Last night I had dinner with a group of friends. It was so good to catch up as we hadn’t seen each other in a few months. Time away truly makes the heart grow fonder. I was amazed at the transformations that had taken place in each of our lives during our sabbatical from one another. There was weight loss, job changes,new hair, and various other manifestations. But a word I kept hearing during our many side conversations and general table talk was a word I hadn’t heard before. Especially in mixed company with a group of woman of color. It was a word I would say and then watch as people sat back and analyzed just what exact type of crazy I was. A word that has been somewhat demonized but helped me identify and dissect my own demons. The word, Therapist.
One referenced their therapist’s office decor and another referenced their therapist’s look and I sat back in amazement at the beauty and the splendor of it all. There were no awkward pauses. Shame never showed her ugly face, in her place Healing radiated over our entire section of the restaurant.
I wanted to tell you that in our society and in black culture we often like to stunt and “fake it til we make it” and by we I also mean me. I will it put on a brave face and designer bag in the face of financial instability with the best of them. I know how to perpetuate what I hope to achieve before I actually get there. I don’t believe there’s anything wrong with that. In the spirit being bougie I say go get that fendi bag sis! Cop that foreign car! I’m not mad at ya but don’t forget to get you a therapist. You see, that bag will poke at your voids and the luxury vehicle will stroke your ego every now and then but that’s only a temporary fix to a life long problem. The days of drinking, snorting, smoking and sexing and yes even shopping your pain alway are long gone. There’s an app for that.
The time to confront mental health is now. The time to confront your children’s mental health is now. It’s what WE do. It’s possible and even probable that our parents and grandparents had issues and seen issues in us and in their ignorance (no disrespect intended) they either ignored it, tried to hide it or tried to beat it out of us. We’re privy to the internet which gives a us a passport to destination Information. We have tools they didn’t have so we can survive in a world they didn’t have to try to navigate through.
Social media will have you believing your own lies. We all have issues, we aren’t all living our best lives in real life. There are inexplicable hurts some of us have endured and we all know that Hurt people hurt people. Even good hurt people, even loving hurt people, even seemingly happy hurt people, even you… will cause harm, likely to those closest to you. If you’re a single parent, your kids, or married person your spouse will get the brunt of your unaddressed issues.
It is my hope and prayer that we take advantage of the tools we have been given access to such as talk therapy, group therapy, life coaches, mentorship etc. to heal ourselves which brings healing to our homes and that healing spreads into our communities that will heal our nation.
I wanted to tell you I’ve been in therapy for 5 years. A lot of the healing and growth I’ve had has come through talking through my issues with a stranger that helped me to come up with a plan on how I would begin dealing with my emotions and pain in a healthy and constructive way. It was a safe place to unpack my bag of sadness, fragility, anger,confusion,disappointment.. you name it. Take charge of your thoughts and you take charge of your world. It is so.
New Creation Counseling Center
Tipp City, Ohio (937) 667-4678
Dayton Children’s Hospital
Dayton, Ohio (937) 641-3401