I am not okay, but I will be.

First, I want to start off this post by thanking God, my family, and my many friends and colleagues who have expressed concerned about my well-being during this time, or have seen the signs of stress and overwhelm, overwork, and the unproductive patterns of people pleasing. You all gently, but firmly, have been reminding me to prioritize self-care, drink my water (Marian, you know I’m talking to you!), and turn off my computer when I need to. You’ve said no for me (thanks, Jung) when I hesitate to say no for myself. You’ve supported me when I’ve been too tired to move forward. You’ve modeled for me your own self-care. In a million big and little ways, you have reminded me I am not alone, even when I feel most alone.

But sometimes, all of that, and all of the strength in the world isn’t enough.

Two days ago, my friends, Dr. Kisha Porcher and Dr. Shamaine Bertrand held a special live Black Gaze Podcast with Dr. Yolanda Sealey-Ruiz on transparency & healing, a follow-up to their recorded conversation with Dr. Yolie on Radical Black Self-Love, and it was a word.

It was such a word that it prompted me to do what I KNOW that I’ve needed to do for the last several months (at least since COVID social distancing started), but that I “haven’t had time to do.”

I got serious about getting back into therapy.

I have been in therapy before, during some of the hardest and most stressful points in my life. I kept telling myself in the last few months that, although things are stressful now, they’re not THAT BAD (because you know, when you have experienced multiple major traumas in your life, a global pandemic with xenophobic racism directed towards your racial group and a major job transition are actually just not that bad), and I can just use the tools that I’ve gotten in therapy before (which I have been doing) and I could lean on my communities (which I have been doing), and I can just push through (which I have been doing).

But this week, it hit me, that I can actually do more than survive (thank you to the brilliant Bettina Love for introducing that thinking to me through her brilliant and powerful abolitionist teaching book), that it is possible to have the tools, communities, and strength, but actually want for more, to freedom dream in my own way, individually so that I can have the strength to do the work collectively that I am called to do.

Because, good Lord, I have only been surviving, and barely doing that, in these last few months, despite all outward appearances.

And what I want is to thrive, and be free to set boundaries so that I can do the work that I am called to do. So that we can do the work in community for the world we deserve.

When I get serious, I get moving. Had a consultation session with a therapist today and my first appointment on Tuesday.

This is a big step in radical self-love, that I can commit to healing “even when things aren’t that bad,” that I can commit myself to more than just surviving, that I refuse to fight myself for scraps of my time for the people that are most important to me, that I can be important enough to myself to want better.

I’m writing this because if I had not heard and witnessed the transparency of healing from the Black Gaze podcast and through the words of Dr. Yolie, I might not have had the courage to claim my own healing. And for some of you, maybe this blog is that push you need. Maybe it’s therapy, maybe it’s boundary setting, maybe it’s the courage to say that you want and deserve more.

But get serious, and get moving, because we’ve got to commit to ourselves.

One thought on “Breathing

  1. Yes! I’ve also been thinking that I’m tired of just surviving. Knowing that you’ll be doing similar work is very encouraging. Love you tons!

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