Regrettably, I had taken a month off posting on my blog to assess my mental health in lieu of some changes going on around me. I have a few upsets at work that snowballed into full-blown anxiety attacks that were (and still are) plaguing me and my ability to do even the things I most love- writing and music. I felt lost and in a mental purgatory- constantly bombarded with further minuscule upsets that seemed to draw in a temporarily-huge fog to my brain. I couldn’t even communicate effectively to my mate how I was feeling. My focus in general was completely shot.
I was ashamed. I was hurting but, the shame of acknowledging my helplessness was the hatchet hacking away at my confidence to just be myself.
How could I write to uplift others when I couldn’t even find the words to help myself? How can I churn out how-to’s when I haven’t got the steps down on this end? Should I just maintain decorum and spew the jargon I often see “bloggers” regurgitate on their sites? Sign up for the “I-Can-Help-You-Gain-1000-Subscribers-If-You-Pay-Me-Many-Moneys” peer marketing coaches? Change my post style to suit the markets and demographics I see of popular blogs that are winning “awards” that they truly don’t deserve? Nah.
Deep down, I knew none of those options would suit me nor be a reflection of my genuine self. I then took the greatest step I feel I have taken in a while- I sought out professional help. I got a great therapist.
I found her specifically through ZocDoc because I needed one that would take my insurance. I went out of my way to find a black woman therapist as there are plenty of circumstance and situations I had issues with that I felt only a fellow black woman would understand- and I’m so happy I did. Although- TherapyForBlackGirls which I linked in a previous post is definitely a great option for local therapists in that niche, I’ll be candid and disclose that it’s not often that the ones recommended on that site take many types of insurance, and financially- that didn’t work best for me.
It was hard unpacking and venting on this level- especially to a stranger at first. I felt uncomfortable talking about myself and my issues for an hour. She reminded me that as black women, we often feel centering ourselves as a disservice to others- even times figuring that putting oneself first is a selfish act. I’m now on a path that I haven’t planned to be on and it’s scary, but not insurmountable.
The panic attacks have waned but I still have occasional moments of frenzy and haziness. I’m taking everything one step at a time and doing so for myself- not the perspectives and opinions of others. It’s liberating in ways I never knew I’d find freedom in. Self-care will always be the best care and it’s always ok to let go if you have to.