I talk about therapy. A lot. My conversation is often geared around my own personal experience seeing as though therapy has given me tools no one else in my life would have been able to. In some ways, maybe, my discussions about therapy may be an attempt to normalize something that is so unsettling to the rest of the world. Well, mostly to people of color. I am a black woman who has a therapist and I am grateful for my ability to own that shit.
Black people are often told to pull themselves up by their boot straps. Even when they don’t have boots. They are told to pray about it even though faith without works is dead. Sometimes we pray and God will lead us to someone who can help us further. I am a black girl who sees a therapist in a space and time that doesn’t allow me to be depressed. Guess what? I deal with depression on the regular. There are times when everything is going great and a cloud covers me without warning telling me to cry. Or that I’m not good enough.
I am healing… piece by piece with the glue therapy gives me. So I talk about it. Casually. I call my best friend saying girllllllll guess what my therapist said today? And she, being the supporter that she is, will follow up with a girlllll what?! I talk about therapy in a way that makes other people uncomfortable. People who love me are giving me the side eye because I represent the “crazy” sector of the population.
Funny how many of the people who judge me may be in a more fragile mental state because their issues aren’t getting addressed. I learned years ago while going through an ugly divorce that when you sweep everything under the rug you stand the risk of someone stomping on it. Filling the room with your dusty problems. So I try not to pretend my problems don’t exist. Yet by doing so all of my mess is in the front yard. Fertilizing my lawn. When mess should be. But yours, my dear friends, is stinking up the house. People know I’m having a hard time. People know I am struggling to make decisions. And guess what many of my decisions may not be what they consider to be good ones. But my therapist said I don’t need permission from anyone to live my own life.
I am not crazy. I am not damaged. I am not an embarrassment. I am not clueless. I am not stupid. I’m just a black girl who has allowed therapy to help her figure out herself. What’s your superpower?
Photo by Mikela Henry-Lowe