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The Refined Collective Podcast

Jun 10, 2020

Today, I am chatting with the wonderful Ty Alexander! She is the author of Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died, where she talks about how women of color need a space to discuss their mental wellness without judgement or shame. She has created a wellness community for women to do just that. In this episode, we chat about finding joy in life, how to approach grief and healing, how to care for yourself before others, and how to be a true ally right now.


Finding Joy + Healing

  • The Renaissance Woman: Ty talks about pursuing the things in life that bring her joy, recently that has been DJing.
  • “So I’m supposed to live until 90 or 100 and I only have one joyful thing that I like to do? That’s absurd.” 
  • One thing that has always brought Ty a lot of joy is writing. She discovered the therapeutic effects of writing and journaling at a young age.
  • Writing has helped her with both releasing her feelings as well as expressing them to others.
  • “I am solely operating as God’s vessel, so whatever lane He wants me to be in, whatever conversations He wants me to be a part of, I just kind of move through that.”
  • “I can be joyful and be sad too. They run parallel. You experience them both.”


Recovering From Another’s Addiction

  • Ty remembers the moment she realized her father’s addiction problems were resurfacing when her mother became sick.
  • “That was the first time that 1) I realized I need to put myself first and 2) the first time I realized that my dad was a human being first.”
  • Ty shares what forgiveness looks like for her, specifically when it came to forgiving her father who struggled with addiction. It didn’t bring closure.
  • “Forgiveness just means that I acknowledge that something happened, I acknowledge that it was bad, and I’m going to move on.”
  • “That baggage— while that’s my dad— that’s not my baggage. That’s your bag and should you need help figuring out how to unpack it, how to move it along, I can, but I can’t touch your bag.”
  • She shares the guilt she felt from herself when she didn’t go see her mother in her final moments. She is able to look back now and recognize that she made the right choice for herself.


Fighting Racism + Becoming an Ally

  • At the time of recording this, not many people were discussing the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. Ty shares that she felt like the only one using her voice for the unheard.
  • Ty shares that being an ally is more than just reposting on Instagram. If something she shares on social media inspires you, take that information and apply it to real life. Bring it out and use it at dinner table conversations.
  • “You have to be able to be brave enough to gut check your family members or your friends.”


Parting advice from Ty: “You really have to practice being able to serve you first in whatever capacity you need it.”




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