Thursday, December 10, 2015

What does self-esteem mean to you?

The mind will play tricks on you if you're not careful. Guard your mind as well as your heart. Everyone isn't built to love you and you are not built to settle for everyone that crosses your path. It is good to be in a healthy place before you begin dating.  Date yourself first!  You should know what you want and love. You should know what you will accept and will not accept. You should know the qualities that you want your significant other to have. You should know what qualities you can tell your significant that you bring to the table. Your self esteem has an impact on your thought process and your heart strings. Self esteem is your control towards how you handle your "reality" situations. Self esteem can involve a variety of beliefs about self, such as your appraisal of one's own appearance, beliefs, emotions, and behaviors. Your self esteem have factors which are a major influence. These factors are: culture, family, relationships, work, health, friends, sexual relationships, television, newspapers, commercials, and internet. 

There are three components of self-esteem: self-esteem is an essential human need that is vital for survival and development; self esteem arises automatically from within based upon a person's beliefs and consciousness; and self esteem occurs in conjunction with thoughts, behaviors, feelings, and actions.  I recall when I was a teenager and I used to feel self conscious about my legs.  I have skinny legs and I would never wear dresses or shorts because I didn't want anyone to see my legs .  As long as I had on pants I had very high self esteem.  When I wore wear dresses (to church) I would hurry to get where I was going (to a seat) and hide my legs by sitting down quickly and ensuring that no one saw my legs or I wore dresses which went to the ankle.  My mind played tricks on me having me to believe that everyone was looking at my skinny legs when in fact no one cared but me.  The older I got the more I embraced my petite frame- long slender legs (most women would die for, lol).  I've never been one to care about what others thought to the fact that it affected my self esteem but there are many women who do.  To those women I say, Love you, all of you, imperfections, flaws, and all!!  If you don't love yourself, how do you expect anyone else to do? 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Emotional Days

I have really been in touch with my emotions lately.  From the graduating of my daughter, my stepdaughter,   My daughter going off to college, my son's medication working, not working, and my older son going to fifth grade, and day-to-day life experiences.  Well I have never been one to cry but last week I guess I had pinned up so much emotions along with frustrations I just started crying.  I actually cried!!!  I cried for the first time in God knows how long.  I shared the fact that I cried.  I felt better after I cried!!  Well on Monday,  a good friend of mine was killed in a tragic accident.  I am still in shock and in disbelief that he is gone.  I did not realize how much of a part of my/ our life as he has been.  Every special event and holiday he has been a part of it the past few years.  Cherish your friends while they are here (even though I did)!! I will miss him and I'm glad that I have good memories with him and about him.  Give me my flowers while I'm alive!!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Are you Wearing A Mask????

Are You Wearing A Mask?

October is usually the month we all play dress up, put on costumes and even masks.  However, there are some who wear masks on a daily basis.  We wear masks to hide hurt, pain, shame, uncertainty, and to hide our scars (internally and externally).  Some of the masks that we wear can include make-up, nice or expensive hair-do, expensive clothing/shoes, and something as simple as a smile.  Others mask pain through excessive laughter, humor, anger, promiscuity, alcoholism, and/or substance abuse.   All this appears to take away your pain, especially while others are looking at and talking to you.  Most people learn in their early years coping techniques and defense mechanisms when it comes to protecting themselves from the hurts and harms of others.  Some encounter situations where there are required to hide their deepest darkest fears and secrets from other, if not there may be repercussions so they internalize.
In reading an article by Karyn Hall, PhD, she named several different masks: “Avoidance Mask; People Pleaser Mask; Mask of Anger; and the Happy Mask.  The Avoidance Mask is where you avoid all pain and protect your authentic self.  In this mask you can also feel powerless, feel judged, rejected, and left out.  The Functional Mask is the mask that you wear to work when you need to look like you’re in charge.”  You have dressed the part, rehearsed the part, Ready, Set, Action!!!!  You take this mask off when no one is around.  “People Pleaser Mask – this is when you do whatever it takes to make other people happy so that they will accept you more and attack you less.  You keep your feelings and opinions to yourself as not to be verbally attacked by family, friend, peers, and co-workers.   “Mask of Anger -Anger feels more powerful than hurt.  It protects you from being vulnerable.”  I often say Hurt people will hurt people!!  “Happy Mask- You protect yourself by acting happy all the time.  You act as though nothing gets you down!!”  You laugh excessively, joke, and smile to hide your hurts.  Any/all emotions can be used as a mask- stop masking your hurts, pains, shame, insecurities, and scars.  These masks work short-term but cause long-term problems if untreated/ unresolved.  You lose your self-identity and self-worth.
My original question- Are you wearing a mask?  What does your mask consist of?  Are you ready to take off your mask and find out who you truly are?  Reclaim your identity!!!  You can do this by:
Making the decision to do so- Take off your mask!!  It may not be easy but take baby steps and ask for help (if needed) to remove this mask.
Focusing on you, your feelings- Ask yourself what do you think and how do you feel.  Keep a journal (journal daily) if you don’t want to share your thoughts and feelings initially.
Being visible- Stand up straight, arch your back, walk with your chest out, voice your opinions (thoughtfully and tactfully).  Let the world know that you exist!!
Developing new coping skills- Deep breathing techniques, exercising, writing, journaling, drawing, singing, dancing, public speaking, helping others, etc….
Face that painful past which you have been avoiding!!  Take baby steps, get a support system/team together, get new coping techniques and take off that mask!!!!   Doc Dee

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Blended Families

A Blended Family is a marriage in which one or both spouses become a stepparent (new parent), regardless of the age of the children (  My husband and myself became a blended family 13-14 years ago.  He became a stepfather to one and I became a stepmother to two.  Our road has not been easy but we have traveled this road together.  We gave a vow to God to love each other for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.  Sometimes other people can bring situations to your marriage through your children/ their children.  In situations such as this, don't let it break you, simply communicate.  Talk it out, debate it out (agree to disagree but talk it out), and then love it out.  Love through the storm.

 Statistics on blended families:

About 75% of those who divorce will remarry, most within two years.  Psychologists say it takes four to eight years for a remarried family to “gel” and feel like a family.  The divorce rate for remarriages with children is almost 65%, with most divorces occurring within the first four years—before the family has had time to blend.  Over 50% of most Christian church congregations are in, or are related to, a blended family (i.e. couples, children, youth, grandparents, extended family, etc.) (

Common blending issues

The parent and stepparent typically do not treat children in the blended family equally.  Many stepparents find it difficult to love their stepchildren.  Remarried spouses often make their biological children a greater priority than their new spouse, which strains the new marriage relationship.
Children of divorce often resist connecting to the new family.  Discipline from a stepparent often results in opposition, frustration, and disrespect.  Children of divorce usually have two homes, with different rules and methods of discipline.  Extended families do not always accept the new spouse or the stepchildren, causing added hurt.  Remarried spouses often have difficulty working with the other biological parent.  Remarried spouses often find it difficult understanding or adapting to the new role as a stepparent (  The website spoke of remarried spouses but the same issues arise with individuals who have nor been married.  Sometimes it is even harder when this is your first marriage and you're blending your families with absent and/or resistant baby mommas/ baby daddies.  Very few are fortunate to have a cordial relationship (initially or ever) with their children's absent parent.  Also, the absent parent may cause problems for your marriage so be aware that this may happen- pray against it but be prepared. 

My advice through personal experience is communication, communication, communication!!  Communication with your kids, communication with his kids, and most importantly communication with your spouse.  If your spouse and your children are having a rift, you have to back away and allow them to work through the problems.  If you continue to save your child or your spouse when they have problems (unless they are young children), then you're showing your child/ your spouse is who is more important (even though you're just trying to keep the peace).  As parents, we want to protect everyone that is around us but we can't handle everything.  Sometimes you have to pray about it and give it to God.  In addition, in my next blog I will offer some coping skills to help you weather the storm and assist you in working on and keeping your marriage together!!
                                                                                                                         Love Doc

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A Mental Health Conversation

I started a discussion post on yesterday regarding mental health and mental illness.  I just wanted to share that everyday “common” folk can have some form of mental health/ mental illness at any given time.  Some forms of mental illness are: Anger/ Aggression, Anxiety Disorders (to include fears of...), Mood Disorders (depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymic), Psychotic Disorders (schizophrenia), Eating Disorders (excessive weight gain, anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating), Impulse Control (pyromania (setting fires), kleptomania (stealing), gambling, alcohol consumption, drug consumption),  Addiction Disorders (gambling, alcohol consumption, drug consumption), Personality Disorders (antisocial, obsessive-compulsive, and paranoid), Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders (ritualistic behavior; fear of germs), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (traumatic events-sexual, physical, unexpected death of a loved one, or natural disaster (fires), Stress Response Syndromes (Adjustment Disorders) (caused by stressful events), Dissociative Disorders (split personalities), Factitious Disorders (intentional lies about physical or emotional symptoms so they can appear to need help), Sexual and Gender Disorders (sexual dysfunction, gender identity disorder, and paraphillias), Somatic Symptom Disorders (feels pain even though doctor can't find a reason), and Tic Disorders (involuntary/uncontrollable sounds or body movements).
In light of there being so many events of racism, stereotypes, and death (unexpected).  I felt the need to address and identify and discuss topics regarding mental health.  Regardless of how perfect we may think we are or our life is.  We have all experienced at least one day of depression, feeling anxious, and/ or wishing/ hoping for a better life or better life’s circumstances.  With that being said, we all have mental health issues.  Most choose not to let the negative mental health issues consume us and shoot for positive life experiences on a daily basis.  However, there are others who may not be as fortunate.  We can’t ostracize these individuals because they may not have the courage or strength to push past their irrational thoughts which leads to true mental illness.  There are some individuals who have superb support systems which ensure that their loved ones and friends are not allowed to wallow in their “funk.”  Then there are others who no one really cares about.   

As a society, we have become cruel and callous, not caring about the next man (until it benefits us).  Part of my purpose and God-given assignment is to remind people that they are valuable and that they have worth.  I am not too good to meet people where they are.  I have sat in the best of homes and I have sat in the worst of homes and at neither time did I make anyone appear uncomfortable or that I was being judgmental to their situation.  I have always ensured that I offer solutions to make the situation better if they presented their issue as a problem.  You never know when the shoe will be on the other foot.  Always treat people with kindness and the way that you desire to be treated!  My prayer is that we be able to have discussions within our communities regarding mental health/ mental illness while finding solutions and supporting those (with resources) that are less fortunate than we are.  Doc