28 Days Of Blackness: Black Mental Health Matters

Thank you to the women that keep me level, Karen Banks and Black TikTok’s favorite therapist @truthheals.

Image result for mental health meme
Therapy helps me to not do that.

At 18, I cried in my nursing instructors office. I cried like I had not cried before…until my grandmother died. I cried because I was broke, failing classes, and needed to understand why my father was dead, and my mother told me and my sister, “Don’t cry.”

I have gone through cycles of depression masked by doing superhero mom and adult things. I have had crying breakdowns when I couldn’t find my keys to pick up my kids from a hair appointment. I have also cried in showers when I had no other thing to do or way to cope! I have and nervous breakdowns in bedrooms, and been told I have attitude because of anxiety. The world one of all? I was shamed from going to therapy because “White people go to therapy.”

I have also worked in ministry, quote scripture, and am the one that people call when they need help. But, no one, ever or rarely, checks on the heroes. Then, they wonder where they are. I have been at the lowest end where I thought not being in my 5’10’ frame with matching size 11 shoes would be the absolute best thing. Who wants a broken girl, right? There is a quote I heard on social media a while ago which said, “Pretty girls have the most pain.”

What I have discovered is that therapy is the absolute best thing I could have done for myself. It forces me to look at me with a lens unwavering. Having a therapist who looks like me? Oh, what a blessing that is! I don’t have to project a white speaking representative in a space where the person helping me, doesn’t look like–so they can’t understand me. I believe this is a reason why most Black people don’t go to therapy–there aren’t enough spaces that are Black enough to handle what we will bring.

I met my therapist, Karen, through an activism space. I reached out to her through Facebook and told her I was struggling. I believe the exact phrase I said was, “I am going through some things that not even Black girl magic can get me through.” And, she listened. Through her honestly, and sliding scale, I’m better. I’m feeling better and looking at the world differently. I made the decision to be serious about my mental and physical well-being–because my Black life matters to me (must matter to me) first.

Therapy has shown me that steamrolling through life, and doing that on frequent basis doesn’t let me celebrate what I have been able to accomplish. My alpha femme self still needs to remember there is a little girl in me that needs to be able to be heard–not covered by sex, work, or overeating.

The wounds that people don’t see are the deepest ones. Trust me when I tell you that healing is the hardest thing you will have to do.

I have been on my therapy journey on and off for years. With the pandemic, it has become harder to reach out. However, there are apps like THE SAFE PLACE which offer therapeutic services. Most therapists also offer services on a sliding scale! Mental health is something which cannot be neglected and is a serious issue in the Black community. Wanting that kind of healing for yourself does not make you ‘trying to be White!” It makes you serious about your mental health, confronting your trauma and becoming a better version of you!

Therapy is for you. Be kind yourself. It is a process, it will not be easy, but it will be worth it.

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