You read the title and answered it right? If you answered that question with a firm “no”, or skipped over the title you might need counseling (And if you saw Infinity War you should be in counseling ASAP.LOL). All jokes aside, there is an unnecessary stigma that has been attached to mental health in the black community and it needs to be broken down. Your mental health is just as important, if not more important, than your physical health. Obviously you need both but for instance; I know a handful of bodybuilders and fitness models with daddy issues and they have no clue that a lot of the issues they dealt with as a child (such as abandonment, rejection, traumatic events etc,..) are linked to a lot of their behaviors. Now it is years later and they are still dealing with the same issues as adults. I’ll use myself as an example to make this an easier pill to swallow. I’ve experienced many unrelated traumatic events that cause me to act in very similar ways each and every time. I almost drowned as a child, to be specific, at the age of five. That was anxiety attack number one. But then, I also almost drowned again at the age of 19. That goes in the book as another numbered anxiety attack. I never talked about these instances and for almost 15 years I didn’t even look at water. No, I don’t want to go to your pool party! Completely avoiding the conversation about my traumatic experiences and any activities around it should have solved my problem right? I wish it worked that way. Anxiety doesn’t just go away. That’s not how it works at all. Fast forward, I had an anxiety attack at church one Sunday. It’s a megachurch (a thousand or more members), just imagine that number of people all in the same place. Back to the story, I was attempting to walk against the grain of traffic when service was dismissed. That’s when I realized, I parked on the complete opposite side. I turned around and began to fight against the traffic and was completely overwhelmed. That hallway seemed to never end, the exit I needed to get to never got closer. Next thing you know, I was sweating like crazy. I struggled to breathe and I immediately tried to find the nearest exit. I needed to get out of there! I had no answers as to why this happened to me after this event and thought maybe I just shouldn’t attend that particular church. But the church wasn’t the problem. The problem was my past traumatic experiences.
After attending counseling that week, I learned that the root of my problem (anxiety attacks) was my traumatic experience of being overwhelmed by the water. You know, the time that I almost drowned at age 5? That anxiety attack was a recurring feeling at the most inconvenient times. My anxiety decided to continue to make cameos when I was overwhelmed by other situations. Discussing previous traumas typically goes to the root of a lot of our unexplainable behaviors and can be key to mental and emotional health.
Still on the fence? I’ll have a few questions for you to answer in a few days to inspire some much need self-reflection. REMEMBER to let your guard down and be vulnerable for a few moments.