I’ve written on this blog before about the challenges that I have faced in my life with mental anxiety and depression (post-partum included). I have given a couple of discussions on it, but didn’t really focus on those moments because who really wants to read about the bad times, right? Well, this weekend, it became painfully obvious that when we hide our struggles and keep things bottled in, we end up hiding sources of help that could be of benefit to someone else. In that, I failed. I failed miserably and I will never ever do so again.
You Are Needed HERE
If you read this post and get nothing else from it ever, please get this. You are needed. You are NEEDED HERE! You are LOVED HERE! You are important HERE. There is no one else like you anywhere else in the world. The world is NOT a better place if you are not here. There WILL be a huge gap if you are not here. You are wanted and needed and loved and I am SO sorry if no one has communicated that in a way that you need(ed) to hear.
We ALL fall short. It’s not just cliche’. It’s real. It’s Biblical. No, this isn’t a conversion post. This is genuine discussion from someone who has walked it and is still walking it. I failed to tell you that I actively medicate for anxiety and depression. I failed to tell you that sometimes I sit in the middle of rooms with hands over my ears because the anxiety and yelling of life is just too much. I failed to tell you that sometimes I feel like I am NOT enough. I feel like I am not enough of a mother, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter. Sometimes, I wonder if I am not just wasting space because I cannot see the contribution I bring forth. I wonder if I am falling short of my calling in Christ. And THEN I remember. verses to remind me that I am NOT alone and that I have purpose.
It’s Okay Not to Be Okay, But Let Someone Know
I think society and social media has done us such a disservice. We really believe the hype. We earnestly believe that we should always have it together. Our homes should be sparkling. Our children always well-behaved and perfect. We should always want to surrounded by dirty little hands and messy faces with precious cherub faces. Then, when we find ourselves craving just ten minutes of someone not calling “Mommy” or “Sweetheart” or whatever term of endearment (or not) you hear just to be able to hear ourselves think. It’s then that we feel bad. We feel like we’ve failed, that we are meeting the mark. That isn’t true.
But we forget that. We sit and look at the ultra glamorous shots and the filtered photos and feel like we’ve once again missed out on the biggest party or event of the social calendar. We feel less than great. We feel like a failure, and social media agrees. I’m here to tell you it’s not real.
You see the picture above? That’s me. Under-eye bags and circles, the shedding skin (seasonal change does a number on my skin), and a hint of the double chin. Yep, it’s not exactly glamorous, but it’s real. It’s me. A week ago, this photo would have been in the recycle bin, but I don’t think I’ll do that ever again. We need to get used to posting the real. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Good and great days happen. So do bad ones. We are still important, loved, and needed in all of them–even without the filters.
If You Ever Need To Talk
In the event you find yourself in a bad place and don’t like the idea of reaching out to family, please reach out to someone. I’ve added a few links below and I want you to click them and research them. Life is too important with you in it to ever consider not being a part of it. I love each and every one of you whether I have met you or not. Have a blessed week.
Talk to Someone
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders.
National Alliance on Mental Health. NAMI provides advocacy, education, support and public awareness so that all individuals and families affected by mental illness can build better lives. Call them at 800-950-NAMI (800-950-6264) or text “NAMI” to 741741.
Anxiety and Depression Disorders of America. A very good resource for finding a therapist and understanding the various anxiety and depression disorders affecting countless Americans.
Therapy for Black Girls. has been a cultural barrier within the African-American community that has often counted the seeking of therapy as an indicator of weakness or a lack of faith. (I could write a book about the need for therapy for deep seated issues within the Black family). Therapy for Black Girls provides a link for trusted, culturally competent therapists that know the feelings and needs associated with the role of being a black woman.