How a Hip Hop Blogger and Publicist dealt with Bi-Polar, Anxiety and OCD
I’m Amanda aka Awesomenezz, The Founder of Hip Hop Headquarters and Music Industry Hip Hop Publicist.
I suffer from Bi-Polar Type 2 (Depression), Anxiety, and OCD and I have been suffering from them all since I was around 10 years old.
I saw way too many things as a child that no person in their whole life should see or go through
It all started before I was adopted at the age of six. My biological mother was an alcoholic and my step father was a woman beater and a child sexual abuser. Let’s just say I saw way too many things as a child that no person in their whole life should see or go through. By the age of 5, my mother just decided she was going to take me and my brother and drop us off at a daycare and just not come back. I remember to this day sitting there staring at the door and…nothing. The daycare called Social Services and a social worker picked us up and put us in the system. Nothing worse of a feeling than having a parent abandon you.
The first foster family we went to was an old white couple who hated black people. See, my mom was white and my biological father was black (no idea who he is..but looking at my skin Im sure he was..lol). My HALF-Brother, who is 5 years older than me..we had different fathers so his dad was white..he was 100% cute little red headed white boy with green eyes. Get this, they had a 4 bedroom house with one room that had three twin beds in as they took in several foster kids yearly. My room? The hallway closet. Every day I got out of school (mind you they made me walk to and from at the age of 5) as soon as I got to the house the lady would chase me with a belt and lock me in the closet. They only fed me bread and butter and powdered milk. Finally they went back to the social worker stating I was a menace so they kicked me out of their house and kept my brother..now separating us. My brother was all I had at the time…first my mother abandons me and now you take the only other person I felt safe with.
They then moved me in with a middle age single black woman. But at the time I missed my brother so much that all I could do was cry because I was so scared. I guess the lady told social services that they need to find me a family with maybe a sibling that I could attach to. So they moved me again.
They took me to a house with a mother and a father and an older brother who was 5 years older than me. Well it worked! They adopted me a year later, and even though I would get on my brothers last damn nerves, I hope he knows now how much I needed him back then.
Finally, mom decided to take me to a therapist, where they told me to start writing.
Over my young teenage years I started to fall apart. Having flashbacks, becoming so angry at times. I was petrified and angry with my dad all of the time because he was a father figure and before him all I knew was my stepfather beating my mother up and sexually abusing me, so I avoided him as much as possible and even when we did speak it was ALWAYS a fight. Finally, mom decided to take me to a therapist, where they told me to start writing.
Mind you, music has always been my escape plan..as a child I would go in our extra room over the garage and put music up loud and just DANCE for hours pretending to be anywhere and anyone. The first time I wrote in my journal…I wrote a 2 page poem and didn’t even realize it. My mother bought me a binder and told me to keep writing..created a whole damn book of poems lol! I was a huge 90’s alternative kid..mostly Nirvana, Guns N Roses, etc. Because my biological mother was white, that’s all I knew. My brother put me on to hip hop starting with LL Cool and then the infamous Tribe Called Quest and Digable Planets. I fell all the way in love with rhyming. Hearing artists tell their stories through music was amazing to me and I wanted more!
Outside of my music getaway world, I was insecure, promiscuous, depressed, angry, but somehow tried to keep a smile on my face. Nobody except my family knows what was really going on with me until now.
I told my daughter right there: “I will never leave you, you’re safe.”
Speeding up, I gave birth to my daughter in 2007 and it was a hurricane of emotions and HELL for me. I wasn’t postpartum, it was more of I have to give this child the world and protect her everyday so she never sees anything that I ever went through. I remember right after I had her they said she had to go to the NICU because her heart was beating a little off. Let’s just say, I don’t think I ever cried so hysterically in my life. When they finally brought her back to me, I remember her staring at me trying to fall asleep with one eye open, not taking her eyes off of me and I told her right there “I will never leave you, you’re safe.” And she fell asleep.
Few months later I started gaining weight, I was depressed and full of anxiety. I ended up going to the doctor who then sent me to a psychiatrist and a psychologist who both diagnosed me with Bi-Polar depression and OCD. (See in the 80s these names weren’t really diagnosed often..you were just crazy or bad as hell..lol)
I still to this day suffer from both but have learned to take it one day at a time. Family has learned to deal with the fact that I have good days and bad days. If I don’t answer my phone, just let me be until I come out of my dark place. Even my daughter who is now 9, understands and pretty much knows my dark day schedule better than anyone else lol. I did a lot of research on both illnesses and read forums of others suffering, which helped me to not feel alone.
You’re not alone!
To people who are also suffering from a mental or physical illness, I would definitely say, you’re not alone. Many of your favorite influences probably suffer from depression, they just don’t put it out there for the world to see. Definitely go see a doctor and get diagnosed properly. I don’t recommend pills because they just make you feel like a damn zombie. But still do what works for you. Don’t get me wrong, there are days where all I want is vodka..but there are so many other days where still putting on music and taking a good run in the park calms me down as well. If you can’t get to a doctor at first, find someone that loves you unconditionally that you trust and can talk to about your feelings openly and not be judged. If you don’t have that person, you can always find online forums with people going through the same thing.
If you have a story of overcoming or living with mental or physical illness you would like to share, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org .