“Girl, I’m listening to you, and it’s just sad. I’m sorry about what you’re going through. You’re so strong – especially raising those kids. I mean, I have three children (that I birth), and a husband. I still need help!
It’s never a good time to lose someone, but sh*t his timing couldn’t have been worse. I know how close you guys were, then your granny dies. I’m like whaaaat?! You know what Rahk, I’m so sorry. You were close to all of them. I just couldn’t imagine burying four loved ones, back to back. Wait, have you considered taking something?”
“Something like what? Pills? Nah, never thought about it. I’m not crazy. Don’t do meds and not trying to get addicted, or have my brain all twisted with side effects. People always running to meds so easily.”
“But Rahkal, you’re obviously depressed.”
My stark reality slapped me, stinging my face a little as I hung up the phone. My girlfriend made so much sense.
Reluctant to admit her making sense, I thought of all the traits that make Black Girls Rock and Black Girls Magic.
Afterall, we’re expected to be brave and to withstand enormous responsibility and hardships while walking tightropes – not crying, sweating, looking fearful or weak. The pressure is on, always! Eyes are watching, emulating and taking notes.
Many perceive this as the “strong Black woman” who has it all together. However, in my opinion, this woman is unrealistic and fictitious. No one has it all together!
If she says she does then she is full of pride and self-inflicting hurt. She is insane for keeping buttoned up emotionally while dying internally.
And, personally, I’d like to redefine her…
What it means to be a strong Black woman, a Black girl who rocks and wrapped in magic.
She is strong when she’s weak – transparently humble. Her flaws are her pedestal and the step stool she stands tall on looking through the crowd for others to encourage. She is accountable. She is submissive to competent guidance and a force to be reckoned with.
She understands time is expensive but serves others at her own expense. She knows that as she serves, others will serve her.
She believes adversity will either reveal or make you who you are.
Finally, she is courageous enough to dispel myths about mental health and depression in the Black community. She knows these are relevant and real. She is honest and realistic about her feelings and acknowledges the weight she can or can’t handle. She can admit the need for help because she understands she was not created to do life without it.
She is me.