Wednesday, September 28, 2005


ever had a hard day? hard week? rough season, even? and you knew maybe you needed to talk to someone, but you didn't? cause you didn't want to be a burden? or maybe it was because you didn't want to admit that everything isn't always perfect all the time and that you don't know everything. or maybe it was cause you didn't want anybody to worry about you? maybe it's because people around you need to believe that you're doing okay, because they've put you in a different category of success or capability than themselves - and because they need to believe you're doing okay - the way they handle your problems is to write them off as if they aren't really that serious, and assure you that you are strong enough to handle it like you always seem to do (instead of attempting to prop you up in your time of need). a friend of mine has a very good poem about the workings in the mind of "the strong one." perhaps being the strong one also comes with an ego. the kind of ego that makes you think that you have to hold on and be tough for everyone else. that everyone else is depending on you to hold everything together, since you're the strong one. so strong that you can do without the help. so strong you can help everyone else - so strong you can help yourself. no pity parties for you. no panicking for you. no crying for you. you can deal with the fears and the doubts and the guilt and the shame and the hidden tears and the scary nights and the nervous mornings all by yourself. you can do it all on your own. you pity the fool who asks you if everything is okay - how dare they? you get offended if someone asks if you've ever considered professional help. you ain't crazy. your ancestors got through the middle passage and jim crow without a shrink and you don't have to deal with half of what they go through - screw a shrink.

if you can't talk to someone, you need to.
if you have people to talk to, thank God for subtle blessings.
if you think you are doing it by yourself, you are wrong.
if you get overwhelmed, your best bet is to ask for help.
if you are too proud, you will one day be humbled.
if you are too strong, you will one day be weakened.

stress kills black people. it's called high blood pressure. it's called hypertension. it's called eating disorder. it's called clinical depression and suicidal tendencies. it's called substance abuse. it's called violence.

open your mouth and speak your pain and your fears. i do it. i write. i sing. i talk to close (hear me now, i said CLOSE) friends and relatives. i talk to God. it works. i have issues. but i live to fight another day. healthy. and willing to keep pushing. (with normal blood pressure levels, to boot.)

love yourself.