There are lots of ’d’ words that women like to talk about. Depression is not one of them. The Black community in particular have been hesitant in the past to address mental health issues. Growing up, I could never bring up feeling sad or down. Those feelings were just swept under the rug and dealt with internally. These was also no mention of therapy. Therapist had the bad wrap of making up issues in order ‘to steal your money’. Why pay someone to help you sort through your issues when you could just internalize them?
The importance of diagnosing and taking mental health issues seriously has increased as I’ve gotten older. So many people battle internally every single day with intense feelings of unhappiness or despair. Seemingly doing well on the outside with no one else being aware of how much they’re struggling until it’s too late. But how do we determine whether our sadness is a natural result of life’s challenges or if those feelings are serious and need to be addressed?
Most women are emotional creatures. We feel certain things intensely, which can help us nurture and care for others, but can pose problems in other areas of our lives. Since the beginning of time men have been poking fun at us for crying at the drop of a hat or questioning our ability to make decisions not based purely on our emotions. Once a month we can blame our intense feelings on our hormones but it doesn’t negate all of the times that we are genuinely upset.
Because we are so in tune with our emotions, we can go from having an amazingly smooth day to feeling like nothing in our lives are going right based on one comment someone made about the outfit we picked out. (Contrary to what men think, it’s not always something so small that ruins our day but I do have to admit that it’s more common than not.) Feeling hopeless or discouraged about things in our lives can be a difficult funk to get out of.
We may have a vision in mind of what work we want to do, how we want to be treated in our relationships, or the paths that our lives are supposed to take. When they don’t go the way we had hoped, it can negatively affect other areas of our lives. No matter what we have going for us, if one area of our life is lacking, the entire picture isn’t complete. Whether we are having trouble getting respect in the workplace or finding a guy who will treat us right, or having trouble getting pregnant. Whatever is missing, that disappointment can sometimes consume us and carry over into other areas of our lives.
No matter how much you try to be grateful for the things you do have, it seems like life is constantly reminding you of the contrary. Everywhere you look there are people who left a job that they loved for another job that they love that pays more. Or you’re constantly surrounded by couples who are madly in love, seemingly making out in your face just to spite you. For women who desire to have children, baby bumps pop up everywhere like popcorn. Once when I was down about not having any kids, I received a postcard from a local hospital about choosing them for my delivery needs. It was as if the universe had stuck a kick me sign on my back.
There are so many factors that go into making women feel complete that men don’t worry about. Men are generally more simple creatures. Their lives consist of yes or no. Ours consists of yes, possibly, maybe, only if, depending on, not right now, maybe later, no, and hell no. We cry during commercials, we cry at the end of a movie, we cry about missing a party, we cry about a mean comment, we cry about online bullying, we cry about being dumped, we cry about not getting the job we wanted so badly. Sometimes it’s difficult to keep from crying.
We all get down from time to time but there are some us of who can’t seem to get back up. Talking to friends about what’s bothering us can help relieve the sense that we are alone in feeling the way we do. But what if no one understands or can relate? You don’t want to feel like you’re bringing others down with your sadness but the longer you keep it inside the more overwhelming it seems.
While we can all benefit with a night out with our friends to relieve stress, sometimes girl talk isn’t enough to sort through some of the feelings we have. In life it’s important to listen to what our bodies are telling us. When feeling down, don’t brush it off, address it. What is meant for you will come to you. Find ways to set little goals working towards what truly makes you happy and when you get discouraged, remind yourself that your happiness is worth fighting for.