Monday, October 2, 2023

SILENT CORNER: Surviving Mental Health Crisis

April 30, 2023 by  
Filed under Highlights

Emeteria Scott

There is a mental health crisis in the Black community.

Statistics show that about 25% of African-Americans seek mental health treatment, compared to 40% of white Americans. Unequal access to health care is one major contributor to this disparity — but fortunately, many are finding their way back to a life of happiness and purpose.

Las Vegas Black Image Magazine will be sharing your stories of triumph over mental health obstacles. We are pleased to share a personal story authored by Emeteria Scott, in hopes that it shows others that they are not alone.

January 30, 2022, almost 15 months ago, I was numb. Not a soul had known that I was contemplating what I just read online: “Woman who jumped from her high-rise identified as Miss USA 2019 Cheslie Kryst.”

I froze. It was as if my own secret was staring back at me with a “What if this was you?” I cried. I remember so clearly — crying on my closet room floor, as I tried to sort through what I’d been feeling for months.

I was alone. I was having anxiety and panic attacks left and right. I was in and out of the ER with unanswered questions and scared beyond comprehension. I wish I had all the answers — but life for me was so uncertain.

Just a year earlier I was diagnosed with adult ADHD and then I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and Iron-Deficiency Anemia. I have to live with an autoimmune disorder for the rest of my life? Will I forever lack the energy I used to have? Will I always be the person who has to explain why I can’t eat XY&Z, and seem like I want everyone to cater to me? I was in my head day and night.

When I looked around me, I saw my family. People had stopped asking how I really was. My answers were too heavy. I saw the shift in relationships, drifting farther and farther apart. I kept on asking myself why I kept trying to be a part of something that just didn’t really care for me. I tried things that failed, because I just didn’t have the energy and drive that I once had. So, I told myself that I was only living to die.

The thoughts began. I was no longer having conversations. I shut people out. I decided I was going to be the one who pushed them farther and farther away before they could do it to me. I sank further into depression but still smiled on the outside. No one knew.

Then one day I had a complete toddler tantrum meltdown. I’ll never forget the way my husband looked at me and sat with me and told me that he was there. But more importantly, God never left me. It wasn’t until I read the headline to that article that I realized what could have been.

I don’t share this for pity. I am sharing this because my whole outlook on life has changed drastically. I firmly believe that God is in control. And boy is he showing me how true that is in the season I’m in now! I know that He has held me up. I also know that this kind of thing is real and still happens. Even to those who love Jesus.

I share this because there is someone in your life whose answer to, “How are you?” may seem too heavy. If you just listen a little longer, that might be the extra few minutes they need to just hold on. I am not the same. I’m quiet most days, and observe things around me. It’s why I try to be more personal in conversations, so I’m not missing someone’s feelings of loneliness. I’m awkward and I know it — but I don’t care if it means I can help someone. I ask everyone, “How are you doing?” But I don’t just say it as small talk. I mean it and will listen.

Thank God I’m in a better place — and thank God for His therapy and for professional therapists. I cannot do this alone. And I’m not alone because God is always with me, and He’s with you too! God isn’t being silent because He doesn’t hear you. He’s listening to every word you say. Talk to Him. I promise, He’s there.

The National Suicide Prevention & Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988 if you need suicide or mental health-related crisis support, or are worried about someone else.

If you would like to share your own story of mental health struggle or survival, please email Las Vegas Black Image Magazine at cdalasvegas@gmail.com or call (702) 615-8216.

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