I’m proud to see more articles addressing the stigma of mental and emotional health in Black communities, especially around the whole ‘Strong Black Woman’ super character we grew up with. I’m not ashamed to admit that I suffered from postpartum depression as a teen mother between the ages of 16-19, followed by severe anxiety and depression by the time I was 22, and a professional diagnosis that confirmed I needed help at 25.

I wouldn’t accept this as my story or something passed down through my bloodline, so I refused help and dealt with it in silence and self-sabotaging behavior.

I thought depression to be a sign of weakness, laziness or an excuse and I did everything to conceal it in me and convince myself that I was strong and strong women don’t break. During that time, my daughter gave me enough fuel to semi-hide from my condition and keep it together so that we could both have what I perceived to be a ‘normal’ life.

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