Let’s take a moment to discuss mental health
I don’t know why this is a taboo in our community. We neglect it consistently and it’s slowly killing us.
We as women are worse. We shoulder EVERYTHING!
I picked up one of many things from my mom and I am struggling to change one major thing. She passed on to me the idea of not being a burden to people. So I keep A LOT to myself. It took my mom passing away for me to realize I needed to take my mental health more seriously. I started seeing a counselor along with my daughter. Yep! I know insert gasp…..black people seeing a counselor???!!!! What about Jesus? Don’t you trust Him to see you through your trials and tribulations…..look let me stop you right there
Yes I grew up in the church and yes I believe in Jesus and all that jazz but let me drop this nugget you won’t sit around and pray a broken bone away, you take your behind to the doctor…. you have to put some work in behind those prayers. There are people, professionals who went to school and specialized in various things to assist you because you just can’t do it yourself. So going to seek help does not mean you lack faith. If anything it means you are putting your faith into action. It takes a strong person to say hey I need help let me go get some help. You were never built to do this life journey alone.
Now when reaching out for help or talking to people about your problems, you do need some discernment. You can’t go depending on everyone. You should have AT LEAST one person in your corner you can rely and depend on. Someone that whatever you tell them stays right there with them and the four walls. You don’t have someone, use a journal, write those thoughts down get them out. Shoot talk to yourself if you need to. They have counselors you can talk to online for a fraction of the cost. Research local support groups in your area.
We check our physical health from time to time. Yet we constantly neglect our mental health. I won’t give out stats and data because all you need to do is look within yourself. Stop and take some time and listen. Listen to your body.
Take five minutes out your day and just empty your mind. Start a journal. We have so much in our minds it’s ridiculous. We carry so much inside it is making us sick.
I know as a single parent. I feel like I NEVER have time to just have an emotional meltdown and feel all the feels. Well one day while tucking my daughter in for the night and after one “mom” too many from her. I just sat on the floor and cried. EVERYTHING I was holding in just came pouring out. My mom being sick, a recent break-up, being an expat, being a mom, being single, being a single mom, being a woman…all of it just came out. I knew I needed to seek help. I wasn’t crazy but I needed someone to help me process my life. I put it off. I didn’t think I could afford it. I didn’t think I could trust someone enough. I didn’t think I really truly needed it. I mean hey I could pray, I could write in my journal, I could take of myself by myself…..yeah, okay WRONG
My mom took a turn for the worse. She was released into hospice care. I came home and one week after I came home my brother and I were making phone calls telling people our mama had passed away.
Something about being in the room as your mama takes her last breath does something to you. The grief of her death was overwhelming. I cried for simple reasons. I cried for big reasons. I just cried all the time. I didn’t know what to do.
I started small and joined a Facebook support group….yeah I swear that made it worse seeing all these post of people who had lost their mom. I got my daughter into counseling with no problems. Me on the other hand I was scared. I didn’t want to acknowledge that I needed help. I didn’t even want to acknowledge that my mama was dead. I finally sought out help. I felt the world being lifted off my shoulders as I talked with my counselor.
She is helping me take care of myself. I take time each week to get a massage. I take time each day to carve out at least 5 minutes to myself. I have a mediation app on my phone with a reminder. I am slowly getting back into yoga. I have an adult coloring book. My mama always said “I have lived my life, you need to live your life”
Well I can’t live this life half-assed. I can’t live this life neglecting myself. I have a daughter watching my every move. I want her to see my happy, not grumpy as she puts it.
We have got to stop neglecting ourselves.
We have got to stop shouldering the world.
We have got to learn to let it out.
I started writing this thing weeks ago and never published it. I didn’t think I was fully finished and guess what? , it’s not. In the past week two celebrities have committed suicide and now social media is a buzz about suicide hotlines, how to help someone who needs help, mental health, depression….you know the normal hype social media does when the wound is fresh.
I had to stop and re-evaluate somethings.
I observe people a lot. We have lost the art of creating meaningful relationships. How many Facebook “friends” are your friend in real life? How many followers on Instagram are your “followers” in real life. We put on this social media facade. We post this happy life. It’s time to pull the mask off. Stop hiding behind posts, pictures, and tweets. Get out and have a conversation. Look at your friend and say “How are you doing, no really how are you doing?” Would you even know if your friend or family is hurting? Would you know that someone is struggling? So many of us smile and walk around like nothing bothers us. Then we go home, shut the door, crawl under the covers and wish to die or cry ourselves to sleep. We go through the motions called life but deep down we are hurting.
I remember the first time I knew someone personally who committed suicide. Shook my world to the core. I had so many questions but not one answer.
I know what it feels like to not trust people and afraid to open up. Look I am here to tell you re-evaluate your friends. If there is not one somebody in your life you can talk to, remove them or remove yourself.
It’s 2018 mid way through the year. We should not be afraid. We should not hurt in silence. The suicide rate should not go up. Depression should not be taboo. Seeking help should not be taboo. Mental health should not be neglected.
I encourage you to take a moment and unplug from social media for the day. Go out and talk to real people. Pick up the phone and check on someone. Just to say hey. When you are down and out, depressed, not feeling yourself, you are not going to reach out to people. Make some genuine friendships. So when you say “hey I’m here if you need me” they know they can pick up the phone and call. Drop by and say hey. Sometimes just being there means so much than spitting out all the cliches.