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UNAPOLOGETIC Contributor: Shannon Stecker

It’s no secret that 2017 was tough. It felt like new forms of social and political injustices were exposed daily. Malfunctions in the White House mixed with colorism, racism, and womanism, brought closeted issues, woes and painful experiences to the front of the congregation for everyone to address.

I’m weary. How are you supposed to unload without your feelings being invalidated? Innocent people of color are being gunned down by alleged protectors, adulting is overrated and doesn’t include naps, the bills are piling up, you can’t find a salaried job because two degrees means you’re overqualified (you need five years’ experience for an entry level position in your field), you want to lose weight but Taco Tuesday comes every week, you don’t have any more batteries and you can’t take an international trip because the way your checking and savings account is set up, you can’t even afford PTO.

At this point in your life, you are one don’t touch my hair moment away from exploding, and your candles and meditation can’t save you.

Places to avoid during a mental breakdown:

  1. Social Media. Stop taking your problems online for the world to see. You know better.
  2. The kitchen. Your waistline will thank you later.

People who are somewhat helpful:

  1. Your friends. Yes, they’ll listen, but they are likely experiencing similar issues and honestly don’t know what to tell you.
  2. Your significant other. They are normally the best option, but sometimes you need to unload things they may not understand.

Who can help?

  1. A therapist.

Your unbiased, problem-solving rent-a-besty will help you navigate your childhood adversities, emotions, work stressors and love life. By talking to a therapist, you learn how to deal with the unexpected curveballs life pitches your way.   Don’t know where to start? Call your insurance company to find local therapists, utilize your employer’s Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), or download apps — Pacifica for Stress and Anxiety, TalkSpace or BettterHelp — and use the free trials. Uninsured? Call your State Department to find government-funded programs that offer the sliding-fee scale for income-based payment options.

Don’t believe the misconception that therapy is reserved for people with mental illnesses; it is for anyone coping with anything. Society challenges us daily. Maintain your strength by seeking guidance, not because you necessarily need to, but because you recognize that your mental health matters, and you want to.

 

 

 

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