Health Care or Lack Thereof: Listening to your body

Health Care or Lack Thereof: Listening to your body

Do you ever think about the worst case scenario? I think of it more often than I should. If it does not end up being the worst case scenario that does provide some relief. It is the worrier inside of me, which is not necessarily a good thing. For a period of time, I did not have health insurance. I would tell you a secret, but I do not want it to come back and haunt me. Having no insurance means I have formed a bad habit and that is not listening to my body when it is trying to tell me what’s up.

I just came from the dentist and I finally explained everything that I was worried about instead of going for my routine cleaning and bouncing. I let them know I have been dealing with some pain in my jaw for awhile. When it first manifested the pain was so excruciating that I couldn’t do anything let alone want to and would lay there with a heating pad against my neck. Because I felt the pain so intensely in my neck I assumed it was just my neck and started going to physical therapy. By this time I was on Medicaid because I would not even think about going to physical therapy having no insurance. I wouldn’t have been at the doctor’s office, to be frank.

Moving along two bottles of muscle relaxers later and a tube of something I cannot remember or pronounce I am sure and I am here. The pain subsided and it still shows up every day, but not as intense. Eventually, the pain came back full force shortly after I moved to Maryville. I decided to go to the doctors and made sure to think about everything I was going to say and not leave until I got an answer that made sense.

Rewind, before I decided to drop in and go I asked around first. I am in a small town, majority white people, and doctors are known for not treating their underrepresented patients fairly (some I should say). I ended up getting an answer that made more sense than what the previous doctor had told me and now I needed to find a dentist. Afraid to be treated unfairly I prolonged getting treatment (serious problem). Fast forward to today I went and got my answers.

Long story short its stress. It made sense considering when it first manifested I was depressed and trying to crawl towards the Miami University in Oxford, Ohio SAHE finish line. At one point getting out of bed was an accomplishment for me.

The lesson is to listen to your body when you can. The problem is that too many of us are not able to afford the proper health care when stress manifests itself in our bodies so intensely. On top of the money, I have to spend because I am grinding/clenching my teeth way too much I am also seeing a therapist/acupuncturist. Now I know that someone does not have to see an acupuncturist, but I am thankful I am getting sort of a 2 for 1 deal.

Another issue is that the medical industry needs to pay more attention to who they hire as nurses, doctors, etcetera and talk about how they can be more inclusive. I will add that we need to advocate for more underrepresented students that want to go into this field instead of bringing them down. It is not easy and we can do better at providing resources and supporting them. I know the conversation is happening somewhere, but more conversations and action need to take place. We have to pay the most for healthcare in the United States yet we have the shitiest healthcare (excuse my language).

In all of this just listen to your body when it is talking to you. Take the day off if you are able, go to bed earlier, workout, read, write, take yourself out (I do this all the time #IDATEMYSELF).

Love your body and be kind to it too.

P.S. my worst case scenario was that I would have to get braces as an adult and braces are expensive or that they were going to have to do something crazy to my jaw. Nope, just stress and a much less expensive but still expensive dentist bill.

**I do not have any rights to the picture used for this post.

Relationships or lack there of: It is you, not me.

Relationships or lack there of: It is you, not me.

It is you, not me. I thought I was the reason why things were not working out with the guys I was trying to pursue. After awhile I would get to a place where I recognized it was not, but the continuous heartache did/does not change.

I still hold myself accountable to some degree. I do hold on hoping for something and I realized this is mostly not my fault. 

There was a guy I met at a wedding and as much as I was attracted to him I was interested in where he was going. Not to figure out if I would be able to be on that journey with him but learn from him as some part of me was questioning myself. As much as I pitched being a friend he was not having it. To me he is a creative which pulled me in. Fast forward (this did not last long) he said, “it is not like the feeling is not mutual. I recently got out of a relationship and you do not deserve to be the butt of someone’s baggage, you deserve more” I may have sent one more text to him after that and that was it. Mind you this was a year ago. 

Have you ever met someone you immediately decide to admire from afar? That was him.

Moving on to now I did not realize how much that message would help me. I kept trying to figure out why it seems like I keep stretching myself and getting left in the dust as I mentioned. I know, I KNOW I have something to offer. It was not about me holding on, it was about being dragged along with false hope. I could not step outside and see the situations for what they were. My point is if we can be adults and be honest then I have no issue turning the other way. 

Recently aka yesterday another guy I was talking to mentioned he is getting involved with someone, and I was thankful he decided to basically say “hey I am going this way.” Great!

At this point, I have sent a few messages to the past trying to get over pain that was still there. One of those conversations went better than I could have imagined but I was not surprised. This person and I were always able to stop whatever we were doing and have a conversation. Whenever I wanted to have a conversation it was when and where? Not that things stop for me all the time and I do not like lingering on issues and being ignored. However, I know everyone does not operate the same. 

That night I was writing in my journal debating whether to ignore the call when I saw his name. Just sending the message and being done would not have been enough for me and I know that deep down. He knew that deep down. I NEED ANSWERS lol. More than ever I recognize how important it is to lean into pain and not ignore it. None of that “I could care less, onto the next one” type of talk because that’s not me. In my opinion I need to give myself time to heal. 

Last week I started walking down that path and coming face to face with anything I need to deal with. It is not like I do not engage in healing and I recognize I always need to dig deeper. 

Everyday and always I need not forget that I am magic *hair flip

Know that you are a QUEEN and nothing else.

Does your effort match your dreams?

Does your effort match your dreams?

Does your effort match your dreams? Take a moment to sit with this question…

I was asked this question over the weekend, more like yesterday. The reality is that my effort does not currently match my dreams. I do not want to say I am comfortable because I have not been out of graduate school for a year yet.
I may have spoke about this in my first post, but majority of my life I have been in survival mode. I am not saying this is an excuse I am saying I now have the time to figure out who I am. Over the past couple years I have engaged in a lot of self-reflection stemming from my experiences growing up and how I show up in the world. The difference now is that I am looking at things that I have always loved to do and researching how I can make those things a reality for myself. 

Totally related and or unrelated depending on your perspective but I was in RESPOND Mental health training last week and a couple people came up to me inquiring about the same thing. They both asked if I had a counseling background. One of them was a counselor and mentioned (in so many words) that I have this way about me that says “counselor.”

Once upon a time, I wanted to be a counselor. Throughout the majority of my undergrad I was planning to get my masters in counseling and go from there. I have heard similar comments before so I at least know it was sincere. I no longer have plans to be a counselor and I asked myself, “does skill=purpose?” 

Naturally we have some skill, something we are good at that we can develop, and in other areas we need to work twice as hard to develop a skill. I am assuming Steph Curry had some game when he started ballin’ and then continued to develop that. He or someone else recognized his abilities and chose to beleive in him and he chose to beleive in himself. Thus, did he see that skill as his purpose? I guess I should ask if he sees basketball as his purpose in the first place. Likewise, I have a skill and or skills that a say “counselor” and I do not necessarily know if that is my purpose.

Back to my point about survival mode. I have been in survival mode majority of my life which did not allow me the opportunity to sit with myself, be with myself, and figure out what I would like to do with my life. Yes I had a goal and I had a passion for where I am at right now and something else is trying to send a message. 

I hope to use the next few months to dig deep and listen to what I am trying to tell myself. Listen to yourself and ask if your dreams match your effort. Don’t have “champagne dreams with beer effort.” 

More importantly do not let your need to stay afloat prevent you from getting to know who you are. 

Love is a choice

“When we reveal ourselves to our partner and find that this brings healing rather than harm, we make an important discovery-that intimate relationship can provide a sanctuary from the world of facades, a sacred space where we can be ourselves, as we are…. This kind of unmasking-speaking our truth, sharing our inner struggles, and revealing our raw edges-is sacred activity, which allows two souls to meet and touch more deeply”

-John Welwood

I process my relationships often. How am I in the relationship? am I being vulnerable? am I not being vulnerable? Have I told this person I love/appreciate them? Am I communicating with them about my wants, needs, emotions, etc? Am I listening to them?

I currently do not have a partner and this is something I tend to think about often. I have been single for awhile now and although I would enjoy a partner this time has allowed me to focus more on myself. Yes, I have put in effort to take that step with multiple people since I have been single and it has not worked out. I could be petty right now, but I will say I am thankful…

Here is the thing. I do not think men put in as much effort as they used to. A friend of mine said “we have men acting like women and women acting like men.” I am aware this statement is gender binary and this post. When I think about the men I have tried to take that step with I feel like I was putting in more effort.

Is it too much to ask to want to be pursued? I do not think so (another conversation my friend and I had). No I am not afraid to ask a guy on a date.

Unfortunately, I have reached a point where I am tired. I do not want to continue to be vulnerable and have to continually go through a process of healing. I can hear someone now saying “well why do you keep picking the same type of guy.” I dislike this statement so much. Why is it so hard for someone to be straight up? then I would excuse myself from the situation and take my efforts elsewhere. In the moment it can be challenging for me to decipher the mixed messages or figure out when I should give up.

No I am not your false vision. Yes there will be times when I get on your nerves, yes I am going to challenge you, yes I am going to care about what you are doing, yes I want you to challenge me, no I am not perfect, yes there are times I am serious, yes I am weird and awkward…I am many things. Many great things I might add. I have been told more times than I can count now that I am mature for my age and I feel like I am the person a guy wants to take that next step with when they are ready to settle down and get married (like wayyy later in life). If this is the case I am not the one and if you are ready for that type of thing then by all means I am the one. What I am trying to say is, I do not want you to drag me along while I hold onto false hope. I have had multiple experiences like this because they cannot communicate with me about their intentions. I am not saying this has happened with every single guy but about 98% of them.

I could potentially be slightly bitter for my time being wasted and I have learned multiple lessons. I do not want to learn anymore lol.

It’s challenging when I hear my friends say “all guys are the same” “eff guys” “i’m scared” and here I am trying to give them hope to hold onto when I keep going through these situations.

All this to say love is a choice. You choose who you love. No it may not be exactly like the story of how your parents met (a story for another time *kanyeShrug). No it may not be some glorified romantic movie type ish because relationships are challenging and worth it when you find someone worth your time. Love is many things and often we are too scared to talk about it or we think about it as something we cannot put into words. We describe it as a feeling when it is much more than that. This is where we get caught up when we do not have this super strong feeling like you see on your tv screen and that is why…

Love is a choice

In the end, I will continue to put in effort and continue to lead with love because that is who I am. I will continue to be hopeful because I know I am worthy.

Book Recommendation: all about love by bell hooks. Your perspective on love will change and I could go on and on in this post about what I read, but I think you should read it yourself. Take time to reflect on all of your relationships.

Special shoutout to my dear friend Meredith who is my valentines every year. I am thankful for our friendship and I appreciate that you allow me to be apart of your life. Love you =)

**Before words are twisted I am not at all saying that those who are gay have a choice. You do not have a choice which gender you feel attracted to.

Time, does it take from us?

Time, does it take from us?

I was recently watching “Alice Through the Looking Glass” for the second time, and as it did about a month ago I was again reflecting on the meaning of time.

After Alice messed with time and defied him, she then realized what she had done. One realization she offered was,”time gives before it takes away.” Because of that line I consciously try to look at time differently.

We consistently think of time as something that takes away, something that we do not have enough of, and something that goes by fast or slow. When someone passes away we suddenly tell everyone to appreciate what they have before its gone.

I am encouraging myself to look at the time I do have, and appreciating that time gives before it takes away. Time truly is what we choose to do with it. Yes, all of this can seem quite obvious yet often time is thought of in a negative way. Yes, you may disagree with me as well.

We have time to say I love you more than we do. We have time to take the first step toward a goal we have had going through our mind, we have time to forgive for ourselves. I am guilty of wasting time and I am not saying you have to be doing something every second of the day to appreciate it or for it to be considered not wasted.

I am not sure about you, but when I want to do something I would rather save my energy or I feel like I do not have enough… Put that energy into the universe and you will not regret it.

What I am saying is, just appreciate the moments you have and be present in the different areas of your life. If it takes two seconds to send a text saying I love you to your friends, family, etc… then take those two seconds.

P.S. I recommend that you watch the movie!

Patience: Begin even if you do not know where to start

Patience: Begin even if you do not know where to start

Lately, I find myself going through a whirlwind of emotions. If you do not know me you should know I am a crier and I say I hate crying in front of people to judge myself before they get a chance. Truth is I do not mind crying in front of people. Recently a person who is sleeping on me **hair flip (words from my friend Shanelle), told me “cry all you want.” I am sure my former counselor has stated this, friends have stated this, and it just now clicked! go figure.

I am in my first year of professional life. I do not subscribe to the “entering the real world” rhetoric because if you have had a life like mine you have faced the real world for quite some time. To paint a quick picture in your mind I had no chance to be a kid. For a long time I have boarded a train that finally had its first stop.

If you are in your first year of professional life you may be questioning everything right now or everything could be your definition of perfect, and in that case I drink to that. My glass of wine is right beside me. I am here to tell you that you are not alone. For a few months now I held in that I was questioning everything until recently. Sure I have told snippets here and there, but I am supposed to have it all figured out right? wrong. I am only 25, young and awesome.

I am thankful and blessed to know that people look up to me and the pressure is two fold. It never hit me until now. I constantly heard “be like Kimberlee” among other things.

What the fuck do I want to do with my life? (excuse my cussing I cannot say it wont happen again). I am stuck between where I think I want to be right now and where I always thought I wanted to be. I should also mention I am a futuristic thinker until recently because idk what the next step is.

I realized it is okay if I do not know what the next step is. I will find out when I get there. My friends are probably saying it is going to snow tomorrow based on the last two sentences. PATIENCE, a promise I made to myself is to have more patience with myself and others. I am starting to realize I needed wayyyyyy more patience with myself. So here I am beginning even if I do not know where to start. You may have read some of my other post on another blog I had…

The difference is I am getting back to something I enjoy and that is writing. I would write here and there. I write poetry as well and I wrote more last year than I have my whole life. For awhile it was hard to write about anything but pain. A few years ago if you asked me if I wanted to be a writer I would say no and that was due to my lack of confidence, but hey the English language can jump off a mountain. This shit is hard.

So just as I encourage myself to get back to the things I enjoy I challenge you to take the first step. You may not know what it is but begin even if you find yourself in the “middle” if that makes sense.

Lastly, my hope is that you as a reader engage with me on my journey and feel free to share your journey. I always love to be people’s cheerleader.

Peace and Love

#TastefulIntuition #TheeKWard