Worldwide journalist Madam Gabrielle Alexandra Smith is receiving a lot of attention because of the unexpected drop of her memoir Herstory. Her memoir is stories about her personal life and career as a journalist.
Madam Gabrielle stops to express her relationship to mental health and how she is helping Washington, DC bring attention to their struggles with mental health.
Spinex: Take us through the first night you experienced anxiety.
“I remember everything. It was not at night, it during the afternoon. I was being watched without my consent, which today I realize I cannot control.
I was at SUNY Purchase, staying at a dormitory called Outback. I had just done an interview with American record producer Jermaine Dupri with another magazine. At this point, my interviews were becoming extreme, meaning with A list of American individuals. I know dreams take years to come true. My dreams of who to interview were coming true overnight.
I heard talking coming from the other room. I lived in a suite.
Spinex: Did you know Dr. Shabazz at this time?
“No, I met her my senior year. I will get to that story. I started my professional career as a journalist my junior year, at the age of 21. Before my professional career, I had interviewed and people vented to me randomly on the streets, at college, and in grade school. I knew who my teachers in high school were having affairs with.
I felt a feeling in my chest. It was a euphoric feeling. The vibration in my chest kept getting larger. I was scared. My mommy and daddy were not there to save me. They were in Washington, DC and I was attending Purchase in New York, about 30 minutes from the city.
The feeling kept getting larger and larger. I was scared. I was crying. I had never felt that feeling before. I was crying hard tears. I was said to myself, “What is this?” Honestly, I thought I was dying. I thought this was the feeling you experience before your soul ascends to heaven. I prayed to God and said, “Please do not take me now. I have more to accomplish.
The feeling was over. Then he came back. The rapid energy that flowed through me felt like a defibrillator. My chest vibrated like a defibrillator multiple times.”
Spinex: I am sorry you experience this.
“If someone was to tell me all this would happen when you were a little girl would you still be a journalist?
Honestly, as a little girl or little Gabrielle, I walked around saying, “I am going to be a journalist. My answer is yes, only because the career as a journalist is related to asking questions, which happens to be a passion in life. if it were not my passion, then I would not be a journalist. It comes with too much. The glitz and glam do not phase me.
If someone would have told me I would develop a serious case of anxiety, then no I would have pursued a career in journalism. I would have gone for something else.
Every time, I had an anxiety attack, I looked in the mirror afterward. On the other side, I envision my little Gabrielle’s self, and she said, “Keep going. You got this.
I remember one morning, I felt something was about to happen. My intuition told me to take my charger. This was junior year. I had a roommate who was in my room to spy on me because of another suitemate. I took mostly 8 am and 10 am classes to do the interview the rest of the day. My intuition told me not to leave. I left for my 8 am class.
I came back and my earring was stolen. They junked my room up. Poisoned my apple juice. They stole my phone charger so I could not do interviews. I said, “Why is there white stuff in my apple juice?”
I love apples and apple juice a lot. Favorite beverage next to the water. Next question.
Spinex: How did Dr. Shabazz usher in your life?
“Each year my roster of people I interviewed got higher. I would call my parents and tell them, “Mommy and daddy, I am doing an interview in Germany or I am interviewing the whole class of Bet’s In Contempt. They were getting shocked.
My anxiety attacks got worse because they would watch me without my consent during my interviews. They would invite people over to listen to me talk. I have great hearing. I perfectly use my senses, which everyone should.
Senior year was more of a challenge. I was taking six upper-level classes, interviewing on three platforms, doing over 40 interviews a week, 12 a day, plus pursuing two degrees such as Communications and English.
I remember crying, telling God, “How am I going to do this?” It was October 2018.
I made the basement bathroom in Outback at Purchase was my prayer room. I was in a single bathroom. So, I left my dorm Big Haus and walked to it. I say on the floor and cried. I said, “God bring me someone who can seriously help. I can not continue to do all this by myself.”
This was after me and Dr. Shabazz talked for an interview. Our connection had been technically over, meaning professional there was no reason for us to be communicating.
I left my prayer room and the next text I got was from her. She never left my side. I said, “God you move quick.” I was crying real tears. I was crying out to God like a two-year-old for an ice cream cone in Central Park. Dr. Ilyasah Shabazz was a serious lifesaver.
End of Part One