The truth about motherhood is that the journey can be frustrating AF! For some women, it's hard enough to even come to the decision to want to bring another life into this world, and after acting on the desire to become a mother, experiencing roadblocks can be a devastating blow.
Mogul Eve is taking her struggles in stride all while giving us a closer look into the obstacles that she is facing on her journey to motherhood. During a recent episode of The Talk, she was accompanied by women who openly discussed age and other factors that affect women's fertility. The encouraging words and testimonies from other women paired with her own determination allow Eve to adopt a 'pitbull in a skirt' stance on overcoming her own fertility issues. This new adjustment in her perspective came after the initial feelings of failure and shame when realizing she would require medical assistance in order to conceive. Eve struggled:
"I felt like I was broken. I felt like, 'Oh well maybe I'm not good enough.'"
The fertility conversation started as a response to actress Emma Roberts opening up about her current pregnancy and finding out that her struggle with endometriosis would have an effect on her fertility. The 29-year-old actress revealed that she made the decision to start freezing her eggs in her late 20's, and the news prompted all hosts to address the relationship between age and fertility. Sharon Osbourne was able to offer some optimistic wisdom and encouragement by sharing that she knows a woman that is well into her 50's who was able to have a healthy baby. Though viewers were able to walk away from this segment heart-warmed and hopeful, Eve shares that the reality of walking out of a doctor's office can leave women with opposite emotions. She shared her first-hand experience:
"I think as women we're always told when you reach a certain age, 'You're too old. You should have done this then.'"
However, Eve is not going to let what is perceived by many as a late start deter her from her time to shine in the sector of motherhood. Though she is already a proud stepmom of four, the rapper-turned-host is ready to have a biological child by exhausting all options. To increase her chances of conception, Eve has opted for surgery. She explained:
"For me, I'm 42 now. My husband and I, we've been trying and trying and trying and trying...We've been doing certain things and for me, I understand where Emma was coming from with the endometriosis because, at the beginning of the year, you ladies know…I had a procedure called a myomectomy that gets rid of fibroids."
She also added:
"I used to have these horrible periods. And I'm only saying this to say, there's a lot of women out there that think [that], we were told that periods are supposed to be painful. They're not. Go to your doctor, and if they don't believe you, go to another doctor."
While being on her pursuit to biological motherhood is teaching Eve how important it is to prioritize her health and peace, she credits her stepchildren for changing her perception of what it means to be a nurturer. Eve shared during our exclusive interview:
"Being married and having stepchildren has completely changed me because when I first met him, I didn't even know how to talk to kids. I was like, 'Do you want to color? What do you want?!' I was so weird with the kids, and it takes a minute to settle, but I definitely softened as a person. I don't come from a family of huggy, 'I love you' type of affectionate people. If we kind of know you, you'll get the head nod and, with the kids, you have to be open to hugs and that changed me, and it's a really nice thing."
We wish you all the best Eve!
Featured image by Instagram/therealeve
New Jersey native creating a life that she loves while living in gratitude. Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle and Wellness creative, fur mom, full-time lover of laughter. She is out for revenge against the darkness by being light, taking her own advice, traveling the world, and letting you know that you are so lit. Connect with her via IG @Iamzaniah
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What Are Intrusive Thoughts & How Do We Manage Them?
TW: some depictions of intrusive thoughts may be disturbing for readers.
Have you ever caught your mind drifting off to entertain the most disturbing scenarios imaginable? Maybe you can’t stop thinking of all the ways a loved one could pass away or worrying that you left every candle lit in your apartment to which you’d return to a home in ruins. If distressing ruminations like these have crossed your mind, you may be experiencing an intrusive thought.
What Are Intrusive Thoughts?
Intrusive thoughts are unwanted or distressing thoughts, images, or impulses that pop into your mind without your control or consent. These thoughts can be repetitive, unsettling, or even violent in nature, and can cause anxiety and frustration for those who experience them.
“Generally they're unwanted thoughts that come up in our head that interrupt what we're doing or thinking, and can feel very foreign,” says Adia Gooden, PhD, licensed clinical psychologist and host of the Unconditionally Worthy podcast. “It’s any thought that intrudes or interrupts what you are doing. They can be distressing and upsetting for us because it feels like we are not in control of them, and they're coming up out of nowhere and aren’t in line with how you normally think.”
What Causes Intrusive Thoughts?
Certain trauma or stress can contribute to the development of intrusive thoughts, so having a challenging experience from the past or current life situations may trigger them to form. “An intrusive thought could come in the form of a flashback, image, or a thought about something that's happened to you,” Dr. Gooden tells xoNecole. “When it gets to the point where you feel like you can't function or make clear decisions, that's when intrusive thoughts become really challenging.”
While some of the 1 billion videos found under the #intrusivethoughts hashtag on TikTok would lead you to believe that these thoughts are nothing more than casual displays of our imagination going untamed. Intrusive thoughts are more than sticking your hand in a soap dispenser, wanting to cut all your hair off at 3 a.m., or having a random impulse to eat fake bread in public.
The Anxiety & Depression Association of America reports that approximately six million individuals, equating to roughly two percent of the American population, encounter intrusive thoughts. Intrusive thoughts are often linked with obsessive-compulsive disorders, but they can also manifest in individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, or anxiety.
Examples of Common Intrusive Thoughts
Because of the explicit nature of intrusive thoughts, they tend to cause shame and internal conflict in those who experience them. Although these thoughts can differ from person to person, these ideation can consist of:
- Violent or aggressive thoughts towards oneself or others, such as harming or killing someone;
- Sexual thoughts that are unwanted or inappropriate;
- Repetitive thoughts, such as a song or a phrase that keeps repeating in your mind;
- Contamination or germ-related thoughts or the fear of contamination and getting sick;
- Religious or blasphemous thoughts, such as questioning one's faith or having thoughts that go against religious beliefs;
- Doubts or uncertainty about one's own actions or decisions, such as fear of making a mistake or fear of not doing something right.
Intrusive Thoughts and OCD
That’s why Dr. Gooden encourages everyone to understand the difference between our fleeting thoughts and impulses and true, intrusive thoughts. “What level of distress does it cause and is it something you would never consider,” she says. “If you're finding that these thoughts are getting in the way of you living your life and that you're controlled by the thoughts, those are some signs that it would be good to get some support in navigating it.”
She also emphasizes the importance of understanding that while we may not always have control over our thoughts, we can control our behavior. “On TikTok, people are sort of blaming intrusive thoughts on their behavior, and our behavior is always a choice,” she says. “If we are in our right mind and we're not having a psychotic episode, our behavior is our choice — we are not obligated to follow any given thought that we have.”
Are Intrusive Thoughts Normal?
With intrusive thoughts, it’s natural to question whether these thoughts are “normal” to have. However, these thoughts are not meant to define who you are as a person but simply indicate that you have a functioning human mind with automated thoughts that you, or any of us, can’t control. These thoughts may come, but they don’t have to be acted upon, nor do they define who you are.
“I've worked with clients in the past who say, ‘Why am I thinking these things? What's wrong with me?’ But if you're not acting on the thought, then it's probably not a huge issue,” Dr. Gooden says. “If you are thinking a harmful thought towards yourself or someone else and you are making plans to act on that thought, then yes, we need to do something about it.”
How To Manage Intrusive Thoughts
If you are struggling with managing unwanted thoughts, Dr. Aida suggests taking these tips to help manage your mindset when they occur:
- "Recognize that it's a thought and thoughts are just thoughts. We often put a little bit too much weight on our thoughts, and that can create a lot of distress. But remember that thoughts are not facts."
- "Having a thought that's disturbing or upsetting doesn't make you a bad person, and it doesn't mean that you are suffering from a mental illness."
- "Sometimes the best thing you can do is say, 'Huh, that was an interesting thought. I'm going to let that go. That thought is not helpful for me right now."
- "Ask yourself: is this helpful? Is it helpful for me to buy into this thought and believe this thought? Asking that question can be really helpful because we are not at the mercy of our thoughts. If it's not helpful, you can let it go."
Intrusive thoughts can feel bizarre and foreign when they come up, but they aren't inherently "bad." Our minds can sometimes be filled with random and inappropriate thoughts, but that's what our stream of consciousness does: it thinks. Fortunately, we can release those thoughts at any moment; you don't have to follow through with them.
And ultimately, not every TikTok diagnosis is one that we should label ourselves with.
"It's important for people to acknowledge what they're experiencing but not run too quickly to diagnose themselves with some mental illness or disorder," Dr. Gooden advises. "It ends with confusion, and we miss the opportunity to understand the people who really do have that mental health challenge."
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