Vulnerability: Truth of a Photograph

According to a photo, my smile reflects I’m doing well. Everything is working out perfectly. I have my days of frustration, but they are few and far in between. I have career endeavors and life goals that allow me to give back what I’ve learned. I have students that adore me and think that I know EVERYTHING. My friends are phenomenal women, who support all of my endeavors. And my family? My family is my biggest support system and they love me even when I can’t love myself that day. That’s according to a photo NOW, but I couldn’t say that prior.

You want the truth? Well, you got it.

The truth is, once I put my phone down, my life changed. That photograph was just a captured moment in my life. A moment that the world happened to catch me happy or in action. A moment that dinner with friends turned to my saving grace. A moment when the shenanigans of my little sister saved me from committing suicide. You wouldn’t know that just two years ago, I wanted to end it all. That after one of those pictures I took with friends that I contemplated crashing my car. That after my sister walked out the kitchen, I picked up a knife to stab myself. That one day in the privacy of my home—my baby was gone in an instant. Those pictures were just a way to cover up the lies I was living. Like most people I knew I was just trying to fake it until I made it. Plenty of days I struggled mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually. The truth is, those photos captured pain and hatred. The makeup was a cover up for the spiritual scars that I couldn’t show the world. And the drinking? It was just a way for me to forget what I didn’t want to remember. I was broken, walking around dropping pieces of myself in empty places. I feel for that girl because she was crying out for help. Yet, a photo couldn’t reveal that to you. I’m sure someone I love is reading this blog and wondering how they missed the warning signs. I know some of you are thinking that I don’t seem like the type. I’m proud that I’ve transitioned from that version of myself, but I’m writing this for the girl that feels stagnant. Just know, you’ll smile again. You’ll be genuinely happy again. You’ll finish that degree. You’ll find someone who genuinely wants to know you. You’ll be a mother. You’ll break generational curses. Just don’t give up on you in the process. Know that you are loved and that things in life are temporary. Don’t allow the world to dim your light permanently. I promise you just have to keep going. As I write this, I’m glad that my sister called my name that day. I can’t even begin to think about the burden my loved ones would have felt.

According to a photo, my smile confirms that I’m doing well. These days that smile is a direction reflection of the happiness in my soul.

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