Aloha! I haven’t been on here in ages and I’ve not really shared why publicly. It’s not a loss of interest but
- This virus,
- Personal unwellness,
- Deaths due to Covid and disease,
- The loss of our Black men and women due to police violence,
- Not having anyone who wants to hear me about that because they’re uncomfortable, in denial about their own biases, and fragility,
- And the upending of any human decency because of this election in the USA really knocked me for a loop, so I just hid and waited to stop breathing.
I’m usually a very friendly and open person but after 4 personal deaths and blatant racism, I really lost trust in everyone. Even Hawaii isn’t the same as 6 years ago and people here have become distant, closed and reside in toxic positivity. The division and hatred by certain individuals has found it’s way to these beautiful Islands, and it crushed all my faith in Aloha.
How could I talk about living and breathing aloha when I no longer believed it existed?Susan Peters-Chesley
I’m trying to find Aloha again because it is different for me here now or anywhere as a Black woman. And that is a lonely trip to take when everyone wants to deny that truth and ignore what we experience. How would they know, they don’t have our experiences, yet we’re constantly told how to feel and see reality!
I call bs, and I call it out openly now because I no longer people please to be liked. And because of my openess to discuss uncomfortable topics that create change, I’m alone. This is what happens when you become determined to be well in a world of unwellness. It doesn’t make them bad people, they’re just hiding just like it did.
Over the last few months I dove head first into writing and finishing my training as a Certified Behavioral Therapist. I started helping others in the same boat, all while working on building my practice. Being it’s strictly online it’s just not growing like I hoped, but that gives me time to finish other Therapeutic modalities in the mean time.
From as early as I can remember I’ve suffered from Clinical Depression, low self worth, social anxiety, and self doubt. So this tumultuous year has really send me into hibernation mode. I was ready to give up on life and throw in the towel because what’s the use? But I hung on because there are people who do love and need me, so I stayed for them in the hope life would get better. But honestly I was just tired of hanging on for others, I just wanted to go home for good.
This is something I’ve never talked publicly about because of the shame and judgement that surrounds the subject of depression and mental illness. I’m not crazy, insane, or a lunatic, I have a treatable chemical imbalance and I hate those terms with a passion. I’ve just always felt like I was on the wrong planet, time period, and just a worthless human being. But I’m learning I’m here for this reason and I had to embrace it.
Having been seen as ‘less than’ because of something I was born with and shaped by an environment of learned toxicity, has created some of the most painful life experiences with other people. So I learned to pretend everything was ok, keep my thoughts to myself, and avoid any conflict, even before this virus. People have always expected me to be a certain way, and I just can’t play that toxic game anymore.
Writing helps me see the emotional and thought distortions that come with this imbalance. The need to people please, conform to others beliefs, and stay stuck past abuses that nearly took my life.
I’ve decided I’m no longer wearing my mask of ‘everything is ok’, but I work daily to be open and honest and share helpful techniques that help me want to keep breathing each day. I’m alive today because of them, and I can live happier in that way best.
This is far from my first intention of initially how I chose to help others upon arrival, but this is how I can live in an authentic way now and still help others who suffer similar issues.
Because of my CBT training and applying it to my own life, today I’m healthier and more able to choose healthier more positive thoughts than before. I am now willing to speak on it honestly and come out of a place of shame that I used to reside in.
I’ve realized, and firmly believe, I am ok just as I am without having to pretend and conform to others ideals of who I ‘should’ be. It is my most earnest hope others can too.