“I’m fine”. “I’m good”. “Everything’s great”. When we can’t even stomach those lies ourselves, we’ll resort to giving the old thumbs up. No one in this world could have been more guilty of blurting out those word than I was. I had to keep up that “strong Black woman” facade. Truth is, I was a walking, breathing MESS! Nothing in my life was right. Chaos was all I knew but let me tell it, everything was great. Couldn’t be better was always my response. Lies, all lies, I tell you!
We’ve been so conditioned to believe that we have to be strong ALL the time and keep that stiff upper lip. Just as much as men are taught to keep those tears at bay, we’re often told to put our big girl panties on and wipe those tears away. My mother made a song of telling us to “get you a napkin, blow a lil snot, wipe your nose, and keep’a movin'”. My mom is from a different age and her toughness is what got her by. She never really had time to cry. My second oldest sister took this training to heart and it, too, got her by in the 30 years she served in the military. It has gotten me by many times, however, I now understand the importance of expressing your feelings – your true feelings – and allowing others to help.
No one is saying you have to dispel every little detail but sometimes just releasing the basics of your situation will give some relief. Turn to a trusted friend. Get professional counseling or seek counsel from your church. Talk to someone. Let that thing out and eventually, you’ll be able to let it go.