A, bb appreciation prose 🌹
Approximately this time a year ago, after being all stuffed up with like a million different kinds of antidepressants and antipsychotics, I gained the most weight I’d ever carried in my life. It was mostly due to the side effects of those meds but you know because mental health is virtually invisible it’s hard for people to understand that that’s not only very possible but actually very common. So anyways yeah I weighed in at a solid 170 pounds. One day I made the foolish mistake of posting a link to my anonymous like social media profile where people can ask you questions. Thinking people would ask me you know cool thought provoking questions. Oh was I in for a rude awakening. Almost every question was about my weight. Clearly a touchy subject for any woman especially those of us who live in this western world. And especially me someone who had been recovering from a serious health issue.
But you know, people can be cruel sometimes, there were a lot of hurtful statements said on there you know things like “damn Sua you used to be so pretty when you were small” “you really let yourself go” “damn! wtf happened to you” amongst some others I didn’t even have the heart to post. Now, I thank God that it was anonymous because I know the ppl posting those msgs were ppl I know and may even consider them to be a “friend”. So anyways that really broke my self esteem and confidence down. And those are two things my parents and I, worked so hard to build up in me since I was little. Hence why I began stepping in the 3rd grade. Or I was on debate teams. etc. these were fun to me but they all served a very intentional purpose of helping me to break out of my shyness and be confident in myself. And so you know having what 22 years under my belt now I know I’m not only a very confident woman but I’m very strong. So when I say that broke me, I hope you can really imagine how much mental damage that did to me. But anyways, I had already made the conscious declaration that I was going to make my happiness a priority and I was really motivated to lose the weight so you know I was in the gym for atleast 2 hours and I went just about 4-6 days a week. So yeah I was really working. Because I wanted to prove to myself that this was not entirely my fault and that I am gonna get back to my normal weight, but also I couldn’t WAIT to get slim so I could STUNT on those who had looked at me with those sad pitiful eyes or had you know said or even thought mean things toward me.
But then I started to think about why I cared so much. Some (though very few) thought I was really beautiful when I was big, some thought I looked ugly when I was small. People are so mixy! We all have different preferences. So you can’t choose to live your life based on other people’s standards of what is acceptable or beautiful. So I started to remember a time where you know ppl would compliment me on how tiny I was. Even when I was really sick and was weighing about 98 pounds you know in this country thin is in so it made me feel proud to be able to see my ribs or my collar bones. But now I realize that the mind is really a powerful and dangerous thing. And I asked myself. What do I want? What is beautiful to me? And then my mindset changed and I stopped going to the gym so much because my goal was no longer to be thin. My goal was to be healthy. Happy and healthy. So I eased up and now I can honestly say I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been both physically and mentally. Though I have a lot more to work on physically to improve my health, like with eating habits etc. Im still better than I’ve ever been. And mostly I feel better than ever. And I’m happy with me. I don’t need anyone’s stamp of approval or Instagram likes to love myself. It actually really amuses me to see how much more popular I’ve become now that people percieve me to be I guess pretty again. It’s laughable because people can be so superficial. What I will say is that im fortunate to have had a few good friends who stuck by me when I was big and they still treated me like the same Sua that I’ve always been. Like my actual facial features never changed so I never understood what ppl meant when they said I used to be pretty. I’ve always been pretty. And once I convinced myself of that I really could care less about what people had to say because I don’t live my life trying to please others anymore. Yes I really like to make people happy and smile and laugh. But I don’t depend on that to keep me happy anymore. Because even now that I’m slim ppl are still talking and saying oh she must be smoking weed again. Oh she looks sick. Oh she’s too small. Again. It’s laughable! People will always have something to say, and your job is not to shut them up because they’re gonna talk anyways. You just have to get free! And be you. Be who you want to be and who you love to be and then nobody can affect you.
So for people asking me what kind of workout I’ve been doing and I tell you I haven’t set foot in a gym in a little over 5 months and you think I’m lying let me tell you what’s helped me to get my physical to match my mental. I keep my faith strong. People cannot shake me. Even though I’m naturally emotional and sensitive hence my being a Cancer lol, that’s not something I am sensitive about anymore. Because I know I am beautifully and wonderfully made.
After being single for 5 years, and having only ever been in 1-real, committed relationship which lasted approx. 10 months, Love has found me again! And it’s not your ordinary love ok! My man is literally a superhero. And it feels so good to be with him. I’ve learned and grown and been exposed to SO much in so little time it’s like amazing to me. I always prayed that I would be with someone good. And I used to really cry because I felt like “WHY DOESN’T ANYONE LIKE ME?” and I’d always say “I THOUGHT I MADE MYSELF SO EASY TO LOVE!” but I was always the friend or the homie or ended up in these temporary situationships (FREQUENTLY! Lol) and honestly, I made a few reckless decisions this year because of my lack of patience. And went through some really serious things that often halt the lives of so many women. So I feel so blessed that I wasn’t broken and actually was blessed with this beautiful gift, that is Felix Darko. We are so connected. I knew I’d get someone GOOD one day because God is faithful, but wow! God really out-did himself with this one. I could’ve never dreamed of meeting a real man and actually become fortunate enough to bag him! Lol. He’s taught me things that have helped to shaped and changed my entire life. He’s helped me to work on my relationship with God even more and think positively and speak positively and fear not to dream without bounds. He’s also taught me a lot about forgiveness. I’m still working on all these things, but I feel I’ve been so trapped by my past and my pain that it’s never really even passed. (i.e: Erykah Badu’s- Bag Lady) That has been me my entire life. I’ve been a hoarder of all things good and bad and my back finally broke in 2013. But see God saved me and changed me! I’m happier than I’ve ever been. To think around this time I was contemplating and shockingly close to committing suicide… I’m so glad to be here. Life is so beautiful! The sun, the moon, the flowers. Everything is so beautiful. You just have to choose to see it. We have free will. So you live the life you choose. I’m so thankful I chose life and life chose me. Now THIS, this truly, is only the beginning! So thanks for following me on this journey and getting to know me. The real me.
She’s a Jewish, upper-class, 21-year old girl from New York. She stands at a slim 5’4 with luscious dark brown curly locs flowing all over her shoulders to contrast with her porcelain like skin. I’ll never forget the light in her smile the first day I met her. It was so bright! almost blinding. She was super lively and just had a great positive energy. But I’m always weary of liking my roommates. Because I’ve had too many bad experiences where they get comfortable, take advantage of my kindness and then things get awkward. However, seeing as we both have similar majors and interest in fields that people don’t really talk about or teach in schools (i.e: women’s health/ mental health) we started to form a bond. We’d have these random explosions of passions and hours-long conversations, teaching one another as we shared some of our personal experiences and things we’d learned in class.
But if you’ve ever followed me on snapchat or twitter, you probably know I’ve been frustrated with how messy our apartment has become. My blood began boiling last night, where for the zillionth time she’d told me she’d clean up and she didn’t. I was livid. I felt isolated in our already small place. I was irritated I couldn’t eat dinner at a table, instead I had no choice but to eat on top of my books. So I whatsapped my father and asked him for advice because I felt myself zapping on her in the morning. I prayed. I went to sleep, bitter.
Then I woke up this morning to pray and I found clarity. There was a stillness in the morning that was so beautiful to me and as I rolled over to see my fathers response, I realized he was right. And I looked over to see her sleeping so innocently, almost childlike, and I thought, “where did her smile go?” I walked around the trash filled apartment with clothing and books sprawled everywhere and had a disturbing memory of the similarities of how my room looked when I was really depressed. “She must be going through something,” I reasoned. She’d always been fairly tidy when I first met her as she’s this vegetarian striving to live “green.” She makes her own laundry detergents and deodorants and everything! “Where had that girl gone?” I pondered to myself and decided I have to say something. I wish someone had noticed… or said something before I got too deeply lost in my mental. So I was up for a while. just waiting for her to wake up. She does. I awkwardly start the conversation and instead of approaching it like “YOU need to clean up because I feel uncomfortable” I really wanted her to know that I was concerned for her but to also be firm about letting her know that the apartment was officially out of control.
We ended up having a heart filled conversation about how she’s been feeling depressed. She’s a transfer really having a rough time with the AU community and being in DC in general. And though I mentioned she’s upper-class and much apart of that 1% who pretty much will always be good no matter what (unless God forbid, every member in her family died), you would never know. She’s so humble. She’s just like a regular girl and she’s smart, funny and thinks critically of the world. So I decided to share a bit about my story with her, through teary-eyes and a bit of a shakey voice to let her know, “I know what that feels like.” She was saying something to the extent that she doesn’t feel inspired here, she doesn’t like it here. And I shared with her how when my dad would come get me from school I would feel like that *hands-up emoji* just to get away. But then on Sunday when he’d get ready to take me back, I’d “go to the bathroom” before we left and really just have a panic attack on the floor. streaming tears with both hands covered over my mouth so he wouldn’t hear. Because I did not want to go back to this place that reminded me of so much trauma and pain. After sharing and she cried a bit, I encouraged her to do whats best for her happiness because that’s something I never made a priority which is why I was so miserable for so long.
She thanked me for the conversation and agreed that when you and your environment look better you feel better. So as she hopped up and started cleaning, I started to see the light emerge in her again. It was the most beautiful thing to be a part of! She really opened my eyes to how I can use my story and vulnerability as my strength and to help others. And for that, I’m eternally thankful to Pamela.