This is not how I was expecting to introduce my blog or what my first blog post was originally set to be, but it was important that I read the room. It’s impossible to go on with life as normal as if the world is not broken , hurting, and in disarray.
My heart was extremely heavy this week. I thought I was “handling” these feelings but little did I know they were sitting around in my subconscious waiting for the perfect moment to show up. I was writing my notes for my sessions from the day and I kept writing the same thing over and over again. I could not get my thoughts together nor remember what the main themes my client and I discussed only 15 minutes ago. Notes are the most tedious part of what I do but my motivation has never been this bad. I was becoming affected and it was showing up for me in my ability to concentrate. The week felt so slow and yet it flew by.
Throughout the week I have had a few clients express a need to reschedule for the simple fact that they didn’t feel like talking, and I was right there with them. I have had people call me filled with anger, hopelessness, and fear. Clients have questioned if they are doing enough or if what they are doing will even be effective. Even for myself I had to figure out how I was going to be mentally present for each of my clients , despite my own heavy heart. I questioned if is this a topic that I discuss with them or will that take away from their session. Do I let them know that this is a space that they can share their true feelings in regards to racial injustice or will it be seen as me imposing my own beliefs. I had one client who asked me if I was doing okay and truthfully I had no idea how to answer that. I struggled between feeling tired of explaining, frustrated with the world, wanting to share resources and using my voice while still protecting my own mental health for the sake of my clients -and let’s not forget we are still going through a pandemic!
One refreshing thing I will say, is that it has been beautiful to see so many young people speaking up and demanding change. I have seen Facebook friends challenging their parents on their views and non-black people holding other non-black people accountable. I have seen big corporations using their platforms, forgetting about the possibility of backlash or a decline in sales. I have seen companies using staff meetings as a safe space to discuss these difficult topics. Tv/music streaming sites creating playlists and channels for racial injustice awareness. People wanting to learn more and listen, and not only listening but taking a call to action. Younger people are taking to the frontline and getting active and this is a movement I know will bring about change. There is this overwhelming sense of togetherness that I have not felt in a while. People protesting, donating, promoting, increasing self-awareness, engaging in difficult conversations. Different ways, same cause.
I saw a caption that black women and men all over the world are posting with a picture of themselves that involves not tearing each other down but building each other up and acknowledging that the world already does that for us. This has become more than how many likes you can get but how many hearts you can reach.
Here are 3 things that I have thought of to do when you feel emotionally drained at this time:
Acknowledge how you feel
Name your emotion, say it out loud. Do you feel irritated, angry, hopeful, indifferent, worried, frustrated, or anxious?
Take social media breaks
It can be a struggle between wanting to be informed but also protecting the state of your thinking and mentality, In times like this remember that you are no good if you are depleted.
Talk to a friend who understands you
You may be tired of having to explain yourself to others or watching others fight that fight and that is okay. Take some time to have conversations with people that will soothe and comfort you. Conversations that you can classify as discussions and not debates.
Yes ,this has been a difficult time and it often feel that 2020 has been defeat after defeat, but I do believe there will be a light at the end of this long scary tunnel. Keep pushing, stay gentle with yourself , and never let anyone stifle your voice.