Last week on Instagram MJ Three & Co posted a shirt they created that said “It’s okay to not be okay” and I had to let that sink in a bit. I like the statement because so many of us are trying to constantly hide sadness or even anger just to make everything appear okay. The question that continued to linger in my mind is what about those who don’t know they are not okay. Growing up black and in the hood, saying you aren’t mentally okay put you in one box…THE CRAZY BOX. If you said that you were dealing with depression or that you were overly sad for no reason then you must be crazy. Now as I continue to mature more people are becoming comfortable with reaching out for help, which I think is a great thing! I remember in high school, although I was a pretty much a happy person, I still had some displaced anger that I didn’t know how to deal with properly. I tried to commit suicide and when it didn’t work out for me I made the choice to see a counselor. I told my mom that I wanted to see a counselor and she didn’t even question it, she booked my appointment. Truthfully, I believe that seeing a counselor was a big part in me becoming the person I am today.
May is “Mental Health Awareness” month so when I saw the quote, “It’s okay to not be okay”, I thought to myself that this is something I want to talk about. A lot of times when we have negative thoughts we either try to suppress them or we begin to look down on ourselves for having such thoughts. In reality, we are all human and our thoughts are not always going to be positive, even when we try our best. The fact that we are aware of our negative thoughts is a big step because we can start to readjust our thinking into positivity. When we have those negative thoughts we can think about our surroundings, association, and actions when these thoughts occur. Reflecting on our surroundings, association, and actions can help us to see if we need to eliminate or minimize certain things. Journaling can help us to not only see our growth, but also help us to keep track of our negative thinking triggers. If journaling or trying to readjust your thinking doesn’t help don’t be afraid to get professional help. Those who are licensed professionals can help you find the triggers and assist you in building a plan to overcome your struggles.
Do you remember some cartoons would have a person who was conflicted between two ways of thinking, there would be an angel sitting on one shoulder and a devil on their other shoulder or a devil and his whole entourage on both shoulders. We ALL deal with this, if you don’t, MORE POWER TO YOU, keep living your perfect life! Me, myself I know I deal with this regularly. So it’s okay to not be okay ONLY when you know you’re not okay so that you can ask, beg, or plead for help. See once you acknowledge that you are struggling then you can PLAN your attack. Acknowledging your struggle and planning your attack takes courage because then you have let someone else know you are “not okay”. So the question is…Do you allow your ego and pride to hold you back or do you fight for your life? The answer to this question relies on what you think is important. Personally, I am no good to anyone when my mental health is not stable. When I wake up and my inner demons are sitting on both shoulders I politely call my tribe and brush those haters off my shoulders. If my issues can’t be handled through the support of my tribe I will get professional help without a doubt because I gots people who are counting on me daily.
Just remember that if you have mental health struggles (I’d rather not refer to it as mental illness) PUSH that pride aside and ask for help! It’s okay to not be okay ONLY when you realize that you’re not okay so that you can get the help you need to be okay ☺.