By A Comeaux
I won’t ask you to be honest no more than I will bare my innermost darkest ills, but I will address mental health in the urban community and how at least in the Black community, the cry for help is often more taboo than being homosexual.
Please note by discuss I mean confront.
It’s time we get the rocks from under the rug and eradicate myths that therapists are only for White people.
Life is my biggest muse and living it with a wide range of experiences has its share of enlightenment.
I met a guy through a mutual friend who is also a poet. Always drawn to the artistic at heart, I read his works and found a common thread: suicide.
No easy feat to conquer, I wanted to know why he wrote about this so much, so passionately; even to the point of plotting it, and covering it so the insurance money would still pay his daughter. How he’d do it painlessly and aesthetic enough so whomever discovers him isn’t additionally grossed out amidst finding his cold corpse.
Demented was my first thought. My mind never respects my first thought unless it’s coupled with a gut feeling. This wasn’t the case here. As a poet, I respect the cardinal rule of never asking one to elaborate on their expression.
What compelled me more was that his catalog was a metaphorical cry for help, one that I recognized as I, too, hide my indiscretions in prose.
In the true fashion of me being myself, I sent him a message asking him to call me about a particular piece that pierced my soul. He called. Not good enough. I needed eye contact so I arranged for us to meet at a mutually located coffee spot. He’s the picture of normal. I instantly understood why his cries were muffled in his notebook.
We, as a people, must not look at someone and assume they are or are not okay due to the shoes on their feet or the fragrance on their neck. People are hurting. The stigma associated with asking for help is the reason our communication is acted out and not talked about.
Not addressing depression, anxiety and ‘recreational’ drug use to self-medicate will never bring the resolution we so desperately need. We have to open the lines of communication for people to be themselves, to be hurting and not know why is lonely enough, to have to mask a face you don’t even recognize as your own is scary in and of itself.
Once we get past our differences, we can then appreciate our common thread.
Suicide isn’t talked about but it happens every day. The closest people to them cry the, ‘I had no idea’ plea.
Set the premise for honesty in your family as well as in your relationships. More often than not, people feel like they have to lie for other people. And yes, saying ‘I’m okay’ when you’re really not is a lie too.
My fellow poet did not succeed in his self-afflicted demise. He had a conversation with his family who teased him. He took the steps needed to seek a mental health specialist anyway. He knew that if someone didn’t hear and help with this cruel thoughts, he surely would succeed next time.
Never be too proud to admit you can’t handle it all, today. Ladies, let the men talk. Men, listen to your women. (No romantic combination excluded).
Please never be afraid of improving yourself, mind, body and spirit alike.
A Comeaux leads our TweetChat today at noon (CST)! Join us and get your groove back with #SBCChat.