At some point in our lives, we have all felt sad. Sadness is an essential part of our lives because it reminds us of the need to be humble and offers a reference point for happy aspects of our lives. With sadness being an essential part of our lives, when does it become a problem? To me, it becomes a problem when the sadness lingers to the point where you lose interest in daily activities and leaving your bed becomes a physical battle.
I experienced this feeling growing up, but I never felt comfortable talking about it. I didn’t know how to start or who to speak to about the issue. I wanted to talk about it, but I feared being shunned or told to pray vigorously about it. I am a firm believer in prayers, but prayers without action wouldn’t benefit me, and I felt so lost. I also feared speaking out because expressing emotions wasn’t a common practice, so I didn’t want to be classed as an outsider.
I realised later that this trait, of not talking, was due to a coping mechanism brought about by the effects of slavery and colonialism. Before, I just thought it was reasonable to hold on to my feelings and let is damage me. I figured it was best to suppress it. That didn’t work because now as I get older, I saw my character developing from coping mechanisms based on my experiences. I thought about too many “what ifs” and hoped my life had gravitated differently. I’m now working on ensuring that my feelings are dealt with properly to prevent subsequent effects.
When talking to others about my experiences, I realised that others shared similar situations but are also afraid to speak about it. I’m so baffled that an issue so prevalent is not openly discussed. I believe it is crucial to remove the stigma related to sadness and depression. With May designated as Mental Health Awareness month, individuals are working to ensure this is normalised.
Nomadic Free Spirit