DEPRESSION: One Black Man’s Story – Wellness & Empowerment – EBONY

DEPRESSION: One Black Man’s Story – Wellness & Empowerment – EBONY. When my grades started dropping senior year of high school, I didn’t think much of it. School had never held much interest to me and I had always done just enough to “get by” anyway, so not being able to focus in Physics or AP Government wasn’t a big deal to me. And I never had many true friends, just a bunch of associates who came in out and of my life, so the fact that I closed myself off from them didn’t register as a warning sign. The sleeping in late, the not eating, the constant worrying about things that hadn’t happened…I thought I was just being my normal, neurotic self.

But staring in the mirror, wondering how much blood there would be if I bashed my head against it, wasn’t normal. Sitting at the dinner table thinking about taking the knife I’m using to cut my steak to slit my wrists, wasn’t normal. Something was missing.

I had thought about suicide before, but never in any real way. It was always a “what if?” Now, it had become a “maybe I should…” I learned firsthand what the true meaning of the word “depression” was.

Something was missing, but I had no idea what.

I “got over” it though. I moved past it. I never spoke a word of it to anyone. I was “better.”

Two years later, I wasn’t just “better”, I thought I was completely “cured.” I spent the summer in Atlanta working a well-paying internship, going to concerts every week, meeting some of my heroes, just enjoying life.

Then I bought the Gnarls Barkley album, St. Elsewhere. I was taken aback. I realized I wasn’t too far removed from the space Cee-Lo was singing from. The isolation, the helplessness, the feeling of being trapped inside your own mind and it being locked from the outside and there is no one around to pick the key up from under the welcome mat to let you out…these feelings were all too familiar. I never spoke a word of it to anyone. No matter. Cee-Lo was doing that for me.

There’s a song toward the middle of the album called “Just a Thought” that is a hauntingly accurate description of what goes through a person’s mind while suffering from severe depression. Each verse ends with the phrase “…and I tried, everything but suicide, but it crossed my mind.” I could only nod silently in agreement as he belted out the most secret of my thoughts for the whole world to hear.

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. This rings a little too “true” with me. Most blacks suffer from some kind of depression, DNA depression that was passed on to us from the moment we landed here.

    And living in this society that hates and fears you certainly doesn’t help. I’ve overcome my sadness with one swift and simple act:

    I removed ALL whites from my life. I eat and watch movies and read at home. I take online courses and distanced myself from demons. That simple step was my road to recovery.

    Of course diet, exercise and God was a factor but removal of myself from those who wish me harm was my first step.

    • I understand how you feel, and there are times when I make my own retreats. However, I refuse to let anyone make my world smaller because of their ignorance and hatred. I have also known people who are of European descent who also want to work on their racism and be allies with people of color in our struggle for liberation. I do not want to be dependent on their power for my well being or for that of my family, but true allies are valuable. There are many people who do not want the burden of hatred and intolerance in their heart. I refuse to give it a footing in mine, while still continuing to struggle in my little way for liberation and peace.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s