It’s Ok to Talk to Someone

Growing up, no one ever told me that mental health was important. I knew about people with disabilities or learning disorders, but I never knew anything about, depression, anxiety, etc.

During college, my mood would change. I would go into these dark places in my mind and just feel really sad. I even experienced a very traumatic experience, that I never dared to tell anyone. (Only 4 people in my life know about this).

In Search of Help

I desperately wanted to talk to a friend or family member, but the thought of it made me feel like a burden.  And, to be honest, I’m pretty stubborn when it comes to asking for help. I heard about therapy but 1) I never have seen someone who looked like me as a therapist, and 2) I would always hear, “Black people don’t go to therapist/psychiatrist. If you have a problem, go to church and pray about it. There’s nothing God can’t heal.” Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe in God, I am Christian, I prayed, went to church.   It was all uplifting and spiritual, but I still felt the same.

As the years passed, I went with the flow of life, worked, tried to develop my career and lose weight. Then I got pregnant, I was so excited yet full of emotions. It was a very stressful pregnancy, but she’s here and I love her dearly.

As the months went on, I was crying, very emotional, all I wanted to do was sleep and I wasn’t enjoying anything at all. I contacted my doctor, she was booked, so I just left it alone. My boyfriend really didn’t understand what was going on, I was gaining a lot of weight, always yelling at him, and we would get into unnecessary fights. That’s when he realized that maybe I have postpartum depression. I tried to find a few counseling sessions, but I really didn’t connect with the person I was going to.

It Just doesn’t Go Away

More months passed and my primary care doctor refers me to someone finally. That was a process.

As I finally found someone to start talking to, they tell me that I still may have postpartum depression and anxiety. How so? My baby is 21 months, doesn’t it just go away?

Well, I’m guessing it doesn’t. I’m just starting with my sessions. And with COVID happening, I’m not able to do them face to face. This is all new to me. I’m not quite sure how to feel about the whole process, but I’m in high hopes that it’ll help.  I’m glad to know that I’m able to get the help I need. I do hope that I’ll soon get better so that I can be able to enjoy life as I used to at some point.

You Can DO IT

I also want to let the other moms or anyone in general, mental health is a real thing. Don’t allow your culture, friends, family, etc., influence you not to seek help. Don’t push those away that are trying to help. It’s difficult but you’ll get through it.  I’m grateful enough that I don’t have it as bad as others and able to get the help I need without the influence of others.

If you need someone to talk to, I’ve been told I’m a good listener.

Ja'Nae Lewis
Ja’Nae was born in Houma and raised on the outskirts of New Orleans known as the Westbank, where she still resides. She’s currently dating her boyfriend of 3 years and together they raise their daughter A’nylah. After attending Jackson State University, she moved back to New Orleans and then earned her master’s at Full Sail University in Public Relations, she currently works part-time at a local Bra Boutique where she enjoys helping women feel good about themselves. In her free times, she’s looking for the latest fashion trends, working out, learning how to organize her life, relaxing by enjoying a good movie or series and finding fun things to do with her new family.

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