By Nikita Haynie
Last year I experienced significant challenges in my professional and personal life ultimately led me to feeling drained, purposeless, and doubting everything. By God’s grace, He provided new opportunities I am grateful for; however, even after new doors were opened I found myself still operating from the place He delivered me from. I was still carrying the hurt from my previous work environment not to mention unresolved feelings from life experiences. In order to restore my wholeness I needed to heal. Healing is a tricky thing, but the soul knows how to heal itself. Often we look to others to provide us with healing because somehow they hold the key to our healing. This summer I made a conscious and intentional choice to work towards the restoration of myself by healing through therapy. Therapy has transformed my perspective in a multitude of ways I didn’t realize I needed. I am a firm believer in God but I believe using both interchangeably provides an outcome to resonate for a lifetime.
Healing requires facing ugly truths. The old adage is: “The truth will set you free” and yes the truth will set you free, but it will also make you uncomfortable. I believe discomfort is where God can do His best work. HARD TRUTH: What you don’t address or unpack you will never move pass. What you avoid will only continue to grow and linger. Not to mention it helps to process things with an unbiased party that can provide insight you may not have previously considered. Therapy is a form of self-care. Despite the skepticism and side eyes the word “therapy” brings (specifically in the black community) I am proud I took the initiative to pursue therapy. I believe there is power in recognizing areas of your life where you can grow and heal. Black women carry a lot and we hold the notion, “We always have to be strong” and it takes time to unlearn; however, I think there is strength in vulnerability. Honor your boundaries, self-care is not selfish. Somewhere along my journey I learned putting others before myself was how I should function. My therapist helped to connect the dots of how this idea came to be and creating boundaries doesn’t make me less compassionate towards others and although everyone will not necessarily be in favor of the “B word”; boundaries assist me in preservation of myself. Audre Lorde, one of my favorite black feminists, said it best: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Black women are often laden with the labor of carrying the weight of the world and therapy has helped me to disrupt this narrative and create a new way of existing: PUTTING MYSELF FIRST UNAPOLOGETICALLY. In conjunction with attending therapy sessions I use the website Therapy For Black Girls that offers resources for the mental wellness of black women and girls.
I am four sessions in, and I feel a difference in how I am showing up for the person I am beginning to love more and more, myself. I pray that if you have areas of your life you desire to heal, develop, or grow that you consider therapy. It’s not taboo, it’s necessary. #THERAPYFORBLACKGIRLSMATTERS
Nikita Haynie is a Contributing Writer for the Pedestal Project, LLC. Nikita is a writer, author, and educator. She is a creative that writes content intersecting faith, black womanhood, and culture. Proud optimist. Follow her on Instagram: @thenikitahaynie. Check her out at NikitaHaynie.com