No one said evolution was gonna be easy, effortless, or comfortable. Evolution is everything but linear. I can only speak for my own journey and testify that my evolution has forced me to stand still, humble myself, and listen to my body and what it needs for mental, physical, and emotional nourishment.
Until now, I had not sought to understand why I fixate on the past. I've been doing this since I was young. Ask any of my high school peers who I went to elementary school with and they'll tell you I reminisced on our "younger years" a lot. I had imaginary friends well past the acceptable age to have one. When I got into my preteen years, I used to imagine my favorite celeb crushes were sitting in the empty desk chairs in my classroom. Nowadays, I reminisce on my pre-Covid life and am conflicted with which elements of that life I want to take with me into the future. My aspirations and dreams are evolving... and it feels like grief.
Pre-Covid J.Mix wanted to travel the world showcasing her talents on big stages, screens, and music videos.
Post-Covid J.Mix still wants fractions of that, but only if she gets to help create it. And her happiness is not jeopardized.
The grief flows in when I realized that it's unattainable for me to spread myself in so many creative directions at this time. I'm under the impression, as of now, that I've gotta stick to one or two of my strong avenues, pull an Oprah, "get my foot in the door," first, and THEN continue laying the bricks for the other avenues. That's my plan... and I'll stick to it once I choose my strength XD. #TeamIndecisive
But enough about my career for now-
I want to take a moment to say thank you to all of the TSAM listeners, friends, and family who have checked in on me as I've been riding the depression wave. I'm feeling much better now- I feel like myself again. J.Mix has returned to her body and she has no intentions to leave again. But we know how depression can be... so I'm taking precautions: I'm back on medication and taking it regularly despite the negative but bearable side effects (see previous post). I've been vigilant about eliminating distractions that cause my depression to flare up. And have made space to focus on my mental health with the same vigor I do my physical health. In case there is anyone here who is curious to know what my distractions are... Imma lay it out for you below:
1) Social media
I always fall into the trap of feeling obligated to keep the masses updated. Mind you, I also manage around 10 accounts including my own. Add on the mindless nature of scrolling down the never-ending feed of algorithmically calculated interests on each account, and you have a whole addiction. Not gonna get into it. A lot of you already know how this goes. Just know that I'm managing it well. In the meantime, I'll be doing most of my "updates" via blogging here and on Patreon til my post-pandemic balance is in full effect... which is gonna take a minute.
Now that I'm feeling better, I want to quickly jump into producing new episodes, but I can't keep doing that to myself or I'll be back where I was a month ago. So I'm practicing patience and utilizing all of the wonderful resources I have accumulated to curate the next series of episodes... And do them right. Not that any of my other ones were wrong, but I would compare these next series of episodes to my uncle's well-marinated Thanksgiving fried turkey. It's perfection. You don't wanna rush perfection.
Thanks for reading
PS. I've still got some merch sitting around in case you're looking to add a crop or a cap to your TSAM memorabilia :)
In conjunction with Ep. 48, I wanted to have a written version on my side effects from taking Zoloft for the past three years. As many of you know, I had a period of weening off of the medication where my emotions were all over the place. I've shared some of those highs and lows on my Instagram already, but I also wanted to name those in this blog in hopes that it may help or resonate with someone else later.
I cannot speak on how Zoloft affects anyone else but myself. Please consult your doctor to determine if you should be prescribed.
What is Zoloft?
Zoloft (sertraline) is an antidepressant belonging to a group of drugs called selective serotonin re uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Sertraline affects chemicals in the brain that may be unbalanced in people with depression, panic, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive symptoms.
I was a patient at a mental hospital/rehab center in the Greater New Orleans area back in 2018 because I suffered from PTSD from child abuse, anxiety and depression. The other factors that brought me there also included being cheated on and feeling trapped/hopeless in my family structure at the time. I was having a lot of thoughts of suicide, and I knew that thinking wasn't in my character. So I told my loved ones I was going there for however long I needed to be, and that was that. It was the best decision I ever made for myself.
The doctor prescribed me with 100 mg of Zoloft and my first side effects from it were numbness, and agitation (twitching). I felt like a literal Zombie. No feeling. Just present. Emotions didn't exist. I remember an old lady giving me the drug for the first time and all I can remember is how creepy she looked. She looked like that witch from Snow White... or was it Sleepy Beauty? The one with the black cloak. Anyway - I didn't want to have to take any drug to rehabilitate myself, but at that hospital, I didn't have a choice. And at that point, I was at my absolute low. So I took it.
After I left the hospital, I was very cautious about the environment I was surrounded by. If it didn't allow me to live peacefully, I couldn't be there. And in this case, a lot of my home environment was not suited for me to live there, so I stayed with my boyfriend for a few months before I moved into my own apartment.
WHY DON'T I JUST LIVE WITH MY BOYFRIEND YOU ASK? I'll save this for another episode.
The doc downed my dosage to 50 mg and I went to a few counseling sessions to follow-up with my adjustment back into "regular life." The medicine doesn't really begin to feel normal in your body until a few weeks in of taking it daily.
CURRENT SIDE EFFECTS:
- Restless sleep
- Uninspired to create, which hurt my soul
- Easier to run and exercise because I don't feel the exhaustion
- Never horny (fun fact: if I know I'm hooking up with someone soon, I won't take Zoloft for a day or so prior to meeting)
- Sex is less fun. Takes longer to orgasm AND masturbate… which is the main reason I stopped taking it. I wanted to feel the power of my orgasms again because they're everything to me.
To understand how Zoloft has helped me thrive, it's important to note how I functioned before and after taking it.
HOW I FELT BEFORE VS HOW I FELT AFTER:
Before taking Zoloft - I was overcome with so much emotion that I could not function or do anything else with my day except obsess over whatever was occupying my mind at the time.
After taking Zoloft - My anxieties were a passing thought and did not hinder with my ability to function day-to-day. I was able to process my emotions and not let them rule me. I was able to practice my coping mechanisms. I had less distraction and noise from my overstimulated brain.
I knew I needed a new environment but was always hindered by the unchecked mental illnesses of those in my home environment. (This is why I am a huge stickler for black mental health.) I knew I needed to do what was best for me, but it was hard. I was a people pleaser due to variables that I developed from being physically and emotionally abused by family members during my childhood.
With the assistance of Zoloft and the support of my loved ones who understood the importance of me changing my environment, I now am happily living in my own space. I have been privilege to build up my own personal environment that caters to who I am as an artist. It's been amazing. This podcast would never have happened had I not lived on my own.
WHY I STOPPED TAKING ZOLOFT:
HOW I'M FEELING NOW
AND THAT'S IT! I hope this was insightful. I can't wait to read back on this in a few year to see what has evolved. As y'all know, I take my mental health journey seriously and am getting better at honoring my emotions and what my body needs. This is much easier when I am in an environment that allows me to grow. I encourage you all to find that environment that you're able to be nurtured and develop into a better version of yourself.
The intent of this survey was for Black, White, and POC folks to truthfully identify their colorism biases by observing which BIPOC public figures have light skin vs. brown skin. This survey's goal was to get a clearer idea on which of these public figures the average person considers to have "light skin privilege." (whatever that may be to the individual)
This survey was inspired by EP24: "Do Dirty Redbones Have Light Skin Privilege?"
48 responses total (28 Black, 14 White, 4 POC).
I chose my favorite questions and answers to highlight on this post.
Before you view the results, I wanted to include the pictures of celebs and public figures that the following commentary will be referring to:
Black Folks Survey Results!
White Folks Survey Results!
POC Folks Survey Results!
At the beginning of this month, It's Not Too Complicated (INTC) premiered my piece that I wrote about my thoughts and ideals on being in open relationships. It was a release that I have been wanting to breathe into the world for quite some time now, and I am fortunate that it is finally in the light. I welcome all of you to check it out.
Click this link to read "My Relationships with Open Relationships"
Thank you to the Forty-two penis owners who diligently took some time out of their day to take my survey “On Periods!” for the knowledge of vagina owners and the benefit of penis owners everywhere! Here are the results! Listen to the "On Periods" series from on TSAM's home page.