Friday, March 4, 2022

The Band-Aid : Where I've Been


Remember as a kid when you fell off of your bike or scraped your knee and needed a

band-aid? We learned early that covering wounds, cuts, and scabs would keep them clean,

and avoid infection while our body somehow magically healed. But after a while you had to let

the scab breathe. It needed air to aid in the healing process. Not to say it wouldn’t heal with

the band-aid but after some time you had to give it some room to breathe.


Somehow in adulthoods those rules doesn’t always measure up the same when it comes

to wounds of the heart, cuts to the emotion, and scabs on your soul. Soul wounds don’t always

fare well in the light. The more you expose the terrors that keep you up at night, the more you

shine a light on the haunting despair a certain setback has created; the more a soul wounds

stays open. It’s like the dirt, the salt, the rain, the gunk you used the band-aid to keep away

gets inside of you. Too much of those things in an open soul wound and it infects you.

These kind of infections get into your spirit, your inner voice, your inner being, and at

times makes you question your very reason for taking in air. These kind of wounds don’t fare well in the open. They need the band-aid; the covering of good friends, family if you’re lucky,

and human love. But to really heal I’ve found soul wounds need something more. The kind of

healing that can only come from a bended knee, and long talks with a higher power.

The kind of healing that take lifting the band-aid to show a therapist just how much it hurts.

It requires being brave enough to cry, and letting those tears fall into the broken crevices of

your soul. Soul wounds can mend, they can heal. But they take so much time.


For the better part of my thirties, I’ve shown all my scars. The heart breaks, the surface cuts,

and the soul wounds. And, last year it felt when so much of my soul was breaking, aching for

human affection, desperate for a different set of cards, the wounds didn’t get it smaller.

It was like pouring alcohol on soft, fleshy scabs. They burned, the ached. It no longer felt like

freedom sharing the battles of a mental illness, it felt like exposure. I felt like a joke, a laughing

stock, a punchline. Depression took over me in the winter months, there were moments

when I’m barely kept it together – more breaking of the soul wounds, more tearing of the

flesh. So this time I went to what I need. I covered myself. I took myself off every social media

app. I logged off, and signed off. And, I covered. I allowed myself to be real to the

people who love me of my soul struggles. I got help when it was hard. I went back to work

when I was barely functioning. Some days, I was just under the band-aid. Under the radar,

going through the motions. The covering allowed for the wide hole in my soul to have a

break from the exposure. I fought relentless demons. I battled with thoughts of suicide. I

cried myself to sleep. All my circle could do was pray, check-in. Pray and check in. Now that

the hurricane winds of depression are dialing back, the rain is slowing down, I can see some

light in grey places. It is in this aftermath I am finally hearing my Heavenly Father’s voice

again. A voice that was always there but my pain was too loud to hear. At thirty-seven I

convinced myself I had lived my best days. In the stillness, I can hear God calling me to

dream again. It’s the Neosporin I was missing. Every day I apply a little more in prayer,

in the sermons that remind that this moment, right here is holy. This is a turning point in my



A lot of my success as a speaker and influencer has come from laying my heart and soul

bare to the world. For now I’d like to keep a lot of that heart and soul hurt to myself. The

Neosporin is still working on me. I realize that like Christ we all have a cross to bare in this life.

Something that impedes our walk but we have to carry. My mental illness is mine.

And it is not an easy load to manage. I wish I could say I have the right drug cocktail or

all the answers to mental serenity but I don’t. And, excuse my French God but it fucking sucks.

I can’t run from it anymore. This is my cross to bare and I believe everyday I’ll always be learning how to carry it.


I’m sorry I’ve been away friend. Thank you for the emails I didn’t respond to. The messages,

the comments wondering if I’m ok. I’ve got a band-aid on right now, and God is my Neosporin.

So sometimes I’ll be back. I’ll share a story like we used to. We’ll laugh. I’ll post fun pictures

of me and Boo. Some days though I may need to go back under the band-aid. And, I think

I have to establish a new normal where I can exist online but not feel overexposed.


Until next time friend. If you want to do something nice for me, pray. Pray for me and the

people I hold dear that God heals us to live the lives we want and need. That we have healthy

lives to be present with each other. Pray, I keep dreaming, and start walking on those dreams.


Love You, Love God More

Lauren Hope AKA LOLO

Thursday, August 12, 2021

FineFellasFriday: Mike The Fitness Junkie : Pain Provides Purpose

When I first met Mike the Fitness Junkie, I was gasping for air. I was half-way through one of his intense Saturday morning workouts. Meanwhile, he was not only leading the workout, but joining in on the circuit training with me, and about 30 others also in the boot camp class. I remember looking up at him and saying, “Where do you get your energy from?” 

“It’s not me, I soar like an eagle,” he said flashing his wide smile before running back down the other side of the gym,

I smiled. 

He was referencing a Biblical scripture I recently learned from the book of Isaiah 40:31:

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fail; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

I learned about Mike's bootcamp and gym on Instagram. A friend of mine posted pictures and videos of his classes. It could not have come at a better time for me. When I discovered Mike’s gym, spiritually I was yearning for God to show me my calling. Many years ago I was a television news reporter with hopes of being a national correspondent. But, mental illness took that dream away. I prayed for God to direct my steps, he spoke into my spirit that I needed to start getting control of my health. It came vividly to me in a dream. God showed me I could never reach any calling if my temple (my body) was not in good health. That is what led me to take Mike the Fitness Junkie’s 8:30 a.m. Saturday boot camp classes. The classes were a mixture of circuit training, cardio, and group work. I continued coming to the boot camp, a class he offered for free to people of all ages, fitness abilities, and backgrounds.

In time, I saw fitness for Mike was more than just training, more than just membership fees. It was something deeper.

Now I have the amazing fortune to reconnect with Mike recently as his publicist and assistant. He has completed his first book called Pain Provides Purpose. I’ve had the pleasure of being one of the first readers, and I must say my heart breaks knowing what Mike the Fitness Junkie survived as a young boy. He saw so many things young children shouldn’t. He lived in poverty, bounced around from house to house, and saw way too much violence. Like the title of his book states his Pain Provided Purpose. Discovering football as a college athlete at Norfolk State University gave Mike enthusiasm about physical fitness. He credits fitness with saving him from depression, and despair.  After an injury took away his NFL dreams, Mike became obsessed with fitness. He transformed a garage in Norfolk into a fitness haven complete with green turf, weight lifting equipment, and cardio machines. 

What sets Mike apart from a lot of trainers is his heart honestly. I’ve seen him train and work out with the elderly, the people in our community we often forget. He has taken young children under his wing, and served as a mentor to many of them. I’m honored to be apart of his journey, and I can’t wait to see where it takes him next.

Learn more about Mike the Fitness Junkie at

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Remembering Ayesha Faines: Ocean

I recently found out a young journalist I know passed away at the age of 35. Ayesha Faines was one of those people who epitomized black excellence. She made her own way, her own career, and carved her own path. We never met in real life, but she took it upon herself to reach out to me and affirm me. i will never forget that. Click here to learn about her.

I wrote this in her honor.


Last night I dreamt of a large wave - a huge blue tidal force coming towards me
I stood in awe - not fear
Just in awe of God's might, his omnipotence
Dreams like this usually symbolize the weight of anxiety we feel - all rushing towards me
Those dream readers say it means you feel like you can’t control all that is in front of you , you’re scared , an impending change in your waking life is terrifying you

They are right
My tide is turning
I am building a business that I have to walk on water everyday to sustain
It takes that much faith
I have to visualize that the red numbers in my account will return to black
I have to stop holding all the people , places and things that broke my heart
But made me strong
I have to move my overweight body, push it to keep going
With the aching feet
The unrelaxed hair
The bushy brows
I beat my face , I slick the hair back and I keep going
I have to swallow every thing in me that says run when the possibility of love says I’m safe to stay
I have to look at all the trauma
Face the mountain of triggers that make me want to never leave the house
I have to mourn the people who God took from this side of heaven
Yes that wave - that tide is coming in

It’s large and it’s huge and it looks like it roaring like a Lion
But I remember in 1 Peter 5:8 my Father warned me this is what the enemy does
He roars like a Lion
So loud it shakes you to your core
He knows the pitch and tone , the weaknesses that make us turn away from the freedom of facing the biggest tides in our lives
But in this dream I am not drowning like dreams past
I am not fighting to breathe
I am struggling
I am standing
I am speaking
I am Brave
I am DAVID and this is Goliath

I am standing
I am in awe of the armor I have now
Who dare stand against one of Gods chosen children
This huge wall of a wave is hurling at me and I am not afraid
It will wash over me
I will walk in the deep
Anchored to Gods mercy , love and grace
I will walk on water on this side of heaven
I will lead his children to their dreams like he told me in 2015
That night I wanted to die and God told me I had to live
Not only for me but for the children whose stories were not yet told
When you walk with the Holy Spirit mountains move , earth shakes and the water parts
This time I am not running
I am not drowning
I am not falling apart
I am rebuilding
I am parting seas
I am leading
I am speaking
I am elevating
I am showing
I am shining a light

This is the YouTube Vlog I did shortly after learning of Ayesha's passing. Rest in power queen.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Fine Fellas Friday: From Navy Vet to Quality Comedy King

Fine Fellas Friday: From Navy Vet to Quality Comedy King 

Comedy, the ability to make someone laugh is a special gift. It’s even more epic if you can do that in front of a live audience, and not break a sweat. Quincy Carr knows this all too well. He’s been in the comedy business for over 22 years and is known in Hampton Roads as the Quality Comedy King. His gift of laughter has taken him across the world and helped him develop a growing comedy tour. We at Good Girl Chronicles decided Quincy Carr was the perfect guy for this week’s Fine Fella’s Friday Feature. A moment where we pause to give it up for men who are doing extraordinary things in their community. 

Here’s our interview with Quincy Carr:
I understand that you are a veteran. How many years did you serve? What made you turn to comedy? I served for nearly 4 years. My naval career was cut short due to an injury on my first ship. Comedy was something I’ve always wanted to do. I was the typical class clown and the "funny guy", disrupter as an adult on the job. Strangely I never once considered pursuing an entertainment career until a co-worker at my first civilian job after the Navy, asked if I considered being a comedian. I decided to give it a shot and fell in love with the art immediately. 

Were you always the funny kid in class? No not all the time. But I was the person who people remembered as always trying to be funny. 

 You are also unique in that you do clean comedy, why is this important to you? My mother asked me not to be raunchy unnecessarily. Although I didn't fully listen in the beginning, I quickly realized I was being compared to my peers, as more clean than raunchy even if I cursed. Then I started getting booked to perform at churches. My club material would still work because those curse words were not what made the jokes the funniest. and that led me to create my own brand of comedy "Quality Comedy" which is family friendly & clean adult comedy everyone can enjoy whether in the club or church. 

Carr has a popular comedy show in Hampton Roads called ‘The Quality Comedy Series’. He started the show at the popular Virginia Beach Funny Bone in 2017 and moved the show to Dave & Busters in Virginia Beach six and a half years later. 

 Tell me about your show at Dave & Busters? Although I'm grateful for those early years at the comedy club, the change of venues really took Virginia's only night of live clean adult stand up to a whole new level and after 15 months of no shows due to Covid, I'm preparing for my 12th season. 

 The Quality Comedy Show is a part show and part competition. Audience members vote for the best comedian of the show. 

How did you come up with the competitive aspect? Plain and simple, it's the "middle child syndrome" LOL. No, honestly, I was never given anything and with my flaws, including physical and speech limitations, I had to face a lot of obstacles alone. I think that made me the person many others see today regarding my driven work ethic, confidence, and positive mentality regarding my pursuit of happiness. 

You're doing some cool things with your show now, tell us more about that? The virtual component and the multiple Dave and Busters deal. It's so cool to see all the challenges I faced during the pandemic manifesting as we're coming out on the other end. I am starting a new partnership with the streaming platform TGX Live to finally stream my shows live each month for those still not comfortable with being out in public and for those out of the area to finally see it live for themselves. The second thing is that I've officially expanded to the Dave & Busters in Charlotte for future shows. But make no mistake, Virginia Beach remains the home of the Quality Comedy Series. 

You're also a father and husband. Tell us a little about your family life. Overall, it’s private, but my daughter is my legacy and I want to build something she can be proud of and even continue it forward after I'm gone. My wife has been there since day one and has sacrificed so much especially in the last 10 years as I rebranded myself and pushed even harder to become fully self-employed. I love and appreciate them both so much for their continuous support and tell them often. 

Quincy is also a barber, co-host of a local show called Living 757, and somehow keeps it all together. 

How do you balance it all - barber, dad, comedian, show host? It's a lot! When others look at it all, I know it seems like it's a lot of work to juggle. But my business of Quincy Carr, Inc. is all about Quality Entertainment & Barber Services. This is what I'm passionate about... Delivering quality! Although I know it's work, I never feel like giving up or stopping because I love what I've created and the freedom it provides me. 

Fine Fellas Friday is about featuring men doing amazing things in our community. - what message would you like to share? Anything inspirational? Or pursuing dreams? I'll say this, Keep God first, and if it ain’t fun, you'll forget why you liked it in the first place. And whatever you forget, it's lost. Once it's lost, it takes some time to find it and bring it back and time is not on your side to waste. Remember it's not always about the financial gain when pursuing anything. That includes your career, relationships, and overall happiness. It's about the passion you have to be happy with who you are first!

Check out some of Quincy's material and if you want to see a show go to his website 

Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Hard, Jagged Road to My Recovery

 The Hard, Jagged Road to Recovery

Recovery. A word long used to describe people who are sober, abstinent from drugs or alcohol. The dictionary describes it as a return back to normal state of mind. However, you describe it it's something I've been chasing since 2014. The year I tried to take my own life. The year I began my slow descend into the abnormalities of Major Depressive Disorder. It was the beginning of kicking a can down a deep slope to despair, homelessness, abuse, and trauma.

I'm not sure I know what my normal is anymore. I say this from the perspective of a 37 year old woman who is applying for disability for the second time in her life.

For a long time, even while I lay sleeping on a gym mat in a cold, church sanctuary when I was homeless, I envisioned recovery i.e normalcy as returning to television. I often thought of  walking into a television station again with my head held high. I'd close my eyes and relish in the thought of sitting at the anchor desk with far more knowledge than when I had left. Because the viewers would know I was a woman who went to the darkness of homelessness, and abuse to regain prominence. I thought people would revere me more, respect me more, and maybe even love me.  But it's 2021, 7 years since that attempt and I'm nowhere near returning to television as an anchor, reporter, or director or any position I've held in my television career.

Spiritually, I've come to accept that the dream I once had of being on Good Morning America is not the dream God has for me. He's showed me in so many ways. But it doesn't make it any less hard to accept. This is the first year I've surrendered that to God fully. I now realize that this, me writing about mental health and suicide, my business Good Girl Chronicles LLC, and my future PR agency are the dreams I am supposed to chase. It is hard when those passions do not support your rising bills, calm your fragile PTSD symptoms, or help you process the trauma you've endured in your thirties. This is my reality.

Everyday I wake up thinking  maybe I'm stuck in a nightmare, and soon I'll wake up, back in my two bedroom condo, back to being the golden child, back to being the almost wife. But, then I place my feet on the floor, I look around the room I rent decorated with pictures of my past; then I remember this is reality now. This is my life now.

Recovery for me now is simply getting out of bed and staying awake. It is applying pressure to the aching heels of my feet, inflamed by plantar facitis because I am obese. It is looking in the mirror and affirming myself that I AM WORTH LIVING FOR. Recovery is meditating daily, connecting to my higher power, it is reading the Bible and believing the promises it lays out in those highlighted pages. Recovery is opening my heart to the possibility of friendship even when I am afraid to. Recovery is choosing at 37 to be my full authentic self, and owning what mental illness has done and continues to do to my life. It is speaking when I really want to run and hide. It applying the makeup for me and no one else. It is working the only thing bringing me income, my business. It is believing that there is victory on the other side of this struggle. 

Maybe for me recovery will never be a return to normalcy but a constant journey of putting one foot in front of the other. Hoping for the best, using my coping skills, doing the therapy, taking the meds, attempting to trust, and giving myself grace where I fall short. It allowing friends to help me when either it's a cash app donation or a breakfast at the beach. Not fighting the love, but accepting that people genuinely want to help me stay afloat. (I am grateful for you) 

If you'd like to see more of my journey I've been sharing on my YouTube channel far more than I've shared here.

Here's my recent vlog on the realities of life:
I am currently awaiting my disability decision and working my business daily. If you would live to give my birthday GoFundme you can. Only if you feel led to

Also - If you've read this far --- know this. Today is a hard day for me. But, I will press on through this. You can conquer the deepest valleys of life, and people want to help. If you or someone you know is struggling call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK.