Antiquing Alone

For as long as I can remember, the sight of old things, you know, your great grandmother’s jewelry box or that worn piece of furniture you found on the side of the road, that only needs a little sanding and staining to be renewed, these junky treasures have always had a warm place in my heart; I feel butterflies in the pits of my stomach, now that’s true love.

Anyway, my psychiatrist has always urged me, and my husband to take four hours, alone, at least once a week, to partake in activities that we like to do.

Now, at one point, this was very difficult to do.  The lack of motivation to move from one spot in my bed to another spot in the bed, has been like pushing a car, alone, up a mountain; it’s been rough to even think about things I liked to do and was willing to do these days, due to depressions grip on me. But, with much patience, though painful, and perseverance through the tough lows, taking my prescribed medications, praying, and pushing myself beyond my body’s limits at times, I can say that my motivation is full throttle!  It’s only been a week with this mustang engine like motivation, but I’m taking advantage of the ride while it’s still here, and I’m not looking back.

So, I got a babysitter for today ( thanks Ms. Kim) and I was off.

I went to the east side of town.  I wanted to look at potential homes to buy, since there is constant construction on this side of town and beautiful new homes to view, literally every week.  After driving around the historic Inglewood neighborhood, I had high hopes of going to the bookstore, but the big beautiful antique sign from my peripheral vision while driving, changed my plans today.

I hit self-care’s jackpot!

Farmhouse-East Nashville


If only you could have witnessed the semblance of joy exuding from my body, as I made a quick u turn into junk Disneyland.  I was so excited to walk in that store.

I was there for over an hour, studying each piece and thinking about it’s history, while silently contemplating where I would put things and how I could convince my husband that I needed all the things I wanted to buy.


i just settled on one thing though, in the end; a chair.

I managed to bargain the price down to 15$ from 20$ (should have said 10, oh well), and me and the hot new seat were off to the bookstore;  no, no we weren’t.

I stumbled across another antique store around the corner and it is by far the most fun, eclectic, and beautiful shop ever.

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OMG (old made good)

Its called OMG ( old made good-love that name), and the shop owner was so cool, that we even struck up a convo about entrepreneurship and being creative- great times.

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself today.


I ended my day with a trip to Home Depot for a few DIY items for my new chair, then went home to find that my irritability that I have been having more of lately ( a symptom of depression), was back to rear it’s ugly head, and my kids whining, was a huge part of my trigger.

Depression, as my counselor would say, likes to hang on to the negative, and make me think that the return of the irritability made the day a bad day, but I beg to differ.

Today was a good day, and I’ve come a long way.



Schooling Relapse

I felt like I was in highschool, finally starting a new year, even closer to fleeing from the pettiness of adolescence, and transitioning onto a new stage in life; it was the first day of school. Although I was nervous as a cat ( that is if cats even get nervous; well it sounded good enough to say), it wasn’t the woes of highschool I was facing today, instead, it was a routine walk down a familiar path that I had visited a few times before; college.  The bachelors’ degrees have been obtained, the master degree was finished in one piece, and for some crazy hope on faith, I felt that it was necessary to apply for a PhD program, because that’s what people who are severely depressed, normally do right?!  I’m sure it’s not common, and I’ve encountered my fair share of strong urges not to embark on this mentally taxing journey, for the sake of my sanity, but through all the frustration and tears depression has brought me for so many months now, I couldn’t help but still ask myself: “Why not get a PhD?!”

Yeah I’m depressed.  Yeah it’s an unpredictable illness, filled with moments of really low lows, making a temporary feeling seem extremely real, as well as permanent, but my life isn’t temporary;  I’m here permanently, at least for the time being, so why not live while I am yet living, because I can? Depression tries really hard to say I am encapable of living, but these trials are just like any other trials in life, trials that I would normally deal with, accept, and move on.  So I’m doing just that; dealing with it and moving on, cause why the heck not?


So much confidence I had, as I walked down the familiar halls of the same prestigious university I received my prior education.  Everything was going so well; I woke up on time, got out of the house on time, the sun was shining, and I didn’t break a sweat, avoiding ruining my beautifully picked out power outfit, meant with hopes of boosting my mood ( Green is the new black). All was well in the brain and body of Dominique, until I walked into the small and very intimate classroom, with less than 10 students, and immediately felt my heart start to take off running, and the perspiration start to shimmer, as reality set in and I was reminded that I was ACTUALLY starting a PhD program. Anxiety was like, Yo, did you forget I lived inside of you?!  Yes Anxiety, I was coping well before you showed up, letting the warm breeze and gorgeous scenery surrounding me on campus, be my mindfulness, distracting me from the dark cloud that hovers over me daily.


Duh, Dominique, you have to introduce yourself, you have to talk about your research proposal, and yes, this IS happening!  It was like my mind was on an island, oblivious to the outside world, but thrown suddenly into an altered sense of reality, like I was a character on Lost; oh how I miss that show.  I was too far gone at that point, suddenly forgetting all that I had accomplished in my career, confused about my phenomenon of interest, as though I hadn’t thoroughly thought it out and drawn a concept map displaying the research I had already started on; my words were jumbled at times, and I just wanted to get through with introductions, all five of them.  I was my own worst critic, making something out of nothing, silently telling myself that the faculty and fellow aspiring scholars, were judging me and mentally recording how unintelligent I was; thank you anxiety, you have been a real nuisance lately!  Finally, the lowness of depression and emotional roller coaster of tears and screams have calmed down, only to let anxiety have its way; is it the medicine I’m on, or just another problem?  I’m not sure, but I knew after the second introduction speech, I had to cope and get it together.

So I coped, remembering the guidance of my therapist telling me to differentiate between reality or facts, and anxiety.  The storm of chaos was definitely anxiety, no doubt about it.  So I played this game of silent mental inquiry, as each student continued to tell everybody about how great they are and what they can contribute to society; fascinating individuals I must say. As I played this mind game, the situation oddly didn’t seem that bad.

Who cares what they think! I’m here for a reason! I’m intelligent and I know my stuff!

So I began to feed off of this positivity, as my heart rate began to slow and the intense breathing calmed.  What a difference coping made, using the skills that I have recently learned from simply seeking help.  Recognizing that I had a problem, not being in denial about it, owning it in that moment, and letting the angst live in an odd harmony with my life, got me to a place where I wasn’t bolting for the exit, holding back tears as I call my husband, feeling defeated and hopeless.

Praise the Lord!

Today was a victory, a new beginning, a coupling of a dark journey with a positively challenging journey, but a victory nonetheless; I didn’t let the effects of my relapse keep me from pursuing my goal, keep me from going back to school.

Relapse didn’t defeat me, I am defeating relapse.

Terrior “A Sense of Place”

I now understand why my Psychiatrist looked at me with such concern, when I told him that I was having surgery.  I didn’t think anything of his few seconds of blank staring, as if he wanted me to respond to his nonverbal cues with the same sentiment; the only thing I could concentrate on at the time, was the fear of being put to sleep by anesthesia, and the irony of how awful I would feel after having such a much needed, as well as appreciated surgery.  Dr. B proceeded to explain to me that the stress of the surgery could “temporarily” cause my mood to take a hit, but honestly, even after two months of trialing a new prescription with not much influence, how much worse could my mood get.  So, I just listened intently to his concerns, agreed to increase my prescription dose, and accepted this “temporary” mood storm he described, that would add to my current category two to three hurricane of daily emotions.

Well, Dr. B’s weather prediction reign true.  It’s been a little over a week since my surgery, and to say that it hasn’t been a storm of a time, would be a complete and utter lie; I’m miserable.  The strides I had made prior to surgery, just seem like very distant memories, and the intensity of fog, made up of irritability and anger, has made me teeter on the brink of throwing in the towel.  Of course I’m not giving up, because Dr. B said this would be temporary and my onemillenialsguide therapist David, suggested that depression be treated like a toddler, so I have all the evidence I need to push to fight to the end, but sadly, some days, not much willpower due to this new storms’ depletion of my strength.  Saturday was a bad day and Sunday continued those bad vibes, threatening mine and my husband’s emotional ability, to have enough strength to try and enjoy a party that I had planned months ago.

I’ve always known that when I make plans, depression laughs, but that’s why I make plans, because though I may have to wrestle with depression putting me in an emotional casket, impeding me from seeing any possibility of enjoying my plans, I still HAVE to do it; I’m a mother, a wife, a family member, and a friend, and they need me to LIVE inspite of this illness.  But living, doing things in this life, is painful at times, knowing that you just crawled into a corner and cried out of no where, about nothing, 10 minutes ago, and now you have to put on a brave face and smile, be excited to entertain at a birthday party, at a beautiful vineyard, acting as if everything is all good; you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, you don’t want to have to explain how you feel, you don’t want to ruin everyone else from having a good time, and you certainly don’t want your daughter to look back on her life and question why she didn’t have a first birthday party.  So, we drove 30 minutes from our home in Nashville, to the beautiful grounds of Arrington Vineyards.

Arrington Vineyards, Arrington, TN

Was I anxious for no reason at all? Yes.  Did I want to just go back home and crawl into my bed, so that the day would be a memory? Yes.  But, as soon as we drove through those beautiful black, iron gates of the vineyard, I started to feel less of the desire to be in that bed.  What changed my mood? Arrington; the only thing I could concentrate on was the gorgeous scenery before me, instead of the treachery internally.


Seeing our friends and family, feeling the unusually cool breeze on my skin, watching Sydney enjoy the nature she so loves, and knowing that Sage was getting the honor she deserved for her presence in our life for a whole year now, made me smile a smile that was far from forced.  The discomfort of my wounds from surgery, became the internal struggle of new, which I didn’t mind and hardly noticed, due to how much I enjoyed being in my element.  I love wine, I love vineyards, and I love unique gatherings, such as the one we had in this ‘sense of place’, on a beautiful Sunday evening.  It was mindfulness at its best.  The birds chirping elegantly as we sung happy birthday to Sage, resounded above the beautiful vines of grapes, the sweet aroma of the honeysuckle white wine, aroused a hearty sentiment amongst the group, and the greenery surrounding us, was utterly tantalizing.


Derrick and I couldn’t help but take a moment to be thankful, thankful for having what little willpower we had left in that day, to fight the woes of depression, and attend the party we had earnestly planned so long ago.  We were beyond satisfied with our experience.

An experience we may have never had, had we given into the destructive tendencies of hurricane depression.


This temporary storm may keep raging, and though  I may continue to get beat up, I am encouraged to fight on, because there is ‘a sense of place’ beyond what my cloudy mind can see.

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Barn on a Hill

It’s midday, on a beautiful afternoon in August, 1975.  The sharp silhouette of a quaint little barn is visible from a distance.  Mae, the care free descendant of hardworking farmers, sits quietly on the green grass, as she sweeps away her wind blown hair to gaze with appreciation at her forever gift in the distance. She never imagined she would own a home at 21, a home she inherited from a distant relative she had no idea she had made such a lasting impression on.  Mae was an artist, a walking poem, with so much talent, that it didn’t amaze the people of the small rural town of Leipers Fork, that she was endowed with the most enchanting barn in the land.  She had no close family, but she lived a life with such gratitude and joy, that the warm decor of her forever barn, decorated with photos of healthy gatherings and feasts of celebrations, appeared as though she had all the family in the world.

She was happy.  She had three chickens, one cow, and one goat, with no idea how to care for them or make a living off of their natural wealth, but as she lay face down on the hill wondering where her new life would take her, she had no worries; no concern about who she would share this new life with or what career path she would take.  She was free and the birds and the wind sang her a lullaby, as she gently rested her head on the grass, and drifted off to sleep.

*this is a fictional depiction of what I imagined when I took 5 minutes to exercise mindfulness through photography.  This is a new coping mechanism I am trying, by combining my love for the art of photography, writing, and mindfulness, I’m able to focus and get my mind away from the cares of this life and my fight with depression.  Before writing this, I felt my mood drop drastically, to a point where I had no control over it and I felt like I was bored with life.  But once I started imagining that I was in a fictional novel, and I could be whoever I wanted to be and write whatever I wanted to write, I could feel the veil of boredom lift.

Try this new way of practicing mindfulness, and share how it made you feel.

David Arms Gallery| Leipers Fork, Franklin, TN

Higher than a High-Rise


Since mindfulness is a practice introduced to me by my therapist, most recently, in order to create some consistency in actually practicing it, I’ve decide to make Monday’s #mindfulnessinmycity.  I love the art of photography, and though I am not a skilled or professional photographer, I like experimenting with capturing photos of things around Nashville, that may seem simple, but speak a great deal to me.  It’s fun, at least for me, to go to an art gallery and gaze at the colors, follow the movement in the strokes from the brush of the artist you may never meet, and create your own interpretation of its meaning.  The same can be said about the art of photography.

Analyzing pictures that I have taken recently and in the past, gives me at least five minutes of clarity.  My therapist, who I will call from here on out AM, suggested that I try to do something that I enjoyed BD (before depression), in hopes that the lack of motivation would lessen and the interest would increase.  I love the five minute rule.  It’s not too much of a commitment and definitely short enough to be far from a chore.  It doesn’t always work when I’m having the lowest of lows, but when the energy is on the brink of falling dramatically, those five minutes save me.

I’ve chosen this picture above as my first Monday #mindfulnessinmycity post yesterday, because I think it captures Nashville in a way that screams sex in the city meets country living.  My sister isn’t the biggest fan of my obsession with taking photos, but the photos she doesn’t see me taking of her are my favorite.  I imagine that she is in a space of utter silence.  The traffic that encircles her with conversations about drinking their way down Broadway, and excessive honking by individuals who are anxious to get home after a long day, doesn’t seem to phase her.

She is content.  She has no responsibilities and the world is at her command; she has complete control over this moment in time.  The way the buildings tower over as though they are the weight of life, don’t bother her.  The weight of life is just that; the weight of life.  The shadows and darkness that weight has the potential to impart, is overshadowed by the brightness of the clouds and the clearness of the blue skies above her.

She’s riding the high of contentment with life, and the windows of the high-rises reflect that high.

If you would like to share your photos of #mindfulnessinmycity and your thoughts about what that picture says to you, as well as comment about the clarity it brings you, please let me know!