2019

It’s so funny, every New Year everyone is always like, “This year’s going to be different.  This year I’m going to make a difference.”  The thing is, this year I really want it to be.  I really want to not only make a difference in my life, but in others as well.  I’m not the most genius writer, nor am I the most beautiful woman, therefore, one would think, ‘Then, what do you really have going for you?’  The thing is, I’m way too hard on myself, I’m thinking you are too.  That’s why, this year, I think the main thing we should all do that want to make a significant change in our lives, is to be less hard on ourselves.

We are living in a world where Donald Trump is the president, there’s poverty, homelessness, famine, everywhere you look.  People are being hurt, hurting themselves, it’s depressing.  Therefore, let’s make this world, in 2019, less depressing.  Let’s be less critical of ourselves, of other’s as well, and try to be happy?  I know, whatever you’re going through, whomever may be reading this, may be too much for you to deal with, but you’re here and you’re reading this, so is it that bad?  Can you change it?  Can you make it better?  I think you can, because I think I can.  Fuck resolutions, be the person all year round that we are in the holiday season.  Why not?  Be merry and bright all year round, no matter what.  Easier said than done, right?

Wrong.  If you’re still reading this, then may God bless you, they’ll be a lot more of them this year too.  I’ve vowed to write more and share my thoughts and feelings more, as well.  Before we make resolutions to lose weight to get into our bikini’s for the summer, we need to change the way we see ourselves.  If you don’t like how you look in the bikini, then buy a one-piece?  Let’s work on how we treat each other, let’s work on humanity.  Regardless of who you are, where you are, you’re still human, you still need humanity.  I’ve seen less and less humanity in this world over the years, let’s work on that.  Let’s work on getting along with each other more so than trying to look better than each other.

I hope whomever has read this thus far, takes it into consideration and uses it.  I hope you look in the mirror today, at some point and know you’re beautiful, let that shine through to someone who needs beauty in their lives.  We are all in pain, we are all in recovery from something, we all need love, compassion and empathy.  Let’s work on that as a race, the human race.  We all bleed the same blood, we all breathe the same air, we are all more alike than we’re aware.   Don’t assume you know someone’s situation by the way they look, do I really have to say, “Never judge a book?”….

 

A Bipolar Blonde

Inside my mind there’s a thousand and one ideas, all illuminated at one time.  Inside my mind there is good and evil.  I have attempted my entire life, as it seems, to fight the evil, the intrusive thoughts that overcome me, at times.  Usually, the good triumphs over the evil, with the help of prescribed medication and other coping skills, without said medication, however, I’m left to my own defenses.  I’ll be it, I like to think of myself as a good person, a God-fearing woman, but the thoughts that race through my mind at times are those of a different kind.  They are not put there by God, but by something else.  To fight them, is ever-so exhausting.  God didn’t give this disease to me, I’m convinced, why should He take it away?

Therefore, I will suffer the rest of my days, being on medication, to try to control something that I can’t control.  Today I experienced it, I hadn’t in such a long time, since I’ve always continued to make sure I have the correct medications.  Today, however, was different.  The demons reemerged.  The pain, horror, loneliness, everything that I’ve lived my entire life with, came back.  It came with a vengeance.  I was unprepared, I was not ready for what laid ahead.  I was not equipped to deal with what I experienced today.  It was a mixture of mania and depression, at the same time.  The episode happened so abruptly that I couldn’t understand it.  I’m calmer now, having taken some of the medication that I’m prescribed to keep the demons at bey.

I’m alone, though.  No one understands, they think you’re making it up for whatever reason.  Maybe because you seek attention, or maybe because you are short medication, maybe even because they believe you really are crazy and deserve to be strapped to a bed.  I’ve been strapped to a bed before for speaking of what I’ve seen in my head, what I’ve felt in my heart.  I’ve been judged by many, understood by few.  No one wants to deal with someone whom can’t control their own thoughts.  The thing is, sometimes I can.  Sometimes I can channel the mania and be productive, when I can feel it coming on.  This was not one of those times.  I also believe it was so intense because my menstrual cycle is set to begin soon, that always has an impact on it.  It’s like it knows.

I don’t hate all of it.  It’s also the part of me that is a dreamer, the part of me that can write a story that no one has imagined yet.  The part of me that is creative, original and superior in intellect.  I’m not delusional, I know that there are many people much more intelligent than I, but can they articulate it?  Can they create characters and themes and plotlines?  Not too many.  I’ve always felt I was born at the wrong time, in the wrong place, according to my mother, I wasn’t supposed to be born at all.  It’s just that when one of these “episodes” happens, it’s exhausting.  It takes the energy out of me, it drains me.  Then, a day or two later, I’ll get my period and it’ll all make sense.  It’s stronger when my cycle is close.  It’s lonely, though.  No one understands it, nor do they care to.  That is the burden I bare.

That, I believe, is the most difficult part of it; having no one close to you whom understands or is willing to understand.  I think it’s because you look “normal” on the outside, therefore, there could be nothing wrong with you on the inside.  Forgive them, for they know not.  Unless you’ve experienced it, lived through it, suffered through it, you’ll never know the pain and angst of it.  The loneliness of it, how it sets you apart from everyone else.  When an episode occurs, you feel like you’re outside of yourself.  You feel like everyone is looking at you, talking about you, the thoughts race through your mind, thoughts of the past, present and potential future.  Some end up hurting themselves, or others, because they have no other way to express the pain of it all.  It’s like something else takes over your brain and you’re no longer at the wheel, so to speak.  I wish I was “normal,” I wish it was only Lupus, Diabetes, or Asthma, but it’s not.  All those diseases are visual.  You can see the person suffering from them, with mental illness, you can’t always see the person suffering, which then leads people to believe that it doesn’t exist, or that the individual is making it up.  Furthermore, some go so far as to think that the individual is pretending in order to get some sort of gratification out of it, whether it be attention, empathy, sympathy, etc…  For those of us that truly suffer from it, we know that is not the case.  We’d be just as happy as to not have to deal with it at all.  I wish that the medical community would spend as much time researching Bipolar Disorder as they do every other disease, because the truth of the matter is, this disease kills just as many people as any other disease out there.  The only reason why they lack empathy is because, sometimes death comes at the hands of the one whom suffers.

 

 

Hight Maintenance

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I sobbed uncontrollably as I walked down the fluorescent-lit corridor.  The whole hallway was white and it had doors every few feet.  I was dressed in a gray jumpsuit and followed a muscular corrections officer to the fifth locked door on our left.  The officer, whose name tag read Kenney, pushed a red button on the side of the door, and the huge steel overhang was buzzed open for us.

“You need to clean your face,” said officer Kenney, as he motioned for me to walk through the door.

“O.K.,” I said as I wiped the tears from my eyes and took a deep breath.

“All right now, compose yourself,” said Kenney.  “Welcome to the County.”

I walked into a huge room that was divided by Plexiglas walls into three sections.  In the middle of the room, between two of the sections, was the control hub, where two officers sat.

“This is general pop,” said Kenney, pointing to our left, which housed the largest section of that part of the jail.  It was a room with tables and stools, all attached to the floor.  It was full of all types of women, all different ages, from all different backgrounds, and attached to it was a gym, which was the prisoners only exposure to fresh air.

“That’s quarantine,” said Kenney, pointing to our immediate right.  “You’ll go there after your TB test comes back.  For now, you’re in the med-unit.”

Quarantine was a smaller room than general population, about half the size.  Only seven or eight women were in there, sitting at tables and chairs, talking and watching T.V.  We walked past the officers’ hub, to the back of the room, the smallest section of the area.  The door to the unit was buzzed open, and I was motioned in.  The officer led me to a cell on the bottom half of the bi-level structure.

“This is you, for right now,” Kenney said.  “This is solitary.  I’ll be coming back in a bit to let you out to take a shower, or make  call, or whatever.”

“O.K.,” I said, holding back my tears.

I walked through the door into the 4×6 cell, and then it shut, and I heard the jingle of Kenney’s keys as he locked the door.  To my left was a toilet with a little sink and mirror on the side.  Straight in front of me, up against the wall of brick, was a steel bed frame.  No sheets, no mattress.  Above the bed was a rectangular shaped window hat overlooked the courtyard.  I laid on the steel-framed bed, and cried myself to sleep.

The next 48 hours were a blur.  Withdrawal from the heroin had set in.  If I wasn’t on the toilet, I was on the steel be frame, moaning in agony.  I was in and out of consciousness.  I had extreme cold sweats, and when I was awake, my thoughts raced.  I was alone.  All that broke the silence was the jingle of the officers’ keys as they walked past every half hour doing bed checks.

Day turned into night, and I slept.  The next day I awoke to hear the jingle of officer Kenney’s keys.  A nurse was with him.  She came in and stood over me as she took my vitals.

“Heroin?,” asked the nurse, as she held my wrist and looked at her watch.

“Yes,” I said, with what I didn’t even recognize as my voice.  “It’s awful.  I have cold sweats and diarrhea….”

“Does your stomach hurt?,” she interrupted, still looking at her watch.

“Yes.”

“O.K., I’ll bring you some Bentyl.  Be back in a few.”  And with that, she walked out.

“O.K.,” said officer Kenney.  “You can come out.  I’ll give you 10 minutes to make a phone call or take a shower.”

I got up and slowly walked out of the cell.  A phone was on the wall next to my cell door.  I picked up and called my mother, but no answer.  Then, I called my house.  My friend, “Shannon”, had been staying with me, and she picked up, much to my surprise.

“Hello?”

“Shannon,” I said, almost relieved.

“Oh my God, Candice, how are you?  Are you O.K. ?”

“I’m in solitary, and I’ve only got 10 minutes.  Is anyone going to make my bail?,” I asked with anticipation.

“I don’t know how to tell you this,” she said hesitantly.  “Your parents aren’t coming.  They’re going to come to your court date on Thursday.”

“But, today’s Saturday,” I said, desperately.

“I know sweetie.  I’m sorry.”

I hung the phone up and began to cry all over again.  Officer Kenney came and escorted me back to my cell, and I heard the jingle of the keys, again, as he locked the door.

After 48 hours in solitary, I was led to the quarantine unit.  As a different officer led me to my new cell, I noticed the stares of all the women.  In my cell, I changed into a new jumpsuit and headed out into the open area.  The withdrawal had come and went, and I was feeling much better physically.  Mentally, though, I was scared beyond belief of the seven to eight women who inhabited the quarantine unit at that time.  Nonetheless, I went into the room, and picked a table to sit at, close o the television mounted on the wall.

Some women were talking, others watched T.V., and others wrote in journals and on paper.  An older black woman, who I would come to know as Mary, sat across the table from me.  Her wiry, gray hair was pulled back tight in a bun, and her jumpsuit looked to be two sizes too big on her.  She smiled at me.

“Did you come in kickin’?,” Mary asked.

“Yes,” I said.  Kickin’ meant you came in addicted to drugs that would precipitate experiencing withdrawal.

“I’m Mary.  I’m in here ’cause they found the heroin on me, and I had a warrant.  What ’bout you?”

“My name’s Candy,” I said.  “I had a warrant.”

“That sucks,” she said.

“Yeah, it does,” I said.

“Well, that shit will get you here.  I’ve been tryin’ to kick that shit for a minute now.  Been in and out of this place.  Been in and out of a lot of places.  You don’t look like the type, though.  You don’t look like you belong here.”

I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment, or not, but over the next two days, Mary and I would become confidants.  We spoke of everything: past loves, family, children.  I felt bad for her, and then for myself.  I didn’t belong there, she was right.  When my court date came that Thursday, I was released.  After what ha seemed like an eternity, I was free.

I sprinted out of the Morris County Correctional Facility without looking back.  I had a new outlook on life.  I would struggle with heroin for four more months, and then quit, cold turkey, to the present day.  I’ll never forget that week in jail, or Mary, who made it a little more bearable.  From time to time, I still wonder what ever happened to her.  I hope she found the happiness and sobriety I have, and the privilege of freedom.

Get Full, Supple Lips

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Do you want a fuller, more pouty lip?  Don’t we all…but, I do believe I have come up with a specific formula that has worked to improve my lips.  It has not only made them more supple, but fuller and poutier, than I could have imagined.  It really all begins with hydration.  This is something, that especially women over the age of 30, need to pay attention to; HYDRATION IS KEY.  Hydration is what is going to change your lips from basic to beautiful!

First thing first, beauty does start from within.  You will want to get a good collagen vitamin, and take them three times a day.  Some instructions for some brands say to take three, three times a day, I don’t do this, but my lips were a little on the full side to begin with, so whatever you feel more comfortable doing, and whatever becomes more effective for you.  I’ve learned that I’m ok with merely one collagen supplement, three times a day.  Plus, plenty of water, which I personally, hate.  It is necessary though, and all of the beauty supplements basically instruct you to take with H2O, regardless.

Next, and this is extremely important, ladies, is to find 30 minutes, every 2-3 days to do a lip treatment.  I recommend a brand called “DreamMi”, which can be found not only on Amazon, but Wish, as well.  They are infused with gold, and compared to the ones without the gold, I do prefer, and see better results, with the gold infused treatments, from DreamMi.  This isn’t only imperative for your aesthetic beauty, but it’s also good for your soul, too.  It will force you to think about yourself, and no one else, for at least 20-30 minutes, every 2-3 days.  After the treatment, I always use Revlon Kiss Exfoliating Balm, in Sugar Mint.  This can be found at any drug store.  I encourage you to try these, they are extremely affordable, especially for those of us whom can’t afford injections…lol…

Trust me, I’m working on a budget, as well, but these are definitely worth the money, and you will see at least a few millimeters difference in your current lips.  I know we’re all beautiful on the inside, and all that, but it does help sometimes, if you feel even more beautiful on the outside.  I hope my words help you achieve that balance.  Until we read, again….I thank you for your time.  Just as a side note, I have not been, in any way, monetarily compensated by any of the companies that were mentioned in the aforesaid article.  Good day, and God bless.

Candice lip pic

Beauty Over 35

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Would you think this is the picture of an, almost, 41 year-old woman?  Ok, ok, yes, perhaps some filters were used, but for the most part, I get mistaken for at least 5-10 years younger than I really am, any given day.  Please, don’t mistake this for self-indulgent bragging, I want to share with you a part of my finely tuned beauty regiment that has proven to work immensely for me.  It’s a little controversial, but I was my own guinea pig, over a two-year study.

What did I study? Specifically, the effects of medicinal cannabis, combined with over-the-counter beauty supplements, that can be found at any local drug store, or supermarket.  Let me explain.  About three years ago I began taking “Nature’s Bounty Hair, Skin and Nail Vitamins.”  I noticed a significant difference in the growth of my hair, nails and a complimentary change in my skin within two weeks.  I had also implemented “Dream-Mi” Gold under-eye and lip treatments.  These proved to be especially helpful in making my lips even “plumper” than they had been and my undereye circles began to disappear.

However, it wasn’t until a few months later, when I acquired a medicinal cannabis card, and began to smoke a little bit, after every time I took a supplement, which was about three times a day, I noticed another substantial difference.  I noticed, within a week, that it seemed that the cannabis actually accelerated the speed at which the supplements worked!  I had always suspected that cannabis could potentially help rejuvenate cell production.  I knew there had to be another reason, other than pain, and increased appetite that doctor’s prescribe it to Cancer patients.  I kept a journal over the two years of my study, and realized that when I didn’t smoke, though I still did experience improved beauty because of diet, and the supplements and treatments, I still didn’t get the same results as when I would smoke after taking a dose of supplements, three times a day.

Am I a scientist?  No.  Have my findings been proven by the FDA?   No.  Will I most likely get in trouble for writing this?  Yes.  Yet, I felt it necessary to attempt to enlighten people with these findings, regardless.  I have also found that taking your makeup off every night, then rubbing an aloe plant all over your face, before you go to bed, will give you soft and supple skin the very next morning.  I believe this so much so, that I can’t believe no one in the beauty industry has ever thought about just marketing the plant itself, and charging $20 for it.  Right now, you can find aloe plants at any given supermarket, for less than a dollar.  They also have a very long shelf-life if kept in the refrigerator, plus it adds to the relaxation aspect of using this particular plant.

It’s important to know that I have not, in any way, been monetarily compensated by either of the companies mentioned in this article.  I just feel so strongly about their products, that I had to mention them.  I also suggest to use a separate collagen supplement, just to help with the “plumping” of your lips, and the overall look of your skin.  Collagen is something that women begin being depleted of after the age of 30, but that is necessary for your skin to look supple and your lips, pouty.  This article may strike some as “superficial”, but let me enlighten you once more; the multi-billion dollar a year beauty industry is not based on “inner beauty.”  Unfortunately, we are judged mainly on first appearance, that is also something I’ve studied my entire life, and am now just realizing how important it is to not be attractive to others, but to be attractive to yourself.

I want to give women, and some men, too, knowledge that they may not have thought about before.  Some words of wisdom that may help, if even only a little, empower one of you out there, to be your best self.  Always remember, regardless of how other’s see you, the only person you need acceptance from is yourself.  Begin with attempting to please yourself, aesthetically, and you’re half way there.  I hope this article helps some of you, and if you were at all offended by my mention of cannabis, well, I apologize.  Then, I suggest you smoke a joint and see how you feel.  Good day to you all, and may God bless.  Until we meet again.

Just a side note: Dream-Mi under eye and lip treatments can be purchased on both Amazon.com, and Wish.com, for under $20.  Wish.com is cheaper, you’ll just wait longer for your shipment to arrive.  Good day, once again.  Please, feel free to leave any questions, or comments, that may inspire or educate us, as well.  I thank you for your time.

The Devil’s Grip

When I was about 12 years-old, I had a condition called, “costochondritis”.  It’s the inflammation of the inside of  your chest walls, treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.  The doctor that treated me, at the time, said that the “nickname” for it was, “the Devil’s Grip”, because of the immense agony one would feel when afflicted by the disease.  It was the worst pain I’d ever felt, at that time.  It was like the devil did have a grip over my entire chest area; I couldn’t breath, I couldn’t even move, without agonizing pain.  I was treated for it with the anti-inflammatories, and it eventually went away.

It wasn’t for years later, that I would come to know “the Devil’s Grip”, as something completely different.  In the summer of 2007, I became addicted to heroin, after being addicted to pills for several months, prior.  My heroin addiction escalated within six months, and I had lost everything; my family, children’s father, friends, drivers license, etc…  I came to realize, at one point, that the heroin was what would kill me.  That there would be no way I would be able to battle the war that raged inside me.  Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit, and once a habit is acquired, no matter how harmful that habit may be, it’s extremely difficult to extinguish said habit.  It was at this point that I realized, the real “Devil’s Grip”, wasn’t costochondritis, but drug addiction.

 

I had even attempted to end my life with the heroin, which always ended with me sleeping for 24-48 hours, then waking up with no heroin, and in the beginnings of withdrawal.  It was in a hallway in Newark, NJ, that I had a personally enlightening experience, that illuminated me to my future.  There had been a sliver of my “old” self, that had never “crossed over” and completely succumbed to the addiction.  It was in that “sliver” that I realized, God dwelled.

Addiction is the devil incarnate.  Therefore, if one end of the spectrum exists, that must mean that the other end of the same spectrum exists.  Again, I’ve seen the devil, when you’re an addict, you dance with him on a regular basis.  What I learned, however, is that the devil shouts, but God whispers, and that “sliver” of one that hasn’t completely succumbed to the disease, is that Higher Power, working within you.  Does it take extreme willpower, education, and sometimes medical assistance?  Yes.  Can you overcome it?  Yes.  The question is; do you want to?  It’s not as easy as an “angel” on one shoulder, and a “devil” on the other, they both dwell within you as an individual in active addiction.  The trick is to attempt to hear what God is saying, within you.

It’s truly a test of inner-strength, and will.  No one, not even a Higher Power, can effect your will.  Only you have the power to change your path.  God, however, is within you, He always has been, and if you pay attention, and listen carefully, you will know the right thing to do, no matter how difficult it may be.  I’ve seen too many people die of this disease, and I feel extremely blessed that I made it through it.  In no way am I bragging, I want to give those of you out there suffering, hope.  This is a disease that will test your faith, til the very end.  It’s a battle that rages within yourself, and those are the most intense battles you can ever engage in.

It will trick you into thinking nothing is wrong, and everyone else is the one with the “problem” with how you’re living your life.  It’s your life, right?  Is it, though?  Is it your life, when the majority of the time you’re a slave to a drug?  When you spend the majority of your time attempting to acquire that drug?  THAT’S the “Devil’s Grip”, and it’s extremely difficult to get out of it, but it can be done.  I am living proof that one can come back from the “dead.”  Many people had written me off, and some friends and family never came back.  In the end, though, I survived.  I moved on, and while I’ll always and forever be an addict, I can proudly say that I danced with the devil, and lived.  You can too.

If you’ve read this far, and know someone, or you have an addiction, I implore you to listen to the “Higher Power” within you, and make a miracle happen.  Call any one of the rehabilitation centers in your area, or Google many of the 1-800 numbers, put in place to help addicts in active addiction.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel, follow that light, because it begins within you.  May you find your happiness and peace, and may you, or your loved one, move on, and get through this.  It will humble you, but it will make you extremely strong.  You, too, can fight the “Devil’s Grip”, and live a happy, healthy, and productive life, no matter how glum it may look right now.  Thank you for your time.

 

 

Logic Vs. Love

I know that at any given time, in any given part of the world, something is happening to individuals, that change their lives forever.  Somewhere, someone, right now, is falling in love.  I’m not speaking of “puppy dog” kind of, childhood first crushes, I’m talking about a love where you’ve been through hell and high water with your partner.  I’m speaking of a kind of love, where you may not always like the other person, but you always love them.   The most dangerous kind of love, for a partner….unconditional.

Unconditional love is always had for a child, from a parent.  I’m speaking of unconditional love between two romantic partners.  It exists, no matter your sexual orientation, religious background, or ethnicity.  It’s the one emotion that unifies us all.  It is universal.  It can also be extremely dangerous.  To have unconditional love for a partner, is to mean that you would lay down your life, that you would sacrifice your happiness, truly and fully, for the sake of theirs.

To an extent, you will lose yourself within that person, and at times, it can become unhealthy, very quickly.  That, however, depends upon the person you have the unconditional love for.  Some savor it, and reciprocate it.  Others, oh yes, others, however, will take advantage of it.  Others will lie, cheat, and hurt you, all with the knowledge that you will forever take them back, because of the “unconditional” part of the statement.  It’s these individuals you need to be aware of early on.  It may be extremely difficult to distance yourself from them, but if the feeling is not reciprocated, then you’re only going to get hurt, in the end.  Therefore, I want to give you a checklist of things to look for, just in case you think you may have unconditional love for a partner.

Top Ten Characteristics of Unconditional Love

  1. The behavior you first found annoying, and perhaps even disgusting, now is endearing to you.
  2. You have their children. Whether they were involved in the pregnancy or not.
  3. Their happiness means more to you than your own.
  4. You feel their pain.
  5. You take them back, after continuous indiscretions.
  6. You begin to lose yourself in them.
  7. You believe their lies, even when you know better.
  8. You act against your better judgement.
  9. You believe them every time they say they’re “sorry.”
  10. You stand by their side, even when you know they’re wrong.

I know that some of the items on this list are indictive of unconditional love, and as long as they’re reciprocated, there’s nothing wrong with that.  However, as you may have noticed, as the list continued, the items became a little bit more unhealthy.  I warn you of this, because after having unconditional love for a man, myself, I can tell you that it’s not always conducive to your well-being.  Be careful out there, ladies, because when it comes to LOVE, all LOGIC goes right out the window.  Please feel free to leave comments, or your personal experiences, whatever you wish.  Thank you for your time, everyone, and God bless.  Stay tuned for some beauty tips, including flawless skin, and plumper lips. Til we read, again!

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