But Black Mental Health Matters Too. . .

Drew Ferebee,
Norfolk, VA

What are some character traits you think of when someone ask you to describe a black man? Whats the first thoughts that pops into your head when you think of a black woman? Strong. “He was a strong, easy going black man.” “Behind every man is a strong black woman.” For years society has categorized us as the strong ones. So growing up you had to look up to your “Strong Black Daddy” and not feel fear or show emotions, you’re the man of the house you don’t have time to be sad. or you have to be the “Strong Black Woman” your mom is to the world. You have to be superwoman you don’t have time to be a sadwoman. You have to be there for everybody else, and make sure everybody is okay before yourself. I have some good news. Everything you just read wasn’t true. You don’t have to be superwoman you can be superwoman and sadwoman at the same time! Society has put this false reality into our heads that showing your emotions are a sign of weakness and that talking about your feelings is a bad thing. I’m here to tell you they’re not. Supressing your emotions only leads to a life of suffering in silence, which then leads to depression and eventually a life thats going to need serious healing. Truth is we all need healing. We are all dealing with something whether it be self esteem, depression, or even grief. Most people don’t know that your most traumatic experiences will stem from your childhood. “What happens in this house stays in this house.” Is a term often said by black families, meaning that no matter what happens to you in this house, what ever happens to your siblings in this house, whatever happens to me in this house remember it stays in this house and stays in your head. Not understanding that this philosophy is creating a lot of broken, hurt, fearful, as well as terrible memories for children around the world. Your memories are what shape your thoughts about the world. Imagine living in a world where you’re carrying around the weight and hurt of your childhood because you were trying to fit this unrealistic identity of “Strong” because you’re told to NEVER be weak, and being weak is a wrong thing. Maybe you are living this life, maybe you’ve been superwoman all your life as well as sadwoman on the inside. Today, I encourage you to be free, I encourage you to speak your truth! Free those thoughts that are trying to control your thought. Release every hurt that has held you hostage. And let go of every memory that has molded your view or bad perception of the world. Your mental health matters, and yours does too. Black Mental Health Matters too.

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