Dream. Travel. Live. Repeat…
If it all starts with a dream what happens when you can’t even bring yourself to do even the simplest of things, let alone dream??? What happens when the weight of the world feels stronger than your will??
When I found out July was National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (mouthful), I felt I had to do things a little different. After all, I’m sure you’ve found yourself in this same place, and if not then you know someone who has.
Blacks are 20% more likely than the rest of the population to experience a serious mental illness.
The Most Common
- Major depression
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -more likely to be victim of violent crimes
Most of us struggle with the 1st one and don’t even realize it. Major Depression is something more than just feeling sad. It leaves you with the feelings of: hopelessness, not being able to concentrate, a change in your appetite, loss of energy, emptiness, and for the most severe, suicidal thoughts. It goes beyond just your simple “in your feelings”. It affects your mind, ultimately affecting how you view life and yourself.
Black women experience higher rates of depression than both black men and white women but receive lower rates for treatment. We are the most underrated groups of depression in the nation
We’re so used to operating in brokenness that we don’t see when our actions are crying for help. It has become the “New” norm. But why is that??
I would imagine your family rules are similar to mine and probably like 1000’s of other black homes. “You don’t speak about anything going on in your house” You handle it and it’s not anyone’s business on exactly “How” or “What” that means. So you don’t tell people your problems. You can’t be depressed because that means “you’re weak” so you need to “snap” out of it. Or even better “just pray” about it.
Minorities are less likely to receive diagnoses and treatment for their mental illness. Over 70% of Black adolescents with a Major Depressive Disorder did not receive treatment.
Those were my same feelings… My grandmother would always tell me,” A don’t care person, don’t have a home.” I hated this expression for 2 reasons: 1). because I had a home and 2). I still didn’t care. That was until 2015 after finding out I was pregnant with my 3rd child, my grandmother passed away. A huge blow to our family. It went from grieving over a loss to postpartum depression. I was out of a job for the entire year following!! Walmart even turned me down… and then the icing, marriage problems! This sent me to a really bad place. I didn’t care about my attitude and I finally understood what it felt like to “Not have a home”.
But I’m not supposed to say… I suffered from depression. I still can’t whole hardly accept it. I downplay it like “I think I may have been depressed.” But for 2 years I found myself in this space: angry, empty, and lost. As I approached 30, I knew things had to change. In hindsight, my don’t care attitude had become a defense mechanism. In order to change my situation, I had to change my outlook. I didn’t want to be the “angry black women”.
I started to look for ways to optimize my mental health. After all “self care” is the “best care.” I took a break from social media, and started reading and writing more. Journaling and yoga is now my therapy. It’s why your’re reading this now!! As a wife, mother, I see the importance of boundaries, like when to tighten them and when to loosen them. It was hard to accept accountability, but it helps for the recovery. I still rely on my faith. I pray now more than ever, but I realize that isn’t the only option!
What if therapy was the “new norm”.. Could you imagine the possibilities??
Thoughts to myself like…
Your well being is considered a combination of both your physical and mental health. It’s the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. With all of life’s ups, downs, twists, and turns this can sometimes seems impossible. My situation has taught me depression is real and should be treated as such. It’s time to protect our well being and cure the stigma. The healing process begins when we open up. Just like any bruise or cut, it starts to heal when the band-aid is off. We’re outliers we MUST overcome in order to even get to the next step… Travel.
I know the pain is real but you can’t heal what you haven’t revealed…
Dream. Travel. Live. Repeat…