When you hear the word “Black Woman” what do you think of? Maybe strong, magical, smart, nurturer, etc. Growing up in a black family, you never really spoke about your business. The quote I often heard was “What happens in this house stays in this house!” That quote stayed with me even into my adulthood.
Now, I understand that my aunts and grandmothers really meant well when they said those words. They didn’t want people sticking their noses in something they had no business being in. Or perhaps they just didn’t want to be judged. I was raised in a way that if you have an obstacle face it head on, find a solution and get through it simple as that. But what if you can just face those problems by yourself? Usually, my family would tell me to pray about it. But I’ve learned that sometimes situations need prayer and action behind it. I do believe God sends us individuals to help us through each situation.
Many black women try so hard to keep up this “image” of superwoman . We try to handle any and everything that life throws at us. But when life becomes hard who can you talk to about the rough patches? After my son was born, I fell into depression. Many would say it was postpartum depression. Here I was with a new child with this condition that I really didn’t know anything about. Plus, I was living with my aunt with no job. I was doing everything on my own and I my mind was running 100 miles per minute. On top of being depressed, I had anxiety. I didn’t want to tell my friends because I felt like I would be seen as crazy or even be judged.
During this time, there were a few things I began to implement into my daily routine to bring down my anxiety and depression. Now I am NO doctor. I can only tell you what worked for me.
Take time for myself
I mean I really had to sit and turn my phone on do not disturb and just breathe. I learned how to meditate, and get the loud sounds away from me to clear my head.
Stop beating myself up
I had to learn not to be not so hard on myself. No one is perfect, and we are all trying to get through this thing called LIFE. I had to come to a resolve within myself and understand that I was doing my best and that I shouldn’t add unnecessary pressure on myself.
Talk with a counselor
When I was growing up, if you heard someone was talking to a “shrink” you just thought they were crazy. But talking to someone that does not know me helps me let out everything without judgment and I know they can offer unbiased counsel. I know there are many other ways to cope with mental illness, but I quickly learned that counseling was one of the best things I could have done.
My hope is that black women reject the stigma that comes with going to counseling. It is okay to say “Hey I need help, I can’t do this by myself”. Put your pride aside and start your journey to healing.
If you’ve ever struggled with any type of illness, I would love to know what you’ve done to get help?