I don't have many of my own words here. Just wanted to echo other voices from people of color that are sharing similar stories. Bullets are snippets and my inner commentary.

I Didn't Go Home For Christmas Because I Was Ashamed About Being Suicidal by Alexander Hardy at Very Smart Brothas

  • "oppressively cold weather for a few days.”
    • been there
  • "I couldn’t stop thinking about death, dying, or how unworthy of love and good things I felt. Sometimes it was a fleeting thought about a snapping elevator cable or how I’d begin a final letter to some friend.
  • Other times, I was certain that the approaching bus was about to jump the curb and end it for me. Or I hoped that it would.”
    • been there
  • "I occasionally debated at length with myself about which method of ending my life would be the least traumatizing for everyone else.”
    • been there
  • "For not being strong and sane enough to traverse this damn valley more gracefully.”
    • yup
  • "I couldn’t muster the energy to do the tap dance in person.”
    • 'zactly

Reflections On My 34 Years As A Black Man With Mental Illness by Kelvin Easiley Jr at Black Youth Project

  • "The various complexities people of color encounter while facing mental health stigma and a shoddy healthcare system.The same healthcare system many people of color approach with grave skepticism.”
    • I didn’t develop a good proactive/preemptive practice of healthcare as a youth
  • "high-functioning individuals. These folks get dressed, go to work, attend social gatherings and have mental health concerns that are untreated, undiagnosed, and unaddressed. In some cases the pressure of keeping up a veneer of wellness eventually drives these high-functioning people to seek care.”
    • Constant suppression resulted in so many headaches, muscle tension, anxiety attacks. Destruction from the inside.
  • "I woke this morning unable to get out of bed.”
    • Been there.
  • "My full-time employer affords me with health care that assists with paying the exorbitantly high cost for my remedies. Without them I would suffer a more pronounced anxiety and depression than I already do daily.”
    • The costs are ridiculous. Can't even afford a thorough full profile psych evaluation.
  • "Challenging cultural narratives that say mental illnesses are family business, can be prayed away, or are a sign of weakness was necessary in order for my personal development of a positive self-image. Coming up in the Black church, folks suffering from mental health issues could interpret their symptoms as a failure of faith. They might say that if I was up all night worrying and unable to find rest, it was because I was leaning on my own understanding and not trusting God to fight my battles”
    • I really struggled wondering stuff like this

Depression Cops by Imade Nibokun, an excerpt on Medium from the "The D Word" chapter of her book, Depressed While Black

  • She reminded me of the room’s decor: bland, innocuous, and conventional. The counselors’ advice was as template-driven as the fake plants and knock-off Monet. But I was not their template. I was broke, black,  and frightened to return to my mom’s house, where religion replaced emotional support.

    • I hate the template. And phoniness. My religious turmoil though wasnt some heavy action taken by my parents or church members. It was just an internalized voice in my head presenting a persistent doubt and uncertainty of what was mental health, what was laziness and wallowing, and what was a dwindled “prayer life”.
  • That was her definition of blackness: you out-suffer white people with more style and flair in order to claim greater piety. But it was a piety I could no longer perform.
    • I thought/think my pushing through pain and suffering gives me some kind of badge of nobility or badge.
  • “Do the police have to take me? Can I just go by myself?” I had no desire to be stuffed in the back of a cop car for feeling sad.
    • tuh! Unfortunate reality.
  • I came in wanting someone to talk to, and now I’m being sent to depression jail
  • I was greeted with a $2,000 price tag for outpatient therapy. I’m near death and now they’re trying to send me with debt to the grave? No thanks. I settled on finding a permanent therapist. A $15 co-pay was the only mental health treatment I could afford. 

Starting an Unschool Cooperative in Atlanta, Georgia

Afro-Pessimism Pt2