Day 3: Losing It, Part 1

Photo Credit: Miss Hag,

I fell apart.

I was driving on the freeway and an 18-wheeler speeding next to me lost control of his rig and headed toward me. I kept driving. I didn’t slam on my brakes or turn away from the truck. I kept driving straight in my lane as the 18-wheeler was coming into my lane.

I fell apart.

I didn’t think about my baby, my husband, my mother. Not my father, my sister, nor my brother. I didn’t wonder about friends, my students, my church. I just wanted the truck to hit me, to kill me. I just wanted to be with Jesus.
This wasn’t the first time I fell apart. There was the time when I snapped at my husband for turning the light on so I could see. Then there were the times of bursting in tears and staring in space with periodic screams to fill the silence. I would rock back and forth while sitting on the edge of my bed or walk aimlessly around the house.

I fell apart.

I fell apart at these times, but the 18-wheeler time was different. This time I was beyond despair. My depression had gone from tears to tainted thoughts of a different life, the afterlife, one away from the pressures of life. One with Jesus.

I had never been suicidal before, at least not since my teen years. After the 18-wheeler regained control of his truck I returned to normal: I burst into tears, stared into space and screamed periodically. I wondered how I—a Christian, wife, mother, college professor, church leader, daughter, sister, friend, counselor, had gotten here. How had I gone so far as to want to kill myself?

I had a “perfect” life: A wonderful husband, a precocious little boy, a tenured job, leadership positions at my church and lots of friends. I was a writer who enjoyed scripting and presenting poetry. How had I gone so far? I had a wonderful, full life. Why did I want to kill myself?

Maybe the answer seems clear: My life was too full, weighing me down until I felt I could no longer go on. I had too much going on in my life; I was trying to be too much for too many people. I was taking on assignments and not completing them well. I was forgetting appointments, staying up late and getting up early. I was driving all over town to meet obligations and had a host of stress-related issues to tend to. The pressure was tough, but I felt I had to do it. This was my life. This was my lot. I was falling apart from the pressure of being a strong black woman.

Copyright 2006-2010 by Rhonda J. Smith


4 responses to “Day 3: Losing It, Part 1

  1. Wow, you never cease to amaze me!!! It’s been over 4 years and the parallels of our lives seem to increase! I wonder if the stories in my life seem to be a retell of yours? (LOL) I thank GOD that you possess a wealth of knowledge and experience to deal with people like me. I’m so glad you’re in my life!

  2. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    If you didn’t already know it, Helena, God put us together. He cares so deeply for us and it shows with how He put us in covenant with each other. I love and appreciate you. Stay strong in the Lord!

  3. aconerlycoleman

    powerful *applause*

    just powerful

  4. musingsofastrongblackwoman

    Thanks Ms. Coleman.

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