I’m a Black Woman with Anxiety
There is it. Out in the open. I am a black women who suffers with anxiety. I just want to shout it to the roof tops now that I’ve accepted it.
Have you accepted yours?
Over the years, black woman have step into new roles and are making it look bad ass. We are single mothers that work full-time corporate jobs. We are full-time working women climbing the corporate latter. We are full-time entrepreneurs, managing self-employment and motherhood. We are wives juggling married life, a side hustle, and a full-time gig. We are housewives holding down the fort, taking care of multiple children and a partner. We are full-time students and full-time workers. We are single with a full-time job, side hustles, and embracing this #singlesavage life.
We’re practically everything!
We are winning.
We are managing multiple schedules. We are raising our children. We are starting businesses. We are taking care of everything and everyone except ourselves.
Why is that?
Throughout our culture, we’ve had to juggle multiple hats without complaining or it wouldn’t have gotten done. We’ve been left to raise our children alone. We’ve been oppressed by men. But now we’ve been liberated by society. We’ve been given more opportunities than ever before, and yet we’re still stereotyped as angry, ungrateful, fat, overly educated, only career driven, loud, bitches, and much more that’s not necessary to list.
With every bone in our bodies we want to be accepted, treated fairly, loved, and seen. We want to so desperately to be seen and loved, but not at the expense of being vulnerable and deemed weak. We hold in so much to the point where we dismiss and forget our own feelings until…
One day you’re walking and air starts leaving your body. You’re confused about what’s going on. You grasp your chest because it feels as if it’s caving in. You try to walk to the bathroom but collapse to the floor. You think you’re having a heart attack, but then all your education tells you exactly what it is, a panic attack.
It feels just like a heart attack. It feels like you’re dying. You’re sweating profusely and begin crying hysterically. You voice has left you and now it’s just you, time, and a little air. The shaking starts to lessen, you slowly regain composure. You try to stand, but feel so weak so you just lay there in your sweat wondering what the hell just happened. In your loneliest hour, you reach for your phone, look at it, and put it back down. You won’t tell anyone what just happened.
How will you explain it?
Who would want to hear it?
Everyone’s so busy. Nobody wants to hear what you have going on and you don’t want to explain it. You lay in your sweat while it dries and you fall asleep.
The next day, you put on your best make-up application, go to work, and grind harder.
How many of you have similar stories?
Some of you may not recover so quickly to go work the next day. Some of you never made it to a full blown panic attack but have so much worry and stress in your life that it demobilizes you and interrupts your sleep patterns.
With the new roles you have acquired or taken on, Sis have you checked your mental health?
This is an important question because although black women are resilient, we aren’t indestructible. And maybe you’ve never heard this before, but my girl, it’s okay.
My point is to encourage black women to check into their feelings and honor them:
If you’re feeling bad, go to the doctor.
If you’re being mistreated at work, assert yourself professionally.
If you’re being taken for granted by family, friends, husband/boo, children, etc. take a step back and communicate those feelings.
If you’re taking on too much, slow down.
If you’re hurting and struggling through your anxiety for any of these reasons, get help.
You are capable of being strong and vulnerable simultaneously and you’re worthy enough to put your needs first!
In case you didn’t know or needed a friendly reminder, YOU ARE WORTH IT. There’s no need to try to prove anything to push past impossible measures to be deemed worthy or to prove to yourself that hustling and bustling is the only way to display strength.
We were taught some things that destroy us from the inside on out. It’s time to break those shackles and be free. Free to manage anxiety without shame and free to live authentically without judgement. To truly be able to love others, you must first love yourself and with loving yourself you have to take care of yourself.
You may be a black women with anxiety, but you’re also so much more!