The Taped Box
The thing about age is the older you get, the wiser you are supposed to become. In some instances, this is true. You begin to do things innately that you had never done before—some good, some bad, but mostly consistent. As I get older, I’ve started to see more patterns and trends in my life. Because of this, I took the proactive approach and started to attend counseling a little over a year ago.
The purpose of my attending therapy was rooted in a conversation that I had with a family friend. It triggered something in me. My mind began to go into overdrive, and I noticed disturbing trends in myself and the people I was associating with and various individuals I interacted with through social media. It was at that moment that I started to break from the matrix. It was time to get to the bottom of what was going on. I needed to know the root cause.
Now the thing about therapy is that you need to find the therapist that works for you. It is imperative that you find one with whom you can be completely open and honest, someone who will call you on your bullshit yet give you something substantive to grow. In my case, I chose a Black woman. I picked her because I needed someone who knew and understood who I am as a Black man. I did not want to spend time explaining those typical nuances that males of my ethnicity have to experience during my therapy sessions. I need as much time as possible to work through my issues.
Any of my friends will tell you I love my therapist. It is liberating to go to counseling with someone who is unbiased and doesn’t have any vested interest in your life. You can share more freely without fear of retribution. I am not downplaying spiritual counseling from ministers or preachers, but let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that we are completely honest with our congregational shepherds. They don’t know all our business and our thoughts, and they should not know in my opinion because, quite frankly, many would not or could not give a completely unbiased view. I’m sure I ruffled a few feathers with that statement, but that is ok. It is just my opinion, and I am entitled to state it respectfully. But I encourage you to really think about it in a reasonable fashion.
In my therapeutic journey, I discovered that what I thought was the problem really wasn’t the problem. For various reasons, I had created a situation that caused mild depression. Through this depression over the years, I have created roadblocks that have hindered me in various situations. The more I work through who I am and the problems I have created, and the why, things have become more evident. I should note that my doctor strongly advised against any medication. That meant a great deal to me because I knew that she was more focused on me and not just trying to put a band-aid on another person.
The roadblocks I had created had also put me into a box. Over the years, I had put myself into a box filled with so much stuff¾Doubt…Fear…Bodyweight, and lack of selfish worth. I had let the fears of the wise council become my fears. I had also let my doubt cast me into a spiral that would eventually affect my mental and physical health as well. But in reflection, I’ve noticed something. I’ve seen those pieces of me and who I really am, that have been fighting to get out. I’m pretty sure I have been dealing with depressive episodes for at least 15 years. I don’t say that to make myself a martyr for the choices I’ve made. I say that because I need to say that. I say that because I need to remind myself of who I once was—who I still am, a person who is working through pain, regret, and depression toward mental freedom.
I share my story because, like many, I, too, have found comfort in sleeping my life away or overeating or drinking or overworking, only to find myself in moments of unexplainable nothingness. You are not alone. Unpack these boxes. Depression will no longer be the caution tape over our lives.