Music (I do not own the rights to this music) allow this to play in the background while you’re reading
Logic – Anziety (https://youtu.be/SyERzwy-4v4)
Raheem Devaughn – Woman (https://youtu.be/StDq6r9-6-w)
(Photo courtesy of Damon Mackin)
I am an African American Woman, whose grandmother was abused, grandmother who handled her problems by drinking alcohol, a mother forced to struggle to make ends meet during my youth, a “bastard” child, a single mother with a family divided. I blocked out most of my childhood and I don’t know why. I’ve witnessed my family become pulled a part by the demons they could not let go. I’ve seen abuse, hate, and detriment at the expense of others. I’ve damn near seen it all. I have had many ups and downs. Tired and confused and most of all, I pretend everything is okay. I have too much to lose for me to wallow in self pity. Does this make me okay? No, in a way it’s more dangerous to suppress what you know is wrong but, do I go seek help? No, for some reason I am afraid of what “others” may think. And, what do I do? I continue to “press through.” I struggle and pep talk myself, “everything is going to be okay,” instead of dealing with the issues. For some reason, I’d rather lose sleep because of stress. How many things said above fit your life?
I self analyze and go back to the grind. I was raised not to fail, to not give up and only ask for help after I have exhausted all options. In my mind, the only enemy is my acceptance of failure and my only competition is myself. In turn, I become exhausted but, still can’t quit because I have to prove to myself I can do it. Wrestling with internal infliction, “There are people with a lot more problems than I. To be quite honest, I shouldn’t complain, I don’t need help both mentally or physically.”
When we think of mental health, we think of the extreme: schizophrenia or bi polar disorder. Not realizing there is a spectrum of mental health that encompasses so much more.
• “6.9% of adults in the U.S.—16 million—had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.6
• 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder such as posttraumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and specific phobias.7
• Among the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced a substance use disorder, 50.5%—10.2 million adults—had a co-occurring mental illness.8
• African Americans and Hispanic Americans each use mental health services at about one-half the rate of Caucasian Americans and Asian Americans at about one-third the rate.13″
Mental Health by Numbers, Nami (2015)
With such low numbers of those who seek counseling, could you imagine if a lot more people including I would seek help. Mental Health is not to be taken lightly yet, we toy with the idea/keep to stigmas laid in front of us and don’t seek help until it is too late. Seeking the right assistance can provide you with a sense of newness; make you whole, protect relationships, give an opportunity for healing/ for success.
Mental Health Awareness month maybe over but, mental health is always/should always be addressed.
As I finish presenting my thoughts, I leave you with this:
It’s okay to ask for help
No one man is an island-if you were meant to be alone then, life would have reflected in such a way that there was no other choice but for you to be alone
Seeking professional counseling does not make you weak; instead it makes you strong because you recognize the need for assistance and are willing to do something about it
There will be hard times in life but, what you do to push through those times is what makes you either strong or weak.
It’s okay to be wrong
And, Everyone needs to find a Healthy Support System