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On Black, Fat, Femme Positivity: Why I'm at My Heaviest, My Most Confident, and Don't Need Your Approval to Exist

"If I breathe in public for five seconds, it’s also common that someone will feel the need to tell me, “YASSSSS!” in an attempt to ch...

Friday, February 24, 2017


I'll preface this piece by sharing that I live with chronic mental illness. Among the myriad of diagnoses are major depression and anxiety disorder which rears itself in ugly panic attacks. Life has been very difficult for me, particularly now in the last month. I'm up and down, socially selective, hypersensitive and just a big ball of mush lately. So, content warning if you are faint of heart or just a little tender today to continue with caution and mindfulness of your own triggers. Here is a bird's eye view into my experience with panic attacks...


the faintest detail. the most minor stressor. the smallest slight
and i begin to feel the tightening in my chest
and the bating of my breath
so i do everything i was taught to cope
i firmly plant my feet--i am grounded
i take deep breaths as well as inventory of my surroundings--i am present; i am safe
in trying hard to convince myself i hadn't realized
the burning tears falling down my face in a scorching stream
the tightening in my chest increases
i hyperventilate
my ankles crossed, my legs shaking
i am in a dark place
i am not safe
i am afraid
i am alone
and in this bathroom stall
curled on the floor beside the toilet
is how i die

if you are suffering, there is help and hope...
national help: http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=urgent_crisis_hotline
local (Austin) help: http://www.rockspringshealth.com/lp/depression-treatment.stml