Mental Health Self-Advocacy

This past weekend I had to call my pharmacy for my new ADHD medications. Long story short, I ran out of meds and went a day without them when I shouldn’t have. It wasn’t complete chaos, but I definitely noticed the difference. One area the meds help in is time management. I struggled pre-medication days, but with each new medication, I noticed a slight difference. Overall, I still hadn’t found the medication that is the perfect balance.

As I was out today, a vivid memory popped in my head. I was 20 and had a job interview across town. Traffic was busy and I had done everything I thought I could to be on time. My anxiety was high, I was lost, and so frustrated. Cell phones and navigation apps weren’t like they are today, so I was relying on directions online or over the phone. I never made it to the interview. I would have been 30+ minutes late and didn’t want to embarrass myself any further.

I’ve lived my entire life like this. Always late, forgetting how I arrived somewhere without directions, full anxiety around people, driving in traffic, not understanding jokes, slow comebacks because I didn’t “get it”, and wanting to stay isolated so I wouldn’t have to explain or help people understand the inner turmoil I live with daily.

Fast forward to today and I started my new medication. I saw a difference in my focus within the first 3 hours. I’ve completed multiple tasks, was far less distracted, and didn’t procrastinate. Tasks that raise my anxiety, overwhelm or frustrate me didn’t seem to be “life altering.” I still need to see how my body reacts, but for the first day, compared to other first days, this one is the best.

If you’ve been reading my posts for a while you may remember me mentioning that mental health was far less talked about in the Black community when I was growing up. Add this within some parts of the Christian community and it was something that could be healed away or was “just a demon”. I’m confident this is one of the many reasons people are being diagnosed with ADHD or other mental health issues as adults.

As someone who was diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, a Christian, and woman of color, I know now more than ever that advocating for my own mental health is so important. It’s something that I want to teach my children to know about, to know how to be their own self-advocate, and to encourage others who may be struggling in their own journey to seek out good mental health with their mental disorder/illness.

2 thoughts on “Mental Health Self-Advocacy

  1. Thank you for your honesty. I lived with depression for so many years. I would wonder why my siblings were fine. Why me? We had the same parents. I had to accept life on life’s terms. I take an anti-Depressant daily. I’ve been on them fir 23 years I no longer have shame or fear speaking about it. To finally live this life with joy is an understatement. Love you Lemdedoo

    Liked by 1 person

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