On Memorial Day Weekend, I had the privilege of listening to the audiobook, Checking In by Michelle Williams. Well known as a member of the girl group Destiny’s Child (where Beyonce got her start), as well as solo-artist and Broadway actress, Williams’ recants her peaks and valleys with her anxiety and depression struggles while going into detail about a particularly low point where she admitted herself to a mental health facility during the summer of 2018.
The author often checks in while traveling with planes and hotels but found it was important to do this regarding her mental health. The premise of the book is to check in (set aside time to process your emotions) with yourself, check in with God, and check in with others. It also touches on the themes of how to handle doing so in friendships, romantic relationships, and forgiveness.
The way Williams’ writes the book is a vulnerable look at life lessons she’s learned. She is a phenomenal storyteller, sharing her experiences from the point of view of her Christian faith with scripture references. One of the things I really enjoyed about the book is that she doesn’t write in a way that is overly churchy. She explains her views as a Christian where if you are one too it will inspire you and if you do not believe you won’t feel threatened or condemned. The author keeps it real in this book filled with treasures; I highly recommend Checking In.
This book has propelled me, to be honest with myself about my own emotions. I am often the type of person to say everything is fine when it isn’t and then my feelings get so intense that I have no choice but to deal with them. As a mom of 3, I don’t always have time to process my feelings but I’m trying to be better about not sweeping them under the rug.
Now that it’s summer break and I’m getting out and about more in the pandemic, I find that I have quite a few emotions to deal with. I’m adjusting to life out more with my kids and just being around people in general. Since it’s summer break, we have the freedom to have a more flexible schedule. We are also doing some major home renovations. (Look out for a future blog detailing what we are doing). Keeping the kids out of our home and more on the go is a vast difference from all the staying home and virtual learning that happened during the school year.
During this time of change and adapting to a new style of life, I’ve taken to journaling, prayer, reading the Bible, and talking to my trusted circle about how I am feeling. A few weeks ago, I was feeling really overwhelmed in my life but doing the aforementioned list has helped me stay grounded. A theme emphasized in the book is the importance of being transparent and vulnerable with how you are feeling. This can be a hard one for me but I’ve been making strides in this area. I don’t like to acknowledge if I feel sad, bummed, nervous, antsy, anxious, depressed, or any other negative emotion. But dealing with and delving into the why behind my feelings has been a big game changer and brought me a lot of peace.
Have you read Checking In by Michelle Williams? Do you ever feel overwhelmed by your emotions? I would love to hear how you cope with them. Comment below.