By: Shea Harris
As a young black professional in the Clinical Research field that recently relocated and started a new job, I began to quickly network and meet individuals with similar interests. As you can imagine, I was presented with numerous opportunities to go out and just let my hair down. And trust me, I did.
During my first work week, I was either in South Beach or Fort Lauderdale having the time of my life! I was so caught up in the fact I wasn’t in North Carolina and I didn’t have to go searching for fun. For the first time in a while, I didn’t feel guilty about living my life. I didn’t feel guilty about going out on a week day. I was living. I was thriving.
As soon as I got into the car accident, everything started to slow down. Everything I could have thought about prior to the accident, prior to my moving, prior to accepting the job, it all came at one time and began to cloud my mind. At that moment I felt I lost control of my emotions (sounds crazy I know).
As a young black woman I always believed if people saw me break into a sweat, it showed a sign of weakness. I never want to be perceived as weak. I never want people to see me cry. For a while, it’s become a routine for me to hide my feelings and handle everything on my own. Of course everyone goes through obstacles, but I never wanted people to know that little ‘ol me was going through the motions. I never wanted people to know I was hurting. I didn’t want help, I just wanted everything I was feeling to disappear so I could head down to South Beach and turn up.
Once I acknowledged my feelings, I began living in my truth and each day got easier. Saying aloud “Shea, you got into an accident”, helped me let go of the guilt. I had to remind myself that my car was totaled in order to breathe and let go of that weight on my chest. I remind myself every day of the moment my car hit the other driver. I remember each curse word that came out of the other passenger’s mouth once we saw the damage. I relive all of the phone calls to the insurance companies. I replay each moment where the night went wrong.
The entire car accident was a blessing from God in so many ways. That one event taught me how to handle my emotions properly. I don’t sweep my issues under a rug, I look them dead in the face and come to terms with them. I acknowledge the moment and avoid suppressing my reality. I live through the difficult times and remind myself of the quote my deceased classmate, Travis Davis, used to say: “pain is temporary; victory is forever”.
Have you ever had to deal with your emotions spiraling out of control? How did you deal with them?