By A Comeaux
There are many things many of us women take for granted.
Some of us don’t take heed of what we have taken for granted until something drastic happens, that is, until our world is shaken upside down and life as we know it is no longer the same.
I’m one of those people.
I deal in extremes, so my fall was no slip, it was hard, great and devastating on all accounts. My fall wasn’t about love, sex, or money.
What I lost was my peace of mind and it nearly cost me my life.
Mental instability is on the taboo side of the fence for a Black woman like myself; it’s that thing ‘they’ struggle with, not us.
Far too many of us are told to get a drink, get laid or pray our way through life’s tough spots.
While any combination of those quick feel-good fixes can provide some relief, the root of the struggle must be addressed.
For me, anxiety and depression lurked under the surface for years, masked by lovers, by bottles of “social wine” and by the bedside alike. For years I was NOT okay, but I maintained a façade that “all was well.”
In fact I was ready to quit it all and never surface again.
Depression is a sneaky thing that attacks your mind, be it at work, before you doze off, in the shower, at dinner, anywhere! Evil thoughts told me it’s all my fault and that I’ll never have what I want because of this or that.
Haunting thoughts and demeaning ideas provoked my anxiety to desire destructive things. I also feared starting something productive because of thoughts of failure;
I was literally a prisoner of my own mind.
I turned to alcohol because it’s more socially accepted than therapy.
I turned to sex because it’s more relatable than yoga or holistic medication.
I was going down the rabbit hole of despair, but something was pulling me out of it in the midst of this storm.
Something told me to fight for myself, like I’d fought for love. Like I’d fought for money or success.
My spirit was telling me to fight for ME!
No one else encouraged me to fight my way out of this depression because no one knew my private battle.
I knew if I didn’t fight, I would die.
I stopped taking the meds for anxiety, and the pills for insomnia and then I stopped drinking.
I did everything cold turkey with nothing but a will to live.
I got deeper into yoga, prayer and meditation.
I cleaned my diet and added foods that promoted hormone health.
I got honest with myself and those around me; they were far more supportive than I thought they’d be and I was strong enough to go on if they weren’t.
I expanded my vocab and stimulated my mind.
Today I’m sober, celibate and more grounded in self-love than I’ve ever been in my entire life.
I hold a certain audacity to set and maintain a standard for my temple with the inner peace of knowing that I’m worth everything I desire.
This road is long and lonely but ever most fulfilling, for it is a journey that I’ve committed my life to. Mental health matters and should never be taken for granted.
A Comeaux is the writer, speaker and actor who poetically paints pictures of life and love with a paradoxical perspective. Follow her on Twitter @KCOSpoke
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