Mental Health Awareness Month

mental Health awareness month

We are approaching the end of the month of May, and if you knew it or not, May is officially, Mental Health Awareness Month.  There are so many things that could be address or discussed regarding this issue, however I feel that it is important to note one simple thing:  Mental Health Matters.

No matter you race, color, creed, religion or financial status, Mental Health Matters.  We all have moment of the need for mental health treatment, and the real issue is that not many of us seek that treatment when we need it.  We turn to substances, people, things or we go into avoidance mode.  Because we don’t know how to deal with things, we choose to simply not deal with them.  This serves no one.  It definitely does you no good.

Mental Health stats

I too have had moments where I have been depressed, down, extremely sensitive and unable to adequately express my emotions.  I have been to counseling, and as a therapist and coach I have counseled others.  I know hurt pain, loss, rejection, loneliness,  sadness and grief.  I have watch loved ones die, I have seen the effect of addiction and I have had to make medical decision for my parent not knowing if he would live or die.  At some point in time we all endure some or most of these things and it takes a toll on our mental health.

As we near the end of Mental Health Awareness month, I want to let you know that you are not alone on this journey.  There are people who are here to listen to help and to just be there if that is what you need.  I have some amazing friends, those who will just hold the phone while I cry, those who take me out for ice cream, and those who know those things I may be ashamed or embarrassed to share with anyone else.  Other than going to see my therapist, who may not always be available when I need her, these people help me to survive.  They are my life line.

mental health matters

My advice would be to seek help if you need it.  If you don’t feel like yourself, if you feel loss, down, discouraged, if you lack the energy or the desire to do anything or go anywhere, you need to consider talking to someone.  You do not always have to go and find a high priced prestigious therapist.  There are lots of free resources that can get you started on your journey to healing.

The first place to start is with your health insurance.  If you have health insurance, contact you insurance provider and ask about mental health services.  For most employer provided insurances the information may be on your insurance card.  If you are uninsured or if your employer does not provide mental health services organizations such as NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Health have locations around the world that can assist you.

The second thing I would suggest is to build a support system.  Find people who will avail themselves to you, people who will listen and people who will be encouraging but not participate in a pity a party.  People who will help you move past the rut you may find yourself in.  And also be ready when you can to reciprocate when needed.

Finally, do not let stigma keep you from receiving the help and assistance you deserve.  Know that there is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with mental illness or asking for help.  Millions of people suffer daily and while many do not receive the care or treatment they deserve, millions are speaking up and speaking out daily.  You are not alone on this journey.  It is absolutely ok to ask for and receive help.  Most of the time it is only a phone call away.

Be Blessed! Be Fabulous!

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The Holy Trinity of Relationships

Relationshipbrokenglass

Some of us have been in some bad romantic relationships. For many of us, we have walked the line of what I like to call the Holy Trinity of Relationships. For some of us our relationships have caused us to get closer to our FAITH, contemplate the value of our FREEDOM or consider the consequences of committing a FELONY. I know for me I have definitely had to work on this Holy Trinity. Fortunately Faith always wins (or has so far).

Again for most of us relationships are great. I have been in some good relationships and I have also been in some not so good relationships. All relationships have their issues. One of the reasons so many people resonated with Beyonce’s Lemonade was that it ultimately took us on the journey many of us have been on in our relationships. Let’s be honest and let’s be real, many of us have visited the relationship Holy Trinity Faith, Felony, Freedom.

3-Ways-to-Build-Better-Relationships-with-Your-Customers

Many of us have believed and prayed to God for that ‘perfect’ significant other. Some of us have lists of qualifications tucked away in our Bibles or taped inside of our journals. We have prayed for God to send our ‘other half’ or ‘better half’ and when we think we have found him or her all is right in our world. And then life happens. Our relationship faith gets placed on life support because we find ourselves wondering if this person was in fact the answer to our prayers or one of the devil’s minions.

Now I have learned over the course of the years that the old song “It’s a Thin Line Between Love and Hate” is truer than most of us realize. There is something about relationships that make you happy and smile one minute and then contemplate your sanity and your freedom the next minute. I have sat at the intersection of God and felonious assault many nights. Ultimately, I always returned to the value I placed on my own freedom and decided that Orange would not be my new Black.

My Faith and my Freedom have been what has ultimately kept me from ‘catching a case”. I have visited the place of wanting to kick some ass, and I have told him to call the side chick and leave me alone. I am not one of those chicks who value a relationship more than my sanity and my freedom. I would rather be single and free than a coloredgirlwhohasconsideredwhoopingsomeasswhenmyasswasnotenough.

This is what make us happy about Lemonade. In addition to seeing some of our truths played out on the screen, it is refreshing to know that Bey also feels our pain, and has traveled down that road as well. While I cannot personally afford to hire a set designer and purchase props to destroy, I have definitely had some days when I wish I had a baseball bat so that I could destroy some shit. Luckily, all of my stuff is still intact.

Bey Lemonade

No matter what your critique may be about Lemonade or Bey or whoever else, I have to admit that I have been down that road before. Before Lemonade, I was singing along with Jazmine Sullivan “I’ll Bust the Windows Out Your Car“. I saw myself in many of those images that were represented in Lemonade. The words that were strategically placed across the screen that indicated the stages of the breakdown and rebuilding of a relationship resonated with me. The pain and the emotion invoked throughout the video were powerful and impactful. It was emotional for me watching it. Despite the deep meaning and imagery and heavy critique and profound dialogue that Lemonade invokes as well as the latest phenomenal Lemonade Syllabus, inspired by the mind of a great sister scholar, this is my not so deep, but personal, relational, feeling thinking contribution to the Lemonade and my Holy Trinity of Relationships.