Are You Ok?

Questions about Women’s Mental Health….

Photo by Joice Kelly on Unsplash


I walked into the blistering cold air holding my son’s hand. We were leaving daycare under the dark early evening sky. Forcing a smile on my face my toddler stared into my eyes and asked “Mommy, are you ok?”.

Smiling and nodding fighting back the tears, I could not remember the last time someone asked me that question. Strapping him into his carseat and strapping myself into mine, the tears flowed out of my eyes as we drove home.

I had been trying to hold it together for so long that I didnt even stop to think, am i ok? Struggling for so long just trying to get through the days, Bills,viruses, toxic men, workplaces, family, friends. Trying to turn myself into a pleasant mom, consistent employee, predictable friend.

I was unhinged, crying at the most inconvenient times in the most random places. Nervous,unable to focus, forcing down what I wanted to say, silencing my opinion, going with the flow.

I was not ok, life was not fine. I was breaking apart that was the point?

As a women, especially a black women we are taught to be the stronghold for the family, the stability, the peacemaker, the ear, the one to call on when everyone’s else’s world went to shit. We are shown that our worth lies in what we do,not who we are. Whether that be the person someone can call on to bail them out of a financial crisis, the soother when a relationship goes sour. We are so caught up in saving others that we forget to just “BE”.

Will the world love us for just “Being” who we are at our core. I began to wonder who I am, what did I want, what was my purpose outside the role as mom, daughter, sister, niece, friend, employee, citizen?

As a culture, are women taught to be ok,Just ok? Talking to my mom, aunts, great aunts, cousins, friends we were all suffering from just trying to be “everything to everyone” and it was killing us. I was fucking burnt out.

In Black culture, being open about mental health is a stigma. Saying your not mentally “there” for certain points in your life can lead to being considered “crazy” and in families like mine it will “stick”. So mental instability becomes a secret and coping with difficult times and situations becomes the norm. Lashing out, fighting, and or simply disappearing becomes a normal response to difficult times and while they are shocking they are accepted.

I wondered will we ever be more than just ok?

Signed, AnUrbanGirl

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