This picture is my normal response when people ask, “Are you ok?” But, I made a vow that I was going to become even more real with my blog posts this year. I try to be as authentic as I can, that’s one of the things that I love most about myself. So here goes nothing..
It’s time to break the stigma: Black people deal with mental health disorders too. We often just don’t talk about it. I was diagnosed with major depression over 2 years ago, but I’m sure I’ve had it much longer. I have been medicated, then unmedicated (by my own non-compliance) been to a total of 4 therapists over the years so on and so on.. Some days are better than others, but today? Today I needed to cry. Like I really had to. There were too many things that I needed to purge. And journaling wasn’t going to do the job.
See, every week I have one day completely to myself. No work, no children at home, nothing. Now normally I have a routine, I drop the kids at school, sit and listen to music, read, write, meditate… And cry if that’s what I feel like I need to do. That sounds crazy huh? Well, not to me. Everyone has a coping mechanism, this is mine. It’s extremely important.
The past two weeks or so, my schedule and routine has been off because of the holidays. The kids were out of school, I had to rearrange my work schedule and add in several family gatherings and there you have it: no alone time. I have made a point to always have “me time”. Always. No matter what is going on, I will close the bedroom door, read, pray, write, or just sit.. And some times cry. That hasn’t happened in a few weeks, so today I canceled my plans and just took care of myself.
My Husband is so wonderful, he called to check up on me as usual, he asked what I was doing. Instead of saying “Oh you know, just doing what I do”, I said “I’m crying, that’s what I’m doing”. I wasn’t ok, and I wasn’t going to pretend to be. He paused and said, “ok, wanna tell me why?” That question sparked an hour long answer, a mini therapy session and a big ‘ole “gosh I love you Husband!” Afterward. He’s the best. Sometimes you just need a listening ear from someone who you are positive knows all about you, loves everything about you and is totally for you AND validates your feelings. Sure I could’ve scheduled an appointment with my therapist, I surely could have. But I didn’t need that. Today I needed extra love, empathy, compassion and a good listener. No clinical advice, no “just tell Jesus all about it”, no solutions, just him. I needed him. And he was there, like always. Holding my hand and hugging me through the phone, even when work was pressing, he was still there. I still don’t know what I did to deserve someone so selfless and patient.
Over the years, I’ve been in denial about this disorder, I’ve covered it up, I’ve self-medicated, I’ve made excuses, I’ve had the “SuperWoman Black girl-I got this attitude”, I’ve tried everything practically, trying not to admit it. But how can we overcome, if we don’t admit where we truly are in life? I’ve even questioned God, a lot. Why me? Why do you think I’m so strong for this? How can I encourage others if I need it myself sometimes?
Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite books (that I received as a gift over a year ago.. Still haven’t finished it lol) “The Purpose Driven Life-What on earth am I here for?” By Pastor Rick Warren. There was a passage that stuck out to me. “God uses our circumstances to build our character”. There have been MANY times, that I’ve found myself with a case of the “why me’s”, but today instead of seeking an answer to that, I thought about how much stronger I will be and how much more I can help others because of it all. And I want my character to reflect his one day, so who am I to think that I am exempt from suffering? Even Jesus wasn’t. So, I told myself these things today:
I am who I am, and God makes no mistakes.
I am not weird because I have depression.
I am not weak because I have depression.
I am strong, even with depression.
I am an overcomer.
I have to remember that He gives us people to help us along the way, we just have to be willing to accept that help. I’m glad that I just let it all out, my Husband listened, he even heard the things that I didn’t say and I in turn encouraged myself by reciting scripture and the quote from the book toward the end of the conversation. I’m sure that this was all apart of his plan.
God is so amazing, that he will give you just what you need, right when you need it.. Even when you don’t know what to ask for. That’s love. Agape. And I’m so grateful to him for creating someone in his likeness on this earth, just for me.
Thank you Husband.
Thank you God.
So here is my encouragement for the day: “Crying is like taking your soul to the laundry mat.” – Lyfe Jennings
Let it out. It’s ok to cry. This too shall pass.
I’m feeling much better now. Blessings and hugs ❤️