a woman lying in the fetal position with her arm over her head and swirling emotion around her

Struggling Not to Be Weak

When I was first diagnosed in 1997, I was in counseling and I dealt with a lot of depression.

I remember, a few years ago, a friend said to me, "Why would you want to tell people about it?"

Mental health was not spoken about much

Well, for me, I know that talking about my depression and anxiety can help someone else who is going through the same thing. It seems that the Black community doesn’t address this - like it’s embarrassing and it must be hidden under a rock.

Years ago, there wasn’t much discussion for depression, bipolar, or any mental health issues. What people use to say was, "Oh, they are just crazy." That was the term used back then and people pushed it to the side as if it didn’t exist.

Now, there is more talk about mental health conditions.

The hustle and bustle has caught up with me

I have fought to write about my truth because it seems that it is always so much easier to not show my weaknesses.

As an advocate, mother, daughter, and person who always puts out for everyone, I have finally hit a deep depression that has lasted for several weeks.

I can't let others drain me

I have told only a couple of people because I didn’t want to bother others with my issues the way that I have allowed people to drain me with theirs.

I have come to realize that God has made me a caregiver but, I must discern when to help and when not to. The life of hustle and bustle has caught up with me and I have not felt this way in 15 years or more.

I've hit a deep depression

I remember feeling this way for years when I was first diagnosed with HIV, but this time it’s different.

I find myself laying down at night, crying about how broken this world is. Crying about if I will be alone for the rest of my life since I chose advocacy. Crying about the selfishness of others and that no one is really here for me if I ever needed them. Crying about the loss of my sister I was so close to. If she was here, I could go to her.

I've isolated myself

I have isolated myself from the world these last 4 weeks and find it hard to get out of bed for work.

My decision to disconnect from those who drain me with only their issues have stopped. I know I must take care of myself and my self-care the way I use to.

I choose to free myself

As I write this, today is the day that I seek the help I need and tell myself that it’s okay to feel this way and that it’s okay to be weak when it is needed. What is not okay is for me to sit here and do nothing about it.

Today, I free myself from all of this and get back to the me that makes me happy. Music lifts me up, motivational videos inspire me and keeps my mind intact. So today, I break away from what has been causing me my pain.

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