Living in the digital age, I've grown to learn that we have a distorted view of what depression and anxiety really mean, especially as a Black woman. It's important to know that whoever told y'all that melanin is Teflon, both impenetrable and impervious to vulnerability, was a damn lie.
Anxiety doesn't always mean panic attacks and crying all day; sometimes a severe case of the jitters looks like 27 unread text messages and a sink full of dishes. Anxiety and depression are mental illnesses that manifest in different ways for different people, and Black women are not exempt; especially Black women who just so happen to be famous.
Summer Walker recently released her debut album, Over It, which quickly broke Beyonce's record for the most-streamed album by a female R&B artist ever and although the 23-year-old artist has earned recognition from some of the industry's heaviest hitters, she still battles every day with the thought of giving up music for good and living a "normal life".
In addition to protecting her energy during meet and greets, in a recent video Summer announced that she has decided to cut her 'First and Last Tour' short.
Anxiety can cause some of the biggest moments in our lives to be some of the most terrifying and Summer Walker has been living this reality since the world caught whiff of her flame. In the past, the "Girls Need Love" singer has been transparent about her introverted nature and knows that just because she's alone doesn't mean she has to be lonely. Although this affinity to roll solo has seemingly worked for Summer in the past, she's struggled to master the art of the switch-up since her rise to fame.
Last month before her Tiny Desk Concert performance, the singer opened up about it:
"Look, I'm really freaking excited to be here, but I have social anxiety like a motherfucker. So, yeah. I'm freaked the hell out. I'm sweating. But this is so exciting for me."
In a since-deleted post on Instagram, Summer explained that it doesn't always manifest in ways that people might think:
"It affects your occupational performance. It affects romantic relationships, friendships (which I have none ) & pretty much throws you into depression."
She went on to explain that her anxiety can be so paralyzing, that she can sometimes be unaware of the vibe she gives off to others and I can totally relate. Sometimes my resting b*tch face is really just me trying to remember to breathe in a room full of people, and Summer says that often, this has caused her to miss out on a number of opportunities to cultivate meaningful connections:
"This ain't a sob story, just a lot of plp (sic) don't know me so they take me as being rude or difficult to [get] close to."
Protecting your privacy is a superpower and achieving a certain level of success doesn't make you exempt from emotional turmoil. Summer Walker reminds us to take care of you, first sis. Everybody else will understand.
Featured image by Instagram/@SummerWalker.