i can’t breathe… (a mental health perspective)
I posted on facebook today:
I usually try to shake off that “angry black woman” moniker, but I AM angry. I have every reason to be in this country where my life doesn’t matter. In the words of Zora Neale Hurston, “If you are silent about your pain, they’ll kill you and say you enjoyed it.”
I then started to think about how that anger is affecting me in regards to my mental health. Right now, my life is generally going pretty well. I am in a stable state of mind, in a loving romantic relationship, surrounded by unbelivable friends, financially doing okay enough, and even released a book. Things are better than they have been in ages.
However, as a black woman, in the collective sense, I am languishing. I am hurting for my people. My social media timelines are filled with stories, speculations, opinions, FACTS regarding the failure to indict the KILLERS of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and countless other stories, and it all makes me RAGE. The stories are inescapable at this point. Unless your permanent address is beneath a rock, you know what is going on. For the last few months there are moments where I feel like I can’t breathe. My lungs are filled with anger and oxygen cannot enter. I’ve gone on unfriending sprees on social media and a few in “real life.”
But y’all, I am scared.
I am scared all this anger will invade this happy I have fought so hard for. But I cannot put my head in the sand, because MY people are dying and the powers that be don’t care. Ordinary white citizens don’t care. And sadly, a lot of my sistren and brethren don’t care. How can I stay sane in the midst of gross injustice, apathy, and flat out hate? How do I?
How do I fight and care for my people without losing my own mind? How do I continue to smile at the people that look like my oppressors and murderers? How do I not spiral back into what I escaped from? How do I stop feeling selfish for self-care when our children die in the street? How do I process the barrage of pain? I don’t know.
All I know is, I can’t breathe.