“You cannot protect yourself from sadness without protecting yourself from happiness.”
― Jonathan Safran Foer
So many people asked why I felt the need to walk away from my blog so abruptly. My response was “I needed it before the world around me got the best of me.” I need to be sure I wasn’t using fillers to protect my happiness. I actually to prefer to be really happy opposed to pretending I am happy. For as far back as I can remember staying healthy mentally has been something I’ve battled with constantly. It was a discreet struggle I held near to my heart. I don’t remember at what exact moment in my life I realized depression was getting the best of me, but when it came in, it came in like a flood. Because I was determined to keep my battles silent I didn’t seek help. There wasn’t and still isn’t a lot of people who knew the extent of what I was masking. Well, they know now lol. It wasn’t until my late teens that the pain and struggle had begun seeping through the cracks. I no longer cared about people being aware of my failed suicide attempts, all of which I am very vocal about in my self-help book. A Woman’s Quest To Self-Love was my way of thinking out loud. It was a way to kick down the barriers and stop being a statistic. I had fallen victim to the idea that if I was battling remaining healthy mentally than I was crazy. I sought out being more aware of myself and who I am. I think others have a tendency to overlook depression and its power. I was always a hard worker, kept myself up and drove a nice car, but people see the exterior and assume the interior is okay. There were very few people who heard my cries. And those that did hear kind of turned the other cheek. It seemed that like me, they too wanted this to be something I could just talk out and get over. When you aren’t personally going through something and are unaware of the pain, you do not know how real and deep it can truly get.
Most assume because the exterior is up to par you must be okay within. It’s difficult to be fighting a fight that others don’t really understand. Those that don’t understand tend to play it off like you’ll be fine when really, you don’t know the fate of the monster that controls your mind and every emotion. The truth is, this is the hardest battle to recover from alone. Often times you can have a gang of supporters, but if the people who matter aren’t there to hold you up, you still feel alone no matter who’s standing with you. So I had to learn to be self-dependent and give me what I need. I saw doctors and began a process to get things under control. A process which seemed so overwhelming for one person alone. I can remember crying to God just begging him to see me through. He did that along with revealing to me my strengths. I learned my power. I also learned to take note of when I feel things are becoming too heavy. So when that time comes and I’m feeling like I need a break to collect myself before life gets the best of me, I take that break. I went absent from my blog because my peace and sanity means more to me than anything else in this world. If I am not able to help myself, I lack the ability to be of service to you all and of to this world. This is why I strongly encourage self-love. When you love yourself you care deeply about your well-being. Regardless if others care or not you care. So as I fight for one (me) I will continue to fight for one and for all. I have to continue to shed light on the monster that’s been successfully taking the lives of so many young women and men in our communities. I stand behind it because I would not be here to share my story and struggles. I know that it can be overcome so I won’t stay silent if I know it means saving a life. I’ve chosen to be vocal and transparent about my struggles with mental health issues and I stand behind my choice strongly. It wasn’t something I was always particularly fond of. I guess it really chose me, if that makes any sense…
So many times we’ve seen those that we know and love fall victim to their pain due to their lack of knowledge and inability to properly deal with their depression. Statics show that African Americans in the United States are less likely to receive accurate diagnoses than their Caucasian counterparts. I’m an advocate for mental health and surviving this crippling disorder. It is through my past experiences and stories on my blog and in my books that I will continue to speak up. I will continue to shed light on what I’ve dealt with and my strength to overcome it all. I have not done it alone. It has not been easy and I continue to battle. I pray to inspire other women like me and little brown girls all over to seek the help that they need to overcome their battles and get healthy. In a 15-year span, suicide rates increased 233 percent among African Americans aged 10-14. I am thankful that God has given me this challenge to overcome this struggle. He’s given me the courage to fight for not just my life, but the lives of others. I now am using my developing platform to inspire change in our communities all over the world one day at a time. Be healthy, stay healthy and do whatever you need to do to remain healthy. When a break calls be sure you take it. Monitor your health mentally, emotionally and physically. Protect your peace!
Be Inspired. Be Encouraged. Be Blessed.