TAINTED. For years, I’ve talked about the importance of mental health, and how we need to break down barriers and go to therapy.  Again, I’ve talked about it…but I have to admit, I’m one of those people who never actually takes their own advice. I wish I could say why; honestly, I’ve built a monstrosity of stress and other issues that have resulted in doing well … nothing.  So, four months ago, I decided to bite the bullet and go to therapy.

 Maybe it’s the cliché, “tell me all your problems so I can analyze them and tell you why you’re crazy” idea that is projected to us in the movies, but I have to admit … I was nervous.  In fact, my first session ended in me crying crocodile tears and apologizing to some woman I had met 54 minutes before, all while saying, “I promise, I’m not this emotional, it’s been a rough day.” When in all actuality, I had built up so much anger and sadness that I could barely seem to function.  I left that day thinking that if I could get through the first session, anything seemed possible. And yet, as I went back the following three weeks, I felt more and more ashamed of myself. Maybe it was because I sat in an office for an hour every Thursday telling a complete stranger all of my darkest secrets – well, not so much my secrets – but finally coming to terms with a lot of issues I’ve struggled with for the majority of my life.  After all, I’m not perfect and Lord knows I will never claim to be, but I gave up.

I stopped going … and, at the time, I had no idea why.

 It’s been a couple of months, and instead of talking about my issues, I have poured myself into this blog, into work … into everything else in my life, because the thought of telling somebody all of my problems actually scared me.  No, maybe it scarred me.  I’ve been … jaded for quite some time, stuck somewhere between being the best “Alana” I could possibly be, and feeling as if I would explode if I continued to let my emotions, literally, eat me alive.  I stopped going to therapy because I was embarrassed, and it was the worst decision I could have ever made. There’s this sense that came over me when I was there; I sat in this room and talked, but part of me had this “out of body” experience where I sat there, next to this woman, and watched how deeply scarred I have been and I wondered, “when did all of this begin?”  Here I am, making this effort to seek help … to find a release in this world, and I couldn’t bear the site of myself confessing how overwhelmed I have felt for quite some time.  

 There’s this stigma with mental health … this “box” we place everybody in; we look at them and think, “something is wrong with them,” when in all actuality, they’re just trying to work out issues like everybody else.  This has been tearing me apart – this feeling of being a failure, because I couldn’t “handle” therapy, but I think we are our harshest critics and, because of that, I couldn’t admit that I wasn’t as strong as I always pretend to be … and that sometimes, I can’t be everybody’s confidant.  And you know, that’s okay. My struggles don’t define me, what matters is that I, Alana, have not let those issues discourage me…ruin who I am, yet. Instead, I walk around with this smile – a smile that could light up a room.  I just hope that this feeling of failure passes … before I become permanently tainted.

5 thoughts on “TAINTED.

  1. Christina Jane says:

    It’s funny because I stopped going to therapy as well. Not because I felt ashamed, but because I began thinking that I was “okay” now lol until life came back and gladly let me know that that wasn’t the case at all. Mental health is exhausting, but kudos to you for taking the first step and going anyways because I know from firsthand experience that it takes a lot.

  2. Teeara Ida says:

    Thanks for being transparent with us! I’m actually scheduled for my first therapy appointment and girl I’m so nervous but I’m proud of myself for taking the first step because I know I can no longer deal with this alone

  3. FinalRant says:

    Girl, do you! There is nothing wrong with or with not seeing a therapist. I recently started going to one and quit going as well. It was expensive af and I wasn’t getting the satisfaction from it that I thought I would. Give it some time and revisit it later. Time will expose what the next steps will be…

  4. labellevieblog17 says:

    A word sis! First and foremost I think all black people should be going to see someone. This life is not meant for us, people of color, to survive and thrive. We have been dealing with so many hidden issues that it is a wonder we all have not checked out. Whether you’re dealing with being a single mom, stay at home mom, financial issues, family problems or just identity issues, it gets overwhelming! We deal with so much more than the average…it really just gets hard! I am a firm believer in therapy!!

  5. Nicole says:

    Alana it’s nothing to be ashamed of. There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be genuinely happy. You know my struggle and you know I’m 100% down for a mental health check up. Do what you gotta do to be free. Love you bunches

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