Can you tell me why every time I step outside I see my niggas down Ooh, I'm letting you know That it ain't no gun they can make that could kill my soul
So a while ago I decided to try my hand at this blogging thing, to curate this space to talk about something that I wish someone would’ve advocated for me to do a long time ago, seeking therapy. I took the time to write and plan, write and plan, and write and plan, and then it was just pandemic after pandemic and I honestly thought to myself, well maybe I can wait.
But wait for what, because the heaviness of everything happening right now is real. It might not have happened the way I initially planned but, I still have something I want to share, and I think my girls need it. Like seriously, us Brown girls need a space too! Can I just say how exhausted I am right now, like physically and emotionally tired. Exhausted from the heaviness of the emotional labor from managing the feelings of being a Brown body in America. Because I am seriously talking myself through processing the emotions of being frustrated, tired, sad, and honestly pissed off daily. It’s exhausting to constantly have to explain to “well-meaning” White people what this pain means, and how it shows up in our lives daily. Because for some reason they think it’s important to explain to us how guilty they are that we have to deal with this pain, but listen up sis, I don’t want your guilt; figure it out because that’s what us Brown girls do, we figure it out. We are legit having to provide a Jesus portion of grace to these people on the regular, and to be quite honest, I’m not that saved yet. It’s tough, because we legit carry a lot around with us and the way we show up in this world is supercritical and even more scrutinized. This emotional weight is heavy, and it has to be dealt with!
As Brown girl’s we have been taught how to navigate through these spaces, with grace and class, and when I tell you I’m over making them feel comfortable and included all the time. Because somewhere down the line “somebody” said that our assertiveness, passion, and willingness to go to war for our own is negative. Because I know I’m not the only one who has intentionally watched my tone in fear of being the “Angry Black Women” in a room full of White people. Between the microaggressions and the systemic oppression that we work so tirelessly to dismantle, I’m exhausted friend and I am angry, and I’m tired of caring about how my anger will be viewed by people. But listen if no one has ever told you, it's ok to be angry, it’s a universal emotion. Anger is legitimately one of the most powerful emotions; anger simply says I am passionate and whatever you just did or said has pissed me off and I’m demanding some type of change, or I’m shaking the table (please tell me you know that reference). The root of it all is fear, pain, and frustration and that right there explains our narrative to a T. Here’s my advice, learn to become the master of your emotions, because it’s your choice and you have the right to be angry, but you can’t allow others to dictate how that manifests!
I don’t know what you know about mental health but let me be the first to tell you that mental health now more than ever before, is just as important as your physical health. Simply put, it’s like this, you don’t expect to have that beach body without going to the gym and eating right (unless you visit Dr. 90210), so you can’t expect to just magically learn how to deal with the processing of emotions without seeking some professional help. Listen friend, you are not alone in this struggle, because I can almost bet my last that somebody told you if you seek assistance from a mental health professional “you must be crazy”, so if nobody’s never told you before, THAT’S NOT WHAT IT MEANS! It means that you are intentionally dealing with your mess and the generationally mess that has been passed down to you. Like seriously I love my Granny, but the stuff she unintentionally taught me, has me constantly going back to the drawing board. As well put together as you might be, you honestly have to decide what you are about to do with all of that mess. Counseling is traditionally a White women’s profession, because they make up over 75% of all therapists in the profession, but I promise you linking-up with the right one is like finding your soulmate! The soulmate who checks you on your ish all while advocating for you and going to war for you to make sure you’re good (But don't worry, I will talk about this in detail in a later, because that’s a whole ‘nother topic for a whole ‘nother day)!
3 Brown Gurl Therapists You Should Know
1. AALIYAH J. MUHAMMAD
2. TINA WRIGHT
3. JACQUESLINE WALKER
Look I’ve been the token Black girl in my office, the one they call on to be the expert on everything in color. Like legit, my former boss would get me to speak out as the expert witness for everything that needed a touch of brownness, that in itself is exhausting. I mean the reality is sometimes I need to be the voice for all the Black and Brown bodies in certain spaces, because the representation doesn’t always exist, but this responsibility is a lot!
Here’s the bottom line. EVERYONE needs therapy, period! I’m just biased to the needs of Brown girls, for the obvious reasons. I’m not some critically acclaimed author or psychotherapeutic expert (yet); I am just a Brown girl that had some “stuff” packed away in my imaginary bag of issues and the contents of this bag are restricted to travel with me on this thing called life. Just how TSA puts restrictions on what we can take on our weekend trip to the Miayo I realized that I had to put restrictions on the many things I had packed away on my trip to liberation. Just know the long-term effect of this is detrimental if you don’t deal with it. I want the best for you, and that means dealing with this weight, the right way, with the right person, a therapist!
BGH Tip #1: Take the first step to finding a therapist by having open dialogue with friends/family who have gone to therapy and take some recommendations. Call them up, ask them questions that speak to your needs and vet them, what works for one person may not work for you.
BGH Tip#2: Don’t allow non-people of color to overload you with their guilt, challenge them to figure out what they are going to do with it instead of constantly unloading on you.
Here are (3) Black Women Therapist That you MUST KNOW!
Until next time take care of yourself, I love you and I mean it.