t transfer over my massage licenses to my new state. My career, my livelihood, the essence of me, and everything I worked hard and sacrifice for, gone.

That’s where my old friend comes into play. I was able to defeat him up to the point of me not being able to massage. Then he got me. I folded like a delicate, old piece of paper. So here I am. Faking the smile, going with the flow, wishing, and regretting things. I know The Darkness will get bored and let me loose again, but this time it will take a part of me with him. And I am afraid that part is not recoverable. We’ve been friends for 22 years if not longer. I have defeated him, but never got rid of him. Thanks for another one 2020.

Until next time my constant companion.

Things To Be Thankful For In 2020

No matter which pieces of your life that 2020 has taken away, there is always something to be thankful for

  • After the loss of my stepfather this year, I am more thankful for my family than anything. When you have someone who was considered a pillar in your family taken from you it makes it a little harder for a family to continue to stay close. I am thankful that we fought, argued, cried, laughed, and grew as a family together. We as a family continue to honor my stepfather through how we handle our ups and downs. He would not allow us to “act any less”. For that, I am thankful.
  • I am thankful for nature. There is something therapeutic about the world around us and the act of discovering nature. Rather if you are taking a weekend hike or a Sunday drive, the scenery that surrounds you is truly breathtaking if you take a moment to allow yourself to breathe it in. It reminds you that there are still things in this world that are pure and untouched. There are things that still hold value and worth escaping to. It reminds you that there is more to life than the everyday stressors that we have become accustomed to. I am thankful for the constant reminder that nature continues to provide us.
  • I am thankful for my faith. My faith has been my constant companion during life’s hardest and brightest moments. My faith has kept me going and believing that there is something ‘just over the mountain’ and to not stop working towards it no matter what is happening around me. My faith has kept me from stressing over things that I cannot change that seems to consume and torment others. My faith has kept me grounded especially during these troublesome times 2020 has dished out. Without my faith, I would have fallen deeper into the dark areas of my mind.
  • I am undoubtedly thankful for my daughter. She has been – on more than one occasion- my pillar to stand on. I am thankful that God has allowed me to be her mother. I am thankful for her sense of humor, view on life, her contagious laugh, and her ability to know when I just need a hug. She has pushed me harder to be the best version of myself without ever knowing it; to never settle for less than. I am thankful for my daughter.

2020 has not been fair to any of us. It has taken more away from us than we can imagine. Not only has it taken pieces of our life away, but it has also given us a gift. It has given us a gift of true self-discovery that without the quarantine, we would have never taken the chance to have. I am thankful for this crazy year and Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for?

Not Feeling Confident About Your First Massage? I Have Advice For You That Will Help

The Do’s and Don’ts for Receiving Your First Massage and What to Expect Told by a Massage Therapist.

I DID NOT enjoy my first session.

I was 28 when I received my first massage and I was completely unsure what to expect during my session. I decided to go back to school to become a massage therapist and by doing so I had to receive a massage as a requirement. It was not for me! In some areas, she massaged too hard and in other areas, I could barely feel her massaging me at all.

Not to mention that I had a terrible headache right after.

But I didn’t know what I could have done differently: should I have told her that she was hurting me here but that I couldn’t feel her massaging me there, that this was my first time getting a massage, that I did not like my feet being rubbed in any form or fashion, or that I was cold the whole time? It was not what I thought it would have been.

Luckily for you, I am here to spare you all of the heartache of you second guessing your massage decision!

  • The first thing you have to DO is ask yourself what type of massage are you wanting to receive? Are you wanting to have a relaxing session, are you wanting to focus solely on a specific area of your body (shoulders, neck, knees) that you are having problems/pain with, or maybe a little bit of both? When you decide what type of session you are wanting then it will be easier for the therapist to mold the session to fit your massage needs.
  • If you are receiving a massage for the first time DO tell the therapist. A really good therapist will take the time to explain what you should expect and to help settle any nervousness you may have. We want to make sure that you are comfortable, secure, and that you have a good first session.
person holding babys foot
  • DO tell the therapist if you do not like your feet, face, or scalp touched. Trust me, if you do not it WILL BE MASSAGED. And it is ok if you do not like those areas to be touched. I personally hate my feet to be touched. I understand the benefits of massaging them, but it ain’t happening! So yes, please let your therapist know.
  • It is completely ok if you DO fall asleep while you are receiving a massage. Honestly, I consider it a compliment because you trusted me enough to allow yourself to be that relax to fall asleep. PS: if you snore, you snore. It truly does not faze a therapist at all!
  • You DO NOT have to be completely undressed to receive a massage. The choice is yours. I will tell you this though that if you do decide to leave your shirt or pants on, for example, those areas more than likely will not be massaged. A typical rule of thumb is that if it is covered, it will not be massaged. So if you are wanting your back massaged I recommend undressing for that. If you are still unsure, just ask your therapist.
  • You DO NOT have to shave your legs for a massage. You will be surprised how many women apologize for that. I get it, trust me. My legs are shaved depending on life at that point. For us therapists, it is not a make it or break it kind of deal.
modern businesswoman in casual outfit talking on mobile in office
  • DO NOT not show up for your appointment. If you know you are not going to make it or be late, let the therapist know. We know that life happens. A lot of time they can fit you in later that day or that same week. Appointments are how us therapist makes our bread and butter. Communication is always key.
  • You DO NOT have to tip. Yes, you read that right. Actually, it is not required for you too, but it is expected. Depending on where your therapist works can depend on how much you tip. I tell my clients whatever they think that the session was worth, tip accordingly. It’s your session!
  • I would consider this as a “DO and DON’T” point and to be the most important one. Just bear with me. Please be respectful of your massage therapist. We all know that massage in general does not have a good reputation historically. Unfortunately during both World Wars, most massage therapists had to resort to prostitution as a form of survival during those times.

We no longer live in those times. Massage therapy has regained its rightful reputation/place in the healthcare field as another form of pain management and alternative medicine. We do not consider the term “happy endings” as a joke. It is an insult.

With that being said… if a massage therapist ever makes or insinuate any inappropriate/ sexual gestures or remarks, there are steps you can take. First, let the therapist know that you are uncomfortable. A therapist may not be aware that a certain comment or gesture – like not securing the sheet tighter- made you uncomfortable.

We are still humans and make mistakes not realizing it because as therapists we get stuck/comfortable with the flow of our routine. If that does not work, let their manager know. You are protected as clients. Worst-case scenario, if appropriate actions have not been done by the manager or supervisor, contact the Massage Board of that state.

I know that last point was intense, but I believe it needed to be pointed out. You would be surprised by what clients say when they are either extremely nervous or just completely unaware. It happens to the best of us and when you don’t know, you don’t know. What it all boils down to is your massage therapist making sure that you have a great and safe first massage session.

two people shaking hands

So please take these insights from a massage therapist, share this post, and book yourself a massage session! Any questions or comments you have, let me know. I would be more than glad to answer them. You deserve to be treated well and to enjoy your massage session to the fullest!


	

12 Ways to Selfishly be Positive Without Feeling Guilty.

The only thing to feel guilty about is not putting yourself first!

1. When you are tired, stressed, and don’t want to do a task… SAY NO! One simple, freeing, yet powerful word.

2. When no one is around, EAT THAT LAST PIECE OF CHOCOLATE. Actually, just go ahead and eat that piece of chocolate anyway.

3. CUT YOUR HAIR SHORT. Despite yourself or whomever else thinks that you can’t pull it off, yes you can. Be brave and bold with the new you!

4. BUY THAT DRESS. It fits you like a glove and hugs your curves just right. You deserve it and you know it.

5. When you walk into the kitchen and the sink is full of dishes, keep on walking. WASH THE DISHES TOMORROW.

6. TAKE AN EXTRA 30 MINS for yourself in the bathtub. Use all the hot water on yourself with zero remorse.

7. TURN THE MUSIC UP. Who cares who hears it? Not like you blast it every day anyway. Turn it up and enjoy your favorite music.

8. DON’T ANSWER THAT CALL. Just because “they” are calling you, doesn’t mean you have to answer right now. That’s why you have voicemail.

9. You know that you have a Target addiction and girl I don’t blame you! So BUY YOURSELF THAT PURSE you’ve been eyeing.

10. Every time you think of it, it puts a smile on your face and fills your heart with joy. GET THAT TATTOO just for you!

11. DON’T SHARE YOUR SODA! Enjoy every last drop of goodness without the kids, husband, and even the dogs.

12. ORDER THAT STEAK. Tonight is the night that the prices don’t matter. Tonight is just about you!

There is nothing wrong with being selfish a time or two. Especially when it’s done to boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, or to make your world a little brighter. Most importantly, don’t forget to put yourself first. You are important too. In what ways would you be selfishly-positive?

Don’t Lose It, She’s Just a Mini-Version of You. An Emotional, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde Version.

When your daughter ‘suddenly’ grows up and you are faced with a person you don’t recognize and barely like

One day your little girl is looking up at you with the biggest, roundest, and brownest eyes ever. She is asking you 20,000 questions about the sky, trying on all of your jewelry so she can “look like you mama”, asking about the -what if’s- of the world.

Than it happens:

Puberty.

Your little girl is now 13 and the only thing she is asking you is when dinner is ready and if she can go to a friend’s house.

What makes it all sting a little more is that your kisses no longer make things better. You singing along with her favorite song is no longer cool. Your jokes sound more like -dad jokes- than them actually being funny. If you try to help her pick out any outfit, God forbid if you do because your style is -outdated!

But how did her turning into this 13 yr old person happen so quickly? Wasn’t she just losing her first tooth or stuck to your hip while you two watched a movie together on the couch? Wasn’t she randomly crossing her arms and legs with each other as she was reading a book with Teddy by her side?

What happened to that girl? Better yet…

What person replaced her?

She looks like your daughter, but now she is eye-to-eye with you. This person smells of B.O. because they refuse to use the hundred and one bottles of deodorant you bought them. And this person argues and cries at a drop of a hat about the most minute things: a video they watched, the calm and collective way you thought you told them to do something, or if they have ‘nothing to wear’ when their closet is still half full.

Who ARE you and what have you done to my daughter?

It all happened so quickly and without warning. You literally just tucked her into bed, gave her kisses, said your prayers, and then it was as if ‘IT’ woke up in your sweet daughter’s place instead. The Mr. Hyde to your Dr. Jekyll.

Never in your life have you wanted to put someone in their place. Maybe even knock someone so badly, but you can’t. Legally you can’t because it’s your daughter and you know you still love her because she is still standing in front of you- back taking. Or trying to backtalk, but she even knows better so she is trying to backtalk without back talking you.

What kind of an emotional rollercoaster of a person did you create?

Where did you go wrong?

The other worse thing about this hand you have been dealt with is that person standing in front of you reminds you of someone. Oh, you know who! The way they cut their eye at you, or the way they say ‘huh?’ when asked the same question over and over, or the way they try to give you a hug and a -I’m sorry kiss- after an argument. Yeah, It’s you. They are a mini-version of you.

How do you win against that?!

When all seems lost with your new ‘roommate’, something out of the blue happens. It is as if the skies parted and for a moment this person does the unthinkable…they smile… on purpose because they wanted to. Then they laugh WITH you because you were funny. And when you thought that your heart was full…

She gives you a hug before going to bed.

She literally, at her own accord, came downstairs to give you a ‘just because’ hug. Then there she is, your little girl. Even for a brief moment, she emerged. Now you know with all the craziness of her growing up and you finally accepting the fact that she is growing up that you two will be ok. You two still have each other’s back and you need each other. That you two will still be close, but just in a different and better way.

Do you agree?