Written by: Brittany Cooper
Edited by: Kayla Briggs
The hellscape of 2020 is almost over, but we still have a lot to get through. Racists are increasingly bold and now they’re angry that their boy lost the election. We’re still losing people to the pandemic everyday, and the holidays are coming around to bring through that seasonal depression. As the year ends, please check on your friends and check in with yourself.
Some of the people who need the most help dealing with life are the ones who seem the most put together. Check on your strong friends just to see how their day is going. Tell them you love them just because. Reach out to let them know you’re thinking about them. Being the “strong one” sometimes means you’re forgotten. People feel comfortable asking you for help, but no one checks on you because everyone thinks you can handle everything on your own. Be the person who makes sure the “strong friend” is good.
The Black community has ignored mental health issues for way too long. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: ALL BLACK PEOPLE NEED THERAPY. We really do. I’m looking at you too, Black men. We carry around the weight of the world every single day. We deal with microaggressions at work, outright racism and profiling from strangers, trauma from o
ur childhoods, and even shit that’s been passed down from our parents and ancestors.
We need therapy to help us process all of it. The fact of the matter is, as much as we love our families and friends, they’re not always equipped to deal with all our shit. And sometimes, it just isn’t fair to dump all of our emotional baggage on them. Sometimes it takes a professional to help us wade through everything and process it in a healthy way.
Speaking from personal experience, therapy has made me a much healthier human. I won’t say I’ve worked through everything, but I know my triggers, I have coping skills to deal with things, and I don’t bottle up my emotions anymore. I can communicate my feelings in a healthy way, without hurting anyone or saying anything out of anger that I’ll regret later.
The most important thing therapy has taught me is how to disconnect and disengage. I learned to let shit go. Sometimes (most of the time), it’s better to just walk away or not get involved in someone else’s bullshit. I’ve learned to remove myself from situations that negatively impact my mental health. I’ve learned what’s worth a fight, and what’s not. I’ve learned that it’s okay to put myself first and not get involved in everyone else’s drama because, simply put, it’s not my fucking problem.
Please set up a consultation with a therapist because being emotionally damaged and toxic is NOT cute. If you’re into New Year’s Resolutions, this is a good one to consider for 2021. If you need help finding a good therapist, I’d recommend Therapy for Black Girls, or Psychology Today. Both have resources to help you find whatever you’re looking for, but keep in mind, the first therapist you meet may not be the best fit for you, but you can change therapists at any time.