I would like to start off by saying that without doubt, question, or unnecessary time spent consulting your inner-self, this will be your year more than any before. You have finally done the work, although it was the farthest thing from easy that you have ever encountered.
You were bullied when you were younger. You were abandoned by your biological father, multiple times, even after giving him another chance 16 years later. You have been clinically diagnosed with depression and mild social anxiety. You have hurt others as a result of not doing your own self-work. Yes, these are your stories. Yes, these are your truths. But you have other truths. You do not need to cling to your memories of the harm that has been done to you or by you any longer because punishing yourself is self-deprecating and counterproductive.
Take a minute – just a minute – to rewind to eight months ago when you were crippled by your depression and self-doubt, and all the stories you used to allow your physical body to host within itself came bubbling to the surface. From allowing coworkers to belittle you in a space that you were never well suited for, to allowing past mistakes to haunt your present, to allowing the voices that grew in your darkness to be louder and more powerful than your light. You thought you only had two options: to end your life or to turn yourself over to the nearest psych ward. You thought you were being dramatic. You thought no one would understand. Worst of all, you thought you were alone. But it was all a trick, the mind does that sometimes, it uses failure to focus you in on the parts of yourself that you were spending too much time ignoring.
You will probably forever remember this period of your life as your wit’s end, but don’t ever forget that it was also your call to light. Don’t ever forget the way that your boyfriend physically pulled you out of your depression by wiping every single tear and giving you some of his own when you didn’t have any left. Don’t ever forget the way that the distance in mileage between you and every single one of your best friends did not keep them from feeding you when your account was so low that you couldn’t do it yourself. Don’t ever forget each morning that God woke you up after you prayed for each night prior to be your last. And most of all, don’t you ever forget the way that something inside of you kept showing up when you didn’t think you could, and don’t you ever forget that it always will.
Speed time up a bit, let’s reflect on the healing process. Remember the nights you spent on your yoga mat crying your way through poses that helped you to release the stress you held in for so long? Remember the mornings you started on that Indian hand-stitched meditation pillow that you treated yourself to? Remember handwriting 3 affirmations a day to yourself as a commitment to self-compassion? Remember actively choosing your light? Remember all the plants you bought, ignoring the faces of the Home Depot workers who thought you lost it, and how you watched them all grow so beautifully? What if they’ve been watching you grow beautifully too? What if they are just as proud?
Fast forward to now, the present, and you’re the owner, creator, and curator of a wellness brand that prioritizes mental health for black girls like you who may be a little late to the party; you’re one year away from your third graduation and a Master’s Degree in a field you couldn’t be more passionate about; you’re still an integral part of the kinds of friendships that people write novels about; you’re still soulfully connected to the guy you fell in love with back in 2011; you’re still the you that shows up on the dark nights when you think there’s nothing to show up for.
I am so proud of you. I am so proud of how far you have come. I am so proud of how far you still have to go. I am so proud of you for sharing this story with the world.
You are free now. Go free others.
The best you you’ve ever been.