Minding Your Mental
I knew that mental health was important ever since I was a child. My mom would tell me stories about her mother locking herself in the bathroom and talking to herself in the mirror for hours. She’d also tell stories about my grandma having fantasized as if they were truly real and sometimes stare off into space, unable to respond or recognize her children’s requests. I knew my grandma was special and something had happened in her life that had caused her to behave the way she did. I never got the opportunity to ask her and I doubt she would be able to pinpoint the exact moment in her life that tipped her over the edge. What I do know is that I felt that if it happened to her, it could happen to me if I wasn’t aware of how or what my feelings were in regards to things that happened to me in life.
My mom told me that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% of how we respond to what happens to us. I didn’t understand what that meant as a child, but I understand now. We have to honestly assess ourselves and be aware of how we respond to any challenges that life throws our way. We can’t allow our circumstances to control how we react because if we give away that power we are one step away from losing control, losing ourselves and potentially losing our
sanity. It all starts with our mind.
My brother told me a couple years ago that he goes to therapy from time to time and that it has been beneficial. He didn’t really go into detail about why he goes, but I imagine it had a lot to do with my grandma, how we were raised, and surviving in America as a black man.
I’m happy that he is proactive and concerned with doing the self-work needed to stay in a healthy mental space. I’m inspired by that, despite knowing that stereotypically people raised in the inner city and or persons from the baby boomer generation look at therapy as useless and pass these beliefs on to their children. I am open to going because I’ve heard nothing, but good things about it. Best case scenario: you feel better and are able to work through some things bothering you. Worst case scenario: you are able to vent to someone who is unbiased. Even if therapy isn’t the route for you I encourage you to find something that helps you to relieve stress and helps you maintain a positive outlook on life. Life can be tough but if our mind has been conditioned to be tougher it’ll make things that much more easy.
By Ernest Moore