Picture it, Dallas…2018. I’m on my couch with the TV on CNN which happens to be muted. Macbook in my lap and I was watching The Red Table talk which is a Facebook series starring Jada Pinkett-Smith, Willow Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Jones. Before I started watching the show I was in good spirits. My day went relatively well at work. And there is a pepperoni pizza awaiting me on the stove! All is good. Suddenly there is a complete shift in my mood. My anxiety starts to ascent consequently causing my eyes to well up followed by a tightness in my chest and an extreme sense of sadness.

I immediately search the corners of my mind to determine the cause of the change I felt feeling mentally and physically. So I determined that the shift was initiated by what I was watching. The episodes on the Red Table dealt with race relations amongst women and the 2nd was about Motherhood. As a man, I could not directly relate to either topic but they touched me in a way that caused my emotional state to take a turn.

I’ll be honest and say I am not sure where this post leads or the objective of jotting this down. However, I do want to touch on the importance of recognizing and handling mental shifts. I’ve often described myself as “moody.” I can be happy one minute and the next I am sad or pissed off! There are instances whereby I had no clue as to what put the wheels in motion. Often times in therapy, I’ve been asked “why do you think your mood changes.” My go to answer is “I don’t know.” In this moment tonight I wanted to identify the root cause.

As I’ve matured, I’ve learned directly or indirectly how to handle the ebbs and flows my emotions. If I can be transparent, a great deal of my issues stem from lack of confidence, low self-worth, loneliness, need for companionship, and insecurities just to name a few. Since I have made the conscious decision to take the reins of my life and how I choose live it without regard of others, I have been able to manage my moods better. This conscience decision has led me to be in a more happier place. Don’t get it twisted, there are times when I need a little more help. That help takes on the form of a good ol’ Xanax and or Zoloft. I don’t care what anyone says, there are some things we can’t remedy in our own strength. There is nothing wrong with getting a little aide from medicine. I found myself trying to remedy my issues with alcohol which wasn’t healthy or doing me any favors in my physical appearance. Friends and medical professions suggest exercise can help with stress and anxiety. Well I can’t attest to that because the Lord has not let me to the gym yet. Have your way God!

One important thing that I have learned in managing my mood swings is how I deal with others. Unfortunately some friends or love ones have caught the ugly side of me when I am over the edge. It’s not a pretty sight. To my defense, I think I’ve grown exponentially in terms of how I treat my people when I am down in the dumps. Now, I am more apt to tell them how I feel or even let them know that hey this is not a good time for me. Let me get back with you when I mind is right. In the past I would snap, not disclose what was truly going on or even shutdown. That was bogus and harmful. When you know better, you do better.

If I had to summarize this post, I would encourage you all to do the following:

  1. Understand what causes you to get into a funk or a bad mood.

  2. If you have the ability to change the environment or situation that has triggered you, move around. Get to a safe place mentally.

  3. Breathe.

  4. Pray and or mediate.

  5. Once you’ve identified the problem, allow yourself to feel those emotions but don’t stay there for long. Find something to lift your spirits whether it’s music, watching funny videos online, exercising…whatever. Do it quick!

  6. Let the people around you know what’s going on in a clear, concise but respectable manner. Don’t cause innocent bystanders to become collateral damage.

  7. If none of these work, you may want to see a physician. Advise them your issues especially if it’s on-going. If medication is prescribed, take it as directed. You are not weak because you are taking medicine for your mind!

Go in Peace!