My heart is pounding as I type this. I’ve never been more honest and open on my blog. Sure, I’ve touched on personal things like my dating life and my unsuccessful Open Relationship, but that was different. This time I peeled back all the layers and got real. To keep 100, I’m still not completely comfortable with sharing this. But they say, “Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone”, so here goes nothing!
I’m generally an open book, hence the blog. I don’t have an issue sharing my personal story or talking about my dysfunctional past. I was talking to Tali this week, she’s a blogger and manages a support group that’s helped a lot of people in a small amount of time. We met in a Facebook Group (the story of my life lately!) and have been chatting about work, life and bouncing ideas off each other for a little while now. I was sharing a bit of my story with her, telling her that my mom has been sober for over 27 years and she’s my biggest inspiration. That I’ve had major struggles in my life, including homelessness, living in foster care and growing up in a family of addicts. To say she was shocked would be an understatement!
From the outside, it may look like I haven’t had to struggle to get where I am. That couldn’t be further from the truth. After I told her my story, in a nutshell, she asked if she could interview me for her Kinfolk Chronicles Podcast, and without hesitation, I agreed. The interview was short and sweet. She asked about my mom’s addiction and how it affected me. She also asked about my brothers and my grandma, who was like a mother to me because she raised me until I was 6. It got heavy, quick, but such is life. At the end of the interview, I was happy I did it and looking forward to listening to it.
As a child, I was taught to keep the family secrets, secret. If there was addiction, dysfunction or abuse happening at home, no one else needed to know. I think that mentality is what holds me back from being completely comfortable with sharing my story. However, I also know that living in secret has been a major cause of the rise in mental illness in the Black Community. One of my favorite quotes is, “You’re only as Sick as Your Secrets” so I’m sharing some of mine with you today. According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI), “African Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems than the general population.”
That statistic alone makes it imperative for me to share my struggle. I hope that you’ll not only learn more about me. But that you’re inspired to move forward in life no matter the adversity. Like I said in the interview, You don’t have to be a product of your past. You can always move forward and create your own destiny. I hope you enjoy my first podcast interview, it’s a 25 minute listen.