Rewriting Your Story: Meet Teisha Leshea

In an illuminating interview with our new rewriting your story series, we had the privilege of sitting down with Teisha Leshea, a resilient woman who has journeyed through significant trials and transformations. Teisha candidly shares her experiences navigating through job loss, mental health crises, and the quest for self-discovery. Her story is a testament to the power of perseverance, self-awareness, and the unwavering determination to rewrite one’s narrative. Through moments of darkness and isolation, Teisha found solace in reflection, writing, and the unwavering support of her loved ones. As she unfolds her journey, Teisha imparts invaluable insights and strategies for overcoming self-doubt, embracing inner strength, and crafting a narrative that resonates with authenticity and resilience. Join us as we delve into the depths of Teisha’s journey, discovering the transformative power of rewriting one’s own story.

Q: Can you tell us about a pivotal moment in your journey of rewriting your story?

A: In April 2015, I worked for a company in which I had potential. The longer I stayed, the more I realized that this company didn’t align with my values. At one point, we had a pay raise and retracted within a few months of each other. I called that company on their bluff and tried to negotiate a higher pay. 

It didn’t work out, so I had to move on. I started at a new company, and I hated it. At the time, my supervisor picked on and judged me based on my looks. Having the sense I didn’t belong there, I had to work to survive. After a few weeks, I experienced a psychotic breakdown. I cried before my shift and after my shift. The company was a toxic environment, and I started to experience heart palpitations, stress, and anxiety. 

I’ve always had undiagnosed anxiety and depression throughout my teens and young adult years, but this situation magnified my feelings. I had suicidal thoughts and acne, my hair was breaking off, and it went as far as me no longer having a menstrual cycle. 

Q: What motivated you to embark on this journey of self-discovery and transformation?

A: In October of 2017, my mother encouraged me to talk to a therapist. At the time, I tossed it in my mind because I wasn’t ready, and I felt like my mom didn’t know what she was talking about. Sorry, Mom, but that’s not what I wanted to hear.

A week passed, and I read a quote on Instagram that said, “Old Ways Won’t Open New Doors.” After reading that, it clicked for me. I realized what I’d been doing wasn’t working, and I knew something had to change. After some research, I found the therapy for black girls directory and saw my therapist through that site. 

Q: How did you navigate the challenges you faced, such as losing your job and experiencing a mental health crisis?

A: I’m still navigating this challenge, and it’s uncomfortable. The first thing I did was tell my mom and my sister. “I’m not ok,” I mentioned it to my primary care physician, and she thought it would be necessary to meet with a psychiatrist to meet and look over my current depression and anxiety medication. I recently completed eight weeks of working with a wellness coach. My situation hasn’t changed. I’m still unemployed, but during that time, I worked on changing my perception of my current situation and relying on the tools I learned in therapy. 

Q: What role did self-awareness play in your process of rewriting your story?

A: I have a clear understanding of what my triggers are and learning to decipher if my thoughts are reality or anxiety. My therapist calls it “Back to Basics.” We must constantly check in with ourselves with essentials such as water, nutrition, sunlight, and rest. Getting beside ourselves is easy when we feel under pressure or stressed. 

Q: How did you maintain hope and faith during the darkest moments of your journey?

A: I rely on reflection and journaling to remind myself how far I’ve come; I must revisit “what was.” I’ve come so far in my healing journey to stop and quit on myself. Once I decide to give up on myself, so will others. 

Q: Can you share some insights into the superpowers you discovered within yourself during this period of unemployment?

A: I realized that I allowed some of my fears to impact the dreams I have for myself. Ten years ago, I always wanted to create an ebook. After receiving another no in January and feeling defeated, I decided to do something different and work on my ebook. I did, and it has been the best feeling in the world. I continuously show up no matter how I feel about myself and the situation. I’m putting in the work; I’m still filling out applications, attending webinars in my field, and reaching out to recruiters for job leads while attending school.

Q: How did you cope with the feelings of isolation and loneliness that often accompany significant life transitions?

A: I’ve used writing as an outlet. I’ve been writing all my life, but it wasn’t until 2018 I decided to use platforms such as Vocal.Media, Medium, and Substack help me process my thoughts and struggles. I started to tell others about my struggles to remove the guilt and shame I’d been feeling. After losing my grandmother in 2022, I’ve used our conversations and her words of encouragement to keep going. I’ve given my permission to stop, think, rest, and re-evaluate; at other times, I permit myself to do nothing. 

Q: What strategies did you find most effective in overcoming self-doubt and negative thought patterns?

A: Creating habits of “positive self-talk,” I think many people talk about negative self-talk but not the positive. What does that look like? That could be journaling, leaning on family, and understanding my worth. I am constantly affirming who I am and thanking God for choosing me to have the strength and courage to keep going. 

Q: How did your relationships with family and friends evolve throughout this journey, and what support did they provide?

A: My perception and illusion were my life’s driving force for many years. When I didn’t feel enough, I equated that to “no one understanding me.” A lack of words, wisdom, and knowledge to express my feelings made it difficult for my family and friends to understand. Over time, I became frustrated and isolated. During this stage of life, I realized that my family has always been here, loving and supporting me. I’m thankful for their understanding, support, prayers, and motivation to navigate this second chapter of my life. 

Q: What advice would you give to other women who may be struggling to rewrite their own stories and find their inner strength?

A: The beauty of any story is that it can change with every flip of the page. You can add new characters, subtract characters, have new experiences, and meet different people. Your story is yours, and you create your ending. 

Knowing that power alone can give you confidence. You will never know your inner strength without any knowledge of self, good and bad. We live in a warped time, and it’s important to differentiate what’s reality, what’s a lie, and whether any of those things align with your values. We must embrace our individuality. We are not here to look, sound, or dress like anyone but yourself. 

You can get a copy of Teisha’s Ebook here

Medium Teisha LeShea – Medium

Substack: Teisha’s Substack

by Harness Editor

Harness believes that freedom of expression equals female empowerment. The truth? We’re a badass authentic community of fierce women, and we exist to help your voice be heard. Harness is here to be your safe haven. A place to shed the competition, the insecurities. This is a place to rise by lifting others. This is who we are.


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