Navigating the World as a Black Woman Suffering from Mental Illness By: Kristene (Guest Post)

Self-awareness is fleeting and often not taught to young black men and women in their youth. So imagine you move through the world as a Neurotypical being.

Explaining away behaviours to you being young, and dumb. But what happens when the behaviours continue on? What happens when you are 28 years old and still continue those behaviours?

Self-awareness saved me from the routine I was doomed to continue throughout my life.

It showed me patterns and behaviours that were not normal, and like a human being I sought to categorize myself, and place a label onto me. Because labels help, right? Labels save us from sticking our hands back in the fire.

So with a foot to the ground I walk, blindly. But determined.

I was not like this, and self-awareness was not always present. It came and went like a gentle breeze, cooling your skin.

I saw behaviours but did not have the tool to explain the behaviour.

I sought education, but not out of curiosity out of obsession. I obsessed over illnesses peering in and out searching for the box I belonged to.

Mis-diagnoses took me from this unique star, to a dull anxiety ridden being.

Depression took me from being a bubble of sugar, to a rotted corpse unable to move.

Anger, often misplaced, boiled under the surface.

But I was Nerotypical. I was “normal” and so I navigated the world as such.

The choices I made, launched me into a feeling of disappointment, and with the normal woes of human life, I spiraled without knowing.

So I continue as if I am fine, continue until I am bone dry.

Then comes the regret, the stinging heartache, the intrusive thoughts.

All while I weave through life, I battle this.

I battle racism disguised as sweet treats for the soul,

I battle the silence reminding me of the broken glass beyond the closed doors.

This is how I navigate the world as a Black Woman.

I consume the horrors of just being darker than my neighbor,

I feed on the information that people like me are dangerous.

And I navigate. Alone. Quiet.

Stumbling on the right road to travel.

– Kristene –

Pic found on global News Ca

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