So, you feel depressed…maybe a sprinkle of hopelessness, and a dash of misery. You are not
alone . Especially in these quarantine times, it is easy to slide down that slope more often than
not. Fair warning: I am not a professional, and everything following this sentence will be
from personal experience, only . So please, feel free to take what you read with as many
grains of salt as you feel accurate. Let me follow this by saying, if you feel sad for extended
periods of time, and are experiencing other signs of depression , please, make sure to seek
In some communities, like the black and African communities, mental health is not discussed in
a helpful manner; that is if you are even lucky enough it is discussed at all. You may be
identifying with several signs of depression and not taking it seriously and remain in denial. I
love the phrase “Black don’t crack.” I loved this so much until I read a variation of it that is even
more realistic; “Black don’t crack, except from the inside out.” Many of us are busy being
“strong” that we forget to just be human. I have actually heard people say, “I don’t have the
LUXURY to be depressed and feel sorry for myself.” This is the toxic kind of behavior towards
mental health struggles that discourages people from seeking the professional they need in
order to be more balanced. It is really okay to be experiencing depression, anxiety, or any other
mental health struggles. It is also okay to seek therapy and any other kind of professional help
you need to help you navigate these struggles. It doesn’t make you broken, tainted, or crazy in
any way more than the rest of the world. It is the responsible thing to do. Just as you would go
to the doctor for a pain in your abdomen, it is the same thing for mental health.
As far as I know, there is no cure for depression. Whether you are taking medications or
engaging in therapy, or a combination of both, you obtain tools that permit you to live on the
balanced side of the spectrum. Some days, it takes a little more work to get up there and some
days you slide down the spectrum into paralyzing depression. This is a tough maneuver with
normal circumstances let alone being in isolation. I find that working on projects outside of work
keeps my mind busy, in a good way. I have to note that being lenient with yourself when it
comes to goals, is important. I have learned that having the intention to exercise, doesn’t have
to be getting through an Insanity workout. If I do a good 25 minute workout or even just walking,
it is okay too. It is important to be forgiving of yourself – at least you were active. It is very
important to remember when setting your intentions, that it is also okay if you don’t feel well
enough to do it.
Other things I have learned through my own journey is that it is completely okay to break down.
Allow yourself to get down if you can’t help it. Cry, if you have to, but try not to stay down for too
long. Another important thing is to switch from comparing lifestyles and accomplishments to
comparing perspectives. Things look different (often, better) when we switch our perspectives.
This little change will give you a reprise to breathe. Most importantly, you cannot walk this
journey alone – moral support is imperative! Make use of a counselor/therapist, join groups, and
find communities where you can. Secondly most important, everyone is broken, tainted, or/and
crazy in various ways, to varying degrees. Trust me, you are fine!