Like everyone else around the world 2020 was a hell of a year for me! I cried and laughed so much this past year that it made me realize how much I truly kept bottled up inside. Before the pandemic I was stressed, overworked, anxious, sad and DEPRESSED!
Yes, I was DEPRESSED!
And if you’ve ever met me, you wouldn’t think any of these things about me, right?
I am funny, smart, outgoing, BOISTEROUS just to name a few of my wonderful attributes but depressed? Absolutely not. There is no way anyone would have ever thought that being so “perfect” was literally drowning me in helplessness.
I feel that I’ve always had waves of depression throughout my life that would come and go. However, depression wasn’t something I wanted to believe about myself because of the stigma placed around mental health in the black community especially with the narrative of the “strong black woman”. I was ashamed to admit that I was constantly drowning & desperately needed help with sorting out my anxiety and emotions.
So how did I hide all this so well and for so long? I covered it up!
Accomplishing more goals, buying more shit, having more sex, drinking and eating more than usual and so much more! I masked my depression with other things I felt that I could control. It was a way for me to act as if I had everything under control, when I was struggling mentally.
Showing emotions in a healthy manner wasn’t something I was accustomed to growing up. Expressing my emotions and feelings wasn’t always allowed in my household. You did what you were told & that was it! So, it wasn’t until I was in college that I actually started to learn how much I had bottled up inside and what it was doing to my mental.
I’ve experienced some of the worst betrayals and heartbreaks from the people I love. And instead of healing from those situations I just stuffed them in a box and continued to mask it with more shit I didn’t need. It got so bad to the point that my body was literally hard. I was holding so much in that I walked around with my teeth clenched and my shoulders tightened ready to explode. I knew that there was something I needed to do to let go of this stuff I was holding on to for so long.
That’s when I decided that getting therapy was something that I needed in order to start this process of letting go.
So I started seeing a therapist last September of 2020 and it has been the BEST DECISION I HAVE EVER MADE FOR MYSELF!
The amount of peace I’ve been gaining since I’ve made my mental health a priority is priceless. There is nothing I could buy, drink, eat, etc. that compares to the relief I feel after working through rough topics with my therapist. The clarity I have gained and the boundaries I’ve set and followed through on have allowed me to create a space just for ME and MY HAPPINESS!
Therapy has allowed me to start becoming the woman I’ve always wanted to be. To grow into someone that I AM PROUD OF!
For so long I’ve worried about what others would think of me, especially the ones I thought were the closest to me. I would be ashamed or embarrassed to say that I was struggling or that I wanted to seek help for things I was struggling with. But now I don’t care about any of that stupid shit at all! I am doing what is best for me and I don’t seek approval from anyone. I’ve also realized that a lot of the people that are or have been negative about my therapy are the ones who need it as well.
And that is something I’ve had to not take personal.
“People cannot be happy for you when you are trying to heal because they are okay with sitting in their own trauma, pain, sadness, etc.
And this was all too true for me. When I first started therapy, I would share with certain people and they would try to contradict or put down things I worked on just so they could feel good about themselves. And that’s when I started to realize that everyone cannot be a part of the journey with you.
I no longer care about being seen as “perfect”; I have started doing things that make me happy and make me feel good about myself. I have made my happiness and my mental health the most important aspects of my life. I am still in therapy and I have SO MUCH work I still have to do. But I am so proud of myself for changing the narrative and seeking help to get my healing.
I would encourage anyone to seek therapy or counseling to get some healing as well. ❤
the dope picture above is the artwork of the artist Ambrojah.
check out her website firstname.lastname@example.org