Dissecting the Diagnosis: Super Woman Syndrome

Disclaimer: I am a poet. I am not a journalist. I am not “skilled writer” but a writer that lets the voice in her head use her keyboard every once in a while.

Is becoming “Superwoman” really as toxic as articles have been saying? Is Superwoman Syndrome a real thing? Why are people advising me to not walk the steps of my mother, grandmother, and aunties? Why are people advising against, “putting on my big girl panties and getting it together”? Why are people telling me for the last 28 years of my life, what it was to be a woman, a black woman, is now…toxic.?

All questions I had and still have as I come to grasp with the reality that I am on the Superwoman Syndrome spectrum.

By definition, the Superwoman Syndrome is a range of physical, psychological, and interpersonal stress symptoms experienced by a woman who attempts to perform perfectly in multiple or conflicting roles or goes overboard in one role

My definition — A chick that gets shit’s done by any means necessary.

“By any means necessary” …The black activist in me, pictures myself in front of podium with my Malcolm X glasses on speaking to the masses. However, I think when I made the decision to get shit done, by any means necessary, I was simultaneously waging war on my mental and my soul.

What does “by any means necessary” means to you as mother, sister, auntie, mentor? To me…

  • It means constantly saying “yes” to family and “no” to dreams because “if you ain’t make it by 25, it’s over.”
  • It means making calls, going to meetings, running errands and in between tasks, taking 5 minutes to cry out of frustration. Frustration about what? You don’t know…and that adds to the frustration.
  • It means loving your partner hard, forgiving even harder and living through it because you know…”Black Love” , right?

Why did I feel…Why do I feel like I must do these things? Why do I feel like I have to make preparations to become the matriarch of my family and bare the consequences of doing so? Why do I feel like I have to constantly work and never shut down? Why do I constantly feel like I’m playing catch up? Where the hell am I trying to go anywhere and why do I feel like I’m behind?

And can someone..for the love of GOD..please explain self care!? Because somewhere along the lines of taking a mental health day from a paying job, I ended up in knee deep of grant applications for a non-profit that I founded and remain passionate about but doesn’t pay the bills. I was told that wasn’t self-care…but it was taking time out of routine to focus on MY DREAMS for MY SELF…see it even had the word “self” in it.


And just like that. As I was using this platform to unwind and my thoughts…

I have to put on my cape…some one come save me from myself..