By A Comeaux
It’s been a while since I’ve done this. Writing my experiences in transparent Facebook posts has been the extent of my social commentary contribution. Part busy with life, part ashamed when its not glorious its not worth reporting to the masses.
Part guilty because my anxiety and depression were beginning to surface in a season when I was ‘supposed’ to be my happiest.
A lot of things are over now, but I almost don’t know where to begin, I can’t pinpoint the onset of the breakdown…
But, I will try.
Teaching special education by day, moonlighting as everyone’s everything at night took a slow toll on me this year. Feeling muted and ostracized at work. Not feeling desired, attended to at home. Everyone expected me at my best. My principal would say she gave me resources and empathy. My partner would say they tried.
Yet inadequacies were abound and points were missed, that promoted my weariness all around.
Resentment began to whisper in ways I’d hope my love would mute.
When everyone is saying they’re trying, and you feel like it’s not connecting, the first reaction wasn’t to leave it—it was always to figure it out and work it out for myself.
I was not quitting my job over racism and systemic oppression in education, but I could not breathe in the company of the culprits perpetuating such an injustice. Operating in a constant state of confliction, debating how others will manage their feelings if you do something with only your needs in mind.
Where did we learn that everyone else’s needs are above our own?
Who taught us that we are selfish if we take care of our own needs, first?
How are we so readily available and willing to pour ourselves into others and yet bite our tongue in our asks for reciprocity?
Add to the mix: The dehumanization of Black bodies under police brutality, public lynchings and the criminalization of victims on a regular basis.
Add to the mix: The deliberately biased double standards against the Black woman’s body, image, voice and existence in media and the workplace.
Add to mix: A friends untimely death, laden with guilt for not doing more.
These are harmful experiences that reaffirm the depression mantra: ‘You’re not good enough, they don’t care, be glad to have them/this job, what would you do without this?’
I felt guilty for wanting more. Demanding and being disappointed by spaces that had given me what they had to offer. But because it worked for ‘other’ things and purposes, it was almost a sacrifice of self for the greater good.
That feels weird when you think of love and passion. When you think of spaces you spend a significant portion of your energy and life at large. It’s poisonous. It’s literally toxic to have tiny negative thoughts about yourself, in a relationship or career, on a regular basis and have no solutions in sight. It creates a cycle of thoughts that contribute to daily stress.
There are a few storms still ravishing what needs to leave. There are many that have passed and seeds of promise are blossoming tenderly. In this season of shifts, of radical self-care, therapy/yoga/prayer/holistic living, I vow to own my experiences in truth, accountability with courage in my voice.
I will ask for what I need and leave where it is not served in peace.
I will not force a thing to be or remain. I will allow what will, to be.
I will ask for and accept help. I will be still, until…
I am A Comeaux and I learned from my breakdown that the shattered pieces were all signs I ignored before. Be well.