****TRIGGER WARNING: I touch on a really personal subject dealing with my mental being and mental health. I briefly talk about suicide and suicidal thoughts. If that is something that may trigger you in any type of way I advise not to read this post.****
Hey Yinz Guys,
Yes…I know, I know…I once again went MIA. But this time it wasn’t just due to a lack of inspiration, and since I like to keep it real on here…basically after ending a fairly new “situationship” with someone I had grown rather attached to and cared about, I had what one would call a mental breakdown and checked myself into the local psychiatric hospital. WHOA WHOA WHOA…wait…WHAT? Yes…I checked myself in after a long night of fighting off suicidal thoughts. Thankfully due to my background in the medical field for the past 4 years or so, I knew the thoughts that I was having weren’t ok and I knew that I needed to seek professional help. So the morning of April 13th, 2017 I checked myself into my former workplace and then spent the next 2 days in a mental hospital. I don’t want to get too much into all of that just yet because honestly, I feel that the whole experience deserves a dedicated post on its own…and right now I just want to keep this post upbeat and just a life update. I do want to make it clear that it wasn’t being dropped that set me on such a downward spiral, more just so the straw that broke the camels back. BUT I PROMISE I WILL DIVE MUCH DEEPER INTO EVERYTHING AND WILL BE BLOGGING ABOUT THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE REALLY SOON.
I do want to say tho, that the experience was a scary one. It was also humbling and taught me a lot about myself and how strong and brave I really am. I haven’t shied away from talking about what happened to me to friends and strangers alike. I’ve shared this experience with most of the people I surround myself with on a daily basis and have even discussed what happened to me with my coworker. As for family, I haven’t really talked to anyone about what happened other than my mom and sister who were both with me at the hospital. Over time I’m sure they will all know but it’s not something I really wish to discuss just yet with them…cause well, to be honest, we all know family isn’t always the easiest people to discuss anything with lol. I was recently diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety which really came as no real surprise for me. I’m not ashamed to have been recently diagnosed with Depression & Anxiety, in fact, I have found joy in sharing my current diagnoses and experience. I am now currently seeing a therapist on a weekly basis(I try to make it in to see her every Saturday). But again, that too also deserves its own dedicated blog post. So more on that later.
Sticking with the Mental Health theme one last time, I’ve also decided to try my best at becoming a Mental Health Advocate. I’ve been spending a lot of my free time diving into this new world of mine and trying to learn about what it’s like to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I’ve also been reading up on ways to cope with depression and anxiety using self-care methods and lifestyle changes. So for me, that meant taking a little hiatus from social media, mainly Instagram and placing people on the block list, both on my iPhone and in life lol.
Also during my short exit from social media, I decided that I wanted to start a podcast that dealt with mental health especially within the black community. The reason or idea behind the podcast came to me after talking to friends about my experience when it came to having suicidal thoughts, checking myself into a mental health and just losing myself and succumbing to my thoughts…I learned that I wasn’t alone in all of this. I also learned that people wanted to also share their own experiences but were too scared to out of embarrassment and fear of being judged or being called crazy.So that’s when I came up with UnLearning Crazy, a podcast dedicated to the sharing of stories dealing with mental health, recovery, and self-care. Right now it is in the very beginning stages, but I am slowly but surely constantly working on my new idea/baby. I have had hopes of having everything in order by August with hopes of doing my 1st recording in September, but I also know things take time and I don’t want to rush things and mess it all up. But if you’re interested in keeping up with the podcast updates, I did start an Instagram page that I will start posting on soon. So if you’re interested in keeping up with the progress of the podcast, please make sure you follow the page. Also if you haven’t already you can also keep up with me on my personal Instagram, Twitter and Facebook page.
Ok, so I still have so much to update yinz guys on, but I think it would be a bit much to place it all in one blog post. So I’m going to end it here for today, but I will post part 2 later this week…so stay tune. But before I leave I do want to say “Thank You” to all my friends, family and readers who picked up on what was going on who follow me on social media, and for reaching out to me after some of the things I shared on my social media pages outside of my blog. You guys have no idea how much that meant to me.
So yeah, I will have a follow-up to this blog coming shortly. I’m so excited to finally have the desire to blog/write/be creative again. My creative juices are flowing once again and I have so much I want to share with yinz guys. And like always thank you all for your support.
Peace Yinz Guys
*Edit* Also I added here some resources for anyone that may feel like that have no one to turn to in their time of need.
re:solve Crisis Network is a UPMC-supported mh crisis service provider. They have a helpline, take walk-ins, a mobile team, and do temporary residential services for those that have a diagnosis (either one already or get diagnosed from a clinician there). I’ve personally used their crisis line in the past and they’re great. http://www.upmc.com/services/behavioral-health/pages/resolve-crisis-network.aspx
The National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwestern PA (soon to be NAMI Keystone PA) is a mental health non-profit based out of the North Hills that provides free mental health advocacy, education, and support services. I am a presenter for several of their education programs and I can say it’s an org for/by people who live with mental illnesses/ their family members. Their work prioritizes those populations while also educating everyone else who needs to know about mental health issues/services. They come out to community groups (we recently worked with refugee/immigrant teens), schools, clinicians, etc. They also have a NAMIWalk in October. Their website is NAMIswpa.org
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Western PA does a lot of outreach for suicide prevention and survivors of suicide loss. They have a walk in August that was mentioned above. https://afsp.org/chapter/afsp-western-pennsylvania/
Mental health first aid is something that everyone should have because it teaches you how to appropriately help someone in a mh crisis (attempting suicide, experiencing a hallucination, etc.). Classes are free in Allegheny County & they have adult and child certification classes as there are obviously differences between how to help the two populations. I’ve used the skills in real life and not only do they work, I’ve used their book to help others understand how to help me when I’m in need. You can find a course and learn more here: https://www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org/cs/take-a-course/find-a-course/
Steel Smiling is a mental health non-profit that helps people specifically in underserved neighborhoods in Pittsburgh through education, certifications, and utilizing the community connections that already exist. https://www.steelsmilingpgh.org/about_us