Therapy. What’s the first thing you think of when someone says that word? Usually, we tie the words therapy or counseling into the same categories as crazy or psychotic. In my last post, I mentioned I’d be touching on therapy, especially how it’s seen in communities of color. We see it as a ‘white thing’, or maybe you attend therapy and one of your ‘cousins’ tells you “that’s some white people sh*t” – but it isn’t. A lot of people of color go through more traumatic events and occasions than “white folk” – yet we push it aside and continue to “pray” it away, add marijuana or wine to our daily diet, or “push through” and ignore it. Now don’t get me wrong, praying is a great tactic, and a glass of wine is fine here and there – but some of us may need to do more than that without abusing our body. Talking to someone who is a licensed professional at listening is better than talking to your spouse or friend. Not only will you start to treat them as your therapist, but eventually it will become tiring and draining for them to continuously listen to you when they have their own problems to deal with. Quite frankly it can take a toll on the listeners mental health as well. Again, I’m not saying you shouldn’t talk to the person of choice, but don’t drown them in your problems every time something goes wrong, or if you’re suffering from something serious like depression or anxiety. Going to a therapist will also help you determine if you have either of these or even PTSD.
As most of you know, I am biracial, if not – surprise. Growing up and dealing with my own issues, it was always turned to prayer, having faith, suck it up and be tough and don’t show emotion. Eventually, as time continued, my mother decided that it may be good to seek therapy for my anxiety and anger at the time, which was around 8th grade. I was going through a lot with my father in and out of surgeries and health issues that had been arising in my grandmother. Overall it was a lot of sh*t to handle as an 8th grader transitioning into high-school. I agreed with my mom and went, one time – never went back. A white therapist knows nothing about Black issues or Black problems (is what I believed at the time). To an extent I still do believe that. You feel more comfortable talking to someone who understands YOU, culturally. Do you get me? Therapy in the community of color is starting to become more popular, which is great – it can keep your life balanced and your sanity. Sometimes we’re all over the place, especially millennials. I’ve been contemplating going back to therapy just for the hell of it. Not because I’m depressed or feeling a certain way – but I am overwhelmed, which almost every working millennial is, but I think just talking to someone might be beneficial. Talking to my co-bestie (your best friend at work), we’ve been trying to figure out why is it still such a taboo thing in 2019? Most of the people who utilize therapy are typically successful and happy while having that good work/life balance. Some of us have hidden issues that we need to address and bring to light so that ultimately we can feel better. I’ve been thinking about it more and more after recommending it to others I’ve been involved with. It might be good, even a consultation phone call to see where my head is at and how can I make myself a better me. In my past relationships, I’ve dealt with men who have begun to seek therapy once I brought it to their attention. Now, I’m not a man, BUT I do think that in the mind of a man – it seems more embarrassing to go to therapy or maybe one thinks it’s unnecessary because again “that’s some white people sh*t“, but it’s not. As a man of color, you see more, experience more, and hide your emotions more. You cannot always disguise your issues or hide your emotions, therapy is normal – it can only make you better.
Bringing it up in conversation these days, it’s much more common – but when you bring it up to your Grandmamma or Abuelita, you may receive a different outcome or a pair of old rosary beads. Take charge for your own life and your own future. If you’re young still (which you are), control these issues before you begin adding other people to your life. A broken home can be the root for most of the personal issues that millennials face now. A lot of the time we have matured faster than others by taking on more responsibility at a younger age. As a generation, we can change the stigma of mental health and therapy and stop relying on others to take charge of our lives. When you’re in the driver’s seat do you expect the person in the backseat to control the wheel? No. (If you do then you need to go to therapy right now beloved). Y’all get what I’m saying. It’s not a big deal. What IS a big deal is your mental health, the statistics for POC is through the roof. We always see the posts “check on your strong friend“…Discuss it with a friend BUT, get a free consultation or make the appointment with a licensed therapist and call it a day. A lot of websites have a directory for therapists/psychologists who LOOK LIKE YOU. Put in the effort and take care of yourself.
“The most powerful relationship you will ever have is the relationship with yourself.”Steve Maraboli
Peace & Blessings,