Sisters speak up, the silence of our strength is killing us. You can still be Black Girl Magic and strong and badass while admitting that you are hurting. You’re magic increases with your witness. I speak from a place of privilege in that I am am currently not fighting a diagnosed mental illness. However I still failed to even admit the obvious, that I was hurting, after loosing both parents or feeling stretched being a single parent so I can only imagine it being no small feat for warrior women diagnosed with mental health illnesses. I have only recently been able to say I am not ok and be ok with it. I still cry in secret but now I can admit that occasionally tears do fall. We so rarely have the safe spaces or opportunities to acknowledge our pain and we need to change that.
On this World Mental Health Day I want us as a community to be open and receptive to the fact that somethings can’t be prayed away. You, your friend or family member may need medicine and/ or therapy and support to combat an illness that is killing you/them slowly. It is an illness no different from physical illnesses that we readily acknowledge, Mental illness is deserving of treatment, empathy and support.
I was unaware of mental illnesses, therapy and the like until I was a full fledged adult who learned of friends committing suicide and spoke with others who admitted to seeking therapy for anxiety, depression and bipolar disorders. These illnesses aren’t new but nobody talked about it. Lets disrupt the idea that when someone asks how you are feeling your immediate answer should be “Im good,” when you know you haven’t been good for sometime. Lets follow up with our girls who may be having a bad day that continues into weeks and support them in caring for themselves by being an ear who doesn’t have the answer but who will accompany them to a doctor who might be able to help them find a solution.