I have consciously taught myself to stop apologizing for my ability to access and understand my emotions. It isn’t over-sensitivity. It is strength that a lot of people wish they have.
He’s bad for you, you know
He’ll never be what you want, you know
He’ll never change, you know
He’ll never have your back, you know
He’s still as selfish as he was yesterday, you know
Still, you stay.
Hoping, wishing, praying.
Do yourself a favour and let go.
It’s hard, I know.
One day you’ll have the strength.
I see you trying,
I know you want to fight to keep this.
Be careful not to hurt yourself.
Sometimes, you’re the only broken one after the battle.
Don’t drown trying to keep another person afloat,
Your feelings matter too.
Trust them, don’t push them aside.
I hope you’re stronger from this.
They shouldn’t push you to believe you’re crazy. They don’t know where you’ve been. They haven’t walked in your shoes so they can’t even begin to comprehend your struggle or the complexity of your mind. You’re more than the smile on your face today, I know. You’re more than the calmness you seem to bring into situations now, I know. Your story is a lot deeper than that. You don’t show them your scars so they think you don’t have any. You don’t cry anymore so they think you’ve never shed a tear. You’re healed now so they believe you’ve never been hurt. It’s so difficult to get them to understand the kind of strength it took to crawl out of the hole of depression that was your past.
You know where you’re coming from and you see your growth. Don’t let them make light of it.
I acknowledge your strength. It’ll only get better from here.
So proud to be African but growing up amongst such a strong people forces you to conceal certain parts of your character and deal with situations differently.
We all have challenges and obstacles in life. Just like those vary, so will the approach of different individuals in dealing with them. Now, when you’re told ‘Panic and depression is not an African thing’ what do you do if that’s what your personality permits? Pretend. Pretend you’re different, pretend you’re stronger than you really are, pretend you’re not breaking down because you’re African and you’re meant to be strong and immovable.
What happens to our men? Boys that grew up being taught that to be a man you need to be strong and not show weakness because even if Africans are wired strongly, there’s a crack in the books that permits females to be emotional. Now, we have boys that have become men wrapping their masculinity in their inability to express emotions.
I love the strength of our continent and its people but shouldn’t we be strong enough to be individuals, strong enough to feel and express ourselves the way we deem fit regardless of our gender and not be afraid of being judged or appearing weak?
You’re afraid of trust. The trust placed in your hands by the soul that opens up to you and depends on your words to stay strong and not give up. The trust you place in the hands of the person with the listening ears. You’re afraid that trust could be betrayed, maybe you’re not strong enough for that responsibility or that listening ear has an ulterior motive. You’re afraid you could be right or your mind might just be playing tricks on you.
You’re afraid to open up. As transparent as you’d like to be, you fear that transparency will cause people to take advantage of your weaknesses and you’d have no control over the pain that would cause. You only peel off a few layers because you find strength in the ones you’re holding back, the ones you believe give shelter to that part of your soul that’s the most fragile. You lock up because you believe pain can’t get in that way.
You’re afraid to love. You’re afraid to love yourself completely because you want to give someone else the opportunity to. You’re afraid to love another because you feel you love too hard and you’ll push them away or they’ll break you. Maybe they can’t stand the kind of love you bring or you can’t offer the kind of love they need. You’re afraid you don’t understand the word ‘love’ as much as you let yourself believe you do or maybe you just can’t handle it if you really begin to feel it.
You’re afraid to live. You’re afraid to let go of the past because it moulded you into who you are. You’re afraid to think of the future because you don’t want to be disappointed. In between juggling those, your biggest fear is really just living. Living in the moment, exploring the ‘now’, taking it in and appreciating it for all it really is.
I never give up, I never want to turn around once I embark on a journey. I just never want to feel like a failure. I’d rather struggle to stay afloat than admit I’m drowning. Maybe it has to do with my ego, principles or upbringing. I really don’t know. All I used to know was never quitting and in the end I’ll excel. It worked when life wasn’t so complicated even if at that point I thought life couldn’t get any worse. Apparently, it can.