A Blue State of Mind

"The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams." Oprah

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Location: The Western U.S, United States

I spent 48 years caring about what people thought of me. I'm not spending the rest of my life caring about that anymore!

Monday, December 04, 2006

An Ugly Four Letter Word

I have been living with this word hanging over me for so long I don't know how to react when it's not around. It would reach into my chest and contract my stomach muscles or grab my lungs and cause them to work too quickly or to breathe shallowly. At night I would feel it slide into bed next to me, laying its cold body on my pillows. Whispering to me frightful, scary, sad things that may happen to me or my family.

I let it guide me, harness me, pimp me and even speak for me. There were times I could hear myself saying things I normally wouldn't say but the word's power over me caused me to become dumb and mute while controlling me and making me succumb to its will.

I can't remember exactly when I became a living host for this word. For I can remember so well most of my life doing what I wanted to do, going where I could afford. Enjoying life to the hilt and laughing at anything that tried to stop be.

When did I allow it to possess me so? Was it during my childhood when all the preachers and missionaries told me Jesus was coming and if I weren't found doing His will I'd go to hell?

After daddy died, is that when?

Was it after watching all the people at work promot ahead of me knowing their common denominator was being thinner, younger and blonder than me?

Maybe it was after reading the article that Black women were more likely to be struck by lighting than marry. I don't know, but I do remember when I started fighting back.

Last September while dining out in a PUBLIC restaurant, the chair I was sitting in broke, causing me to fall back, hit my head and be knocked unconscious. Luckily my sister was with me and could call the paramedics because most of the other patrons didn't or wouldn't speak English.

When I came to myself I was wondering what had happened, why I was on the floor and why my sister was crying and yelling. My immediate concern was to soothe her because I hadn't realized I was the one in the perilous situation.

I felt so ashamed of myself after this that I vowed never to eat out again, to end all ties w/my friends because no one as big as I deserved to have friends and be loved, right? I stopped going out, stayed at home, began shopping through the Internet. Stopped attending church and other social events because fat people SHOULD be discriminated against and targeted by the public because it's stupid that we allowed ourselves to get this big, right? Yep, I allowed the word to come in and change/manage my life.

I became a shell of my former self. I stopped reading the fashion magazines because no one in the glossy pages looked like me. I buried myself in business magazines and newspapers. Began cooking my own meals and took an evening/weekend shift at work to help me become invisible. I felt this would give me a good excuse for not showing up to baby/wedding showers, or weekend trips with the girls, or ANY social thing.

THEM: "Will you be able to come/attend/sing?"

ME: "No girl, I'm working nights and weekends now so I won't be there. Good luck/have fun enjoy your life."

THEM: "But it's no fun w/o you. C'mon, take a day off and come w/us. We haven't been together in a while."

ME: "Sorry but I'm the only one there some nights and I can't leave my peers stranded. Take pictures!"

But one day I started laughing about something. I don't remember what it was but I started this bubbling laughter and it felt GOOD! It felt familiar and happy and the more the word tried to drown if from me the happier and lighter I became. With the help of a very good friend (I got a lot of good friends) and encouragement from family I started fighting back. And the first thing I did was confront the word--->f e a r.

I'm sure most of you had already picked up on the word. Look at it. It's so small and insignificant looking but it sure put a number on me. But I was tired of being punked out. I started praying again, attending church again, living out loud again, and just being me again. Smiling, singing, taking pictures, walking to the restrooms by myself again. Girls you know what I'm talking 'bout.

I'm not about to let fear deprive me of living anymore. I owe God so much for this wonderful life He's given me. Friends. Intelligence. Education (paid for by Daddy, not loans or grants). Traveling. Bill Parcells and Julius Jones and Gramatica (Dallas Cowboys, y'all)

If you've stayed w/me this long through the blog, thank you. This was all inside and had to come out.


Blogger BluJewel said...

Aww! Hugs to you. Fear cripples many of us regardless of size, weight, looks, etc. Yes, it's a little word with big powers, but fortunately for you, you overcame it. This post serves as a message to all of us that there is no mould and that we should simply be ourselves and not let little words to big things to us and our lives.

December 04, 2006 4:29 AM  
Blogger Skittles said...

I admire your courage.

I have so much to say right now. About how I know what it feels like. How I feel I don't belong in public either. How I'm self-conscious when dining out, too. How I hate seeing people who haven't seen me in a while knowing they're thinking how much weight I've gained. I've made many excuses for not attending things as well.

December 04, 2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger Kiyotoe said...

i was about to get very long winded about this but instead i've decided to write my own post. Look for it in a few days.

Meantime, the gist of it is, our appearance dictates so much in our lives, internally and externally and most times it isn't fair or beneficial and it's something that's so deeply engrained in our psyches through our culture that it's screwing us all up.

Anyway, you got me in touch with one my biggest fears when you mentioned school oans. Dang Debo, why'd you have to go and do that?

December 04, 2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger Debo Blue said...

2 Blu-:-)

2 Barb-how much braver are YOU? For what you've endured?! Please!

2 Kiyotoe-:-)

December 04, 2006 11:52 PM  
Blogger Maximus Doom said...

Bravo! Oh how I wish it were that such a demon as Fear were not so powerful. How I wish it were that we were not so easily mastered by it. How I wish it were that "good" people would embrace their differences; but enjoy everyone else's. Great Blog. I will bookmark and come back...well worth the read and the time. Look Fear in the eye with your fists akimbo and thank Him for the power to overcome!

December 06, 2006 7:47 AM  
Blogger sarala said...

Keep on fighting. The rest will follow. Good luck.
Very moving post.

December 10, 2006 6:53 AM  

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