#MiniBlog : Protect your Mind
UPDATED POST: July is Minority Mental Health Month and although in Africa, blacks make the majority, Mental Health is a conversation that is finding it's feet. Over the last couple of days, I have heard heart wrenching stories from friends and family about people who are being weighed down mentally by a varied number of reasons.
The more I listen, the more of the same core reasons I hear. It's Unmet Expectations. I know now, that managing this well, is essentially to peace of mind and mental health.
Expectations can be a crap in the ass. Why? Because, we are and required to BE SOMETHING for. It all depends on the which label or social box is being required for the special occasion. This is natural, I guess. At every point in life, we will find ourselves on one end of the spectrum of the expectation thread. We are either expecting it from others or we are expected to give something. This in itself is not necessarily a bad thing. More often than not, however, we tend to buckle under pressure of having to rise up to the occasion on every account. We struggle with the expectations others have of us. We judge ourselves by what the world defines as failures and short-comings. So what happens? We have a vacuum filled with brokenness, disappointments, and hurts that have become increasingly dangerous to our mental health.
"As a black woman, as an african woman as a first child, as a good person, as a christian you have to..." I have heard so many conversations that have started this way by people who both care and love us. From our parents, from our churches, our friends, our relationships, our bosses and peers. We face the reproach of society's standards of what qualifies as success. The truth is I doubt it will ever stop.
Life never really gives you what you want. It may give you what you need. It may come in experiences and teachable moments. People, won’t always be what you need them to be. Plans won't always work out the way we foresaw them. It doesn't mean life is altogether bad. It only means, you need to check in with yourself, whether are doing alright.
The point of this is to give you an insight to the little fraction of the private hell people are battling in tier homes and at work. People are navigating towards suicide and the thoughts of suicide that we know or are aware of. Technology is ensuring that more people are getting help faster yet human connection is being driven further apart.
This is a short post reaching out to all of us; a reminder to African men and woman, no matter what you do or who you are, to please prioritize thier state of mind. Be open to do the work it takes to heal, process healthily, prioritize finding your HAPPY PLACE. It is important and it is possible.
Thankfully, advocacy groups like Mental Health Advocacy Ghana and Mental Health and Friends are doing their bit to open the conversation as well create a safe space to educate and inform about Mental Health. It could not have happened at a better time.