In our culture of categorization, there’s no shortage of diagnoses offered to a myriad of situations. We’ve read about Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, Battered Women’s Syndrome, and even Munchausen and Stockholm Syndromes. I’m here to drop science on a new one: Inadequate Women’s Syndrome, or IWS for short. This bullshit has tried to claim me as a victim. I work. I mother. I drop off. I pick up. I purchase. I mail. I arrange. I tidy. I sort. I write. I laugh. I lie. I sign. I meet. I groom. I read. I report. I nurse. I fry, sear, simmer, scramble, stir, and strain. This all, generally before 6 p.m. I then move on to the demands of the evening: homework, laundry, the few friendships I’ve been able to maintain. And the events, causes, campaigns, and headlines that keep me connected to the world around me. This pool will never drain, people. Nor should it. There will always be more work, needs, tasks, terrors, surprises, and sales than one superwoman can handle. And our pasts, as well as our present, feed us the lie that we must complete the list, cook the dinner, host the party, aspire to the promotion, attend the mixer, read the story, master the smoky eye, and of course, either snag, keep, and/or please your partner.
And the tragic part is we believe it. We believe it, we chase it, and we literally get sick over it. Every day replaces the last as the stuff you didn’t get to. Each project is completed only to begin planning the next. You are dumping your energy in a bottomless well. The goal is never fulfilled. There’s an ache, albeit dull and quite possibly tolerable, but something ain’t right. These are the symptoms of IWS. Feelings of inadequacy robbing you of the ability to treasure, celebrate, and more importantly, sit your gorgeous ass down and soak up your swag.
In the words of MC Lyte: Naw, I’m not havin’ it.
Here’s a little diddy that is the double-edged sword of empowerment vs. self-imposed neuroses:
Now, don’t get me wrong. I LOVE Chaka. This is a classic female anthem. But we take it too damn far. I am SO not every woman. And it most definitely is NOT all in me.
To chip away at the stinky, smelly, stubborn, veil of inadequacy, I’m devoting the next month to strategies to overcome IWS. We will look to cause, character and community to fight back and re-claim the joy of our everyday lives. I solicit your engagement and your input. I don’t claim expertise, but I do commit to passion and persistence.
My lovelies, as I alluded in Healing: Part 2, our best is the mutha f@c$in’ bomb. However, our definition of best is where we get caught up in the game. The fault lines in our hearts become filled with the doubt and self-destructive goo that fuel the fire of inadequacy. I know so many women who are unconvinced of their successes. They almost chronically refuse to celebrate themselves.
Brown Betty ain’t havin’ it.
We are flippin’ that shit. Finna do it on ‘em.
Here are some teasers on inadequacy (and the havoc it wreaks) that run the gamut from funny to spiritual. Chew on ‘em for a spell, and join me for a ride I hope will help you destroy IWS forever.