Maisha Howze shows vulnerable side in new self-help book
When times get tough, do you tend to hold it all inside?
If you do, you’re not alone. Pittsburgh native Maisha Howze has been working in the social services field for more than 20 years, and she knows that most people, especially in the African American community, do not want to show vulnerability or admit that they aren’t feeling right.
That’s why she’s written a self-help book designed to give people the strength to outwardly express their problems and then, begin the self-healing process.
The book is entitled, “W.A.S.H. (Withstand All Strife to Heal), Time To Do YOUR Laundry.” The official book release signing and party was held at Arnold’s Tea on the North Side, Oct. 26.
“Whenever you show that you’re vulnerable, people think that you’re weak, and no one wants to be looked at that way,” Howze told the New Pittsburgh Courier in an exclusive interview. “A lot of things that happen to people that impacts them, they hold it in and they try to be strong,” such as physical abuse via a family member or significant other, or drug and alcohol abuse. “There are things that happen in our community every day that we’re taught to be strong about and not talk about, but it’s time to move to a place of healing,” Howze said.
Howze, now 46 years old with two children, said she wasn’t immune to certain issues, which she openly discusses in the book. She talks about her thoughts of suicide, adverse experiences at the job and with co-workers, and the ups and downs of relationships with men.
The aptly titled book makes clever references to, say, the “dirty clothes” in one’s “hamper” (the mind, body and spirit); then sorting that dirty laundry (current trauma, mental health issues, drug/alcohol issues, familial discord, disappointments, grief, etc.); and onto the preparation stage (loading the washing machine, selecting the temperature and cycle); and ultimately, in chapter seven, the “spin cycle” (removing the trauma and problems from your mind, body and spirit to create a better, more complete person).