* Written by Gabrielle Ione Hickmon for YettiSays Self-Love Month | “For Black Girls” post series
Maybe it was a heartbreak. Maybe it was an addiction. Maybe you don’t know what it was, you just woke up and felt broken one day. None of that matters here. None of that matters anymore because you decided to recover, to cover yourself, to commit to your life and I am so proud of you. I have been where you are. I know how you feel. It is only natural to be worried that your recovery isn’t real, or won’t last, or that you don’t have what you need to maintain your new, peaceful, and healthy self. That the work you did to get healthy won’t be good enough to undo whatever you did to yourself, or whatever they did to you, or whatever you did to someone else, or whatever randomly happened to you. I’m here to tell you again, that is all okay. None of that matters here. Your fears are welcome. I am still so proud of you.
I am proud of you Black girl who got healthy because you knew you needed to, because you knew you were enough, because you believed your life was worth it. I am proud of you for doing it in the face of naysayers. I am proud of you for doing it in the face of those who do not understand you. I am proud of you for doing it in the face of your own self-doubt. I am proud of you for doing it on days when you didn’t feel like it. On days when people tested you. On days when it would have been easier to revert back to the way you were. On days when it didn’t feel good. On days when you wept so hard your stomach hurt and you thought you’d have to cave into yourself to get rid of the pain. On days when you thought about ending it all. On days when you got bad news. On days when you couldn’t get out of bed. On days when you could barely put one foot in front of the other. On days when you needed help with everything but wanted help with nothing. On days when you had to drag yourself to your higher self, kicking and screaming. On days when nothing really held you.
I am proud of you for sticking with it. For sticking with who you are, for sticking with who you’ve become, for sticking with who you think you want to be. Please know, we are perpetual works in progress. You are still in progress. Do not lament that fact. Do not feel shame when you feel closer to who you were than who you are becoming. Do not expect to ever be finished.
This will be the work of your life now—a perpetual reclaiming. A constant getting to know yourself again, getting to know the world anew. I am not going to tell you it will be easy, because it won’t. I will tell you that you will get used to it. Ease and easy to me are not the same. I want to find ease, but I still don’t trust easy. And you, my darling, are willing to work for it. Continue to fight for yourself. Fight for what you know to be true, fight for what you believe in now, fight for what you’ve experienced and what it has made you into.
Your health, your peace, your happiness, your life are all on you. But, you’re healthy and you’re here. So, I’m sure you already know that.