Behind Malaika's Mind

     Depression & Anxiety are my mental illness. Only my close people know that. I always chose not to share that part of me because I didn’t want people to think I was “crazy.” I put that label on myself because I thought others would. My best friends helped me realize that it’s okay that I deal with mental health problems and to stop calling myself “crazy” because I’m not; they really are my glitter. When I would stay the night places or have people over, I would quickly take my medicine while in the bathroom, or call them my "vitamins." I was embarrassed of what others would say about me or that they would see me as weak, but I’m a strong person.

The mind is such a powerful place. It’s the part of us that makes us think, have awareness to what’s around us, and most importantly, it enables us to feel. Some of us feel so deeply, and that’s okay. The weariness sometimes hits hard and can be crippling. The loneliness sometimes takes over the memories of the time spent with others. The sadness makes you forget what it’s like to be happy. And then from you feeling all of these different emotions, you start to feel anger. You’re angry because you’re tired of feeling weary, lonely, and sad. You’re angry because maybe you caught a glimpse of that happy memory and you want to feel that way again. Don’t be so hard on yourself - it’s better to feel deep than to not feel at all. Let your body feel these emotions, go through them and GROW through them; because when you push them off, they go unsettled and they’ll only come back up more powerful and often at the wrong time.

I’ve done therapy, I’ve been on countless amounts of meds, I talk to God, yet I still struggle. Most days I’m great and believe me, my smile is true. It’s really that big and I laugh all the time. But some days I forget to smile and eating becomes a chore because just the thought of chewing drains me so much. Sometimes getting out of bed just to take a shower means I get a gold star. A lot of my mental health issues come from my past. My "now" and my bright future push me, but sometimes it just doesn’t push hard enough. I’m thankful for my people and I’m thankful for my medication. And I know one day God will give me a total healing and I won’t need anything, but until then.... he is still good.

Malaika R.

Louisiana

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