Today I went to a therapist. It was the scariest thing ever.

I had done it once before in college. At the time, I did not know what was truly beneath the surface. Now I do, and I am scared of my truth.

With time, I know I will be able to express my story fully, honestly, and with complete transparency. But now, I am in shock, scared, and uncertain.

The only thing I know for sure is that I am getting help and I am in the right place in my life to get it. Not only resource-wise, but I finally love myself enough to create space for help.

That is the scariest thing.

I am a law student. I have a fantastic resume. I have traveled the world. I can talk to anybody. I know how to get what I want in business. I seem perfect, don’t I?

That could not be far from the truth.

I am extremely anxious and have battled depression all of my life. My imperfections freak me out because I am a perfectionist; I have to have it all together. But, trust a person who has people-pleased her way through life: perfection sucks.

It’s only when you can be truly imperfect…and happy in your lack of perfection…that life can truly take place.

I am a black woman.

I bet you thought I was gonna say, “…and I am proud of it.”

Nah.

I am proud of my soul. Proud of my relentless fight to set my soul free. But it is hard.

Black women have to have it all together. We’ve gotta have attitude, check people, and protect the men in our lives even if they abuse us (because we all know things could be bad for black men if we don’t protect them).

Of course we have positive traits like being known for our strength. But often, our lives suck.

We do so much for others and don’t get shit back. We are made to feel selfish or labeled a hoe if we want to take our time getting married, and date multiple guys. Or maybe that’s a problem for all women. I am just speaking from my perspective.

I was in an abusive relationship. I still feel pain from it ‘til this day. I cry a lot, but I can’t tell my family (at least not a lot of them) because I have to “have it together”.

Can I be rewarded for speaking up and telling this person that I won’t tolerate abuse anymore?

No, I can’t. I have to be strong.

I have to be a black woman.

But what about me?

Can I get a healing? Can I just be, rather than just being?

I need to learn to make people accountable for their actions and to draw firm lines, instead of suffering in silence and being a good black girl. I need to be willing to take breaks and take care of myself… and not be worried that my colleagues will think that I am inadequate because I am not trying to prove my value through my work.

I need to learn to just be.

My message for you: Learn to ask for professional help. Learn to break out of the social conditioning that you have been taught as a black woman, girl, or woman of color.

Learn to just be.

RELATED ARTICLE: Remember Yourself Today

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