I scrolled through my Twitter and Facebook feeds yesterday on my lunch break and I could not believe what I was seeing. Rest in Peace to the beautiful Titi Branch, 1/2 of the sister duo who founded the very popular natural hair care line, Miss Jessie's. It truly saddens me that she reportedly passed from an apparent suicide.
People often think that beautiful, seemingly put together, successful people would be immune to things like this but, the reality is mental health issues are REAL. It is past time that we become more educated about mental illness. I think a lot of us still do not know what depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. looks like. We do not know the symptoms and once diagnosed we do not know how to deal with it (hence the denial oftentimes). Those around individuals with mental health issues do not how to help that person either and sadly most of us do not understand the seriousness of it.
I have battled with depression and still have bouts with it at times. It was not until recently (like a few weeks ago) that I decided to look into getting help in the form of a therapist after others started bringing it to my attention. I am a VERY private and reserved person. I do not cry easily in front of people or tell people everything that is going on with me so, my thoughts and emotions really threaten to get the best of me sometimes (You know that lump-in your- throat, I-just-want-to-get-in-my-car-and-run-away-type-of-feeling).
I have had some extremely dark days in the past few months. I mean seriously dark. Talking to those close to me is still hard because I do not feel like anyone understands what I'm going through. It is the scariest feeling to be so down and feel as though there is nowhere to turn and that the set of current circumstances will never change.
I realized that this is not normal. Everyone has bad days but, my bad days were starting to get so bad that I did not want go to work. I did not want to live. I wondered what my purpose for living was. I was crying for no reason and would always be angry. I still incorporate my natural methods- working out, prayer, writing, upping my vitamin D intake and doing yoga from time to time but, I now see that I need more. And it's okay.
For a long time I was struggling with the idea of going to a therapist because I thought I just needed to pray and everything would be alright. I am still a firm believer in prayer but, God also put resources here to help us if we would only reach out.
If you or someone you know is feeling depressed, please get help. Talk to someone, check on someone, go out and take a walk. Say no to a few things and people, and take time out for YOU. You deserve to feel good about yourself and life in general. Too many are losing this battle.
Myleik, the CEO of Curlbox, recently did a podcast sharing her experiences with depression and therapy. She discusses why she started seeking therapy and gives tips for those who are struggling with depression. love her podcasts and this one was right on time for me. Listen here.
God can use this tragedy for good. May her legacy live on and may this incident save someone else's life.