Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Bodeline's Flow: Mental Health

I’m the girl that could.

My life isn’t horrible in the least bit: I traveled to different countries, I can understand and speak a bit of a few languages, I attend a prestigious institution and I am holding down two internships that speak to my career aspirations. I am connected with people that can help mentor and foster my future. I also have two parents, who still support me fully and an older sister that would die for me.

Sometimes, I'm the girl that can't.

I’m also the same girl who sometimes has to call out of work because I feel super weak. I get behind with my work, (as I was for this post) because I spend my free time in bed trying to calm myself of the worries, dreams, and nightmares, in my head. I’m the same girl who failed a class because everything felt pointless, so I’d rather sleep than do anything at all. I’m the same girl at risk of failing another class again. 

Perception is sometimes deceiving. I’m not, nor was I ever the girl who had it all. 

Mental health is rarely discussed in our community. That needs to change. There's always been a sadness, about me. It took an anxiety attack, in my sophomore spring semester of college, to ask for help. It took one day of feeling shameful about it, due to a lack of transparency in my community, to never seek help again. It’s taking the little that I have and everything that I want, to allow me to try again and help myself. 

I am constantly grieving. I grieve about how depressed and unhappy I can become, that I don’t feel comfortable telling people about it, and because there is usually no one, that looks like me, talking about what I'm going through.

I would stop myself if the grieving lasted more than five minutes. I'd shut my eyes, tightly, to the point I felt a minor headache and hopefully thought about something else. I'd turn my sadness into an imagined elaborate story, something far away from my own tale, and cry about that instead. 

I read Tuesdays with Morrie, recently. It's a story about second chances, grief, and life lessons. (I won't ruin it for you.)

It made me realize that maybe grieving is a good thing. Maybe I’m supposed to grieve, so I can come to the understanding that depression and unhappiness are parts of myself that will fluctuate throughout my life. 

But in order to get there, in order to be the person I want to be, I now realize I have to reach in the very dark corners of myself and teach myself how to comfortable with being me. This is who I am.

I want to help anyone who has ever felt what it was like, to be in my position. Or anyone in my position, now. Being a black woman millennial, there is so much possibility and so many causes to get behind. We are all so busy, trying to build our legacy.

But we also have to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves. 

We have to let our wounds show.
We have to let our wounds heal, as I'm learning to do with mine. 

This column will be about the battles we go through, the things that we're told are better healed by church, chit-chat, and/or breathing. A misguidance, on our part. 

Tonight, I will allow myself to cry about whatever it is that may bother me. Next, I'll be able to question and analyze it. I'll dissect it, like a frog. 

I'll seek help. 
I'll embrace that these are parts of me too. 
And move on.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story, I loved reading it!

jm said...

Thank you for your honesty . Much needed ! I look forward to your other posts.

Unknown said...

amazing first post! it was the perfect introduction and tone setter for what's to come . at times it can be hard to accomplish a writing piece that informs the reader of your accolades without bleeding arrogance and is relatable while maintaining a cetrtain level of poise. you've accomplished it very gracefully. I look forward to many future posts. 😉

-Vonni 😊