I honestly couldn’t wait to get to this month because it forces me to be real with myself. While everyday serves a great day to do some introspective work, nothing feels better than addressing some of your mental health necessities during a time where there are a plethora of resources rolling out for the month! During this month, I’ll still be posting fashion, fitness, and travels, however, I would be remiss not to post about my mental health journey. To be real, taking care of your mental health as always been looked at as a “white person’s privilege”.
Growing up, I would always hear about my classmates having to see a therapist, and it was typically associated with cutting or bulimia. Since I never found myself in those positions, I always thought it was a “white people’s treatment.” I will talk more about this with some expert drive content, but I wanted to give a brief introduction to my experiences of mental health as a black woman in a world where seeing someone to talk about your problems is a privilege. Furthermore, there is so much information around Black People not realizing when they are exhibiting cries for help because we are indoctrinated in a “sleep when your dead” mentality.
Specifically, in the Caribbean community, the strides around addressing our mental health are slowly coming together, but I remember having friends who were acting out or had silent cries for help, but no one noticed…so they spiraled into some of the worst places. I had a terrible breakdown in November 2018 (I will talk more about it later). It was a culmination of a “fake break up,” dealing with the loss of my grandmother, my failing health, not being able to keep up with my course load, old body image issues, and more! That breakdown finally allowed me to advocate for myself in the only way I knew how: Therapy! While I was always told that “crazy” people need therapy, I didn’t know who to turn to. I knew my family would tell me to pray, my friends would hug it out, and the men I dated slowly stepped away.
I found a therapist that was pretty much like a match made in heaven. One of the most significant barriers to accessing a therapist was finding a therapist of color who would take my insurance. The research process was daunting, but she came RIGHT AT THE TIME that I needed her. I will talk more about her later, but one thing my therapist emphasizes is taking time to take care of yourself! Whether it’s a day of rest, a vacation, a new Zumba class, getting your nails done, being in the company of people who love you, a spa day, etc. We are so focused on working and just creating a better situation for ourselves that we don’t always take care of ourselves in the process. I will be sharing a solo staycation and a much needed girls trip throughout the month of May as well!
Due to the trauma, I faced at the end of February (I am not sure if I can talk about it, but I will try), I’ve gained 32lbs. I didn’t realize it until I started trying on clothes and they didn’t fit. I also noticed that I stopped being active or even keeping up with my appearance. My neck and lower back were always in pain, and I was chewing my nails down to the nub. With employing some of her techniques- I’m finding myself in the space of healing and taking much better care of myself. This is the perfect segue to one way in which I’ve centralized some of my self-care practices: MINDBODY app. The MINDBODY is an app that gives you access to all health, beauty, and fitness businesses/resources in your area. And it’s not restricted just to your area, if you are traveling, you can try to access different places in that area as well. I will talk more about them in the next coming weeks, but I just wanted to share that tidbit with you.
Now I know this was a concise introduction of mental health, but I truly wanted to dive into these parts over the next upcoming months: living life after trauma, weight-related trauma, self-care, understanding rape culture, life after death, work stress, wealth management, relationship hacks, health wellness (the hidden stressors) and ways to keep up with your mental health. May (and probably some of June) is going to be a very interesting month! I can’t wait to share this with you.
I am in no way an expert, but I would love to offer whatever resources and tips that I can to help you on your journey as well. I will be as transparent with you as I can but always feel free to write me an email so we can talk further!
I’m always here! [email protected]