One year ago today, the day started out ok but I had known idea how it would end. Like most days I was feeling sad, depressed, worthless, and tired. I got up and got dress for work not knowing if I wanted to continue with this gloomy day. Life last year was horrible at least I thought so, I didn’t even feel like getting up to shower. My marriage was on the rocks, my family wasn’t supportive, and I wanted out. At this time I had began working at the school thinking that if I at least accomplished one of my dreams I would feel better. Well, that didn’t work out so well! Everyday I saw those kids as a reminder of how I failed as a parent, around this time my son was also facing major jail time. I was a complete wreck and no one cared, they just went about their days unphased about me. How could they have not known, how could they have not cared? I was always there for their needs, taking on the burden of others problems. When it came to me, they left me out in the cold to figure out this horrible life myself. “Fuck it”, I thought! Fuck life, this job, my child, husband, and family. They didn’t care why should I?
I left work that day feeling so horrible and down, I began drinking and drinking! My husband knew something was up, but of course he didn’t care enough to ask me what was wrong? So I drank some more, it was eventually night-time and I had a BIG argument with my hubby. I got in my car and left, I wanted to drive until I ran out of gas. Instead I went to the store and purchased more to drink and went to the park. Usually, when I’m here I can find peace and rethink my thoughts, but not this time. I grew mad and angry. So by this time I was ready, ready to see my grandma! I drove drunk to wear she is buried and sat at her grave. I asked a million questions but still couldn’t understand why I had such a bad life. Why was my brain this way? Why can’t God hear my prayers? Why does my family suck? Life wasn’t worth living anymore, so I decided to wait on the guy to bring me something to just end it all. After that I went blank…………………….
The next thing I know I was on suicide watch in the psych ward. How did I get there? I must have driven cause my truck was parked outside. I was so drunk I couldn’t even tell them who I was. There I was locked in a room without my personal belongings, what was this place? Finally, once I slept off that drunkenness I realized that I had checked myself into the mental hospital?????? What???? I have never in my life seen the inside of a mental hospital, a jail cell, but a mental hospital. There I was in a gown, heard them say that my phone was ringing all night. I finally came to my senses and just accepted that I need this help! I need to get my life back on track, boy what difference a year makes.
Wow, I know this question is blunt and to the point but I need to know. In 3 three weeks I will release my 3rd ebook ”Sex and Depression” and I want to hear from you. I will also host a virtual summit and would like to interview a few of you. Much like depression, the topic of sex is also taboo. We need to have this discussion because it affects so many of us who are diagnosed with mental illness. With the chemical imbalance in my brain, the antidepressants, and the lack of energy. Believe me when I tell you sex is not on my list of priorities, but how does this affect my spouse?How does it affect your relationships? Has this become a problem, but you can’t seem to explain this to your partner/ spouse. Then let’s talk, I’m looking for a few experts, spiritual healers, and just everyday folks who would love to discuss this topic with me. Please don’t be shy, I will only ask 5 questions and with your permission, it will only be aired in my Facebook group. For those of you who sign up for the summit will receive a free copy of my new ebook before it comes out!
So please share this post and if you’re interested, please reply here with your email, or email me at: Olivia@oliviabshepherd.org
Don’t be shy! Let’s talk
How often do we hear these three words? “Don’t give up”, what do they exactly mean to you? Every now and again, we go through times where you just feel like giving the hell up. You’re thinking life would be much easier if we just said, “f-it”! We spend so much to thinking about how hard it is, but forget to focus on how far some of us have come. Yesterday, I was pumped up and ready to conquer the world, then doubt set in. Doubt reminded me that I was only 51 days sober, you still get depressed at times, and no one wants to hear from you. Then I look around at how far I’ve come, and I brush that shit off. I no longer have to listen to that negative voice in my head. So what if you don’t feel like getting dress today, or that you haven’t bathed. Just Don’t Give Up! Try again tomorrow, but don’t give up! We have come to far too let all the hard work go. No matter how you feel, get up, get dress and start your day. Failure at this point isn’t an option….Have a great Wednesday!
There are different reasons to this answer this question, but the two major reasons are described below:
- Lack of knowledge and misunderstanding
There is great misunderstanding about mental health in the African-American population. It is due to lack of knowledge as many people think that the mental health consultation is a sign of weakness and they feel ashamed for seeking help. Some even believe it’s a punishment from God and thus consider not seeking help from a doctor, but a church. Most in our community think we can just ‘pray’ it away. As a result, their conditions tend to worsen over time. This then ruins relationships, work life, and their life in general. To avoid this, we have to make sure all of our peers seek the information they need.
According to recent research, one-quarter of African-Americans seek mental health care and are usually misdiagnosis. Usually most doctors in our community don’t take our symptoms serious, we are told to go home and in my case, I was told to pray about it. I was also told that black people don’t need those drugs in our system. How foolish? This has a negative influence on our lives and leads us to distrust the professional healthcare system and workers. Most of us just couldn’t care less to seek the help, because we are constantly misdiagnosis.
Thus through proper knowledge, eliminating the negative stereotypes, and constant conversations we can reduce fewer suicides. It is our duty in the African-American community to guide our love ones when we see them suffering.
When it comes to mental health, African-Americans are no more different from the rest of the population. They have just decided that mental health isn’t worth discussing or seeking help. Without the proper mental health treatment we can not live a proper life. Seeking help shouldn’t be taboo, but it is in our community. African-Americans are likely 20 more times to suffer from the disease compared to our caucasian brother and sisters. Any one can develop a serious case of a mental health issue, it’s just more common in African-American community. So with that being said, we don’t seek help because we have lack of knowledge about mental illness, we lack health care, and the fear of judgement keeps us from getting diagnose You can read more on this in my e-book on Amazon!
If one has to explain Mindfulness in a sentence, it means being completely and absolutely present in the current moment. Mindfulness has become an instrument in the field of psychology;it is widely used these days in order to treat people suffering from various mental illnesses. How does it help?
- It Shows People a New Perspective
When someone is suffering from mental illness, they usually have a very negative attitude towards the whole world. Mindfulness helps keep one in the moment and encourages them to have a different outlook of any situation. It also encourages one to have a positive outlook about one’s self. A therapist may suggest writing out affirmations and reciting them. Most therapist also offer breathing techniques to help with anxiety.
- It Teaches People to How to Live in the Moment
Most people who suffer from mental illness, usually are depressed about something from their past, or anxious about their future. It encourages you to feel no matter what this too shall pass, therapist may teach you self meditation, show you mini-mindfulness exercises and techniques. Most of these excercises can be done at home by yourself like coloring a mandala, going on mindfulness walks, listen to meditation without words. Using radical acceptance also helps you stay in the moment, accept the things you can’t control.
As someone who suffers from mental illness, I found all the these things helpful. The walks and breathing techniques were really helpful, I was able to focus on my beautiful surroundings. Mindfulness will help you establish better concentration, you will observe the flow of your inner thoughts. You don’t need to be some fancy meditator, just set aside about 10 minutes a day and go with the flow.