Around October of 2017, I started to feel a bit uneasy as the holiday season approached. When I’m feeling “some kind of way” I tend to step back and take inventory of what I need to adjust. I soon realized that I was feeling some anxiety around attending the annual family gatherings. Normally I just go out of obligation, determined to suck up anything I might be feeling as I generally don’t feel the trepidation until the night before or day of. I am thankful that my body forced me to check in sooner. And even more thankful that I took action to honor myself and change course. Thus, began my exploration of revolutionary self-care.
Survival is pretty much the only thing that I have had modeled before me. I come from a family with a history of sexual abuse, a history of keeping the abuse silent, and a history of leaning toward protecting the abuser and not causing too many waves while leaving the abused to “adjust.” One of the first steps I took to participate in revolutionary self-care was to refuse to continue to participate in the aforementioned cycle of abuse. I decided to tell my mom, sister, and brother that I would no longer be participating in any holiday or family gathering where any of my abusers would be present.
I wish I could say that the path I’ve chosen to take is an easy one. As more and more well known men are being called to the carpet about their wrongdoings and more women are finding their voices, I think of the average citizen. I think of myself. I can’t attend all of the events and marches or stay abreast of the current color of solidarity. I don’t have time for that. When I my find myself alone on this path I’ve chosen, it take comfort in knowing the choice to be lonely is 100% mine.
Be revolutionary in making the choice to choose yourself first. Be revolutionary in saying no to that which doesn’t serve you. Be revolutionary in your healing. Be revolutionary in making and keeping that coffee date with your friend. Because you are worthy of more than just surviving. And Gil Scott Heron was correct when he said “the revolution will not be televised”. It will be in those choices we make everyday.