Black America, Christianity, Life, Moving Forward

Erase the Stigma of Mental Illness

Majority of minorities/people of color have been taught since a young age to suppress feelings, to fight through, to not talk about struggles and trauma which has led to many turning to substances, drinking, sex, money, etc…

For many of us who grew up in the hood/lower economic areas we didn’t have resources nor the mindset to turn to professional help. There was a silent hush of you do not tell people your problems and let others know what was going on inside the home.

Think with me for a moment, the damage this thought process has done to millions of children who are now adults with families of their own.

When a child hasn’t been given the opportunity to process their internal struggles, they grow into  their adolescent years, to young adult years, internalizing that something is definitely wrong. All of the years of suppression, mental struggles and battles leads to identity issues, behavioral patterns, and unanswered questions.

This leads one to wonder where do you actually turn?

In my teenage years of pain, hurt and brokenness, I turned the wrong way many of times hoping that there was an answer and a quick fix. I knew there were mental struggles, a hole in my heart and a heaviness that I was carrying but I had no idea what to do with it.

In my twenties, I began to learn that it is okay not being okay, that I can turn to others that have been down the road that I am currently walking. As I opened up to professional help, my counselors and I went back in time, reflected and studied each of my traumatic and painful moments which lead to new discoveries of how I view others, myself and why I respond to certain challenges in my life.

Now in my 30s, I know that I have a redeemed past, that no past experience was wasted and I can live as a wounded healer. I can take the pain of my past and see the beauty of my present. My past no longer defines who I am. In fact, my past has helped shape me to become the person God has created me to be.

My hope is this: As I have battled with anxiety, depression and trauma, I pray that my life will serve as a testimony to let other’s know that they too can learn how to overcome their battles one day at a time. Healing is available but it is a long, honest, raw challenging journey that does not happen overnight.

I still have hard days and many struggles that I battle through but I am much better mentally, emotionally and spiritually by seeking the help that I needed (and continuing to seek). We, myself included, no longer have to suppress.

What you and I reveal can be healed! #MentalHealthAwareness.

My friends, continue to seek out professional counseling. Find a healing community. Get with people that will listen and encourage you to remember that the battles you face, you do not have to face them alone.

P.S. These thoughts were inspired by D.A. Horton who preached at Transformation Church. If you have time, I encourage you to check out the sermon. It’s worth your time! Click here!

“Your pain has a timeline and an expiration date. Your pain has purpose.”

– D.A. Horton

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