#BlackGirlHealing: “I Have Been Afraid That Stress Will Kill Me”

Wanda Olugbala GirlTrek When I was 35 years old, my father dropped dead of a massive coronary in his kitchen. At 39 years old, my doctor looked at me over the rim of her glasses and told me, “If you want to end up like your father, just keep doing what you are doing.”

Since that time I have lived my life in fear… I have been afraid that stress will kill me. I have been afraid that one day my son, my sweet baby boy, will walk in my room call my name and be forever changed because his mother has died in her sleep of a heart attack, or stroke or aneurysm. I have been afraid that the obituary of my life will begin or end with the words: “She left us before her work was done” or “We are heartbroken at her sudden passing.

I have been afraid that this ball of anger about the injustices I and all Black women face every day will choke out my life and leave me for dead.

I have been afraid of not being there to see my son graduate high school. I have been afraid that stress, disappointment, and resentment will build a wall so big around my heart that all she will be able to do is surrender.

READ: Unapologetically Healthy: 26 Of The Realest Reasons Black Women Walk