A friend of mine tagged me on a post yesterday evening.
It read “We are so accustomed to delivering the strong Black woman speech to ourselves and everyone else that we lose our ability to connect to our humanness and thus our frailty.”
Josie Pickens for Ebony Magazine beautifully elaborated the reality of depression and the black superwoman syndrome. While reading, I was in awe of how we sometimes miss the signs, and how we are often crippled by fear when all motivation screams strength.
I then realized that real life is not always about being Superman, it’s mostly spent being Clark Kent. And we often neglect mental health as though it not important.
Mental Health is very important and should never feel like taboo when spoken of. The perception that strong women are always strong isn’t true. Strong women are human too. The secret is you.
It is believing that you are enough when doubt comes. No added strength can take away from who you already are.
The goal isn’t perfection, that is an assumption. Often times we use media platforms to display an unrealistic image of life “the highlights.” This does not mean that life can not get to that point, but life isn’t full of highlights.
For example a 2 hour movie is based on a couple’s 30 years of marriage. Their whole life was not shown, only the highlights. There isn’t music playing as we cross the street. The reality is, life is overcoming daily. Most times we are failing miserably but getting back up & trying again.
Experiencing reality won’t always be the superhero entrance we want. But unless we truthfully deal with the stress of life on a daily basis, we may lose ourselves trying to mask as superwoman.
It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be a young woman & struggling. No one has it together all the time, every time. That is not reality. Pickens wrote “We’ve spent our lives witnessing our mothers and their mothers be strong and sturdy, like rocks. We want to be rocks.”
When we realize that we aren’t rocks, we crumble. And often do not know how to pick our selves up. How do we admit in a world so strong that we are struggling? that we need help? The reprecautions of stress is often damaging.
We are all experimenting on this journey called life. And it can often be such a daunting task waking up to face it daily.
Here are steps you can take to battle the mental & physical challenges you face:
1. Practice self-care: We’re introducing a segment called Self-care Sundays in 2018 with tips and recommendations of how to spend quality time with yourself. Therapy, meditation, exercise, girl time, just investing in yourself. How you see yourself is an important aspect of mental health.
2. Share the load: You can’t do everything, all the time. There is nothing wrong with in asking for help, needing help or accepting it.
3. Seek Professional help: Girlfriends are great, supportive and encouraging but they are going through their own stresses and not equipped to counsel you. Mental health is serious, if finding proper help is neglected it could be the difference between life and death.
Cynthia Branch is a licensed therapist we have approached for anyone seeking professional help her contact details are below.
Name: Cynthia Branch
Communities of women need to start speaking of their mental & physical struggles. Let’s have more conversations about what we are facing, how we can deal with it & be human. Strength isn’t how strong you are, it is how you deal with everything that comes your way. And most times we struggle. Strong women are still human.