Happy (Belated) New Year! 2019 is upon us and I am so excited to see what this year is going to bring! I am going to be successful, happy, healthy, and leave all of the negativity in 2018.
Every single year, I always see posts about the New Year. It typically starts directly after Christmas, where the black woman meme is walking up the stairs carrying a sack full of happy and healthy resolutions and is leaving her baggage at the bottom. While I would love for things to be that easy, the reality is, it isn’t.
The last few months of 2018 were extremely difficult for me. While I was struggling with these issues, I still tried to live a normal life; putting on a fake smile and a facade that everything was okay and it wasn’t. As the year started to come to a close, I started to feel even more pressure to ‘leave my issues in 2018’. And as much as I would have loved too, it simply was not that easy.
On December 31st, I took a deep breath and experienced a moment of realization. A very important lesson that I have learned and that I personally practice, and that I think everyone should take into consideration every once in a while, is that healing takes time. As much as we would like to, we do not wake up at 12:01 a.m. on January 1st with all of our struggles, pains and traumas relieved. While it is great to want to have a mindset that the year will be better, it can also place an unhealthy amount of pressure to ‘be better’ or to forget about your problems, or pretend that they don’t exist rather than continuing to work through them.
Your mental health is important.
I feel this conversation is important because it is one that is not often held. As a black community, we are superstitious and do have trouble acknowledging mental health and trauma. I also noticed that the Surviving R Kelly documentary aroused a lot of unhealed or untreated trauma for a lot of people. I want to remind everyone: Your mental health matters and is important. If you are struggling with something, sometimes you cannot just ‘leave it for the new year’ or ‘get over it.’ Healing is a process and takes time. Some things to remember and maybe practice this new year:
- Healing takes time.
- Take as much time as you need. As long as you are making progress, that’s all that matters.
- You do not owe anyone an explanation when it comes to your mental health and well being.
- Issues and trauma are not going to disappear at the drop of a hat and that is OKAY.
- Remember that you are loved.
- If you find yourself struggling or feel alone, try seeing a therapist or psychologist. If you are located in the New York City area, most hospitals accept major health insurance.
- There is nothing ‘wrong’ with you if you need to see a therapist. Your mental health is just as important as physical health.
Have the mindset that the year will be better, but do not disregard or rush your healing process. Have a happy and more importantly, healthy, 2019.