My 20s were Sleepless for the most part. In my 30s however I can actually sleep most nights each week.

I am healing myself in my 30s because put simply getting sleep is restoring me to health. I sleep so well in my 30s that it’s a gift from God. Hallelujah for Sleep at Night! Thank you Jesus for sleep. I remember I was about to snap one day after there was backlash from the white clients about the poetry I shared at the 2012 AAMH Client Awards. I still remember Shumayl asking me if I would be interested in sharing my poetry at the 2012 AAMH Client Awards. I still remember Joy too. Joy used to be my counselor when I attended the program. I remember Joy choosing what poems I should share and the Langston Hughes poem I shared The Negro Speaks of Rivers along with two of my own poems I wrote in the Poetry group at program. I was about to snap and a supernatural peace washed over me. I almost burst into tears one day at program but the peace that washed over me let me know God was with me in all my pain and difficulty. I know God walks with me. I am never alone and I can sleep too! I sleep almost every night of the week. Sometimes I wake up at 4am or 5am suddenly but I usually am able to go back to sleep until 7am or 8am.

“Have a baby” something I want to do.

I want to have a baby by age 40. I want a baby. It doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl. If it’s a girl I’m going to call her Moriah and if it’s a boy I’m going to call him Abdul or Asa. I really love the idea of giving birth to a baby girl or a baby boy. I want a baby so badly. I am not sexually active but once I find a partner I plan to ask him if he wants kids. As long as my partner wants kids we’ll have a baby! Moriah if it’s a girl. Abdul or Asa if it’s a boy.

I can relate to Struggles. I have know Difficulty. It’s a part of my experience in my life.

I remember when I went to cast my vote at Village Elementary School. I felt like oh no something is going to happen. I just felt Difficulty coming my way. Fortunately nothing happened. It’s just a part of me being Ayesha or being me that sometimes in  my life I am going to be doing everything I know to do and Difficulty or Struggle will be right around the corner. From trying to pay for my things separately from my mom (on my own) to wondering why certain cards I still can’t get approved to get in my own name at 36 years old. This is my struggle this is my difficulty. That and I have a mental illness that I will struggle with until I die. Oh and the last thing is my self harm hallucinations that Dr.M documented. I know I don’t want to harm myself but I get these visual self harm hallucinations all day until I fall asleep every night. Thank God for me that I sleep so well in my 30s that I can function well even with the Difficulties I have. I sleep well!

My inner voice (my inner strength)

I have never been a popular person. I have had cool things happen to me in my 30s so far. I became connected to Edvige Giunta the Sicilian American memoirist and Professor of English at NJCU. Edi is such a sweet person. She cares about me. She just sent me a Happy Birthday wish on Facebook. I really like Edi.  I am writing a memoir I call Ayesha’s Story. The SZ Memoirs is the subtitle.  All of my life for whatever reason there were people that didn’t like me. Now I know if a person doesn’t like Black people they will never like me and I’m okay with that. I am 36 years old now. Whenever a person I am connected to in which I value the relationship I have to sometimes worry about the other people who are also connected to the person. I remember in my teens and 20s feeling like something was wrong with me but now that feeling is gone. Now I can say I really like myself. I just got some expensive costume jewelry for myself as a 36th birthday gift. Oh and I have a jewelry pick up at Zales the diamond store. I got name earrings on Zales.com that say Ayesha.

22 years in February (next month) since I was diagnosed with Paranoid SZ. (SZ is for Schizophrenia)

It will be 22 years next month (February 2017) since I was diagnosed a Paranoid Schizophrenic by a woman doctor. I remember Edi Giunta connecting Vania and I. Vania did a paper that she interviewed me for once over the phone and the other time in the room right outside of the NJCU English Dept in 2016. I am writing a Schizophrenia Memoir. Edi calls it my Schizophrenia Autobiography affectionately. Edi is amazing. I am a member of the NJCU Writers Workshop. It is new! I asked Edi if I could be a part of it and she said sure Ayesha you can. I am so happy that I will have 120 pages by next January 2018. I need 60,000 words to have a book Edi said. I am working on my memoir. I call it Ayesha’s Story:The SZ Memoirs.

I accepted a few years ago “Ayesha everybody is not going to like you” and that is okay.

There are so many amazing people that I am connected to. From pastor Josh of 217 church to the woman Yolanda (she’s two years older than I am) who runs the 217 kids and tots ministry to memoirist: Professor Edvige Giunta, to the people I work with and for in the DREAM program at Mercer and the people at NAMI Mercer NJ like Madeline Monheit, Suzanne Gross, Barbara Eget, Louise Beste and others. I also have a leadership role in Just Friends social group. I love that! I have no issues with the way people either react to or think about me. For every person that likes and welcomes me there seem to be fifteen that for whatever reason don’t like me. I learned to be okay with that as a 35 year old woman but as a child, as a teenager and yes even in my 20s it was hard for me to accept. To be honest I felt like something was wrong with me for a long time. I love myself. I believe in being kind to other people and being good to myself. I am such a self centered person but now I am trying to contribute to my “household” by helping my mother cook and by preparing breakfast and dinner a few times a week for me and for my parents. My parents are getting older. I’ll be 40 years old in four years. My parents gave me everything. I want to help them and so I helped cook dinner this Christmas and Thanksgiving. I hope I can continue helping to prepare Holiday meals,  cooking dinner a few times a week and making breakfast for myself and for my parents most mornings. My mother is approaching 60 and my step father Neil is in his mid-late 60s. I really want to help my parents. I just bought a subscription to Cooking Light magazine. I also love to watch the Cooking Channel.

I love my SZ life. SZ stands for Schizophrenia

I love my life. It’s not perfect but it is my own. I had a good time going to see Sing at AMC-24 this Saturday January 21, 2017 and going to UNOs afterward and ordering an alcoholic iced tea, a portabella mushroom burger and mashed potatoes and broccoli. Oh and the UNO Colada was out of this world. It tastes like vanilla ice cream and freshly squeezed pineapple juice. I think I’m going to lay off the alcohol except for wines and wine coolers. The next time we all get together for a movie and UNOs I’m going to have two UNO Coladas because they are non-alcoholic. For my birthday this Saturday I’m going to get some Pink Moscato! It’s raspberry Pink Mascato. I love it. My parents are getting older. My step dad Neil is in his mid-late 60s and my mom will be 60 in two years I think. I got her a cool Christmas card from the CVS pharmacy of all places and it has an African American woman on the face of the card who is slim in a cool outfit and she is saying “Hey you like my outfit I got it from Forever 71” Me and my mom laughed about it and I was so glad we could share this mother/daughter Forever 21 joke. Most people think I’m 25 and not 35. I love that. It’s in the genes.