Being a #Boss & the Need for a Mental Wellness Practice
I see a therapist every week.
I was at point where I found myself anxious and overwhelmed to the point where I could feel stiffness rise from my neckline to the top of my skull and a migraine emerge...daily. Feelings of "bleh" and lacking motivation upon waking up. Near panic attacks out of the blue. I had found myself slowing my breathing in the stall of a bathroom, trying to keep myself from crying, imagining what my options would be if someone found me here...or if no one found me. Here. This was the moment. After years of dealing with this sucking feeling of "bleh" "I'm tired...all the time" "I just...can't today" "Can't get out of this funk," I made the decision to get a therapist. I said to myself, "I can't do this anymore. I need someone to make sense of this."
First stop, my primary care doctor. I told her about my migraines worsening and how I needed to see someone to talk to about my mental wellness (yes, it was about health with an emphasis on wellness for my mind). She recommended two women. I followed up with a call to each, after checking Google Maps to see who was nearby, and decided on one. After I met with her, I knew she'd be the one to have my weekly sessions of "help me, PLEASE and thank you" that I needed.
Now, my primary care doctor, OB/GYN, and therapist all happened to be women of color. I felt that this was a sure sign of universal validation. So, I took it as such. *#blessed*
Fast forward to today, I continue to have occasions of "bleh" with a touch of random migraines (got the chronic migraine life over here) and a hint of the blues. More days I'm functional and some days it's an uphill battle. My mind is fascinating yet also frustrating.
No one talks about how difficult it may have been for our SHEros, role models, and favorite trailblazers to battle with the wellness of their minds as they impact the world. Well, I'm on a mission to do extraordinary things, and I'm here to tell you that I function a little better with my therapist on my calendar.
Here are few things she helps me with: We figure out effective ways for coping, working through trauma, understanding triggers, and so much more. We put names to things that may be indescribable, and we work through the easy and tough moments together. And, we talk. About everything, well...almost everything. Takes time for me to share the pieces of myself I've stored away for what feels like centuries in a lock box with the key hidden deep somewhere where not even I can find it. But, we inch closer there with time. And that's okay because at least we can talk about it and work through it, eventually. Don't get me wrong, it's work. It's the most rewarding act of self-care and self-love I've ever practiced. My life, love, and work are all better for it.
To the women who face uphill battles, you're not alone. One day at a time.
Love + Positive vibes,
P.S. How do you practice mental wellness? There are many resources out there for mental health + wellness. From mindfulness classes to journaling to seeing a therapist, mental wellness looks different for everyone. Tell us what you need at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to direct you to people and services that cover a wide range of mental health + wellness needs/support. Also (if you're employed by someone else or a student), check with your employer's Human Resources team or school health facilities to find out what's available for you.