How about you? The conflict we face daily.

 
I’m going through something. It started yesterday with a song. That song transported me back in time to memories of really good music and youthful hopes and dreams. I noticed a shift during my third time listening. (I grew up with a mother who would play the same song all day long during a time when you actually had to get up and keep putting the needle back to the start of the record… that’s commitment). Sadness started to set in for what was missed or never achieved in my life and then the voices…

Those negative voices are killer. They are so slick in their delivery of messages that are meant to slowly and strategically look at your life with disappointment, failure and then despair. And then the spiral downward. Me, I actually start to spin out, literally walk the floor in circles, voices talking at me all the time.

The recent suicides of Cheslie Kryst, an accomplished, beautiful, by all accounts kind, Black woman, Kevin Ward, Mayor of Hyattsville, Maryland, also accomplished, admired, handsome and trusted Black man and Ian Alexander, talented Black man, kind, loved and son of Black Hollywood Royalty Regina King, have had a cumulative effect on myself and so many others. Oh, and before you ask, yes, it is necessary for me to mention that they were Black. Racism has that nasty effect of building up stress, anxiety and depression on top of life’s normal reasons for feeling that way.

The largest impact of their deaths for me is finding out that many of us are going through something or are functionally depressed and are not talking about it. So, when I started to spin out today, I thought of you. All three of these people left behind not just devastated loved ones, but family and friends who did not see it coming.

So, I thought of you, again…

This is not the first spin out for me. I have systems I work with to catch it and handle it, though these COVID times require some heavy lifting and more Jalapeno chips than I would like, but I’m handling it. Yes, food has always been a go to for me and I am working on it being much less of a life raft.

But what about you? Do me a favor and take the time to do a little mental health check.

  1. Are you the one that everyone talks to? Who do you talk to? 
     
  2. Are you the one who has always needed extra help especially when it comes to mental health issues? How are you handling the guilt? 
     
  3. Are you more isolated because of COVID? Who do you see on a regular basis? 
     
  4. Do you recognize when depression or anxiety is the reason for what you are feeling and believing? How do you treat it? 
     
  5. Does the world seem hopeless, terrible and way too scary? How much news are you letting in? Can you live with less? 
     
  6. Are the negative voices creating a view that looks like nothing or not much is going right in your life? How much gratitude are you acknowledging for what is good in you and your life? Seems too corny or patronizing? Just name one thing then daily. 
     
  7. Are you sick or the one who always gets sick? Can you find a way/the time to soothe, massage, soak, breathe? 
     
  8. Does your mind race and focus on worry all the time? Can you incorporate prayer, meditation, mindfulness, movement, dancing, walking or working out, regularly? 
     
  9. Are you responsible for so many and so much and you are just plain tired, fatigued or worn out? Can you find a way to give yourself permission to rest, stay in bed, pull the covers over your head and then ask for the help you need? 
     
  10. Are you grieving, brokenhearted and still forcing yourself to smile? GRIEVE please for as long as you need and let that smile down sometimes.

The conflict we face daily is whether or not today will be the day that we make it okay to acknowledge it and speak it out loud. Can we normalize it, because honestly, I think we are all going through it, but we’ve been socialized to think it’s not okay to say it. There was too long a time in my life when I was functionally depressed and never told a soul.

Today, I’m working through it, regular workout, reflection, prayer, grief, asking for what I need, opting out of what is not necessary and nice hot showers and so much more. Even writing this helps. I have to check on my people!

If you need help please know there is no shame in talk therapy, alternative therapies and contacting hotlines.

I don’t want to lose you, so please take care and if you are hurting, tell somebody.

I’m going through something…

How about you???

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