On Dr. Maya Angelou’s Passing…

It has now been a few days since the death of Dr. Maya Angelou. Many of us grew up either having heard of or actually having read her poems and books, and being inspired by them, wowed by her words and the imagery they invoke, the emotions you felt that mirrored Maya’s as she imparted all that she had experienced. I won’t get into all of that here since everyone else already has; Dr. Angelou’s reputation definitely preceded her and has made of her a legend, almost a hero of sorts. Even the mere mention of her name commands attention, respect. 

The hats she wore throughout her life were many and varied: poet, authoress, mother, dancer, activist, teacher, but indeed her biggest contribution was opening the door for Black female authors and giving us the confidence to open ourselves up and speak our minds and our hearts, just as she did. In so doing, she set herself apart while at the same time uniting us and reminding us that we are all threads of the same fabric, of the tapestry that has been woven through time. In her voice I heard class, grace, strength, willpower, justice, drive, compassion, wisdom, and knowledge. That voice has been silenced, but will echo in her writing forever.

I’ve become sort of desensitized over the years in regards to what some not so affectionately call “hallmark holidays”, but mother’s day still causes twinges of pain and tears, for a myriad of reasons that I won’t get into here. But on this Mother’s day, it hit me that even though I am not raising my children, I still feel like I can celebrate myself on this day along with all the mothers and mother figures in my life because I gave the best parts of myself to others who found it in their hearts to give homes and love to children who were not born of their own bodies. In this respect, they not only received my children into their hearts, but pieces of my own heart as well. For that I am forever grateful. A good friend of mine put it beautifully and succinctly when she said, “You knew your limitations and still gave your children the stars.”  

Going, going…(almost) gone…

I know I’ve kept pretty mum about it…well, not really, but yeah…I’m moving to NYC next Tuesday. I’m still broke, and no I don’t have a job waiting for me, but fuck it…I’m almost 32 years old and life is short so why shouldn’t I live it where I want to, right? This is something I’ve been wanting to do for the past almost 5 years, so why continue to wait until the “perfect time” when I know that the perfect time will never come?

To say that I am excited would be an understatement..and to say that I’m scared would be an even bigger one. The only thing that my fear mainly stems from is not being able to find a job…I do realize that we are in a recession right now and I don’t have many marketable skills, but I feel that my taking a step (a leap) out on faith will carry me for the time being. Call me crazy, but I have a good feeling about this. Only time will tell. If anything, this will make for great blog fodder, right? So, here’s to new beginnings…

(Let’s just hope I get over this damned flu by next Tuesday… *sigh*)


New York may not need me, but I need New York…



sometimes i think i’m turning into someone i hate, but then i realize that i am loving myself enough to be myself instead of being what i think i should be. if that makes sense. it probably doesn’t to you, but it does to me, and that’s all that matters. 

An update of sorts…

I’d like to catch you up on a couple of things. First of all, I am highly pleased to share that my friend Anthony Haynes was not executed by the State of Texas on October the 18! He was granted a stay by the Supreme Court literally hours before he was to be executed, and they will be re-reviewing his case. We are praying for a new trial and a favorable verdict. Praise God! This is truly a blessing.

Things are going amazingly well. There have been a couple of minor hiccups but for the most part, all is well. I’m so glad that the weather is starting to change! I am so over summer and high temperatures, and it was getting to be a little ridiculous. Lately the high has been in the low-to-mid 80s, but that’s still too warm for mid-to-late October, don’t you think? It’s past time for some Fall-like weather! You already know it will warm up again after a few days, but it won’t be quite as warm. I’ll take it!

Speaking of changes, I am truly excited because my life is about to change drastically within the next 3 months…just a couple of hours ago, I purchased my one-way flight to NYC via LaGuardia Airport on January 30 2013. From there, on to an M-60 bus which will take me to my new home in Harlem. I’ve already notified my landlord, roommate, family and friends, and as far as my job is concerned, I’ve given verbal notification and have drawn up a resignation letter. I’d be lying if I said I am not scared, but for once in my life, the anticipation of change far outweighs my fear of change.

The events of the last few years have set in motion a plan, a plan which I didn’t even know existed until quite recently. Moving to NYC is something that I’ve wanted for about five years now, and,  with the help of some friends (you know who you are), I finally decided that I’d might as well go ahead and just do it. So, to my friends and family: All of you have been so supportive and helpful to me in coming to this decision and, most importantly, helping me to make it happen, as well. I really don’t know what I’d do without you all pushing me and pressing me on and giving me encouragement when I let doubt take over, and I am grateful for y’all.

 When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coehlo

I am also grateful for the realistic viewpoints, advice and information that I’ve obtained from various sources on the internet along the way. I have pages and pages of job leads; I’ve also been working on updating my resume, because after being at my current job for the last six years, even though I had previously updated and tailored it to suit the requirements of the part-time positions for which I was applying, it still needed a bit of tweaking.

So, I’m ready. All I have to do now is figure out what’s going with me and what’s staying here for my current roommate to ship to me once I get settled. I’m looking forward to my internship and also to the opportunities that await me. Houston will always be my home but every little bird has to leave the nest at some point, right?

If it’s still in your mind, it’s worth taking the risk. – Paulo Coehlo

I need a vacati…

I need a vacation…preferably a stay-away-cation…my recent ruminations are violations of the overall peace that has kept me from suicidal ideation…

“Four walls…inside my head…”

I think, out of all the “followers” this blog has, maybe only two or three people actually read what I post here. But that’s okay. This blog is more for me than anyone else, hence the title, “Therapy is Effin’ Expensive”. Having the ability to put my thoughts out into the blogosphere and possibly putting a smile on someone’s face or inspire them in some shape, form, or fashion is a huge bonus for me. 

So with that having been said…

I opened my laptop, my browser, and this page with tears streaming down my face. The tears have since dried but the ugliness still stares out from behind my eyes, urging me, begging me to put fingers to keyboard…but I’m fighting with myself, and have been for a while now. want to write, I need to write…to get it all out, but at the same time, I know writing about it will force me to stand face-to-face with the shit I’ve managed to keep crammed far down inside of me for the last almost thirteen years. In spite of that, I have this marrow-deep knowing that the time has come for me to free myself of the grief and the guilt that has now started to bubble to the surface. The thoughts, the memories threaten to boil over violently, in a rage as if to say, “How DARE you try to run from your past? No, you must deal with this in order to move on, to live….to live FULLY.” 

Even after all of that, I’m still struggling. It’s funny the things that I’m willing to put out there and share about myself with others…I’m very open about my past drug use along with other experiences that have shaped me into the woman I am today, some of which could be considered “unsavory” to the average person–and no, I don’t particularly give a shit what anyone thinks of me–but I have a hard time talking about certain aspects of my life, not because I’m concerned about what people may say or think, but because, like I mentioned above, I am afraid of how all these feelings rushing into my brain and heart at one time will end. Will I just explode? Maybe so, but isn’t that better than imploding?

And so, I’ve successfully skirted the issue(s) once again…I don’t mean to keep in suspense the three of you who actually read this blog, but I’m literally emotionally exhausted and I really don’t have the energy to go further into any of this right now. But no need to worry about me, I’m okay. I’m good, actually, because now I can see a light at the end of the tunnel. I just have to be strong enough to continue to walk through it in order to get to the other side. 

Hang in there with me.


This post is about a dream I had about a year ago…I’d posted it in my notes on Facebook but I figured it needs to go here.

I’ve always had lucid dreams that I can remember for hours and even days after I actually have them. I used to keep a dream journal but I have no clue as to where it could be now. While I slept on Monday, I was a passive observer in a dream in which I died…I was having lunch with my aunt and uncle at Au Bon Pain and it was so awesome because for years my aunt and I have had a distant relationship at best so to be able to sit down and have lunch with her and everything go well was a great sign. I’ve had dreams about my aunt several times over the past several years; some good, some bad, so I didn’t think anything of it, really. We laughed and talked about everything under the sun and then some; she even joked about the fact that I still loved macaroni and cheese (ABP’s mac and cheese isdabomb.com)had the same huge appetite that I’d always had and how she used to think I’d end up weighing 300 pounds and she’d have to put me on a diet like she did when I was a little girl. It was almost idyllic.

The time came for us to leave, and it was raining out, so I volunteered to go get the car and pull it up to the front so they wouldn’t have to walk in the rain. I walked over to the car and was unlocking the door when an SUV turned down that side of the street and must have lost control on the slick street because the next thing I knew, I was smashed up on the side of my uncle’s car, crushed between the two vehicles. I watched the driver look around frantically as if to see who saw what happened; he tried to drive off but for some reason his tire had blown out (probably from the impact) and he was unable to leave. A couple seconds later, some people came out of the restaurant to see what had happened and then I saw my aunt and uncle run towards me. Someone must have called 911 because I could hear the sirens of an ambulance and the last thing I saw before passing out was it coming around the corner.

In my dream, I watched as the paramedics jumped out of the back of the ambulance and look at my unconscious body piteously as if to say “It’s already too late.” One of the medics pulled out a stretcher and a black body bag. “Is that for me?” I thought. Several tow trucks had arrived onto the scene by that time and one positioned itself in front of the SUV that had hit me and began to lift it out of the way so the paramedics would have better access to me. My aunt and uncle watched helplessly as the paramedics worked on me…one of them put two fingers to the side of my neck to check for a pulse…he nodded at his partner…I was still alive, but barely. They brought out a stability board, strapped me on, put it on the stretcher and wheeled me over to the ambulance and put me in. My uncle’s car was damaged so another tow truck towed it off and they both got into the back of the ambulance with me. My aunt grabbed one of my hands and my uncle rubbed my head while the paramedics worked on me. They hooked me up to oxygen, stuck all kinds of needles in my arms but I could feel myself slipping away. I could hear the heart monitor start to slow down and as I looked on, the squiggly lines weren’t squiggling anymore, and a long beep emitted from the machine. I was gone. I watched as my aunt and uncle both broke down and cried as the paramedics told them that my death was most likely due to internal injuries, I watched as the paramedics put me into the body bag and wheeled me from the ambulance and into the morgue…I looked on while my aunt made funeral arrangements and I even tried to tell her that since they couldn’t bury me next to my mother, I wanted to be cremated but of course she couldn’t hear me. I watched as my friends and family filed into the funeral home at my wake to view my body and cried right along with them as they said their goodbyes, and I stood by my grave while they lowered by body into it. 

The dream was wild because I was watching everything happen, and most people say that your dreams are in slow-motion, but this was all in real time, and it seemed so real to me that it freaked me out. I know that dreams aren’t to be taken literally, as in I know that I’m not going to die because of the dream, but when I looked up the interpretation of the dream, it said:

“To dream that you die in your dream symbolizes inner changes, transformation, self-discovery and positive development that is happening within you or your life. You are undergoing a transitional phase and are becoming more enlightened or spiritual. Although such a dream may bring about feelings of fear and anxiety, it is no cause for alarm as it is often considered a positive symbol.  Dreams of experiencing your own death usually means that big changes are ahead for you. You are moving on to new beginnings and leaving the past behind. These changes does not necessarily imply a negative turn of events. Metaphorically, dying can be seen as an end or a termination to your old ways and habits. So, dying does not always mean a physical death, but an ending of something. On a negative note, to dream that you die may represent involvement in deeply painful relationships or unhealthy, destructive behaviors. You may be feeling depressed or feel strangled by a situation or person in your waking life. Perhaps your mind is preoccupied with someone who is terminally ill or dying. Alternatively, you may be trying to get out of some obligation, responsibility or other situation. You are desperately trying to escape from the demands of your daily life.”

I’m really trying to get to the bottom of the meaning behind the dream because the fact that it was so vivid, so real, and has stuck in my brain tells me that someone is trying to tell me something, but I am not 100% sure how I should take it.

I hate when inspiration wakes me up.

Most people who know me know my struggles with addiction. For those of you who know me and didn’t know, well, now you do. Congratulations. You’ve unlocked another facet of Zandria.

Anyway, back then you couldn’t have told me I was an addict. Nope. I went from recreational cocaine use to habitual use to addiction, and, looking back, the progression seemed to occur in a very short amount of time. But you couldn’t tell me I was an addict. I worked two jobs, went to school, hung out with friends, ate little, slept even less, but it was all good because I was functional. My mother was an addict. She ate, slept, and breathed crack cocaine. Me? I could do without cocaine. A few days here, a couple of weeks there, no big deal.

I was not an addict. I had my shit together. Addicts sell their bodies, their souls, their children’s clothes and toys, and sometimes…their children…to chase that feeling. And oh what a feeling it was. It did get to a point to where it seemed I couldn’t function without something running through my bloodstream, something other than blood. Whether it be coffee, cigarettes, food, ecstasy, marijuana, soda, sugar…SOMETHING. Anything to keep me UP and going…the marijuana was to bring me back down.

Why do alcoholics and addicts throw their lives away in pursuit of a feeling? Is there another more subterranean need, deeper and more pervasive than the need for the immediate rush of the substance, that informs the whole enterprise of addiction in a more comprehensive way? Is coming apart, self-destruction, seemingly so unhealthy, an impulse that seeks “health” of a different kind…? A strange, mysterious health not yet defined in the context of our strictly positive notions of growth and development,

I couldn’t just quit. I was expressing a repressed need that craved self destruction. As my favorite rapper, Joe Budden, said in his freestyle, “Self-destructive, I love it, anything that abuses me amuses me.”…truer words have never been spoken, especially in my case. Looking back, I can say that can apply to my past relationships with men and with drugs..and sometimes these were interchangeable and not separate beings. If you really know me, you know exactly what I mean. There were people in my head that wanted me dead. It’s complicated; I’m uneducated. Too educated. I’ve been told all my life that I’m too smart for my own good and God help me, I still haven’t yet figured out what the hell that means. I think too much. I’m a sensitive soul and my self-destructive acts are merely echoes of a larger global catastrophe. It’s not me, it’s my brain chemistry. I’m trapped in the grasp of archetypal patterns of behavior and misbehavior.

As you can see, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. But my lack of certainty regarding causation is not a case for meaninglessness. It’s quite the opposite. A lack of certainty clears the place where meanings fill, full of meanings, bursting with questions and today it occurs to me that my suffering resides only in my certainty about its source, that there’s joy to be found in moving along.