Scared. Unsure. And insecure ideas crossed my mind on a daily basis.  Needless to say, I didn’t feel like myself.  The woman I knew only a few years ago was gone.  Only coming out in sporadic intervals within a week.  How was I going to get back to me? Where had Marti gone and why had she abandoned me? Along with everything else going on – this had become a necessary emergency.

There were days when I would be on top of the world. Life was good on the outside.  But something on the inside wasn’t quite right.  I was experiencing drastic mood swings, my patience was none existent, tears appeared from some foreign origin and I was basically staying in the house.  This certainly wasn’t in my character.  I was attempting to talk through this with friends. But when you’re a strong person, I’m sure you can understand how difficult this can be especially when everyone is counting on you to be their ray of sunshine, silver lining, and positivity.  So, that release that I was looking for I wasn’t getting.  I tried some of my regular coping methods and those only proved to help for a moment.  I tried ‘going into myself’ (this normally helps me recharge and recalibrate), writing my thoughts down and focusing on the big events of The Kid’s senior year of high school. But you probably guessed it – none of those worked either.  I had to get out of this funk. Strength

After some serious deliberation, I decided to contact a therapist for help.  My health was the main reason I sought out professional help considering the events of 2016.  Now, I’m sure you know/heard/read about the stigma of seeking mental health services in the Black community. “We don’t need professional help, that’s for white people, it’s a waste of money or pray about it.” These are some of the reasons they give for not getting help. Well, this was my response – I’m part caucasian with a little extra cash whose prayed about this and seeking professional help.  I was tired of feeling this way and I had to do something about it and Castlight was there to assist me.

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You can imagine the way I rejoiced during this scene from Insecure.

After finding the perfect fit for me (and that was determined by the tone of her voice when I spoke with her over the phone), I made an appointment.  Was I scared? Simple answer – Yes. As I walked into her office I noticed, there was no stereotypical chaise to help me relax and bare my soul, a few pieces of art to catch the eye and 2 red leather chairs positioned across from each other. Taking a seat was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in my life.  In the first session, we identified several areas within my being that I had never acknowledged or even knew about. At the end of the session, she gave a “prescription.”  This wasn’t medicine in the literal sense.  These were the things I needed to do before I saw her again to get my ideas and thoughts lined up to assist with my healing/treatment.  Before I walked out the door we scheduled my next appointment.

With every passing interaction, I could feel myself getting better.  It was beyond psychological.  I was rediscovering myself all over again.  They say “7 is the number of completion” and the last time I went looking for me was exactly 7 years ago.  I was in mourning.  A bereavement period for the younger Marti. The stoic, idgaf, social introvert, let’s have a good time, solo travel, football mom Marti.  Changes were happening all around me and I had to accept my place in all of it.  My kid was an adult to a point and I was anxious about his next steps.  There was a lot of movement going on at work.  I felt stuck due to aging parents.  I’m technically being given a 2nd wind.  My relationships weren’t the same. I needed to find and do the things a more mature Marti wanted to do.  And due to me not wanting to hurt any feelings, be viewed as selfish or revert back to the person I was 7 years ago, I was mentally fighting everything.  My worth was being re-evaluated.  New Marti needed me to love her as much as I loved the one from days gone.

I started to slow down and process/unpack things more carefully.  What I didn’t realize was I wasn’t letting go of everything.  Some traits, behaviors, and ideas would remain while others faded and that’s okay.  I was still in here I just had to embrace the new me in all its entirety. Honestly, I have noticed a change in myself since the therapy began. I’m not afraid of my thoughts and sharing them (even if that means I need to finesse the delivery.)

I went back and forth about posting this but I said: “wth this is my life.” Maybe my journey will help someone seek out the help they feel they need. Within this post, you will find a few links with additional information. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out.

I’ve always been a thin girl. I’m not going to be fat, ever. Let’s get that straight. Whitney is not going to be fat, ever. Okay? ~ Whitney Houston

I certainly can understand what the late great was talking about! Thin- always with a pretty smile. Until my doctor told me I was underweight and things had to change. When I introduced myself to you in 2012, I was in the best shape of my life. CURVY! Being the decedent of thin relatives being the thick girl was never an option for me. After overcoming my low self-esteem because I wasn’t built like other females in my community. My face became the source of my strength and after many days of affirming myself that I was beautiful. I wore it very well and NOT from a shallow place. I felt like sharing this portion of my life with you as I looked around at the universal pressure to be fit, perfect and attractive. Most of the people I know are fighting to reduce pounds, get healthy and feel better about themselves. What could this possibly have to do with me? Well over the past couple months, I foolishly loss 12 lbs and have slid right back into the slim chick I once was! I don’t like it!

You’re probably thinking how can you lose 12 pounds by mistake! I’ll tell you how! All my life I’ve been able to just get up and go off adrenalin. I never required breakfast. So in a minor state of frustration & uncertainty I failed to eat properly. I was only eating enough to say I had ate and within a few short weeks the weight I had managed to maintain was gone. I could feel it when I moved, I saw it in the mirror and noticed it in my ill fitting clothes. Now I know some people are going to say I wish I had those problems. We’re all different. However please don’t ridicule me for my decision to be healthy.

Now because I’ve always been conscious of being in shape. I’m kind of a gym rat. I love working out but I had to realize I have to cut it out for a while to gain my proper eating habits back. No I do NOT have an eating disorder. Sometimes I allow things to overwhelm me and I just want to sleep. There was a period in November where for 2 weeks I had no appetite. This is not in my character. I love to eat, cook & eat your food if you have enough.

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Here is a before and after picture of me and you can noticeably see the difference. I embraced it all! The picture on the left is from 2010 and I was 106 lbs. Right side of the frame was from my birthday when you all met me at a cool 130 lbs. I felt the best I ever have at this point after the initial shock of not being able to wear clothes I’ve had for years and paying attention to my body. I loved the skin I was in.

Over the next couple months I’m going to work on getting my happy body back! According to this app, Cal Counter, I downloaded onto my phone I have to eat a total of 3123 calories a day to reach my goal weight by mid-May. I’m currently looking for gainer diets to assist me. I’m underweight from where I felt the healthiest. I asked my family why they never told me I looked bad they ensured me they never looked at me that way. It’s not only those with a little extra meat that are concerned with their weights. Some of us are building our best bodies too. But we usually get overlooked because people tend to think we’re the lucky ones! We have health & fitness goals just as the rest of society does. Aren’t we entitled to be the best we possibly can be? I ask for your support because this is another part of my HAPPINESS journey.