Hi there! My name is Gem H. and I am 28 years old originally from Guyana, South America. My parents studied in the United States and that is how I found my way back to pursue my college education. I completed my undergraduate Psychology degree in 2006 at Columbus State University in Columbus Georgia and went on to complete my Master’s in Community Counseling at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Afterwards I worked as a therapist in Montgomery, AL for about two years. I just recently resigned and have relocated to Georgia. Next stop…your guess is as good as mine! This year has been a very tough year for me and the challenges have been endless. Nothing but God’s grace has kept me pushing on. My mantra has been “one day at a time”. Being a part of Radical 7even will definitely give me the push I need during this transition, along with inspiration, motivation and support of my beautiful sisters.
Join me as I strive to learn and grow with the following goals:
1) Better manage my stress level/anxiety and need for control- I am an anxious person. I have struggled with anxiety for more than half my life. I spend alot of time worrying and “freaking out” about things. I have always been a planner and having things in order brings me joy. But alas! The world doesn’t revolve around me and my laundry list of to do’s and to don’ts. I want to actively work on letting go and letting God. To start this off I have begun to have my favorite bible verses on notecards and memorized so that I can repeat them to myself at times when I feel overwhelmed and anxious. I have kept a journal since I was about 8 years old. I have boxes and boxes of old journals from the past 20 years. Recently I let my stress level (and the devil) keep me from writing as much. Journaling has consistently been therapeutic over the years for me in helping with my anxiety and stress. I would like to get back to journaling daily-as I did before…if not at least 3 times a week.
2) Be more open to change- Change- I want to accept it, embrace it and most of all learn from it. God is the author of my life and his ending is always victory. In my spiritual walk, I want to continue to strengthen my faith by partaking in anything (like Radical 7even) that can bring me closer to God and remind me of his promises.
3) Exploring alternative methods to improving health- I have struggled for many years with debilitating migraines. I have tried many conventional medications, interventions and techniques but either got no relief or short term relief.After numerous doctor visits, I was diagnosed with a neurological condition called Chiari Malformation in 2008 and had brain surgery.It has been challenging since then coping with the pain and how much it has changed my day to day activities. I would like to explore as much as possible alternative ways to manage pain.
4) Reaching out to other people more- I became a therapist because I actually thrive on listening to other people and trying to help them find direction and I feel as though I am very empathetic and non-judgmental. I like being the one people reached out to. This year I recognized that relationships cannot be that one sided and it’s important to let people know that you need support. I am no longer pretending that I have all my ducks in a row, my life is perfect and I don’t need help. Truth is my ducks are not in a row, maaaan…I can’t even find some of my ducks. My life is far from perfect and I need all the help I can get! I almost backed out of Radical 7even. I thought “I don’t want to talk about what’s bugging me. I don’t want people to know” but then I also thought that the devil looooooooves it when you try to step out of your comfort zone and then back out at the 11th hour. So no backing out this time.
5) I would like to pay off my two credit cards and completely get rid of one of them!
6) I would like to get my own place. This is the first time in almost 9 years that I have lived with a relative. I am very used to having my own place and being self sufficient. I know that right now given many of the changes that have taken place this is where I need to be. I hope to be able to be in a position to get back on my feet again and have a space that I can call my own.
7) Widen my palette. I have a severe milk allergy and then on top of that I am a picker eater. I have always been scared to try new foods because I wasn’t sure of the ingredients in them. It has happened before that someone told me that a product contained no diary and then moments later I’m covered in hives and gasping for air. So needless to say going out to eat gives me the hibbie jibbies but I will try to find out ahead of time from restaurant management about food ingredients. (I have never done this before because I felt like it was too much hassle- I will do it now!)
To help reduce this fear of new foods- I will learn to cook new recipes and also explore diary alternatives for cooking ingredients. This way I know what I am putting in it and if it tastes insanely gross I have no one to blame but myself 🙂
Thank you for joining me on this journey!