yesterday, she finally mustered the courage to call her mother. with shaking hands and cracking voice, she told her how she couldn’t sleep. she couldn’t eat. her body felt heavy. something was inside of her that didn’t quite belong. the something was sitting on her chest. breathing was harder. thinking was harder. she told her what the doctor said. it was depression. her mother on the other end of the line sucked her teeth. she didn’t believe in such things. all her daughter needed to do was pray. she just needed to attend church more, read her bible more. nothing was wrong with her, it was juju. it was god testing. and so she went to church. she sat in the front pew, eyes fixated on the pastor. and when it was time for altar call, she peeled herself from the wooden seat to stand in the front. people surrounded her. they prayed, and screamed and placed holy water on her head. this would fix her they told her. she would be better. and so she went home, she opened her bible to psalms 121. she prayed harder, went to church every sunday. she would be fixed she told herself, all she needed was more god. but months past and the darkness inside of her began to spill over. she no longer enjoyed the activities she once did. her night walks in the park became nights of sitting in the dark. curtains closed, door locked. she no longer wrote poetry or baked her favorite hershey cookies. she barely slept and her mouth was sewed shut rejecting food and water. she was sinking deeper. god wasn’t fixing her. praying wasn’t fixing her. and so she reached for the white pills that sat next to her bible. 3 at a time she threw them down her throat. if she couldn’t pray the depression away, she would kill it.
Please read this.
There’s such a stigma against the ills of mental health in the black community. Prayer is great, but it doesn’t solve everything.
Americanah from Ngozi Adichie protayes it well also with Ifemelu’s bad start in America :s
This is real man
the realest shit ever.
to find counselors and therapists in your area based upon race/gender/specialties go to psychologytoday.com and visit their doctor directory.
Honestly this is almost exactly what happened to me. I told my mother in the same fashion that I was going through depression and she didnt believe me until I called her after almost destroying one of the only relationships I have ever wanted. She finally said You need to seek help to get a real reading on what is happening to you she never once said sorry to me for not believing me the first time but she does encourage me to seek help.