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Introducing ShesThatRN

This blog allows me to freely express my journey as a nurse, author, speaker, writer, business owner and blogger. The title simply identifies my gift to the world as a nurse. There are so many phenomenal nurses out there who exemplify “ShesThatRN.” I guess you know by now that it specifies females, but know that I understand there are male nurses who “HesThatRN” as well. You are not forgotten and I am grateful to share my platform with you also. Let’s just be ourselves, talk about the issues, come up with solutions, and take this journey together. My blog is my opinion and my truth and I choose to share it with the world. You may agree, disagree or have no comment and that is fine. Please be mindful that when commenting, it is important to be respectful no matter your opinion. I welcome you to come along for this ride as I learn about myself and share that with you. When it’s all said and done, I am my nurse sister and brother’s keeper!

Dishonorable Discharge

I’ve been in a dead space lately. I mean, I’ve had a wonderful launch of my new business, and it was amazing, to say the least. I know I had been speaking about walking away from the bedside for a while, but I literally jumped out on faith and did it. I trust God to provide for my every need because He gave me permission to do it.

Okay, enough of that. I have been thinking a whole lot about my brother’s death. Yesterday, God spoke to me while I was in an emotional state. He said, “your brother received a dishonorable discharge.” I was like, whoah, God, what in the world does that mean?” As I quietly awaited a response, He shared some things with me. I’m going to share what he gave to me with you. So, when my brother died, it was a complete shock to us all. He had just been home (Baltimore) for a visit and was fine. We began worrying when no one heard from him, and he lived in North Carolina. Several days turned into weeks, and we discovered his death via social media. It was the town where my mom lived, and no more family was there except my brother.

I cried for weeks and couldn’t get myself together. I wanted to have a memorial service or something to celebrate his life. Now, my brother was not perfect by any means, and he lacked in so many areas due to so many reasons. But who am I to judge? I’m not because no one is perfect, and we all have our mess, right, right. My brother had no type of memorial or funeral service. This had/has me deeply saddened inside. I felt like there was no goodbye or finalization for losing a loved one. I thought about the life he led beyond being imprisoned for 21+ years. I mean, who he was at the core. He was loyal to a fault, old-fashioned, loved his family, loved his children, would fight for what he believed in, and so much more. I can, but won’t focus on any negatives. God truly saw the best in him! He received a dishonorable discharge because we didn’t honor his life after his death. It has been such a burden on my spirit that some days it’s hard for me to do anything but cry. I took some of his ashes and still have not placed them in the urn I purchased because I haven’t been able to bear it. Putting him away is so final, and I just struggle with how he died and that he died alone with no one there. And still, he is not even a second thought anymore. He is just gone.

I don’t know what I expect(ed) because memorials and funerals are for the living, not the dead. He is gone and not worried about anything anymore. But here I am, having to say goodbye without saying goodbye. There was no opportunity to verbally say a word, or goodbye, or I love you. I will come to terms eventually and have my own memorial service for him and hopefully put things to rest in my mind and heart. For now, I just feel that he was given a dishonorable discharge which I think happens only when there is no one left who cares about you. I will have to give him an honorable discharge in my own way to have peace within myself. I don’t know any other way to do it. As for today, I will continue to pray and ask God to rid me of my paralysis so that I can honor his life and legacy the way I know he would honor mine. No matter what, he was a son, brother, proud father, and even more, proud grandfather, friend, family, boyfriend, and best friend to many people, which should not be forgotten.

Moment of thought to ponder on: What kind of life are you living? Is it one that will be remembered, good or bad? Will you be a first thought, second thought, or thought at all in anyone’s mind? What will people say about you, or will you just die and have no one to care about your life or the fact that you died. I know you won’t care once you’re gone, but it’s something to consider if you’d like. Do with it what you please I’m just sharing my thoughts.

Farewell, my Brother, affectionately known as Popa

Until Next Time,

Dreams Realized

I’m so tired and sleepy until I find my mind in a constant arrhythmia of pounding. I want to close my eyes and sleep, but I feel unrested in my soul. Things are happening to me and for me. I’m right at the edge of a breakthrough, and I CAN see it. I mean, I can literally see my dreams coming true. So why does that scare me so? Why do thoughts of turning around or turning back linger in my head? Because it’s happening, and I have a choice to make. I can stand with gratitude and enjoy watching myself step into my future with God all around me. Or, I can stay where I am, lapping up the waters of self-doubt, fear, and the thousands of feelings of what if I fail, what if I’m moving too fast, what if no one comes, what if I lose everything?

I move with caution into the realm of the unknown. Not sure of what’s awaiting me just around the bend, but nervously excited. Remembering all the encouraging words I’ve spoken to people over their lives and businesses. Trying to reciprocate that to myself and for myself. I realize I’m scared and find myself fighting back these tears of fear. Life is happening, and I am apprehensive about whether I am ready to receive everything I’ve been asking for. Stop swallowing your tears and allow them to wash down your face and body like rivers of living water. You are worthy, you are love, you are deserving, you are here, and you are ready, my dear.

Push through the fear, push past the pain of uncertainty because, hunni, there’s a whole world of wonderfulness awaiting you. And while you’re contemplating every intricate detail, people are waiting to be blessed by your healing, by your hands, by your words, by your heart. What is there to fear? What exactly are you scared of? Your deepest fear is not that you are inadequate, Sharon. Your deepest fear is that you are powerful beyond measure. Come through Jesus. Who am I, Lord, that you would be mindful of me? Quite simply put, I am yours, and you are mine.

Rest in what you know, believe it when you can’t see it, and for goodness sake, don’t let “you” be the person to block your blessings. Surrendering all …

Until Next Time

ShesThatRN

Inconsistent

I find that I’m the most inconsistent person I know. Why? because I get bored really easily and sometimes things just seem tedious and I don’t feel like doing it. Quite honestly, I’d rather pay someone to do all the things I consider mundane and I think that’s okay too. At least I can identify my little idiosyncrasies. I started keto meals and got really bored with chicken all the time and cauliflower. Lord, I wish they’d make some meals with steak or something else. Even though they have burgers and salmon, the meals are pretty repetitive in nature which isn’t very exciting to me. I never considered myself exciting or wild, but I guess even I crave a little excitement in some way. Even if it is small gestures or pleasures. I would tell you that I’m going to work on being inconsistent, but I won’t lie. I don’t really know that I will, but I’m conscious of it and move when it hits and sit still when it doesn’t.

Question? Are there areas in your life where you are inconsistent? Does it bother you or are you doing fine with it being that way? Do you think things would change for the better if there was more consistency in your life? These are some questions I’m asking myself. I’ll let you know what I come up with when I figure it out. Have a wonderful evening and…

Until Next Time,

I’m Pregnant Y’all

Well, I’ve been pregnant for quite some time now. My journey has had me in labor for a really long time. My brother just passed away, and God has my full attention. I understood that the pain from his death was pushing me or instead forcing me into the labor process. It’s time to start pushing, even though I’m only 4.5 centimeters. I’ve been stuck at 1 centimeter forever, and I was comfortable and complacent. But DEATH did something to change that.

My brother was not just my brother; he was a son, a dad, a grandfather, a friend, a cousin, a nephew, and more. I can sit here and write about the immense pain I felt when learning about his death on the morning of his 54th birthday, but I won’t. I will say underneath all the horrific pain I was and still am feeling is the reality of death. All the things that I felt so comfortable with are changing. All the things God has been telling me to do and placed in my heart, I am doing. I am actively living in the moment and moving in my gifts. I am not exactly a go-getter. I do what I have to do, but I’m not the one to run out and just start doing. It takes time; I analyze all the details, live in my fears, and console my doubts. Not anymore.

There is a sense of urgency because I don’t know if tomorrow is reality anymore. I have to live for today and make moves now instead of waiting for the perfect opportunity. So, the books are being written, the new businesses are being activated, and preparations are being made to solidify my legacy for generations to come. Popa, my brother, has given me a new outlook on life because of his death. I am birthing all the things I’ve been holding onto for whatever reasons. I’m looking for a property that will accommodate all my businesses in one setting. Not saying too much because when God gives you the vision, it’s for you to see it through. When you talk to people about God’s idea, they sometimes try to encourage you out of it (that is a polite way of putting it).

A few days after losing my brother, God dealt with me about my life and his death. I heard an old song on my echo dot by James Cleveland’s “Where Is Your Faith.” God wanted to know where my faith was and why it wasn’t activated. Of course, I told him I still had faith, but I had to ask myself was that true. Did I really have faith in God, and had that faith been shaken with the loss of my brother? My answer was that I had disbelief which is the opposite of having faith. I had to go back and start re-examining many things in my life. It’s something else when an unexpected death shakes your core.

I surrender. That’s what I told God. See, sometimes we have to go back to where we first received him. Back to the beginning so we can remember that feeling of excitement and all the reasons we made the decision we did. Those are my thoughts and opinions. What can I say to you that would help you through your pregnancy. Go back to the beginning and remember the feeling and your why. Get excited again for all the endless possibilities that await you once you start pushing. Push through the pains of labor, push through the pains of doubt, push through your fears. You can do this! I can do this! Together, we can do this! We hear a lot of people and songs saying this is my season. Well, I’m telling you that this is your season and mine. I’ve gotten started already, so what are you waiting for? Let’s get to it…

Keep The Faith

This will be a quick one for those reading my blog tonight. I’ve been noticing quite a few things lately. And I must say I don’t really like some of it, but such as life. I am moving in many directions, and the good thing is I have open ears. So, I can clearly hear those who smile at me but are wishing and waiting for my downfall. I can see the ones making fun of what I do and how I do it. They don’t realize I can discern their spirit and how they’re moving. I have been hearing from God so vividly, and He’s been preparing me for the hate I see and the hatred I cannot see. Even though it can be bothersome to my spirit, my skin is thicker than it was years ago. I can brush things off, give you a smile, and say, “I see you, hater.” You act like you’re happy for me but not really. I know people are good when you’re right where they are, or they like keeping you where you were instead of where God is taking you. Forget that fam and friends. Keep your mind focused, your feet planted firmly, and your eyes looking to the hills from which cometh your help. Be faithful, steadfast, and unmovable! Even when you feel like you can’t do it. Even when it seems too onerous or like you’ll never get where you want to be. Stop, Look, and Listen. The journey has a lot to say to you and show you. Don’t look left or right; keep looking ahead and use your peripheral to detect unwanted thoughts, sayings, and anything else that keeps you from your higher self. I don’t care anymore. I have a purpose and a destiny to fulfill, and I can’t lose my traction because of all the distractions. So, I encourage you to do the same. Remember who you are and who’s you are. Life is no shorter for you and me than for the next person. The difference is what we choose to do with it. Let’s keep the faith and keep DOING! Faith without works is DEAD! Have an incredibly blessed night, everyone. Don’t forget to order one of my books on Amazon. I’ll have them available on my website soon. I have a few copies of the children’s book available now on my website http://www.shesthatrn.org. Please support and also go to my youtube channel and subscribe, like, and comment on “ShesThatRN.”

Don’t Quit

I’ve been working on several projects since I returned from Texas. I work quietly and try to stay focused even though it may look like I’m doing nothing to others. I am always doing something:) I’ve been working on ways to make passive income, but with things I love. Now here’s the thing about doing it for what “YOU” love. It may not always be best for selling or making profits. You really have to work on creating a supply that meets the demands of others.

I’ve been trying to create and publish a nursing journal for the past several weeks. It was meant to be simple but provide a space for nurses to write out their thoughts, fears, excitement, and whatever else we need to rid our brains of to release and have peace. Well, I kept going at this all alone. Working constantly and getting rejected over and over again. I kept saying to myself, “goodness, this is something simple, and you just keep getting rejected; you might as well give up.” Every week I was rejected, and every week, I’d go back and try again only to be rejected over and over again. I was sooooooo frustrated and exhausted that I’d step away some nights just to give my mind a break.

Well, I was talking with one of God’s Angels named Nina, who gave me words of encouragement with every encounter. She’s a Black business owner and understands the struggles of not just owning a business but getting it up and running, changing things, failing, and having to start over. She would speak into me and over me God’s prosperity. She would share ideas or suggestions that were very helpful. I shared with her how I’d been getting rejected time and time again and why. She gave me some insight that triggered me to remember a resource that could help me with my problem.

I did my due diligence with research and found someone to help me. I’ve always been afraid to ask for help. I would rather fail in silence without anyone knowing than broadcast my failures to the world. And I absolutely abhor rejection. I was looking at it all wrong. It is necessary to fail and lose sometimes. The denial and failure or losses prepare us to operate in such a way that when more significant opportunities present themselves, we’ll be ready to execute without hesitation. It’s all a part of the process, my friends, and going through it and understanding the process is essential to our growth and development.

I guess what I’m trying to say is early this morning, I received an email that said, “Congratulations, your book is published and live on Amazon.” I did it y’all. It was early, and I was sleepy and didn’t really pay any attention to it, but I realized it went through when I got up. It finally got accepted, and I was full of unspeakable JOY!!! I couldn’t believe it, and I couldn’t think one “congratulations, it worked” had me fired up to do more. I have already sat down to work on another project to publish. I’m also working on a business venture that will allow me to do what I love and teach others in the health profession. I have 10 official years of nursing under my belt this year, but a lifetime of taking care of people. That “GIFT” has and will continue to make room for me. I’m also working on the book God gave me back in 2007 that I started but never finished.

There will always be naysayers, but find your circle, group, and people who will motivate, inspire and hold you accountable. You are not on an island alone. There are people to help you if you ask and acknowledge the need for help. I had to learn the hard way, but my prayer is that you will heed my humble advice and avoid unnecessary challenges through reading this. Lastly, even if you step away at times, it’s okay to take a breath and gain perspective; just don’t quit. You can do it! Stay focused, and keep working on it! It is working out for your good.

Now, please go support and purchase my 1st Nursing Journal. You can find it on Amazon under “Nursing Journals-Sharon Alton.” Buy them for yourself or nurses, you know. You’ll see another book on Crystals created, so help yourself to that one. Oh, I got so busy talking about the experience of the journal I forgot to mention that I finally got my first YouTube post up on my channel, “ShesThatRN.” Please go listen, subscribe, like, and share with others to show support. I’m in the startup phase, so I’ll get better with practice. But for now, your help is much needed and appreciated. Thank you in advance for being here, supporting me, and riding out this journey with me. Remember, whatever you do, DON’T QUIT!

Love On You Everyday

So much emphasis is placed on so-called special occasions or holidays. Of course, I’m speaking of Valentine’s Day in particular because it is today. This is just a short reminder that you’re special every day. You don’t require a “special holiday or occasion” on the calendar to celebrate you. Do something to celebrate how awesome you are as often as you like, and as large or small as you like. Today, take a walk, buy yourself flowers, order out or cook in, take a bubble bath, have a spa day, get a Mani/Pedi. It is so important for us to remind ourselves of our worth on a daily basis. The world may not and probably will not ever give you your props or value the quality of individual you are, but you should. Never forget you are special, today, tomorrow, and even in death. Now treat yourself like it. Have a beautiful and amazing day.

It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye

I know how hard it is to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to my mom was one of the “hardest” things I think I ever had to do. I’ve been confronted with the question of whether it’s easier when you know the person is dying or when it’s unexpected? Well, for me, neither is easy. I don’t care if they have been sick and now terminal; saying goodbye is hard, and letting go is even more challenging. There is no real preparation for losing someone. It’s not like getting a will or setting up a trust. It’s a human life, not documentation. Life is precious and when you watch it slip away it’s a slow death for both the patient and the family. There aren’t enough words to make that type of pain sting-free.

What happens when you hold the decision for a person to stay at home or move into a hospice facility? Or how about whether to let them remain on life support or pull the plug? People having this type of responsibility can struggle the most. It’s a huge deal and a heavyweight to bear. There are certain factors to consider when you have to make hard choices. I have sat with this for a long time. More so since becoming a nurse and watching my patient’s family suffer through this process.

I will share the main things I think and had to come to terms with concerning making life and death decisions. First, we must start with accepting the loss and that can take some time. We then have to consider what the person (patient, family member, friend) would want. Are you honoring their wishes/desires? What does the medical professional say (brain activity, quality of life, vegetative state, hope, terminal)? And then we make a decision from there. I’ve come to realize that when our person is gone, we tend to hold on for our own selfish reasons. It doesn’t help or benefit them to just be here when there is no chance for them to have any quality of life. There is extensive cost associated with prolonging life and the main benefactor to that is the healthcare organization, not the family. Now if that individual was going to have a chance at life, then of course I’d hold on to that with all my might. But if not, as much as it would hurt, I’d have to let them go.

Sudden, unexpected or unexplained death is no easier than seeing it coming. You are blown away and left without being able to say goodbye or rendering any type of help. You are often left with a plethora of unanswered questions that may or may not ever be answered. I just can’t see how one way of dying is better than the other. It’s not and that’s that.

In the end, if you’re the person making the decision, take your time, process what you need to process, and proceed the best way you can. Hopefully, you have someone to talk to and walk through the process with you which makes it somewhat easier at times. Always remember to take care of yourself. Your mental health is important and therapists are great options for talking through things and figuring out the best coping strategies for you to handle your emotions, feelings, and mental health. Always take care of yourself. Don’t lose yourself in the process. May God bless and keep you as you get through your grief and difficult time.

Hard Times

Something happened and it had me feeling emotional and off-balance last evening. I went into my colleague’s patient’s room to sign off on medication for his patient. Without thinking, because I’m a helper and not realizing that he was taking care of an end-of-life patient. I stepped into the room and I could hear what nurses refer to as “the death rattle.” It was as if someone connected me to a Bluetooth speaker. The sound was so loud that it overpowered everything else and the somber looks on the family’s faces. I suddenly felt a shortness of breath. Not just because of the distinct feel and sound of death lingering in the air, but because of the emotions, it triggered in me.

As nurses, we tend to develop this hard exterior and the innate ability to block things out. Sort of like a turtle that uses his shell for protection. We move instinctively without consequence in order to preserve our mental well-being. That didn’t happen for me last night. I felt paralyzed in pain. I wanted to be able to look at the family with love, compassion, and empathy for what they were going through at the moment. I just couldn’t do it this time. I suddenly felt a knot in my throat and took a deep swallow. I cared not to look at any one of them. I couldn’t! And I could see them looking at me from my peripheral. They looked as if they waiting for me to say hello, do you need anything, or just a look of I’m sorry for what you’re going through. Again, I didn’t have it in me. It took everything in me not to burst into tears. Instead, I only looked at the nurse and the IV pump. It seemed like I was in that room forever. I’m sure it was only five minutes or less, but it seemed more like five hours.

I could remember what it was like to be in the seats they now sat in. I remember the wait, wondering when and if it would be over sooner rather than later. I started clenching my teeth together to avoid crying. When I left out the room, I told the nurse that I was sorry, but I couldn’t go back in the room with him and find someone else next time. I explained that being in that situation was a trigger for me and I didn’t want to sit in that pain. Of course, he understood. The rest of the night was extremely difficult to get through. Mainly because of being tired, and I became severely sad.

There’s something about losing control. I don’t like it. I like controlling my emotions and feelings. I like the illusion of keeping myself in check. I abhor feeling a loss of control. It got so bac I started having chest pains. So, I decided to sit at my computer and just write all this for my blog. I listened to my gospel playlist and cried until I felt better. As much as we try to control things, it isn’t always possible. Actually, I realize that I’m not in control, no matter the persona of control I claim to feel. God was, is, and will forever be in control of Sharon. I am not my own and because I surrendered my life to God a long time ago, He reminds me every so often I start smelling myself, LOL! (That’s something my mom use to tell us as children when we were being rebellious and trying to act like adults. It’s a country thing I think, lol).

As much as influencers, social media, and whoever else try to depict a picture perfect world without hiccups, failures, stress, stressors or just plain bad days, I’m here to tell you they exist. People treat me like I’m so strong and have all my “ish” together all the time because I don’t show it, talk about it or let it be known, but that doesn’t mean I don’t go through things and you should know best because I share it with you:) The good news is, although I can’t give you a timeframe, I can tell you that it will eventually get better. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. The caveat to that is that everyone’s morning is different and it may not involve daylight. It can happen when it’s storming all around you. Your morning won’t look like anyone else’s. Right now my morning is at 2:52 a.m. listening to Yolanda Adam’s “This Battle Is Not Yours.”

No matter what you or I go through, the battle isn’t ours, it belongs to God. The sooner we relinquish the reigns we hold onto, the sooner God can shine his light through and our morning can come. Thank you for taking the time to share in the many parts of my life’s stories. I hope, ultimately, that no matter how you felt starting to read this blog post, that you are feeling a fresh anointing and your morning has come. Take care of yourselves, be gentle with yourselves, and have a safe holiday.

Until Next Time,

Holidays After Death

Let’s just get right to it. I had an extremely hard time last week into this week. As a nurse, I deal with death quite frequently, but losing someone close to you is a whole other realm of grief. There is something about death that has had me in a plethora of feelings. I’d have to say that the first time I recognized that I was going through the silent trauma of losing a loved one was my grandmother, Doris. Some years later I lost my mom and nephew a month apart from my mom’s burial. That was three years ago and this year I’ve been feeling. Being a nurse has made me numb to certain things. Or I should say, I am capable of creating a barrier that allows me not to be too emotional when losing someone. Well, I don’t grieve all at once and it comes in ebbs and flows.

This past week something hit me like a freight train and I couldn’t contain it. I mean the feelings were so overwhelming that I didn’t know if I was coming or going. There was depression mixed with pain, hurt, and anger. I couldn’t even figure out exactly why it was or where it was coming from. I tried to hold on to the protective barrier I told you about, but one night at work I had to step away. I found myself locked in the women’s bathroom bent over crying my eyes out. When I stood up and looked into the mirror, I cried out for my mother. I could see her in my face and I told her how much I missed her and just wanted to talk to her again. As my “so-called” barrier crumbled before my eyes, I relinquished and sobbed until I couldn’t. Then I told myself to get it together, dry my eyes and get back to my patients. And so I did just that thinking it was over.

The next day at work I came in feeling extremely angry and full of this unknown painful feeling. I felt like I was going to cuss, scream, and holler at anyone who said anything to me. The charge nurse said something in a snarky way to me and I gave her a look while whispering a prayer so as not to get dismissed that night. I literally took a breath while giving this glaring gaze that said “don’t F with me tonight!” If she didn’t catch it, which I think she did, my nursing colleagues did. The team lead that night who is an amazing and helpful nurse was walking behind me. She quietly said, “Sharon, are you okay?” I said “no” and kept walking. She said, “yes, I know because you’re quiet and to yourself and that’s what I do when I’m not doing so good.” I kept walking but stayed locked in the doctor’s dictation room for the night. I was trying to do my charting, but the tears I was fighting back just started pouring out like a flood gate. I decide to listen to a song that came to me a few weeks ago by Jonathan Nelson & Purpose called “Manifest.” I put it on replay to keep my mind at peace and give me hope. It helped.

As I tried to figure out where my feelings were coming from, I realized that the holidays are here, and subconsciously, I am having a hard time coping with the many losses I have experienced. Holidays remind you of family, friends, and the times you share with the people who are close to you. This season can bring depression, anxiety, low energy, restlessness, and many other mental health symptoms. I’m still processing myself, but am understanding my triggers which is helping me get through it. What can I tell you about coping with loss during the holidays? Allow yourself to feel whatever it is you are feeling. Work through those feelings as best you can. Give yourself time because you can’t hurry the grieving process or the feelings that accompany it. Cry if you need to, pray, meditate, read, listen to music, or whatever relaxes you and keeps you in a peaceful state. There is no one fix to all solutions. It basically boils down to you finding what works best for you. It may also help to have someone to talk through your feelings with if that helps. Sometimes we try to keep everything inside and that can leave you ready to burst open in a not-so-positive way. Trust your gut, work through your emotions and take the time you need. I’m not there yet, but I’ve had the last three days off and that has given me time and mental rest which is what I needed. So, I’m starting to feel a little better. Don’t ever give up on yourself because you matter and this too shall pass. May God grant you sweet serenity during this holiday season as you process whatever your struggle is. Peace and blessings to you.

Until Next Time,