As National Mental Health Month comes to a close we have a responsibility to ask; are you okay, sis? This may seem like a simple question, but you never know the magnitude it holds until someone asks you and you've been holding the weight of the world inside for too long. A few years ago I had my first bought of depression. I mean, I was a happy person who had a thriving social life that was always out of town, making new friends and loved the lifestyle my job provided. Then it happened...I became irritable and withdrawn, hated my job and the people whom I worked with, besides for work rarely left my house, stopped going out to have fun, didn't shop (this was my favorite past time), nothing. It all stopped. After joking with Phoenix how I was so tired and needed time off to regroup, she recommended that I seek therapy. Like most black families, mine didn't discuss mental health outside of dementia, schizophrenia, or PTSD when someone you all knew was diagnosed and you received the gossip. Mental health along with other subjects are just taboo in the black community.
I must admit, I took Phoenix's suggestion with a grain of salt and figured it would be a joke. Boy, was I wrong! Therapy helped me to realize not only did I have major daddy issues, I had mommy issues as well. She helped me to understand that I hated my job because I wanted an out to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavors but was too afraid to do so because I didn't want to lose my cushy lifestyle. It helped me realize that I needed to ignore society's standards for what my 27 year old self needed to have accomplished. Therapy helped me to realize that I'd listened to so many of my friends and families issues and didn't have anyone I felt I could really talk with about how I was feeling. Not because they weren't there, but because I put their needs before my own. I'm the strong friend you read about. The one who will lace up her too-tight Timbs (you've heard the story on episode 3 lol) to go gather some edges, the one who will help you fill out those business and grant applications, the same one who will be right there to pump you up because you deserve more. I strive to be the friend that checks on her friends, but fall short in doing so consistently. So I needed help and therapy was that outlet I so desperately needed. Acknowledging that I was depressed was one of the hardest things for me to do because I'd heard the horror stories and saw the judgmental looks and such. Outside of therapy, I could really only talk to two people who knew exactly what I was going through and we supported each other like no other.
Read the extension of our podcast as hosts, Charli, Kay and Phoenix write about issues concerning woc simply because when you know better, you'd do better. Do better, sis.