I will preface this post by saying that I am currently drinking wine in celebration of finishing one homework assignment. With that being said, I will say that my thoughts may or may not make sense but I do know that everything I am saying comes from the heart and an immense amount of emotion is the catalyst of this post. I will also post-preface this with this – this post is pretty long, and I will be discussing mental health. Long story short, I am kind of tipsy and I want you to be cognizant that I candidly talk about my experiences depression.
I'm not entirely sure where I should start with this. So I'll start at what I am feeling right now, 10.10.16 12:35 am as I listen to Nancy Sinatra's "Bang Bang".
I'm reflecting on a conversation I had last night with my gorgeous friend, Angie. We talked about a study she read that said people who talk to their exes are narcissistic. It didn't make sense to me why they'd be considered as that, "They know their exes are easy to manipulate and they get off on that", she explained to me. It made a little more sense to me. So why am I friends with my ex? Because it's easy. Not easy to manipulate, that's not something I am interested in. It's easy to continue benefitting from a relationship that has already been built and established. Benefitting might sound like a bad word, but hear me out. It's my senior year, I don't have times to create meaningful relationships with just anyone. This same logic applies to friends and acquaintances I have learned to trust. I am going to keep you around because I value what we have established. I am not the type of person to dawn on a situation and let it muddle the way we interact from there on out.
Yes, I recognize and remember what happened but I am really not interested in throwing a tantrum about it for the rest of my life. As a Virgo, after we have argued about it [the said "situation"] to its exhaustion, let's carry on and be friends. (I can't believe I am justifying unwise behavior with horoscope, I need to cut it).
I know a lot of people could not do what I am doing or even stomach the idea of talking to someone who's hurt them, but I am all about "letting that hurt go". I think the same principle applies when we knowingly sin, and repent on Sunday at church and go back to sinning without conviction. Matthew 6: 14-15 explains this idea. I forgive people because my Father tells me I should forgive. Simple as that.
With the convenience of not creating new relationships is the convenience of dumping my "problems" onto people who have cared about me before. Or, at least thinking I can dump my problems onto someone who has cared about me before. Mentioning the friendship between myself and my ex is not the purpose of this post, the importance of mental health is. Mental health is something that is seldom discussed especially in the POC community. If depression and anxiety were as normalized in our community as they are in non-colored communities, our relationships would look different than the way we know them to be. It shouldn't be hard talking about the things we are going through to our friends let alone our family. The stigma that having anxiety or depression is "bad" makes it harder to have meaningful dialogue. I have had a hard time talking about it with anyone not because I am ashamed, but because I don't even know how to bring it up. When celebrities like Kehlani open up about their mental health with millions of average folk calling her "an attention whore", it makes it seemingly impossible for us average folk to open up to each other without the fear of being judged.
With Kid Cudi also opening up about his battles with depression, I am glad more Black men have felt comfortable opening up about their experiences with it as well. But..... why are we just now caring about mental health?? I hate to be a social justice warrior but depression and anxiety didn't start existing last month.
In a utopian society, we would talk about all the problems all the time and everyone would be open to listening and learning about them. But I know that can't happen because with controversy comes ignorance. The best we can do is to be cognizant of what is going on around us and try to be as perceptive to others as possible! Ask how your friends are doing, check up on acquaintances, read articles about things you don't know about. Knowing more about anything is an advantage in itself, so why not?
edit: October 18 – I apologize for my lack of postage, I have been going through soooo much stress and terrible time management. Thanks for your patience nonetheless <3