Dear Readers, Let me properly introduce myself. You know me as Dragthepen. I am J. R. Floyd, creator of Conversations with J. R. Floyd, on You Tube and Facebook. Being apart of the WordPress community has been an amazing journey, and I am thankful for the support of the people who follow me and take time to read my posts and leave comments.
Conversations with J. R. Floyd, was created due to my frustration of ending another relationship, this time is was an engagement, I was excited about getting married and spending my life with ” the one.” I took time to reflect on how hitting that brick wall was different from all the other times I’ve ended a relationship. I challenged myself to 90 days of meditation, reflection and I journaled my through’s day and night for 90 days. I was amazed about what I learned about myself. I closely examined my reasoning for wanting to be in a relationship and the answers I discovered shocked me. I arrived at the conclusion that I do not need to be in a relationship until I resolved some of the emotional issues in my life and understand the type of partner that will compliment my personality. So, here I am three years later single, ( not dating ) continuing this wonderful and sometimes frustrating path of healing and getting to know who I am. Coming soon.. My new book 90 days of Reflection, Discovery and Renewal. Sometime a ending can lead to a new beginning.
In the meantime, you can find my first two books on Amazon
Thank you for stopping by Dragthenpen and don’t forget to subscribe to my You Tube Channel, Conversations with J. R. Floyd
For the people who have difficulty distinguishing what Depression/ Mental illness/ Emotional Trauma is or isn’t…Read This.
Mental illness, depression or emotional damage isn’t a sour mood, bad attitude, evil spirits, pretend, a cry for attention, fun, a hobby, habit, a mask or a choice. People who suffer with mental illness or the trauma from emotional damage whether diagnosed or undiagnosed these people live in constant judgement, pain, confusion and darkness.
Mental illness or emotional trauma doesn’t take a vacation and won’t mysteriously disappear, and it’s certainly not something people outgrow, medication might help, but for many people the battle to have normal days is an ongoing struggle. No one can drink away, pray away, or wish away mental illness or the damage caused by emotional abuse. And, as quiet as it’s kept men suffer from mental illness, depression and emotional brokenness just as much as women do. Even so, society has set forth a ” bro code” that real men don’t cry and tell. Men are made to feel weak and ashamed if they admit that they are struggling with some form of mental illness, thus they remain silent suppressing anger and resentment towards a society that has created only a few places where men can go and feel safe to talk and heal.
Women of all colors, cultures, and different religious beliefs who suffer from mental illness, depression, low self esteem, low self worth, brought on by childhood trauma, sexual abuse, emotional neglect, and domestic violence, having to grow up too fast, and as children are told not to tell, and are brain washed to believe that no one, meaning a man will want her, if he discoverers that she is emotionally broken or damaged good. So, what do most women do? They act out. They become promiscuous, hooked on drugs, addicted to bad relationships, victims of domestic violence, or collecting baby father’s searching for healing in all the wrong places feeling abandoned, scared, alone and hopeless.
Children are the most vulnerable to mental illness that sometimes follow them into adulthood. We live in a society that turns a blind eye to how children are affected by the chaos that surrounds them in the world, on television, and their living situations. We are currently living in a revival of violence against children, racism, and broken families, especially in the black community. By the same token, a child’s future is endangered by parents who are too quick to have their child diagnosed and medicated to receive a government check. This begins a lifetime of children being falsely labeled as damaged, danagerious, and unable to learn. There are some children who are born with learning disabilities or an illness that cause them to lag behind in growth and slow to reach certain cognitive and developmental milestones. But, what about the children who live in homes where they experience emotional and physical trauma due to the lack of basic needs, and there is an increasing number of children living in situations where love is rarely expressed, their voice isn’t heard, family time is non-existent, and the most damaging aspect is children being raised in single parent homes or by aging grandparents.
Some of the most devastating effects of mental illness is that it destroys families and marriages, people find it difficult to maintain employment, and friendships, they feel alone, judged and isolated. The best that the medical professionals seem to be doing is developing more medications or recommending institutionalization for the safety of society. I wrote about this topic because I experienced depression at a young age and it was left untreated for years, I observed domestic violence in my childhood home, and I saw the damage that men can do when they are angry. I am a survivor of domestic violence, currently on the path to an amazing journey of healing from the damage of emotional trauma and learning to create a better life. I hope that everyone who reads and shares this conversation about mental illness and depression for a better understanding of acceptance and inclusion.
Dear Readers, sometimes looking back can bring clarity to moving forward. Reflection time.
Have you ever had a moment when you heard a song, or looked at old pictures that made you reflect on the obstacles you have overcome?
What triggered my moment of reflection was the simple task of ordering dinner. For some people ordering dinner is not a big deal. There was a time when I used to think that people who ordered dinner were lazy. The real truth is I didn’t think I was worth giving myself a break from cooking. I thought I was wasting money. Money that I worked hard to earn, and as crazy as it might seem at the time I wasn’t aware that some of that hard earned money should be spent on me.
When I think back on how badly I treated myself feeling that some of the good things in life I wasn’t worthy of. All I did was work and worried about paying bills and having enough. I was in a horrible cycle of lack. The conversation I had with myself was about all the things that I shouldn’t buy and places that I couldn’t afford to go. I grind myself into debt, and no savings, which lead to more negative self conversations about lack. I became increasingly angry.
I watched with envy as others around me enjoyed life and I wondered what was their secret? I was jealous of women who wear nice clothes, designer bags, manicured nails, and stylish hair, oh and did I mention the killer makeup.
I don’t know what I was thinking or why? Back in the day before I lost myself in the world of becoming a achiever by acquiring a college education and joining the crabs in the barrel crawling my way up the ladder of success; thus buying into someone else’s version of the ” American Dream,” but in my case my struggles lead to a ” nightmare.” I got so caught up in a fantasy and forgot to live, and enjoy the moments that gave me pleasure, instead I was looking for the big bang.
Well it took hitting a few brick walls to shake me back into reality. I never achieved the level of success by society standards, instead, I discovered my purpose, I deeply enjoy teaching, blogging, creating podcasts and my YouTube channels ( conversations with J R Floyd), and soon to be author of two more books. I am finally learning how to be comfortable with the person I am and it’s amazing.
This summer ( 2021) I am going to achieve one of my biggest dreams on my bucket list. I am driving cross country from New York City to California, stopping at Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon. Yes, I am going to take the famous route 66. I am 57 years old and the days of putting off living life is over. I can retire at the age of 62, in the meantime, I am building a tiny in a city with a warm climate where I can continue to write, lecture and travel.
I can’t make up for lost time, but I can enjoy the road ahead.
I am struggling to understand something when did we, meaning the United States of America become a nation that over celebrates because we are afraid someone or a specific group will be offended. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong with acknowledging the victories of our past and what makes America the greatest country in the 🌍 world. It’s not the honoring or celebrations that I am struggling with, it’s how the true meaning of these holidays has taken on a different meaning.
Think about this each month is dedicated to a group or gender to honor progress, but have we really made progress towards combating the most serious social issues like, race, economics, and gender inequality? We begin each year with Black History month. However, when we look back to recent events at the killings of black men and women this is a reminder of how people of color lives didn’t matter in the past, and they don’t seem to matter now. People are shouting satisfaction of joy over the George Floyd verdict, However has justice really been served?
Then we move to March, Women’s history month, renamed, Women’s Herstory month, singing the glory of the process women have made, or have we? Remember the Virginia Slim cigarette commercial with a tall, slim, sexy White woman with a cigarette in hand celebrating the phrase We’ve come a long way baby. If this is true why do women continue to be paid less than men. Women still have to perform twice as hard to have their skills, talent, and experience acknowledged; and women of color continue to strive to close the gap between them and their counterpart. I am thankful to all the women who continue the work towards making the path for future generations even greater, but why should women have to overcome so many obstacles due to this little thing called gender and color?
April is usually the month for religious observance, the ending of the lenten season marked by Good Friday, Psalm and Easter Sunday, followed by Passover depending on how the yearly calendar is arranged. Yet, with all the fasting, spiritual reflection, and a toning from sins. We continue to live in a society that shows very little compassion towards ” thy neighbor.” People are living in segregated communities, and we don’t welcome each other to worship with us and some choose to ignore the commandment ” thou shalt not kill.” When will White people stand up and admit that the mistreatment of all other races is wrong. This white supermaicts attitude and separatism is what’s killing the soul of America, yet, they say, In God We Trust.
May & June the months to honor thy Mother and Father, but there is a problem with equality. Father’s do feel that there is enough noise and respect given to Father’s day, unlike Mother’s day. Single mothers are honored as being brave and independent, but single father’s don’t receive the same praise. Another new trend that takes away from honoring Dads on their day, women who are the head of their house ( meaning no father is present) fathers day for them is celebrated as Happy Single Mothers day, most people see this as disrespectful towards men. Others Say that men who choose not to take part in raising their children should not receive any praise. Mother’s day is highly commercialized, the restaurants are always full, and mother’s don’t seem to get a break on her ” special day.” Pay attention the next time you see a Mother’s day or Father’s day commercial, there is a big difference between honoring Mom with a diamond, while giving Dad power tools, a tie or a lawn mower.
Moving on, Memorial day, July 4th, labor day, Veteran day, are all honored by parades and big retail sales. I know people who intentionally wait for these holidays to purchase major items like home appliances, cars, and electronics like expensive phones and computers. In many communities these holidays are BBQ days. Hmmm..I wonder how that got started.
Coming into the home stretch…harvest season begins with Halloween, trick or treat, tons of sweets and stomach aches for the little ones. Thanksgiving ( the guest of honor Tom the turkey). Some say this is a day to be Thankful, stuff our stomachs, watch football, while having seconds and thirds. Over the years, I’ve been paying attention to how many people are beginning to celebrate Thanksgiving as ” Native American day.” I began my own tradition for Turkey Day. Before the pandemic I served each year at the Salvation Army feeding the homeless and other people who don’t want to spend the day home alone. Then there is the finale, Christmas, ( I celebrate Hanukkah) Christmas is the mother of all commercialized holidays. Children are duped to believe in St. Nick and his naughty or nice list. Black Friday sales, oh the shopping and spending, shopping and spending. Why so much insanity and rushing? Has anyone ever stopped to ask why so much stress to create a magical celebration? What is the truth behind the celebration of Christmas? During the holiday season of 2020 the pandemic kept me from traveling to see my mother. I was worried about her beginning alone. That was the most important thing to me. This year 2021 holiday season, I am hitting the road to spend time with my mother in South Carolina. She doesn’t have a list of gift requests, she is simply happy to see me.
After we have decked the halls, we ring the bells of a New Year, just to start twelve months of celebrations all over again. This pandemic has helped me see the importance of the nearest of my closest friends and family. For me this is priceless.
Is it me or have you noticed that when people are engaged in a relationship, situationship, partnership, marriage, or domestic partnership, that they tend to have a negative view towards individuals who prefer not to be a part of a couple. In other words, they are single, living alone, and not interested in dating. Why, because they have discovered the pleasure of being single.
People who enjoy the single life style in some people’s opinions are rebelling against the principle that society, family, religion and cultural beliefs set forth that it’s not normal to want to be alone. My son warns me about ” staying alone too long on my island.” Well, let the truth be told, I’ ve had one horrible marriage that resulted in domestic violence. I’ve experienced many relationships that were only bad situationships, and arriving at the age of 57, I’m learning the meaning of a true partnership.
I used to fear being alone. I was one of those people who had to be around someone and I always had dates lined up. The problem was I did know how to enjoy my own company. I thought the idea of ” being with oneself” or ” enjoy spending time with self” was nonsense. My childhood home was a revolving door of people coming and going. I went from my parents house to my husband’s house. When I got my divorce this stage of my life began the road to relationship after relationships, date night, parties, men sleeping over and on and on.
A few years ago, I let go of the ideal of finding Mr. Right and challenged myself to find out who I am, and my true passion and purpose. It’s been seven years since I began this journey of self discovery, it hasn’t been easy, but I’ ve liked the knowledge I gained by spending time with ME. I no longer fear being alone. I often have movie night with popcorn and wine. I love watching cooking shows and find myself in the kitchen cooking delicious meals for myself. I like the space and peace of living alone. And currently, I have no desire to go back out into the messy world of dating.
For the naysayers, here are a few points to think about that single people enjoy.
1. Single people can sleep late without someone interrupting their rest ( my days off I spend the day in bed).
2. Single people can cook when and what they want or order take out.
3. Living a single lifestyle means your time is your own, and you don’t have to check in with a partner, who is tracking your movements.
4. Freedom, single people can leave home when they desire and return when they want.
5. Living alone means that a person can arrange their living environment in the manner they like.
6. Single people can do what they like in their own living space like clean or not to clean.
7. One of the joys of being single, you don’t have to share the bed ( I discovered the joys of sleeping alone).
8. Living alone means that there is no fighting unless you want to fight with yourself
9. Single people can spend their money without a partners nagging objections about spending
10. Overall, being single, not dating, spending time with myself, enjoying the freedom of not being responsible for or to another person, a peace of mind, coming home to a clean quiet house has done wonders for my mental and emotional well being. This life isn’t for everyone, but it’s works for me .
My last post I talked about being worthy thank you for the support and feedback I received. The word for this post is CHANGE, not getting back to normal or adjusting to the new normal.
The change I am talking about is when people make the decision to transform their lives in a positive direction this transformation leads to making changes. For some people change isn’t easy, and it’s been my experience that when people make changes in their behavior, thinking, environment, the company they keep, lifestyle changes that lead to eating healthy and exercising, to stop wasting money and live on a budget, or stop engaging in bad relationships, making changes in the home to improve family life, some people decide to go to church and seek spiritual guidance, or make changes in their parenting style to become better parents.
Some people adapt the idea that change is good, and they look forward to making improvements transforming their lives into what some people refer to as” their best life.” But what happens when you decide to change, to take your life in a different direction because you’ve become weary of doing the same thing, the same way and the outcome isn’t what you expected; and change becomes difficult when the people around you are resistant to change.
For some individuals change means that the lives of the people around them will be inconvenient because they have become complacent and don’t see a need for change. Let me explain….. If you’re married, have a family, in a domestic partnership, situationship, live at home with your parents and other family members the decision to make changes in your life might affect the people connected to you, and their interaction with you might become strained. In other words, they are afraid they might have to change too.
Here’s an example, at the age of 28, I decided to enroll in college. Although I was living on my own there were changes that I made that affected people’s attitude towards me. At the start of my journey towards earning my Bachelor degree I spent every weekend partying. Over time I realized that I couldn’t keep up with the party lifestyle and be a good student because I wasn’t absorbing the content of the courses I was taking in Education and English literature. I looked forward to spending the weekends with my family and friends, but I was struggling to keep up with my assignments. I had to slow down, stay home and create a schedule that allowed me to balance work and school making time to focus on my assignments, while having time for myself. This meant less time partying and Sunday dinner at my parents house. No one was supportive of the changes I made.
Acquiring my education was very important to me because at the time I was working a dead end job. I truly wanted to transform my life by establishing a career in Education and Social Work. The majority of people around me, mainly my family and friends felt that I was putting too much into my education. The more I tried to explain to them about balancing my time, they continued to oppose the changes that I made. Needless to say, I lost people who I thought I created solid friendships, the reason they gave was because I didn’t have time for them. But the truth was I couldn’t be available when they wanted me to be. I missed out on many family gatherings not intentionally, but due to some of these events happening when I had major assignments due and I could not sacrifice the time. On the day of graduation everyone wanted to celebrate my achievement. These were the same individuals who left me by the roadside so to speak.
If you’re in the process of transforming your life for the better, you will have to consider the people around you, meaning husbands wives, childrens, and others who might be opposed and resistant to their lives being affected by the changes you make in your life. Be prepared to:
1. Stand firm in the belief that the changes you’re making will be good for all involved.
2. Be willing to be patient with the setbacks that happen during the process of change.
3. Be prepared to motivate yourself when others are not eager to encourage and support you.
4. Make sure you’re walking the right path towards change and putting in the effort to make changes happen.
5. Make sure you understand that change isn’t wishful thinking. You will need a well thought out plan,set goals and check your process.
6. Be very clear about the rationale for the need to change and the benefits.
There are many more suggestions when considering moving towards change, but I think you get the message by now. Change is good because it means moving forward and making progress. When people become stagnant because they are deeply ingrained in living a routine life, and they settle for the status quo then change is a difficult step for them to make. Change does not happen overnight and there might be some unforeseen sacrifice you have to make that others will not. In the end the choice is your to make.
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