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Keep Moving FORWARD...

Photographer: Beverly Flannory

Let's Talk about Something REAL...

I wanted to take out the time to shine some light on Mental ILLNESS in our community. It is rarely the topic of discussion. I felt so strongly to write about this topic, I asked someone to co-write the blog post with me.

**Introducing, Joanne, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Joanne is a wife, mother, blogger and real estate agent.

Thank you for having me to cowrite this blog post with you. This is a very touchy subject for me and I rarely speak on it. I think it definitely need to be talked about. I know this subject so well, I too, have been through some things that has caused depression.

I will like to give my spill...

At this moment in my life, I am all about self love. Loving me as I am and teaching people how to love me! Trust me, I mean EVERYONE in my life have to come correct. I have to protect my essence and energy.

It took me a while to get this point. It was not easy at all. I remember not having much confidence about myself. I grew up being the quiet and reserved little girl that read books and explored her imagination more often than her peers. I had a few friends growing up. I was not invited to the poppin’ parties. I learned at an early age, how to be alone but I did not have the confidence to be okay with being alone. I hated being alone. I hated sitting by myself while everyone else explored the school with their friends. Fast Forward.

At the age of 13, I was cold and angry. I was in a very dark place. While living in another state, away from my parents, I was molested by an uncle. Unfortunately, no one believed me. I moved back home, at the age of 14, I was raped again. And again... No one believed me. I was looked at as the "problematic child". I found myself leaving home and living on my own at a very young age. My childhood haunted me for years.

I thought drinking and drugs would help but it didn't. Actually, drinking and using drugs made it worse. I had an anger problem. I found myself, fighting and arguing all the time. I ended up in a toxic relationship that lasted for eight years. After the second year, the relationship became abusive. I was completely broken and found myself in deep depression. I contemplated suicide on a consistent basis.

Fortunately, I was able to find strength to get out of the relationship and move back home. I had so much to live for. I wanted to protect me, my daughter and my career. I decided to sign up for therapy to heal. In therapy, I learned to not use alcohol to cope with my depression.


I found myself in Bedford, Texas in a one bedroom apartment. ALONE... Oh shit, here comes the SILENCE. There were no co-existing with other energies. Just me... Learning about the energy I possess. I cried many nights simply because I was alone. So many of my friends and family felt like I was living too far so I rarely had visitors. (Bedford is only 45 minutes away from Dallas, LOL) I believe God me up to be alone. He knew it was one of my true weaknesses.

Don't get me wrong. In high school, I belonged to a group of friends. We did everything together but I found myself escaping them every once in a while. I needed "ME TIME". But... When I was 23 years old, balance was not an option. The only choice I had was isolation.

During this time, I found me. I travelled to another country alone and created my business. I also built my own website and completed two internships. In the mist of it all, I didn't realize the blessing that comes with isolation. I learned how to love me! I would do it all over again.

I say all this to say, I believe one of the causes of depression is isolation. When you find yourself being away from your loved ones and you're not used to being without them. You have to find you. You have to love you. Most of all, you have to learn who you are! Take full advantage of being alone. Take full advantage of being single. Take full of advantage of not having kids. There is going to be a moment in your life, you're going to beg for that isolation. Why not trust the process NOW? Why not have faith that everything you desire you will get?! In the meantime...

In my 30s, I decided to isolated myself. I really had to dig deep inside myself to find out who I really am. Once, I found myself, I added meditation, prayer and therapy. Therapy allows me to feel good about myself and life. I still have my bad days, like everyone else, but I get through them alot better. With the support of my husband, who is fully aware of my situation, I am a better person.

Solution... If depression so happens to occur... Listen to the following tracks to get you by. I also highly recommend prayer and meditation. Please know, you can not sit on praying hands. You have to do the work. Pray and join a yoga class... Pray and find a therapist to get all the pain out. Pray and tell people how you truly feel. Teach people how to love you.

I have a few songs as well that have gotten me through some very tough times. I hope everybody that’s reading this blog knows that you’re not alone. You are strong and most of all, you deserve to be happy. You can get through it. Please, do not let anyone make you feel like therapy is not the way to go. Sometimes, we need a person that is not bias to give their input with no judgement.

Listen up...

Reborn- Kids See Ghosts

Fix You- Coldplay

Mad- Solange, Lil Wayne

Who You Are- Jessie J

In My Blood- Shawn Mendes

Love Yourz- J Cole

Win- Jay Rock

Cranes in the Sky- Solange

Blessed - School Boy Q ft Kendrick Lamar

Keep On- D Train

Be Yourself- Cameo

There is a way- Mos Def

Love Yourself- Mary J. Blidge

Everybody Shut Up- Jessie Boykins III

F.U.B.U- Solange