I have anxiety. I also deal with some other things (I may write about later) but anxiety has by far been the hardest to kick. I haven’t had the chance to talk about it much or with many people for multiple reasons. I recognize that not talking about it has prevented me from truly living freely as my journey has required. Everyone has their own reasons for not wanting to discuss their mental health but I’ll like to list a few of mine.
I’m an African-American woman.
Some will understand this immediately, some will not. For those who don’t, allow me to briefly explain. Mental health is still a taboo subject in the African-American community because the stigma and fear of being labeled “crazy”. The lack of knowledge or want for knowledge has resulted in people looking at mental illness as some sort of weakness. Personally, I can recall times when I’ve judged another person that may have been battling some type of mental illness. Of course, even if I recognize something is wrong, I still don’t seek help. I will not seek a physiologist, or psychiatrist…..I seek Jesus!!! Which leads me to my next point.
Mental illness shows a lack of Faith.
Yes, this in part may hold Some truth, at least for me, but I can assure you the prayers and begging is done faithfully. My Faith and Christian believes are very important to me. God can cure-all. I believe this. However, I also know that God will allow us to deal with certain things for many reasons. I’ve personally never felt so spiritually grounded since I’ve acknowledged my mental challenges. It shows God that I am willing to acknowledge and be emotionally honest with him. I mean….how can we expect God to take control of something we don’t recognize as being an issue. We have to confront it.
I’m a Mom. I don’t have time for this.
I’m a mom of four. Oldest being a Tween, youngest a toddler. Yes, I’m THAT mom. Needless to say, like most moms, my needs are met last. My children keep me busy. Self care takes a back seat when you’re a mom. Waiting in the carpool lane becomes your time for self-care. Even when I try to talk about it with a friend or maybe send a “help me” text there is always something else that requires my attention. Another stolen moment. I just don’t have time to deal with my issues!!! I have children that need lunches packed and emergency contact information filled out for the sixth time this year. I have kid #4 following me around the house like there is some type of magnetic force preventing him from giving me much desired space. Kid #1 and #3 wants snacks for the eighth time today and kid #3 wants to show me her “almost done” painting; carefully explaining each color she used and why.
DO NOT JUDGE ME BUT……….
They are triggers. They are triggers. My children are MAJOR triggers.
I love them. So I had to get help. These are just some of the reasons I haven’t been open about my struggles. Again, I’m looking to heal and I can’t heal what I don’t acknowledge. As an African-American woman, I look to help others within my community heal. It’s important that we stop ignoring our mental health and break the stigma associated with it. It does not make you a weak Christian for acknowledging a mental illness. Faith does not mean you don’t feel defeated, broken, depressed, anxious, etc. Faith is simply believing in things that can not be seen in the moment. Being a mother is one of the most important hats I wear. It is desperately important that I take the time I need to collect myself For my children. It is completely okay to sit in my car and extra 30 mins and “prepare” before interacting with the kids.
I’m still learning what works for me. Writing has always been an outlet, music, herbs, oils. I’m deciding not to go back to medicine and will try natural methods first. So far, so good. I’m living my life pretty freely now. Although, that does not stop me from being anxious or “cured” any other issues I may have, I can say it has helped me to heal. My need to heal has led me to start this blog, in hopes of helping others through my words. Transparency on this level is quite uncomfortable and extremely difficult for me…..but “whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required.”