Tiara Riley, Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry, Dr. Berry Pierre, mental health, black community

LLP156: Mental Wellness in the Black Community with Tiara Riley

Tiara Riley, Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry, Dr. Berry Pierre, mental health, black community

Let's talk about Mental Wellness in the Black Community…

On this week's episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry we have Tiara Nicole Riley, a motivational speaker who focuses on mental health, time management, and women's empowerment. She has experience speaking to large and intimate audiences while maintaining connection and engagement throughout.

In this episode, we talk about mental wellness in the Black community, her passion on mental health and how they help her produce not one but 3 books with a fourth on the way.

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Download Episode 156

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Introduction
Dr. Berry:
Welcome to another episode of the Lunch and Learn with Dr. Berry. I'm your host, Dr. Berry Pierre, your favorite Board Certified Internist. Founder of drberrypierre.com, as well the CEO of Pierre Medical Consulting. Helping you empower yourself for better health with the number one podcast for patient advocacy, affirmation and education This week, we bring you Tiara Nicole, who is a woman of many hats, and I'm definitely excited to be able to talk to her. She is a motivational speaker who focuses on mental health, time management and women's empowerment. And we're actually going to be talking a lot today on the podcast, just about mental wellness, particularly in the black community, especially during a time like this, where tensions are more visibly, elevated in. It has been before. she speaks to small groups. She speaks to large groups. Most importantly, she talks about the transformation and that's a big thing for her being able to help motivate, inspire, and provide very tangible and actionable steps to the next thing.

So therefore, we're definitely excited to have her on the show, to really talk about what it means really mentally to get to that next level. At this point she is already an accomplished author. She's already published three books, 23…And Finally Loving Me, When Life Gives You Lemons… and, Life After Loss. So, I am definitely excited for you guys to hear her words and hear some of the wisdom she was able to impart on us. Like always remember, you can subscribe to the podcast, leave us a five star review on Apple podcast. Remember to tell 10 friends who, again, we're not just sharing it to one, tell 10 friends to listen, to check out the podcast. And you guys have a great blessed day.

Episode
Dr. Berry:
Alright Lunch and Learn community. Just heard an amazing introduction for a guest. And I'm very excited to hear from. We've actually been following each other on social media for quite some time. She is one of my social media friends, which especially in this day and age is actually more common than not. I got a lot of people who I literally know through social media and I know more than even some of my closest friends that I grew up around and we're going to have a very interesting conversation that really needs to be had. Those who know me, those have been following the Lunch and Learn podcast. I talk about the importance of mental health myself in our community. Again, obviously I'm biased, my wife's mental health counselor. So of course she like drills it in my head.

So I love having guests who are really about that purpose of really shining a much needed light. Because even though we scream it from the rooftops, it's still needs to be screamed even louder. So we have Tiara Nicole Riley, who is going to be talking to us about mental health in the black community. We’re going to get into a little bit of her business as well, too. So I'm definitely excited for having you on the show. Thank you for a favor of accepting the invite. Much appreciated.

Tiara Nicole Riley.
Thank you so much for having me. Yes, it is something that we definitely need to talk about and we need to talk about it frequently because mental health has become a taboo subject in our community. So we definitely need to break that taboo because we view systematic racism without even recognizing that mental health is a part of that too. We've been in bondage because we refuse to address our mental health challenges.

Dr. Berry
Tell us little bit about yourself. I did stuff in your introduction, but I got a lot of my listeners always skip right here to this podcast. They always skip my commercial. So, tell them a little bit about yourself for those who may not know who you are.
Tell us about what you do and we're going to get a little bit of your business and kind of get to this journey of why you feel so passionate about having this conversation.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Absolutely. So, I'll start with that last part of that. So I'm passionate about mental health. One, my undergraduate degree is in psychology and I'm actually looking to get back in. I have a master's in HR. Don't judge me, I have career ADHD, but I am looking back into the psychology from an academic standpoint. Additionally, I have dealt with mental health, my entire life. So I've had depression my entire, as far back as I can remember I've dealt with suicide as young as seven years old when I tried to take my own life. And I say that age because I want people to recognize our children are hurting and we, especially in the black community feel like, well, you ain't got no bills to pay.

What's wrong with you? Okay. But then when your child committs suicide, then how do you address that? So children are hurting for sure. Additionally, I miscarried twins in 2016. So grief has been a part of my mental health journey for the past four years. On and off grief comes and goes, but, it's definitely been a part of who I am. So I'm passionate about this conversation because I recognize that particularly within the black community, we have this like pray about it and move on mentality. When I believe I need Jesus and a therapist.

Dr. Berry:
I love that. Hey, that's going to be a quote. I just want to say.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
And my therapist, it's not an oral situation. I need to have conversations with my pastor and other conversations with my therapist. So it's, it's a both situation in order to live the life that we want to live. And I think in our community, we've minimized how much PTSD we've become accustomed to functioning with. One, our culture is suffering from PTSD, from Jim Crow, and slavery. And a lot of us don't recognize it as PTSD because we didn't take the time to understand the history. But the more you get to understand the history, you understand why, women are single mothers at such astronomical rates and why men are struggling to stay in their families. Well, that's a Jim Crow set up, but if you don't recognize that you can't heal what you refuse to address.

Dr. Berry:
I love that because I love to have, especially with the points you're talking in regards to understanding the historical significance of where we're at today, which I think, gets really over brushed, especially in our community. I think that even the term PTSD is not even something that gets labeled for us. Like it does for a person who like wouldn't, especially most people when they associate PTSD, they're always thinking some military association.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
But it is not a military disorder. Even the fact that when my sorority sister, Sandra Bland died in police custody, that happened years ago. And I still have PTSD triggers when I see a cop pull up behind me, not because I was speeding, not because I was doing anything wrong, but because she lost her life after failing to use a turn signal, that's PTSD. But if we don't address it or when I go for a run and I'm thinking about the fact that young man. I lost his life, like somebody shot him in broad daylight while he was running in his neighborhood. I run in my neighborhood all the time. I shouldn't be thinking about, let me make sure I run here. So people don't run over me or let me move out of the way it is dog, just in case they lose grip of the chain or all of these beings running through your head when you're supposed to be relaxing and releasing stress. But recognizing that we suffer from a huge amount of PTSD that we need to stop pushing onto the road so that we can thrive and not just arrive.

Dr. Berry:
Do you find in our community that we sometimes have a difficulty, even labeling it? And especially when we talk about PTSD, but like all of the other scenarios where now we're not even able to do really normal daily activities without having that fear in the back of their mind that something may happen. Do you think labeling is an issue, do you think accepting as an issue, where do you think, especially in our community where we tend to falter the most?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
I think it starts with the don't ask, don't tell policy, and where we deal with all these issues within our families, but we refuse to address it or talk about it. And you think about the scenarios where you have women who are young girls who have been raped by family members, and then still have to sit at Thanksgiving dinner, sitting across from that person. Because no one refuses to have the conversation. Like what type of, and then what does that teach you? Right? I'm not even safe in my home. What is that communicating when you go into a world where you're still not safe because your skin tone is considered a weapon? I remember scrolling through Twitter and seeing a video of this young boy playing basketball in his driveway, a police car drives by and he hides behind the car in the driveway. That should not be as normal as it is. And I think the video went viral because so many of us can understand why he did that.

Dr. Berry:
Most definitely. Right now it happens to me right now. Let me check right now.
What this cop is on right now. So I don't even want it. I ain't even in the mood to test it.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Exactly. And the chance is a greater possibility that you want some dumb stuff that I don't even want to be bothered with. I'm just saying, you're trying to play basketball in front of my house. That's it. But I know it's possible that you could start some shine again and now I'm a hashtag

Dr. Berry:
As far as, especially in our community where the focus isn't on mental health. Do you think it's much easier to even focus on? I know it, and I talk about this a lot, especially when I talk about the mental health and physical health and spiritual wellness. Do you think that just the fact that it's much easier to physically see our ailments, those types of things where our focus is on the physical, but because we literally cannot see the mental scars that we're facing on a day to day basis, do you think that's a part of problem in general?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
I think that is part of it, but I also think it's a scenario where if you look at the historical perspective of what black people have been through in this country, when were we given the grace to even sit with our feelings? You see what I'm saying? So, I'm a millennial, right? And I feel like millennials are the first generation where we're able to have these kinds of conversations because gen X was fighting for feminism, baby boomers were fighting for civil rights and so on and so forth. There've been so many fights to keep fighting. And even with millennials concerned about the human experience a little bit more, we're still dealing with some of the same shenanigans that our grandparents had to deal with. So at what point are we supposed to deal with it when I could die tomorrow? Simply because the police officer didn't like my tone. And he was afraid for his life because I'm black.

Dr. Berry:
And, you touched on, especially as a child where you had those thoughts. As long as you can remember you remember feeling depressed. When was the first time you were even able to accurately label it depressed. I'm depressed right now. When were you able, obviously at seven years old, I would think that'd be difficult, but clearly it's not. What were some of the feelings that you experienced specially as a child that led you up to that point where you felt possibly committing suicide was better than how I feel right now?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
College. And I think it was because part of it was when I would express something being wrong, I got the, we'll pray about it. And it'll be okay. It wasn't until college. A couple of things happened in college. One, I started learning psychology and I'm like, oh, that person got that. Whew. I have that problem. You started to understand that behavior isn't normal. When you get exposed to people who didn't grow up like you, and I didn't have the luxury of going to an HBCU. So I was sitting around a group of people who were like a thing. And so one that was that part two. So my suicidal ideations. So I had an attempt at seven. I had a thought at 16 and then I also had a thought in college.
So in that moment, I had a good friend of mine say to me you need to go talk to somebody. And gratefully therapy was free as a part of, included in our fees part of our healthy. So I didn't have to come out of pocket to go see a therapist. But that was the first time I was even able to address some of those feelings, but this was at 18, 19, 20, we're talking about two decades of an impact. And I'm just starting to unpack some of those baggage, some of that baggage at 20. Imagine if I had exposure to it at seven, when I tried to take my life, maybe the bag, it wouldn't be as heavy at this point. And I don't necessarily fault family because people are doing the best that they can, but also recognizing that we need to understand that we as adults need help, but our children do too. Children are capable of being hurt. It's a thing.

Dr. Berry:
And we have to recognize that we have to acknowledge that they can have, significant feelings of distress even at that age.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Yeah, For sure.

Dr. Berry:
Now we talked about the belief, Just the belief as serving as a barrier for us to recognize the importance of mental health, but what are some other barriers that come across and you experienced along way that you said if we just had this or if this was there, I think especially in our community we would take it more. What are some more barriers?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Yeah, a lot of barriers that people initially give, one is cost, right? And then the answer to that barrier is a lot of health insurances include as preventative maintenance. A lot. And if they ask you to pay anything, it's a very small copay. So don't allow costs to be a barrier. Another thing, is access. So I always strongly recommend that you find a therapist that looks like you, by gender and race, because there's nothing you as a black man can tell me about being a woman. Right. And there's nothing a white woman can tell me about being black, and vice versa. The therapist I have now and the therapist that I've had the most success with were black women. And you understand how I'm showing up to the table. Even if you didn't have the exact experiences, you have an understanding of where my experiences are coming from. I don't have to translate, I don't have to code, switch. I don't have to put a pretty bow on it to make you feel comfortable. You already know where I'm coming from for the most part. So now we can get to the nifty gritty. Now we can get to my specific problems because I don't have to translate my societal vantage point.

Dr. Berry:
And I think that's a point that I don't think, especially as physicians. And I'll talk to physicians here. I think that's a point that we typically brush over where we don't understand that it is a significant transition that has to be made. When you're not talking to someone who is similar culture of you. Have similar gender of you. It's a lot of times, so many things gets lost in translation, so to speak that you'd rather not even go through it. That sometimes it's such a high barrier to try to get over, to talk to someone who's a different gender, to talk to someone who is of a different race. And you're like, I'm okay. I'll just keep it myself.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Reality is therapy is work, but the work shouldn't start with code switching. We do that all the time anyway. Therapy is my safe place where I can show up and I can talk how I want to talk. I can be who I want to be. I can just let it out without the judgment or the fear of judgment. And I think a lot of times we minimize that fear of judgment when it comes to talking to someone who's a different race or gender. I think we've really minimized that. And then the last thing that I would say that does form as a barrier is the understanding of why it's a taboo subject in our community. And the reality is we all know that therapy is viewed as a rich white woman luxury. Not many of us recognize why.
So when we go back to the seventies and the eighties, there were literally people employed to be able to say, this person doesn't need therapy. So now insurance companies are looking at it as preventative maintenance. Before it was like, if you not going to the hospital for your mental health, we're not paying for it. So if I'm struggling to pay bills, if I'm struggling to keep the lights on, and now you want me to come out of pocket hundreds of dollars a month, not because my insurance company is not going to cover it because I'm not in a mental…

Dr. Berry:
Definitely not.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
So just understanding that history, but also understanding that's no longer the case. So now that that's no longer the case, we have a better chance at breaking that stigma. Because now, I've had plenty of insurance carriers where mental health was free, didn't pay a dime and they got their money because the insurance company pay for it. So just really being more aware that is no longer, I don't want to say a valid barrier, but that barrier doesn't exist unless you allow it to.

Dr. Berry:
And over the past decade, as you're experiencing your mental health journey to wellness and I say journey because a lot of times we think once I go to the doctor, once I go to the therapist and once I have the one session, everything is like roses again. And then I'm good to go. And I think a lot of people don't realize. No, you will still have to continue on your journey in life while building and learning from the tool that you get during the sessions. So as over the past decade and actually a little bit over a decade now. As you've gone along your mental health journey. How have you seen it, do you feel yourself better now being what you were before because you have the health? Where do you place yourself now in comparison to you as a seven year old?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Definitely a lot better than me than the seven year old man. I will say that wholeheartedly, but I think one thing to recognize is that a lot of times we hear the words, mental health and we imply problem. Everyone has physical health. Everyone has mental health, just like we all have physical health. The challenge is recognizing that mental health can ebb & flow. It's not a lateral scenario. Some days is a good day. Some days it's not, that's okay. It's a part of the process. But I think having a mental health routine in place is very helpful. The irony is just when you started to feel better, you realized there's another thing you need to work on. And then another thing, and then another think. But therapy is very similar to like working out. If I go to the gym, once I'm not going to see the results I'm looking for, but with consistency, one day you look up and you're like, huh, I wouldn't have dealt with that. The old me would have popped off. The old me would have cursed them out.
Or the old me wouldn't have known how to self-advocate. The old me wouldn't have known how to communicate what she needed, et cetera. So I think I definitely am getting better. And I know that I'm making strive, and even when I'm in an okay space, I still go to therapy every week because that's my opportunity to go through some of that baggage even if it's not an immediate issue. Now let's go work on the seven-year-old here. Now let's go work on the 16 year old here. Now let's go work on the 18 year old here. Let me go deal with those issues so that I can heal. And the buck can stop with me before I have children. It's very important to me that before I raise children. It's very important to me to make sure that I heal my baggage. Because the reality is hurt people, hurt people. So if I don't deal with my issues, I'm just gonna repeat it. But it's up to me to say, okay, let me deal with my stuff. Let me unpack some of these bags so that I don't end up giving my children in identical set.

Dr. Berry:
When you decided to really take your mental health and wellness into your own hands and seek the professional support that you're in now, was there any, why are you doing now? You don't need that? How was that reception when you said, you know what, no, I know I need to pray, but I also need to see the therapist. How was that reception that's amongst your circle?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Amongst my friends, my friends were I get it. But my friends are also millennials, right? Amongst family. It's like, what's wrong with you? I happened to just be an unapologetic type of person. Because I feel like if you don't pay my bills, I don't understand why your opinion should carry weight in my life. And that's just always how I've been. And so, since being on my own, I'm like, well, you're not paying for my therapy. But I'm very open about like I'll tell friends or family, Hey, I got to go, I got therapy an hour. I'm open about it, but I'm open about everything. I'm just a very, very open and transparent person. So, I'm able to, I don't necessarily like recap like, Ooh, in therapy we talked about, you know, X, Y, and Z, but I am very open about like, yeah, I'm in therapy dealing with some of the things that I've dealt with and I might generalize what we're talking about. But what you start to see is even in family, like you starting to see people like, huh, okay. And now I have a few family members who are in therapy, the same people who were looking at me like I was crazy. I'm like, you like it, don't you.

Dr. Berry:
And I think that's really the biggest question in that that comes into play. When, when decreed the importance of making sure our health, because you're getting a lot of people, they talk, Oh, you gotta be financially healthy. If we scream that from the rooftops and as clearly, why they accepted that we need to be financially healthy. But once you start screaming, hey, your mental health is important to. Hey, you need to get help for your mental, usually that kind of falls on whispers. So, I do ask what do you think are some solutions to that. If I want to help try to lift the community, let's say we don't even have a go far. If I want to help uplift the family members that I have, especially for the Lunch and Learn listeners who are listening. What are some tangible tips that they may be able to bring to their family members say, no, no, no. I heard on this amazing podcast these are some of the things that you should do to start taking control like today.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Yeah. I think, one, the easiest way to challenge a taboo subject is to talk about it. So if you're in therapy, be open about that with your friends and family so that it can be less of like a therapy. So start to be honest with people, be like, you know, I'm in therapy. I've seen it work. I actually just had this conversation with a friend last week. And it really just came up. I brought it up as casually as I would have brought it up with like you need to go, you need to work on your financial health or your physical health or your professional. I was like, have you considered seeing a therapist? When you start to see patterns in your friends, instead of sitting silently, because you want to show them that you're loyal, show them that you're loyal and hold them accountable. Hey, I've noticed this is a pattern that you display. Maybe you should go talk to somebody about that.

Dr. Berry:
Well, I love, it just is it on

Tiara Nicole Riley:
And even to the stands, that in my own personal story, I was going to a really, really bad break up. I ended up developing an eating disorder, which if anyone knows me, I eat okay. I love food. And so when I could not even consume food. And if I tried to force feed myself, I got sick. And so that friend lovingly pulled me up and was like, you need to go see someone, this isn't healthy. And those are the kinds of conversations that we need to be willing to have in a loving way. This is a pattern I'm noticing. I don't think that's healthy. I really would. I want you to be the best version of yourself. I think you should go see somebody and support them through that process. And if you're new to that process, a couple of things that helped me, one going to therapy. Of course. But also part of my mental health routine is I journal every day. If you don't physically like writing, you can do voice memos or something, but we carry around too much weight and responsibility. We need a safe place to put that down and stop treating our friends like therapists.

Dr. Berry:
Oh, that's a big one. That's a big word.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
That's treating your friend, like a therapist, stop expecting them to, and even relationships. Like you see it a lot on Twitter where people be like, Oh, I need somebody who's going to deal with my stuff. And you need to be there for me unconditionally and put up with all my abuse. And that's how, you know, you love me that ain't love baby. That ain't love. You need to go see somebody about that. But how many times are people like, oh yeah, rather I. Why do I need to die? Yes, I'll ride with you. You can tell me where we're going first. You don't to be like, give me a choice if I want to ride on this ride. But stop glamorizing, love by way of suffrage. And I feel like that's something the black community specifically struggles with. We feel like love is only love. If you put up with a jail sentence, she inside babies, feeding them baby mamas. And if you don't put up with all that, you don't love me. That's not love that's toxic. That is toxic. And so really starting to change the conversation around what does love look like, right? But if we learn what love looks like from our experiences growing up, we have to deal with those experiences in order to determine that love could look differently.

Dr. Berry:
And you mentioned it, the fact that you journal a lot and I do want to touch on that because not only clearly, or you do because you have not one, two with three books out, right. So let's talk about just that and that process and how that's kind of helped everything go a long way. Because everything seems to tie together when we talk about the importance of making sure we have very great mental clarity moving forward. What was that process for you especially if we think about the first one, like I want to write a book, what was your purpose? What was the goal? What did you get out of it? And then what made you write it two more times?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
So, writing has always been therapeutic for me. As far back as I can remember, I've always been a writer at heart. My first book wasn't intended to be able, that’s why, if you read the book, oh, this is juicy. Because it wasn't supposed to be a book. And so what happened? The first book is called 23 and finally loving me what happened was on my 23rd birthday. I committed to spending the next 365 days focused on myself, focused on healing, growth development in every area, financial, spiritual, romantic friendships, professional, you name it, is in there. And so I just journaled the process because I knew writing was a safe place to release for me. And I love journaling because there is no judgment. Ain't nobody talking back to you. Nobody's forcing their opinion down your throat.

Like it's literally just, I say what I want and don't ever read it. Like when I die, I put my journals in the grave with me, please, for the sake of everyone who cares about me, just throw it in there with me. Don't open it, none of that, like, or burn it, whichever, but it does not need to be read by any other person, but that's the beauty of a journal is having that safe space to say, as far as the, that pissed me off today. And then tomorrow you didn't get it off your chest. So now you can be friends with again. And so the reason the first one became a book is because I recognized that my story could help someone else. And, before I made the decision to publish the book, I was in a personal development program class at my church in Monroe when I was living in Maryland and one of the women in the class, she came up and she said, you know, her daughter had been struggling with depression and suicide.

And she was just asking for us to pray for her daughter. After the class was over, I went up to her and I say, I've dealt with those issues. Here's my number. If you need anything, let me know. A couple of weeks later, she calls and says her daughter had been date raped, and it triggered her suicide. And to the point where she was hospitalized for her suicide attempt. And she was like, I don't know what to say. I don't know what to do. Everything I say to her is making it worse. I don't know how to help my child. And so in that conversation, obviously, I didn't know her daughter. So I couldn't like say, well, this is what she meant, but I was able to have a conversation and say, maybe this is what she was trying to say.

Maybe she doesn't have the strength to tell you in this moment, but maybe try this. When I was going through my experiences, this is what I wish my mother knew. This is how I wish my mother would have responded. And the best piece of advice I can give as a blanket statement is ask questions. Don't assume, you know the answer. So an example of that in that situation, I said, ask her what she needs from you. Don't assume she needs the solution. Because a lot of mental health, isn't always logical. Depression doesn't make sense. I don't need you to reason me through it. Sometimes I just want to sit here and watch movies, And, and so for her daughter, it ended up being her daughter just wanted to take the day off and go shopping with her mother. That was what she needed from her mother in that moment. But we fail to realize that one self-advocating is very difficult, but especially when you're already dealing with mental health issues. So difficult. So if I have a problem and you say, well, this is your solution. This is what you need to do. This is what need to do. This is what you need to do. I feel like, well, whatever.

Dr. Berry:
You shut down, because you wont listen to me in any way so.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
You don't even know the whole problem, but you're telling me what I need to do to fix it. So what's the point? So, but when you go to your loved one and say, I love you, I know you're hurting. How can I help? They're more inclined to answer that question for you. And it usually has nothing to do with anything logical. I've yet to experience with sometimes like I want to go to dinner. Can you come over and watch movies with me? Can we just sleep, lay around and lounge around the house and eat and laugh and joke? Or I don't want to think about it. Can we go to a comedy show? Whatever, but it doesn't always look like the logical solution. But after that engagement that was, or that conversation with her, that was the first time I felt grateful for my experiences with depression and suicide, because I was able to help another person get through there.

That was when I knew the first book had to come out. The reason for the other books. At my first book release party, I made a promise to my village that I would publish a book each year. So book number four will be out in 2020. I already have books one through like six already written. But it's just about what order. But just to give a brief overview. Book number two is called When Life Gives You Lemons, it's about perseverance and then book number three is called Life After Loss and it’s giving specific and strategic steps for how to survive the grief of miscarriage and how to support people through that process.

Dr. Berry:
When we write the books and let it out to the world. And we say, you know what? This is something that I was keeping, this is something I was journaling. This is something that I was here, but now it's out in the opening. What is that initial response and what's been the response especially for the past three. What's been the feedback that you've gotten?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
I am still getting a little backlash on the first book. It’s that honest, because again when I wrote it, it was from a lens of like, it's better to get it out because I need to. Right.

And a lot of the backlash it's been mixed reviews. So some of my family members and friends have been incredibly supportive because they know it can help other people like even, I remember when I published my first book, me and my father had a history of issues throughout my life. And when I published the book, we were in a good space. So I reached out to him and I was like, by the way, there's some stuff in this book may not be pretty. And he asked to read it before the book release party. So I emailed him a digital copy. And like 30 minutes later, he replied to the email and said. I'm so proud of you. I know it took a lot to be honest. And I know that your honesty is going to help someone else with dealing with their issues with their father.

So even when it's the subject is in the hot seat, I guess I've gotten some people, some family and friends who are like, I'm proud of your ability to be so open and honest because it allows other people to feel validated and to go out to other people to feel heard. Right. But then you have some family and friends who are like, well, not even friends. My friends have been supportive. I have some family members who are like, well, why would you put that in the book? And you being too honest. And, I had a family member telling me I could be sued for defamation of character, not because what was said about them. Well, what was said about a different person? And I'm just like, if you want more support the book just don't, but at the end of the day, it's not that I'm airing my dirty laundry because that's fun for me. It's more so me being open and honest about the challenges I've dealt with to provide support, guidance and love to people who have dealt with similar issues.

Dr. Berry:
And clearly, it's done a wonder, especially for youth, because not only have, you become an author, but now even publicly, right.Publicly you're able to do speaking. You're able to lend your voice to again, when we it's almost cliché to the voiceless, right. To people who have been waiting, right. Who've been waiting to hear someone tell their story, even if it's not their specific story, but the fact that someone is able to tell your story, now they have someone to connect to. And now was that like, that just been the byproduct or do you like to speak, what's yours?

Tiara Nicole Riley:
I feel like all of our purposes have loved bread crumbs throughout our entire life. And if you look for them, you'll find them. But the challenge is you've got to look back in order to see the path alive. So I think there were clues along the way. But my first speaking engagement I was nudged to do, and I was like, oh, this feels right. Okay. But even from a lens of, like, when you say lend your voice to the voiceless like that, I've had that experience where every speaking engagement, I have people are lined up waiting to share their story because now they feel safe. Now they feel like, and that's where not to commingle the movements, but that's how the me too movement has been able to have so much traction is because now I feel validated.

Now I know I'm not alone. Now I'm comfortable sharing my experience because someone else rip the bandaid first. And that has been my goal. I have not had a sexual abuse so that I'm not saying that to say that I'm a part of the me too movement, but I support it, of course. But my goal through my business and through my purpose is really to talk about the subject that we don't want to talk about so that someone can get a breakthrough and that's worth it for me, it's worth airing my dirty laundry, if it means that someone else has helped by it.

Dr. Berry:
I love it. And before I let you go, first of all, I want to thank you for one being able to really talk about your story. And again, because we're gonna have listeners here who have been feeling those same feelings, those same thoughts, who probably as a child where, you know what, I was that same way, but now that I heard someone like, okay, now that makes sense. So definitely thank you for opening up that story. And you're going to allow someone who's going to listen to this to say, thank you. But before we let you go I do want to know what obviously, so you kind of tease that out, right. So we've got a book coming out, but like what's next? And where can people follow you, track you down, read. First of all, picked up all of the books I worked. Like literally like as right when we're done recording, I'm about to go and pick up this book. Because now I'm very interested to see what going that was got people ready to sue you for defamation. I'm very interested.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Yes, yes, yes, yes. So, one, I'm an author. Two, I'm also a motivational speaker. So I know events are slow right now, but I know a lot of vents are going virtual. So if you need to speak to college girl, also I'm a business coach. So I help clients with working through their businesses. And so whatever your business is helping to create that foundation and that structure so that you can grow strategically and be able to sustain the growth. Because a lot of people are very talented in the moment they blow up and crumbles because they don't have systems in place. So that's what I help my clients with from a business coaching standpoint. I am on all social media platforms @ tiaranicoleriley. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, you name it searched here, Nicole Riley, you will find me. I tried to make it right.

Dr. Berry:
Remember Lunch and Learn community, all of the links will be in the show notes. So you'll be able to click it in.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Yes. And I'll be right there. I am most active on Instagram, so it's a lot of ideas, but yes, I am definitely there. My website is also tiaranicoleriley.com. My email address is contact@tierranicoleriley.com. On my website, you'll find my books. I also have statement t-shirts that are there. I also have digital products, so different trainings and downloads and things like that that cover time management. We all, I also have some business development trainings on there. And then I also have some trainings that speak about grief. And, and what do you do with the grief of that? So they're definitely all on my website. Very, very affordable. So definitely take it, take a look. And if you use promo code social, you'll get a 20% discount.

Dr. Berry:
Oh, I love it. We love the promo codes again. Thank you very much for such a wonderful experience and wonderful conversation. And, I'm very excited to see the amount of people that I know you're going to help in the future. Obviously with COVID-19, putting a damper to our conferences. Definitely, look forward to hearing you out here, and seeing what these next books are about. And we just wish you all all the success in the world, especially here with the windshield and community.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Thank you. And do we have a few seconds? I do want to address COVID as it regards to mental health. COVID has definitely been a mental health trigger for a lot of us. And I want to one validate that whatever your experience has been during COVID is valid. What I will say is used as opportunity to get more in tune with yourself, reintroduce yourself to your family, we're so used to ripping and running that light, you brush, pass your kids or brush pass your partner and you know, really don't even spend time with you. So definitely use that opportunity, but do not minimize the impact of not only COVID, but the other pandemic that black people are currently facing with regards to racial equality. Those are having an impact on our mental health. And again, if you don't name it, you can't fix it. But if we continue to pretend like everything is hunky Dory, but it's not. You can't heal. For a while, I was good because I'm introverted. I am incredibly introverted. So for a while, I was like, listen, I ain't got no problems, no care to, well, I'm gonna be chilling. And then eventually it hit me. I was like, I'm not okay. I am not okay. So even though I'm introverted very much integrated, I missed how important it was to be able to tap in when I want it.

Dr. Berry:
Yes, yes. And having something like literally shut you out from that experience. And again, like I say, I shame the people who go out and do clubs and all that other stuff. But I 100% understand why they do it because for a lot of people they are literally going to explode. If they are forced to remain in self isolation, so I 100% understand why people go out. I just want you to wear a mask when you're doing it. That's all I want. Right.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
Right. These days. But then also think about how can I do things differently? So even just this morning, I had a zoom date with my best friend. I'm seeing you, we're having a conversation, but we're still being safe. The things that you want to do, just be creative and really think about it. And especially for business owners, learning how to pivot through unknown circumstances is critical. How many movie theaters are going out of business when they could have just started doing drive through movie theaters again? You could have owned the market, but instead you chose to sit home and say, well, I guess we can't do anything. You own the parking lot, put down the screen. And now restaurants are in business. So you go get your food, you go drive to the movie theater and you watch their movie, and now you can have the dates. Whereas now we're all stuck in the house. Because you refuse to be creative. So as a business owner, but also in your personal life, learn how to pivot and recognize perception creates reality. So when COVID popped off and you were like, woe is me, summers canceled. I can't do anything. Or are you looking for opportunities to do things differently?

Dr. Berry:
I love it. So true, amazing parting words. And thank you for that. Because again, and I do think it is being downplayed especially because you know guys, especially from a health standpoint, I can tell you guys COVID going to be around for a while. So there's not a waiting out period. Adjust right now, period. Because that's like I said, I've been a few like zoom birthday parties now, And I didn't realize like how high it can actually be. People definitely, I mean, we're playing games online and with each other and we're all in different States. I was like, oh.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
If I knew anything I would have bought Zoom stock. If I knew Zoom was coming, zoom would have been on my list of stuff to buy. It would have been on my list. But I think it really just shows like you can choose to stay doom and gloom or you can choose to look for opportunities to just adjust to the new normal. Because like you said, it ain't going nowhere. This is how life will be probably for the next two years at best.

Dr. Berry:
Yeah. Oh yes. 100%. I love it. Again, thank you here for such an amazing words, especially amazing conversation especially from such a beautiful person. I just wish you all the success in the world. It seems like you already have the ironically the mental fortitude to be able to push through, push out to the world. Because it's definitely needed and especially for our community. Even though it may sound like a broken record, we're going to keep talking about this importance of mental health, mental wellness, mental wellbeing, until the cows come home.

Tiara Nicole Riley:
I appreciate being here. Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to that conversation because it's definitely a needed conversation in our community. Thank you.

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