Everyone has a story and everyone’s story is valid. This story is about truth, obstacles, discovering mindfulness and finding balance. I am honored to have New York Times Best Selling Author Joshua Shabazz as a guest writer. It is difficult to come forward and share personal experiences and personal journeys especially as a man of color. I am proud and thankful that Mr. Shabazz was willing to come forward to speak his truth with transparency and honesty in order to help others. I thank you and I salute you!
I had been taking care of my dying mother for 6 years. Family would ask is mom ok, what’s going on with her. I’d tell them that she was having kidney issues that led to dialysis. I would tell them about the heart surgery that she needed. Some less serious heart surgeries she was having. But that was a true-lie. It was true that she was having those issues, but what I didn’t say was that my mother was HIV positive. She didn’t want me to tell anyone because she was ashamed of it. She didn’t want the judgment, and I didn’t blame her. I had planned to move to Dallas in 2008 just a few months later, but after my mother shared with me and only me about her truth, I decided to stay. The news broke me down like never before. But now I had to be a strong man for her. But as I watched her deteriorate and dwindle down to a woman that was nearly unrecognizable from the woman that raised me, I began to dwindle as well. My heart shattered as I work to finish my college degree, amidst my wife having a miscarriage at 5 months, losing my grandmother suddenly, and as I watched friends who I trusted turn their backs and walk away. All this while trying to maintain a home, be a father to my kids, and be a decent husband every now and then…. What I didn’t know was I was falling into a pit, mentally and emotionally. My heart was so broken that when my joy left, I didn’t even notice. My passion divorced me and my fire has been exterminated. Then through a series of irrational decisions, it all began to come tumbling down. My marriage destroyed. My home, my family, as well as my mother, all gone. I had to do something. Prayer helped, but I needed more. I began to seek help. I wish I could say it took one day, it didn’t. I was diagnosed with major depression, anxiety and PTSD. I realize that it would be a continuous journey of mental wellness in order to live and love again. Along with ongoing counseling, I began to work out 3-5 days a week, and began to take all natural substances to help me.
To regain mental balance, along with reconnecting spiritually with God on a daily basis thru prayer and study. I cut out negative people, music, negative messages on TV, etc. Natural substances that I began to take was:
- Multivitamin (Over the counter)
- Magnesium (Anxiety)
- Bebeerine (Digestion)
- Vitamin D (Energy)
- St. Johns Wart (Serotonin, feel good mechanism in brain) fights depression -Juicing fruits and vegetables (I hate vegetables and salads with everything in my soul)
- Regular exercise
My prayer is that this reaches someone and changes someone’s life. Your new life is just a few good choices away!! I’ll meet you there!
Joshua Shabazz– Father, Author, Speaker, entrepreneur and life teacher.
“I Have been working in the communities of Minneapolis and St. Paul since the age of 13. Growing up poor there were many community resources that helped my family get by, and as an adult I’ve enjoyed giving that back to other family by serving them in various ways over the last 20 plus years. My only goal is to live a life with meaning and to leave a legacy that the ones behind me can follow and be proud of”
For more info about Joshua Shabazz and his books, please visit his website at https://joshuawatson3.wixsite.com/j-shabazzbooks