And she told me she couldn’t swim: The Mental Health of Black Women… : ThyBlackMan

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And she told me she couldn’t swim: The Mental Health of Black Women…

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Sista Talk, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Mental health, the word itself is somewhat of a taboo in the black community, I ain’t crazy I don’t’ need no shrink I can do this all on my own. But what if you can’t? What if it gets so bad that you feel like you want to hurt yourself or others do you still think you can do it? As a black woman, we are supposed to be this emasculate pillar of strength, forgetting that we are human and that we do have issues that can affect our daily lives.

I found myself at the center of my own destruction, heartache, loneness, shame and fear.  I had created a situation that for the most part, was a disaster. I didn’t know how to formulate or even process what the hell was happening as I was still functioning normally every day.  By functioning I mean at least I  thought I was, I still went to work, came home and was a mother to my children but on the inside I  was drowning in my own mess.  How could you allow yourself to get into this I would say? I am a black woman, one of the most powerful creatures on earth so how could I be breaking down. It seemed so funny that I could always find ways to help others and had no clue how to help my own pathetic self. I was at the bottom, lower than I had ever been in my life, I was snuffed out like a bad boxing match and obviously, I had lost.  How in the heck did all of this happen to me and who would I be able to entrust such a secret that I had hit rock bottom.

First, in order to say I had hit rock bottom I had to know what rock bottom was so I didn’t spread any false propaganda about myself.  I had to assess it, evaluate it, and come to a conclusion about what really happened to me and if in any way I could fix it.   In the meantime, I continued to ponder, cry and feel sorry for myself until one day my sister told me that while it may seem as though it hurts every day, it won’t hurt me always.  I said to myself what is she talking about all in my bidness thinking I am tripping over some dude.  I was too caught up in feeling sorry for myself that I failed to realize  what I was so desperately  trying to hide on the inside had begin to show itself on the outside.  It took me what seemed like forever to finally realize that I could no longer do this on my own and if I continued to try, the end results might not be in my favor.

After months of trials and tribulations (way too many to talk on this, I would have to write a book) and what seemed like a eternally of self-inflicted torture, I finally set aside my pride and found someone who was licensed and educated enough to be able to sit, listen, take notes and provide me with the direction that I needed.  Now some of you may not believe in therapeutic medicine thinking you are too prideful to ask for help and that as a black woman you are supposed to figure it all out. Believe me, I definitely beyond any reasonable doubt felt and thought the same exact way and would even go as far as to make fun of people who would say they are seeing a therapist until I started drowning myself.  I had been programmed to believe that it’s something wrong with getting help when in reality it’s really not that big of a deal . If you can go to the dentist for a toothache why would not chose to go to a therapist for heartache.

I know that getting to the place where you can admit you have been done wrong is one thing and seeking help is another however; don’t lie to yourself and believe that you can do it, don’t buy into the idea that black women don’t need therapeutic medicine based on the futile fact that you have seen other women in the same situation who seem to have weathered the storm and came out just fine, or so you think.  You never know the impact of pain so raw until you have had the unfortunate dis-pleasure of feeling it yourself.  You know the old saying what may not be good for some may be good for others? Well, for me what I thought was only good for others turned out to be perfect for me; I can testify literally that I would much rather learn to tread through turbulent waters than allow myself to drown in my own sorrows. I believe that learning to cope with a temporary bout of mental instability is by far a much better outcome  than being committed to an insane asylum because I was too naïve and stubborn to realize that I needed help.  I couldn’t be more pleased with myself knowing that I took the first step to fixing my own situation and learned how to be in control of my own best interest and stop looking for someone else to do it for me.  

Once I learned how to heal from the inside, the rest just fell into place; I refused to allow myself to be a victim of circumstances based on the choices of others.  I know that I am a black woman powerful and strong but I am also a human-being with feelings and faults who had hit rock bottom. Rock bottom  what a place that is, I can recognize it now;  it’s a dark, lonely, empty place that thrives on pain and suffering and taunts you by saying how stupid and dumb you were for thinking you could control someone else. Rock bottom has no end and if you let it will remain there. I realized I had to let go, let it all go and learn that I could not control the actions of others and that if you are pushed to the limit, you will reach your breaking point.  Yes, I am a black woman powerful and strong who recognized that in order to fix it, I had to realize that something was wrong. I discovered my own strengths and weaknesses and learned that while I couldn’t always control the outcome I was grateful to have found some help along the way.

And these are just thoughts from a Sista..  

Staff Writer; Nicole Moro

Also connect with this sister through Facebook; N. Moro.

 


Comments

2 Responses to “And she told me she couldn’t swim: The Mental Health of Black Women…”
  1. Shahrazad says:

    I’ve learned to manage my depression with LOTS of therapeutic help & alLah’s(swt) Grace & Blessing. One of my uncles killed himself & another relative tried in October. Depression is pervasive, hereditary & nothing to be ashamed of. My Sisters, if you need help, get it. Encourage a Brother, too.

  2. Eleanie says:

    We in the black community don’t talk about counseling. We need to understand that our inner being needs tending to just as our outer. I have heard others say if they heard about a person going to counseling that they were crazy. I would say to them “no more crazier than you.” Thanks for sharing.

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