I am that woman....
The past two years have been truly hard. I am not even certain that the hardest parts are over. I just know I have gotten thru this journey so far and I am ready for tomorrow. I just know I am better because of it and on my way to becoming the best version of myself. I just know I have learned so much about myself. I was reading an article about Mental Illness a long time ago. Really long ago. I remember laughing at the individuals for being "weak". Mental illness isn't real; I felt Its an excuse so I thought. I didn't realize God was exposing me to myself. I did not realize Mental Illness is not always about ending up in a jacket that makes u "hug yourself" as you bounce off padded walls. Let me help you understand the importance of Mental Illness and how you can see it everyday around you and not even realize that you are sick. Mental illness is being so angry at everyone... for absolutely nothing. You are angry at them for living, for their happiness, for their successes, for simply existing while you struggle with understanding why you cannot have that same level of happiness; why u struggle with seeing people and hearing they say they love you but not feeling it because you are not open to receiving it. You struggle with everyday tasks... Simply showering. You make life all about yourself. Everything is a personal attack against you. Of course your not beautiful enough. Of Course your not smart enough; of course you do not deserve that respect. Of course they will speak to you like your nothing. Because you are nothing. At least that's what you believe in your mind. Your mind is ill. Mental illness. So what do you do? You pretend. You begin to do things to make sure everyone around you is happy and u do not focus on yourself because you do not matter to you.... FOR YEARS. Until finally, you lose everything. Everything that you thought mattered... is now gone. All the materials. All the friends. All the money. The business. The fake love. It is gone. and you are forced to deal with all that you have left....You. Because the ones who matter depend on you. And it is important that you are better because their success is dependent on the state of your mental health. God takes you out of everything that was comfortable to you. All the friends you depended on who gave you that little bit of happiness.... They left. The money that you depended on to buy all the materials... You lost it... The family that you did not appreciate because they did not live up to your expectations... Yep. Got so used to living without you and yep lost those too. So you panic... Trying to figure out how to get it all back.... You make strides. You progress in replacing what you lost. But this time; is just isn't enough. Your "happiness" is not coming like it was before.... and you have an experience... This experience is your defining moment. You almost lose your life and you realize all the things that you had before... all the people that you had before... all the ones who you "lived" for... all the ones you would risk it all for.... all the ones who u thought needed u... all the ones you gave ur last for... were not as important .... as YOU. Where would you be without you? and you realize in that moment how sick you are... You need to heal. But u are not sure how because for so long you have been surrounded by so many that you do not even recognize you anymore. How do you heal when u do not understand how it is broken? You do not know how to say "I do not like that" "I do not want that" "I am not ok" ... Everything begins and ends with the keeping and caring of you first. You disconnect yourself. You sit in a room; sad and sick. No one is there. The people who are still connected to you do not even recognize you or they are starting to see its something wrong so you remove them in fear that they will end up hating who you really are. You think maybe this life is meant to be without you.You sit on the roof of a building and you look down and close your eyes. In those moments you replay all the times when u couldnt have been happier.... The smiles the laughs the lessons and the heartbreaks... You consider if u slide off the edge ... those are the people u would be leaving behind.... Are u selfish enough to really do this? You are not. U go back inside. You sit down and u do not come out for a few days.... In those days u sleep the pain away. In those days you realize... U miss you. The times where u laughed until ur stomach hurt with those u loved more than life and who loved u back genuinely. Where u did what made u happy first? I could not communicate to anyone what I was feeling inside; I just knew it did not feel good and one day... After a long day of dealing with myself and life... I came home. My children were being children. My teenager was being a teenager. I do not recall the specifics of the day but I just remembered losing it. ON MY CHILD. I hit her. Hard. Multiple times. She had done something wrong but my reaction was unwarranted. She did not deserve the pain I inflicted on her. All because I was hurting inside and could not say why. and in that moment where I watched my teenager look at me in fear; and tears that she rarely cries poured out her eyes; it killed me to realize that I hurt her. I physically hurt her. My daughter is very much so like me. She rarely shows her true emotions. Her dog died earlier in the year and she cried for maybe 30 minutes and came back like "OK so can we get a new one" She is legit the strongest kid I have ever known and I broke her because I was broken. In my moment of self reflection I decided: the people you thought you needed; You do not... You do not need those opinions. You are valued. You are worthy. You deserve the love you pour into everyone else and you give it to yourself because no one owes you anything. You accept what you have done; you accept your mistakes; you accept your imperfections and you make a decision: It is time You love you first. Heal what is broken inside of you. Your children are everything but they are nothing without you. They would not exist without you. Your parents are awesome but they are humans they are not perfect. Your friends are great but they are humans too. Humans are not perfect and will fail you every time when given your expectations. Trust yourself. Love yourself. Believe in yourself and Be ok with you FIRST.
That very next day I decided to go into mental health therapy.
I am a woman who loves everyone but I hated people. Because people were hurtful to me. I was too sensitive to the harsh realities of this wicked world. I loved my children more than I loved myself because I valued their lives more than my own. I loved men who did not understand what it means to love a woman like me; I loved friends who hated me and I hated friends who loved me genuinely. I sometimes lay in bed while the laundry piles up high; and the dishes sometimes stay in the sink for days at a time because I am too lazy to do them. My hair is usually a mess unless I am leaving the hair shop; I bite my nails due to my anxiety so I made it a must do to get my nails done every two weeks. I have 3 kids but my weight loss/gain was because my depression would kick in after I had a baby. I never wanted to have kids anyway but I never could say that out loud. I am so thankful for those three lives man. God knew I needed them. I would get a new car at least once a year because I was validated by the material possessions. They made me feel accomplished. I would lie to people about the dumbest things just because I was afraid that if I was honest about how I felt they would not want to be around me. I valued the opinions of worthless people. I cared too much about irrelevant things. I appreciated the validation of outside sources. I long for acceptance by people who I did not need to be accepted by. I was crazy! I am mentally ill. My diagnosis after a few therapeutic sessions: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition to the trauma life exposed me to; I traumatized myself. I made a decision to stop. I took a step to heal myself. I took a step to understand myself and I am so thankful for what I have learned thus far on this journey. I am that woman. I am that African American woman. The one so many fear. The "crazy" one. Yep. I am there. and I am ok with that.
Thank you for being apart of this journey with me. and to those who I have lost along the way; Thank you for leaving when you did. I am better because of every gain and every loss. <3