Every second of every day, we cover up our pain with a smile, paint on lipstick and call it a day, but when do we address what’s hidden? How do we deal with it? On October 6th, Jessica and I attended an event sponsored by Strive Right, Founder, Tina Brown. The ‘Healing in Heels’ event fostered an open dialogue about the state of mental health among African American women. We learned that nearly, 40 million adults in the U.S. suffer from anxiety, and postpartum depression is more common than ever. The “Behind the Mask segment allowed audience members to hear first-hand accounts of women who have battled mental illness and survived to tell their stories to help the next woman. The event was filled with deep thoughts, good food, mental health awareness, and girl power.
Women like ShaNika L. Graham and Serena Nesmith performed beautiful poems about how women struggle with insecurities and pain yet ultimately triumph. Dr. Shari Dade presented us with three scenarios of women who were dealing with anxiety, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Post-Partum Depression. Dr. Dade explained how easy it is for women to let their mental health fall by the wayside and get out of control. We learned how important it is to address feelings of constant sadness, overwhelm, and nonstop anxious thoughts because the longer we let them linger unaddressed the worse our condition becomes.
The Keynote Speaker, Dr. Erica James addressed the topic “The Black Woman and the Super Hero Complex”. She explained that the Black superwoman schema has been the cloak worn by many Black Women who feel the pressure to do everything and take care of everyone without any help. While that template has propelled many of us to be ambitious business owners and goal getters that ideal is broken because it says that Black Women don’t ask for help and don’t need rest. What then happens is, we become overwhelmed and burnt out. Doing all the things and providing for those that matter isn’t a bad thing, we just need to know when to take the cape off an rest and know that it is okay to ask for help.
Creating a balance between taking care of others and taking care of ourselves is important. By attending this event, I was able to see that I can be open about my own struggles and also be there for my fellow sister who may be dealing with the same pain as me. Jessica and I left with two options to choose from in our everyday life: Do I fall flat and neglect opportunities to take care of myself in the process? Or Do I rise to the occasion and walk it out with grace? What do we do sisters?
Strive Right SC’s “A Queenly Affirmation”
I AM FEARFULLY AND WONDERFULLY MADE.
I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL MIND, AWESOME PRESENCE AND UNIQUE STYLE.
IF I WANT TO DO IT, IT’S DONE.
IF I WANT TO HAVE IT, IT’S MINE.
I NEVER FOLLOW, I’M ALWAYS LEADING.
I AM OF GREAT WORTH
I KNOW WHO I AM!
Some of the vendors included: Paparazzi Accessories, Lisa J- Your Avon Lady, Lights! Camera! Lips! Bedroom Kandy, Kake Junkie, Mjda, Nilah LLC- Changing The Narrative and Optical Health Coach