Did you guys know that yesterday was Mental Health Awareness Day? If you didn’t, I heard you say, “No, but thanks”. Y’all are welcome, by the way. Now, let’s dive right into it, shall we?
Mental health impacts everyone you know, whether you realize it or not. Although it is something that we are familiar with, we have just barely scraped the surface. Protecting your mental peace is key. And we as a people, especially black people, need to get comfortable with the subject.
The black community is often last to jump on the bandwagon for recognizing mental health. And who can blame us, right? “What goes on in this house, stays in this house”, is so deeply rooted in our histories, that we accepted it because we didn’t know their was another option. I myself did not realize the impact it had, until going through my own cycles of depression. Yes, you heard me correctly. Even me too.
Often times, we automatically equate being mentally unhealthy to an obviously deep depression or suicidal thoughts. That’s not always the case. There is no “certain look” assigned to an unhealthy mind state. I personally would never consider taking my own life, but suicide linked to depression is a real thing y’all. Depression, period. It’s time we face it.
I’ve had times in my life where I didn’t want to comb my hair, talk to anyone, or leave my room at all. I’m also good at pretending to be okay, so generally, the people who were close to me in life didn’t notice anything was different about me. Because I didn’t ‘look’ like anything was wrong. I’m open about this, and unashamed because it’s okay to not be normal. What’s NOT okay is to not address it, and feel like you must be perpetually bogged down with whatever is affecting you mentally.
Everything about you is special, even those things that you feel are meant to be your downfall. But y’all, in order to move forward, we must first make peace with those things that are meant to tear us down, and then conquer them! Mental illness is not a death sentence. It can be your super power! (Shout out to Kanye West) And you’re not alone! Did you know 1 in 5 adults experience mental illness in the United States? Some of those statistics include your favorite celebrities, too!
Let’s not limit mental health awareness to just one day, because it affects us daily. Never be ashamed to tell someone how you feel. Find a safe environment to release all your anxieties, I promise there is someone in the world willing to listen. If you are a person with a faith base, faith is your best friend. And will get you through a lot of trials, but you need a lot of faith! Don’t be afraid to see a therapist. Let’s let go of the stigmas associated with taking care of our mental state, because who better to care of you, than yourself? Am I right?
If you’re reading this, I’m there with you. And you’re not alone. Let’s be brave together, friends. One step at a time, we can conquer this subject of mental health together.