In her autobiography, Becoming, former First Lady Michelle Obama mentions several examples of adversity that she encountered in her life.
First, she recalls struggles growing up as an African American in the '60s. She lived with her father, mother, and brother, Craig, in a small house in Chicago. She remembers her mother teaching her to read, her aunt teaching her piano, and her own peers telling her that she was "talking like a white girl."
Michelle Obama grew up in a working-class family. She recounted how her dad, a well-loved politician, would talk to the neighbors with empathy and concern. Her dad inspired her to be ambitious. Later, she saw her father battle multiple sclerosis until he succumbed to the illness at the age of 55.
When she went to Princeton University to study sociology, Obama felt different being an African American female in a predominantly white male school. She realized "that everyday drain of being in a deep minority."
When it comes to her marriage with President Barack Obama, she confirms that she has a happy, fulfilling marriage. But she had to overcome so many adversities to reach that point in her marriage. For example, at one time, she suffered a miscarriage. The doctor told her to undergo IVF treatments to be able to conceive. She felt resentful toward her husband, as he was intent on pursuing his political career despite her fertility woes. She felt alone and lonely in her struggles to conceive: "Now here I was in the bathroom of our apartment, trying, in the name of all that want, to screw up the courage to plunge a syringe into my thigh."
Later, when she became the first African American First Lady, she felt overwhelmed. The task seemed daunting. When she was invited to an all-girls secondary school in London, she noticed that the majority of the students were ethnic minorities. Seeing the young girls reminded her of her painful past of overcoming stereotypes and barriers because of her skin color. It was then that Obama had an epiphany. She realized that she could use her role as a First Lady to help open doors for women of color. She could become the voice for girls who grew up like her. This realization helped her overcome her own feelings of inadequacy in taking on the role of a First Lady.