All posts filed under: Stories

Dear POC: We Get Depressed Too

When I was in the 11th grade, my father told me that during his meeting with the school principals, they suggested I see a counselor. My father refused. He said I didn’t need to speak to anyone about my problems because I am African, and Africans don’t get depressed.

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Searching for Meaning and Aiming for Progress

It’s hard to keep my eyes open on the bus every morning. I work the night shift and it’s taxing. I crave sleep and the comfort of my room, sometimes food as well. Today, I got up from my seat on the bus in an effort to stay awake. I settled between two people in front of the back doors, and with every stop, the bus got more crowded, people moved closer to me, and claustrophobia kicked in: “Look at all these people,” I thought. “They have germs. We’re all breathing the same air. Is it just me or is it getting warmer in here because we’re all breathing the same air?  I think I can smell everybody’s B.O….”  I exited the bus before I had to. Saved from rush hour, I thought about the day I will reclaim the privilege of sleeping at night. It’s not the worst thing ever, but this job sure is difficult. I’m trying to rebuild financial stability after five years of not having any ground, you know? Trying to figure out …

Staying Thankful While Depressed

Bad days happen, and sometimes so do bad weeks. But even as I’ve had such a day, I can still think about the many blessings in my life and the very fact that I live in a country where several opportunities are available to me, with even better ones can be created at my discretion. We should all be thankful for at least one thing in our lives. See if you can find something, big or small, that you are happy about. It’s a simple practice that can help ease your mind immediately after a negative experience or a terrible day. One of my favorite TedxTalks is by Iskra Lawrence where she mentions a mental list of gratitude she pulls out whenever she starts feeling down about herself. I now use this method myself in the exact same situations Iskra discusses in the video. Gratitude is a great act of self-care, especially when we feel so sorry for ourselves for whatever reason. Gratitude lifts our moods by changing our perspective on life just a little. We have to …

I don’t know what to do with my life.

I am lost. The new school year approaches and I’m getting more scared by the day about how I’m going to translate this to my family: I want nothing to do with where and what I am studying.  I need to take a semester off. I’m confused and in this summer alone I’ve explored the possibilities of 8 different career paths. Finding the energy to continue writing has not been easy. Sometimes the words have not yet come and I stare at blank space. I feel mildly depressed. Just a steady state of grey. My schooling situation truly is a first world problem. It’s not ridiculous, but maybe it’s a mere problem. There’s so much pressure from family to keep going to school, to not take any breaks or change programs again. I’ve switched programs twice before, and the last time I switched back to my second program. These were all worthwhile mistakes except for the last time. I’d only switched back because I felt lost but wanted to get school over with. It’s been five …