Try

Ever heard the saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again”? What am I saying, of course you did! And so did I. And that’s all it was; a saying. A nice little phrase people said to each other to make themselves feel better.

Or at least that’s what I thought for a very long time. It took a lot of sleepless nights, painful experiences and tears for me to finally pursue my dream till I literally had no other option, because I really didn’t. I was at “rock bottom” with no options.

I’m not encouraging anyone to lower their standards or throw away their morals, but for me, that was a privilege I couldn’t afford! I did what I had to do to make it! Am I proud of it? No! Do I regret it? Maybe…

But that’s just it. It’s life. In the end, the decisions we make, the choices we make, none of it will matter. It won’t matter if you were a billionaire, if you were famous or respected. You have to understand that in the end, it’s your life! You have to live with the consequences.

Too many people live life blaming others. “If it’s wasn’t for this person, or that thing…” we don’t own up to things. Yes, sometimes we’re dealt a bad hand, and so what? It’s up to you to make the most of what you’ve been given. It’s not fair, I’m sorry you think it was meant to be.

I’m sure we’ve all heard of the great stories of people not giving up, chasing their dreams, being determined and all that crap. But do we hear the ugly sides? The bad things people did to attain the good? No! Don’t beat yourself up for being human. We break, we cower, we fall!

A few months ago I just got out of prison. I was arrested for “stealing”. I served the full 4 year sentence, no parole. I wanted some money for a project I knew would change my life forever. I was desperate, like many of you will be one day.

Funny enough, that “easy way out” was an easy way in; into jail. I would have had the money to invest, to start my businesses and all, but that’s just it, that easy way out is never as easy as it seems. Some may say I just wasn’t smart enough that’s why I got caught.

And a lot of you face similar challenges. Some are tempted to get their hands on a few extra bucks to make things happen, others are tempted the possibility of a handout in return for some kind of service. Selling your soul or selling yourself seems like a good price to pay until you realize the actual cost of what it is you’re paying.

I’m actually glad I got caught. During those years in prison I had enough time to do a lot of introspection. I was fortunate they provided a lot of useful reading material as well. I read about the stories of the like of Les Brown, Jack Ma and a couple others. I knew that if they made it through perseverance, anyone could too!

So soon as I got I went for it! I mean seriously now, Jack Ma’s story cracks me up. How do 24 people go for a job at KFC and only one person doesn’t get accepted? It was hilarious. But the beauty of all these stories is, as sure as death and taxes, if you try one more time you’ll eventually succeed.

I have my own Gym now, a fleet of cabs, a chain of restaurants all over Atlanta and I’m just getting started. For some people it takes a day, others a week, month, year or decade. We’re not all on the same path, nor are we even in the same race.

Whatever you may want to achieve is possible! You don’t have to try and find a way to cut in line or cheat the system. Believe in what you’re doing! Keep knocking on the doors and you’ll eventually knock on that open door that’s going to change everything.

-Marcus

Roller Coaster

Up and down, I’m never steady

Go! No time to get ready

Going from weak to rapidly heady

Can’t eat, can’t sleep

Calm? I can’t keep

In this hole, I’m in too deep

Sometimes I’m down, then suddenly High

I want to keep living, wait that’s a lie

Cos till today I can’t find a reason why

Was flying now I’m drowning

Stay in solitude so I’m not seen frowning

Just end it already and stop clowning

I feel like I’m dead, or am I just dreaming?

Cos it’s like my life, I’m repeatedly streaming

In my head I’m continually screaming

Please, please, please just make it all end

Anyone at all, doesn’t have to be a friend

As long as it’s genuine and not just pretend

~Nat

Positivity Dose

What’s good my people !! Thanks so much again for joining me on this journey. I’ve been posting a lot on the matter of mental health, depression and co. This may all seem very negative to some, like, why am I writing suicidal stories? Why am I writing depressed poems? Aren’t people depressed enough as it is?

The thing is… Many go through what I post, some of it isn’t even my own work. The worst thing about suffering is suffering alone. Note, I’m not saying having bipolar disorder is “suffering” so don’t misinterpret my words. I’m just trying to help build a community of people who understand each other and can support/help each other.

It’s one thing to be sad, another to be depressed. Regardless of that though, it’s been medically proven that positivity goes a long way in dealing with mental health issues. I post daily motivational content, nothing but good vibes on Instagram so please kindly share this with anyone and everyone!!

www.instagram.com/wokenphilosopha

I’m on twitter as well with the same handle, slide into my DM, let’s get in touch!! I hope that my posts help and continue to make a positive impact !!

Stay awesome, stay woke!!

Mr. E

Bipolar (Double the power)

Being bipolar isn’t being crazy, it just means you have a super power. A whole other side that behaves in a different way. People fear what they don’t understand, and we tend to fear ourselves as a result of not quite fully grasping what entangles us as well.

Kanye West is bipolar. He said something the world doesn’t understand, that he himself didn’t fully grasp. On the case of slavery, he said it sounded like a choice. That made no sense and offended a lot of people. But wait, let’s dissect that bipolar influenced statement.

We have people flooding our streets, begging, pleading, desperate for money. Imagine this, if you could get paid a small amount of money, or be fed in exchange for services, being given shelter, having something to do in life, wouldn’t you take it instead of living on a daily basis hoping to meet a Good Samaritan or 2?

Kanye didn’t realize at the time that he had a ground breaking idea, but didn’t fully understand what was in his mind. He said it sounded like a choice, he should’ve said it should be a choice. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not in support of how the slaves of the past were treated, but imagine a slavery reform, not fully doing away with it.

Before I forget, it’s important to understand that I’m in no way justifying some of the things Kanye has said and done. Being bipolar is not an excuse to act out. So many of us suffering from this don’t expect to “get away” with some of the things we say or do during an episode.

We have people who get laid peanuts, some people complain about it but still show up to to do the work. So many people would kill to get a fraction of that, to have some form of purpose. So let’s say instead of mistreating people, we treated them like people, not animals. We teach them, educate them, help them become effective members of society.

So many people would teach for free, all we need is a place where such people can be taught. They would work, get fed and have a place to sleep. That’s almost the sound of your typical 9 to 5, only difference is a 9 to 5 has somewhat more pay. Sometimes it’s not about the money, it’s about the purpose, the point to life. Knowing that you’re part of something that’s helping move the human race forward.

See? Being bipolar isn’t bad. It just means you’re wired differently. You need a little more patience than others, perhaps some meds and therapy but you have an ability, not an inability! It’s a blessing disguised as a curse. So get the help you need, shut that mouth and understand how the genius is trying to express itself.

Next time you’re feeling crazy, consider it as your genius looking for a way to express itself. Take a chill pill, put your thoughts together and change the world!

-Zoe

The Voices

“You’re no good! You just make things worse for those around you!”

“If you truly love them you’ll leave them! They’ll be better off without you!”

“Come on! There’s no point to this thing, it’s useless, just off yourself already!”

“There’s no redemption for the likes of you, you’re damaged goods!”

“Come on! You’re still not over this?”

“You’re just exaggerating! Nothing’s wrong with you, you’re just not trying hard enough”

“Give up! Give up! Give up! Hahahaha”

“You’re a joke!”

These are some of the things the voice whispers to me. It never yells though, it just calmly puts these suggestions in my mind. My thoughts aren’t my own anymore, in fact, I can’t even tell the voices apart. It sounds like my better judgement trying to talk me out of being so naive. The voice of “reason” if you will.

Some days harder than others, others somewhat better at times. High highs and low lows, I’m literally living a rollercoaster of a life. During the bad episodes I always tend to hate myself more. My loved ones feel sad because of me, I’m causing them so much pain so I guess the voices are right. I am a curse to them! Life really might be better off without me.

When I’m happy, I’m really happy! But when I’m sad, I feel as though I’m drowning in lava. There’s this hole I feel in my chest, a strange inexplicable kind of pain. It doesn’t just hurt metaphorically but literally as well!

Do these voices ever go away? Do they ever stop haunting you? The feeling of wanting to “end it all” doesn’t just come from the guilt or the pain of certain experiences, but the burden of putting up with the voices. They’re just so overwhelming to deal with. Can’t they just shut the f*ck up? I hate myself enough already, I don’t need to be reminded of that constantly.

My brother is into all this “personal development” and self help crap, so I decided to give it a shot. I developed a routine which started keeping me in check for some time. I would wake up every morning at 4:30am, make my bed immediately, drink a tall glass of water and practice this “gratitude” thing. I would then meditate on some positive affirmations for 30 minutes.

I would listen to some motivational audio to help block out the voices, Fearless motivation always hits it home! I made it a priority to also do something physical to get my brain going. I got that from Jim Kwik who says, “As your body moves, your brain grooves” and it’s so true!

After doing all this, my brain felt super charged! I was able to read for 45 minutes every single day before my day even got started. It helped me ace my tests, keep up with my courses and all. I had developed a great morning routine that kept my spirits up, kept me in check and overall made me productive. Life was awesome!!

Every time the voice would try to slide into my mind I’d fight it off easily by “flipping the switch”. I was confident, I was positive and I was happy! I loved having a routine. I had it going for about 2 months. Once I had overslept, I felt the domino effect! Little by little nothing would work anymore. I couldn’t wake up early, I couldn’t workout, I couldn’t read, I couldn’t even think anymore. I fell out of the routine and got dumped back into depression.

I’m drowning again! This time the voice came back with a vengeance. It wasn’t rude, it just laughed and teased. “You think you can be saved? You really think you can get yourself together? Ha ha ha! What a joke.” It was so jovial, so playful but so painful.

I’ve tried booze, I’ve tried weed, lean, ecstasy and even coke. Nothing is working, the feelings are just getting more and more magnified. It was fun for a while, “Disconnecting” and just living in the moment, but the relief didn’t last.

The overwhelming feeling of anxiety, pain and helplessness would always creep in. Can I really be saved? Help! Anyone, please? The drugs are keeping me steady for now but I can’t keep this up for long. I’m already broke, I owe everyone I know, I don’t want to start sucking dick for coke. Please !!

I’m willing to try anything. I’m all out of options, I don’t want to live anymore but I’m too scared to die…

~Kim

What should I do?

“Do not do this, do not do that, blah blah blah!So f*cking annoying. I can’t help but get annoyed every time I heard that usual garbage from some quack that thinks they have life all figured out. Jesus turned water into wine, you know? Screw it! Let’s do it Micky! I can still down more shots than you even on my death bed…”

Those were the last words I heard from him. I was always a supportive friend, I didn’t think it right to tell someone how they ought to live their lives. I mean, after all, it was their life to live in the first place. I wouldn’t want someone telling me not to date Roxanne, she may have been a stripper in the past but she’s changed. I love her and she loves me, that’s all that mattered.

They say “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”, and as sure as death and taxes, my good intentions led my best friend to hell. Not the religiously fabricated version of it but a more comprehensible form of it, right here on earth. Being alive but not able to live.

That night after we took a couple Tequila shots, nothing was the same. I starred at him for a while as he gazed lifelessly at the floor. It was as though he was in a trance. A trance that no one knew how to snap him out of. I snapped my fingers in an attempt to try and “wake him up” to no avail. He just sat there…

The next thing I saw was him bolting toward the road as though he had a death wish. This wasn’t the case though as I’ve always known him to be the happiest person in the world. He had big dreams and plans of what he was going to do in life. He had that Hollywood smile that would make you think he hadn’t a care in the world.

So what was most heartbreaking about it all wasn’t the he dove headfirst into a speeding vehicle and died on the spot, but that he had watered down his actual condition. He was dealing with bipolar depression. I’ve read about depression and I knew it was serious. It was trending.

Bipolar disorder though, often overlooked as a kind of attention seeking tactic, I hadn’t much knowledge about. Since that night, watching my closest friend get taken away from me so abruptly, I’ve never been the same. I couldn’t shake the fidgety feeling, the rambling and raging thoughts.

For much of my life I had placed the entire blame on myself. I’ve always felt responsible for him and assured him I’d look out for him. I dedicated the rest of my life to try and understand this bipolar thing. Perhaps I could help other people dealing with the same thing, you know, as a way to honor his memory.

It took me 12 years to attain a PhD in psychology. I’ve sat down and helped countess individuals, who were far less enthusiastic about life than he was, yet were far more responsive. Could it be that I was just that good? Perhaps if he had the kind of help I offer he wouldn’t have been in that situation?

That’s what I thought until I met a patient that had his demeanor. I felt as though he had been reincarnated, like life gave me a chance to save my friend. I was so excited I dropped all my other cases and focused all my attention on this kid.

It was proving to be the greatest challenge ever! I was getting discouraged until during one of our sessions he mentioned he’s fine because he takes a little weed and a drink every now and then to stay in check. This was the turning point.

There were numerous extensive articles on the dangers of substance abuse in terms of how they may chemically alter normal brain function. A flashback of that night swooped in, there he was, sitting and starring at the ground like he was out of his mind.

Out of fear and genuine concern for the same thing to happen, I firmly put my foot down! I threatened to send him to rehab should he continue this habit. He looked at me bemused. “Aren’t you supposed to be the cool doctor? And anyway, what makes you think my dad will let you disgrace him like that, no son of his will end up in a crazy house, you know?”

I don’t know where the anger came from but I raised my voice and strictly forbid him. His last words to name were,

“You’re all the same. Do not do this, do not do that, blah blah blah! So f*cking annoying. I can’t help but get annoyed every time I heard that usual garbage from some quack that thinks they have life all figured out. Jesus turned water into wine, you know? Screw it! I knew therapy was pointless…”

He walked out of my office and I felt a huge hole in my chest! At the point I felt powerless, I felt so overwhelmed and engulfed by my emotions.

-Mick

What will people say

What will people say?

That’s the modern day curse

That leads many into a hearse

And actually led to my current verse

Trapped by what they say I’m basically jailed

I must get this & that or they’ll say I’ve failed

Suicide is how you feel you’ve been bailed

Vanity of vanities, so why even try

Whether you laugh, or whether you cry

In the end, the same way, we all die

It’s got me in my thoughts and feelings

Just quietly gazing at the ceilings

Praying for one of them spiritual healings

Do what we do, they say it’s a must

A single soul, I no longer trust

My goal in life is but a bust

I want to be happy, don’t care about wealth

Get a good name, forget about good health

In it for one another, not just about self

Achieve it all, it doesn’t matter

Don’t hope, don’t dream, it will all shatter

Reaching for the top like climbing a ladder

So again I ask why live another day?

When there’s a simpler way

Because we fear what people will say