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Confessions of a Single Mom #13: I’m Going to Therapy

Saturday was a tough day, a day that made me take the plunge and seek a therapist. On my way to visitation with Khai’s dad, I felt an anxiety attack coming on. I was able to make it through visitation (only lasted 45 minutes), and head home to practice yoga. The one time I really needed Malakhai to sleep so I could at least get 45 minutes in, he did. He slept two hours.

After yoga, I just sat in silence. It was deadly silent. I let my thoughts float away. I drank some ginger tea and ate some grapes, continuing to sit in silence. I felt renewed and my blood pressure started to come down. I felt like me again. It’s that very reason why my mental health needs to be taken care of, as well as my physical health.

I feel like they both go hand in hand. There’s so many ways that mental and physical health support your wellbeing. I’ve gotten back into yoga and I’m sticking with it this time, I have to. Yoga is the only exercise that makes me feel good and can ease whatever feelings I’m feeling that aren’t positive.

I went online through my insurance and found the perfect therapist that can cater to all of my mental health needs. She’s black, my age, has experience, has hours that fit my schedule, and I can afford her.

Have you been to a therapist? Did it help and if so, how? If you haven’t, how do you take care of your mental health?

All Black Everything, Health + Wellness

Black Mental Health

I was talking to a friend a couple days ago about something that he was going through and we got on the subject of Black people seeking professional help. What also brought this to my mind is the recent incidents with Kanye West. Now I am not saying that he does or doesn’t have mental issues, because I am not in his inner circle or close to him, but it made me wonder why is it that when Black people profess that they are going through something or that they need help, it is seen as being taboo or they are shunned for it?

Now I have written a post about this topic before, but I wanted to bring it back up. I feel it’s a serious, relevant topic especially given the increased police brutality our community has faced over the past few years. We are still dealing with the aftermath of slavery, which our  great-great grandparents, and so forth, have endured and have passed down these mental illnesses through generations.

Going to a psychiatrist is seen as a white thing and that only white people can have mental illnesses. My thing is with white privilege and white supremacy, there is nothing for them to have issues about. For hundreds of years they have oppressed, raped, mutilated, murdered, etc., a great many people of color. If anything, there should be more people of color seeking professional help. 

In our community, we always get the “I’ll pray for you” or “Stay strong” or “You are man/woman and you have to be strong for you family.” Excuse my language, but that’s bullshit. Praying for me and telling me to stay strong is not going to help me get through what I’m going through. Sometimes we need someone to just listen or be able to just cry to. Often times not being able to have those options, causes us to bottle things up and we lash out in very dangerous ways.

I’ve been to therapy and it was a very traumatic experience for me and I hadn’t gone back. This was about 7 years ago, which is how long I’ve been single. I’ve been thinking of going back and this time to a Black therapist. I went through a lot with my last relationship and I still haven’t recovered from it. When people go through terrible breakups, they carry that baggage and all that hurt with them throughout their relationships that follow.

There are many other things that affect our mental health such as rape, murder, racism, being passed over for a job, unequal pay and our diet. I think that our diet is one of the main factors when it comes to mental health in the Black community, we have been brainwashed and mentally conditioned to believe that the way that we eat is okay because our families have eaten that way for generations. Well truth be told, our grandparents, and those before them, did not have other options or the resources to educate themselves on why this food was killing them or making them ill. That goes back again to slavery. We have not healed from any of that.

As a community we have to seek the help that we need and stop thinking that it’s not okay to be going through something that you can’t handle on your own.