They say to check on your strong friends, so this is a mental health check for my Black brothers and sisters…the strongest of them all. A lot is going on in the world and none of it should be normalized. We are expect to stay calm while the world burns beneath us. Having to recently process the world’s reaction to the Convid-19 panademic, and the global economic crisis resulting from it, topped by President Pumpkin Spice and his inability to exhibit anything that resembles presidential behavior and oh yeah…it’s an election year. One of the most divided elections of our lifetimes. Take this, add your normal day-to-day trials and tribulations and then do not forget to factor in the extra weight of being Black, as if being Black in America and the PTSD attributed to that reality isn’t enough already. (Ps, I am still grieving Kobe)
The news is overwhelming regarding Convid-19 and it is hard to shut out. It’s not just the virus that gives us pause, but the unintentional impacts of it. When you hear of schools closing, we hear many children missing their guaranteed meal of the day. When you hear the NBA, NHL, MLB are suspending its seasons, we hear many low-waged workers will be without a paycheck. When you hear about celebrities testing positive for Convid-19, we hear “but you don’t qualify for testing“. When you hear that a vaccine will be available soon, we hear how we can’t afford it. And that is just related to the Convd-19. And don’t get me started on this batshit election, words I will share after the fact because I am not dealing with your simple cousins accusing me stoking the fires leading to a Trump re-election. Ya’ll can carry that victory on your own. I am just taking notes while the red carpet is laid for one of thee most mediocre white men to ever run for president. I digress….
All of these life stresses are heavy and unfortunately Black people are conditioned to push through adversity…especially Black women. We are conditioned to get over it. We are supposed to turn the other cheek in preparation for the next blow. Black people are not allowed to be human. We aren’t allowed to be vulnerable. We aren’t allowed to be unsure or scared. We aren’t allowed to make mistakes. We aren’t allowed to breathe and focus on ourselves because we are so busy reacting to the environments around us.
So, I am taking this moment to check on you. Yes, you. Are you good, Fam? Because I can honestly say I am not. My mask is cracking under the weight and it feels like everyday the pressure of the foot on my neck increases. At times, it feels like I can’t breathe. I tend to have these moments alone because I lack the proper skills of being able to share my emotions in a healthy way because I was conditioned to not validate my own feelings. Thank goodness for therapy. I will get through because I have learned to be ok with not being ok at times.
It is ok to take some time to yourself, if you are lucky enough to get it. It’s ok to cry. It is ok to scream. It s ok to be mad. It is ok to be confused. It is ok to be scared. But please know, you are not alone.
Am I my brother’s keeper? Yes I am.
We are in this together. Black people are resilient. We have survived the worst of the worst. We will survive this too. I know the Black community tends to lean on prayer during times of uncertainty, but it’s clear we need more. Please remember, your mental health is real and it matters. And then pay it forward to your Black brother or sister who may need you…they just don’t know it yet.
Here are some resources if you find yourself in a dark space.
Black Therapy Love app – a place to interact with therapists, counselors, and coaches to open the dialogue and bridge the gap between mental health professionals and our community