Diary of A Successful Black Woman…
Sounds like the headliner of a prominent black magazine, maybe another title for a Tyler Perry movie or some online article full of pictures and stories of an inspiring black woman who has made it from nothing and is now at the top of her game. A self-made billionaire who earned every penny through persistent hard work. A glamorous young woman who can stand her own, and married or single is content in her successes. One would hardly associate the title with a woman suffering from depression
My successes past and present as a qualified chef include Jems Caterers, a gourmet 5*catering business that stood high above the rest as one of the leading Caribbean caterers throughout the 90’s catering for weddings and glamorous affairs. Jemz Cake Box, a thriving bespoke cake business where attention to detail is second to none. As an author, my first book, God’s Romantic Getaway chronicles my journey from the lead up to the peak of my depression to freedom, after 35years. The Behind Closed Doors Christmas Feeding Program, a program I set up for families and individuals affected by mental health struggling throughout the Christmas period. I provide fully loaded home cooked hampers with food for up to a week. GRG Intimate Seclusion Retreats, a spin-off from my book, GRG 7 day retreats offer a tranquil spiritual backdrop away from the distractions of life, exposing individuals to the restoration received through deep intimacy with God
Having read all of that, let’s hope you won’t be disappointed by the fact that I am not a self-made millionaire and I am still working on the glamorous side of things as I ditch my Cinderella mindset. Am I content with still being single? Mmmm, let’s save that for another blog. As for being at the top of my game, in the eyes of the world, I am forever excelling.
I called my blog page Diary Of A Successful Black Woman because I have lost count of the number of times I have been told,” you are such an inspiration”, “you are a great role model”, “you are a wonderful person”, ” you are a successful entrepreneur”, you are so gifted”, “your hands are blessed”, “you are so beautiful”, “you have a wonderful figure” and more. All this, and what the world sees is what in their eyes makes me successful. But on the other side of the coin, I have also lost count of the number of times I was told with an impatient tone to smile, called miserable, moody, too serious, named the Iron the lady, was ignored, overlooked and very much misunderstood.
In a recent interview at my church, I spoke openly for the first time about my long battle with depression, the audience both young and old were so captivated you could have heard a pin drop. The gentlemen interviewing me broke down as he questioned why I was able to walk through the doors week after week without anyone noticing. I didn’t say this then, but I will say it now, because for the most I was, and always have been pre-judged. Both at church and in my own family, the very people that called me miserable were the very people who broke down at the realisation of how bad things had become for me mentally. They were the very people who went on to praise me for my bravery of stepping out and speaking about my depression. Today they stand alongside the many who call me inspiring.
In my blogs, I aim to share with you the gritty truths of what it takes to be successful while managing depression. I feel this is necessary so others in my shoes can start to look at success, namely theirs differently. You may be walking the very path I am on and not seeing anything great about yourself or what you do. You may be feeling like a failure, wondering what’s there to live for. Well, there are many days that feel like that. With all the successes of Jemz Cake Box, my book, the charity and the retreats, there are days when I wake up thinking, “What on earth am I doing and why do I feel like such a failure?”
The world has no idea how much I have to talk to myself, push past the thoughts that bombard my mind when disappointment hits. How much I have to control my down days, so my thoughts don’t activate my emotions and the heavy oppressive mood that is always trying to gain its way back into my life. The world looks at what I do and deems me successful, but I look at what I have to manage and deem myself successful.