May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so Happy Mental Health Awareness Month to you!
I intend to explore the impact of race on mental health, both individual and collective, in a few posts this month. And, of course, how biracial factors into it. Or, more accurately, how it factors into biracial. All I know right now is that it does.
May the force be with me.
To kick things off:
Lately I’ve been pondering my dis-ease in the world and have come to think that maybe it’s why (on the whole) i don’t talk to people much. As little as possible at least. On a personal level, anyway. Although I genuinely enjoy people, intend to love them even…but, my default mode is to just smile at them a lot…because eventually someone is probably going to say something that makes me feel invisible with an invalid life experience, and that throws me right into the center of the dis-ease I walk in this world carrying. This has led me to experience anxiety and depression. I have experienced many things in the last 36 years, don’t get me wrong. Many things in perfect alignment with the love, beauty, and sheer wonder of the Universe. But if i’m honest, I will acknowledge here that the dis-ease has weighed heavier. It has been my most constant companion, so constant I was not fully aware of it. I just thought that was life. This has affected my relationships, my endeavors, and certainly my happiness. That’s most likely why I cherish my experiences of joy and freedom so steadfastly that I have a (bad?) habit of clinging to the past (perhaps missing my future.) Nostalgia and I are super-tight. I recently bought a latch-hook Smurf wall-hanging at a flea market. It wasn’t all that cheap. Totally cute, but i don’t really want it. I saw it and for a fleeting moment a spark of pure childhood joy was ignited and i impulsively purchased that thing. Didn’t even try to bring the price down. (smh)
Clearly I digress…what I was trying to say, I think, is that depression and anxiety have been a part of my biracial experience. That’s why i speak so fervently about freeing the mind and spirit from the confines of racial identity and racial separation and a whole bunch of other issues we needlessly toil under the illusion of. I am passionate about this for a few reasons. The one I’ll give now is: because it has been my “biracial” american experience and i can only be as free from the shackles of it as is the “biracial” american community in which i live. I don’t mean a literal community of “mixed-race” people*, but the diverse community of this country. and yes, it extends to the global community as well because basically all i’m talking about is how we’re all the same thing.
*and on the other hand, that’s exactly what i mean because i believe that we are as a country and a species quite literraly a conglomerate of mixed-race people. Given that on this other hand we’re still pretending that race has any real relevance. Biological or otherwise.
mental health month wellness calendar
I often have a feeling of dis-ease as you say in this world too. I also tend to deal with it by not talking very much. I have a lot to say, but am afraid of being judged, I guess. Anxiety and depression are all too common in my life. I tend to assume others don’t feel the same thing, but as time passes I’m coming to realize that there are more people out there like me than I ever realized.
TIFFANY! WHY DO YOU FEEL THE NEED TO GAIN WHITE ACCEPTANCE? WHY DO YOU NOT EXPLORE MORE OF YOUR BLACK SIDE! ARE YOU ASHAMED OF IT?
Just wanted to say very quickly that I love your blog! Really interesting posts.
Tiff, this resonates with me on many levels. And like Lovelyn, I too deal with my feelings by shutting down and not talking about it.
@blackandproud72…and why do YOU feel the need to troll her blog and claim that she is trying to gain white acceptance? Are you biracial yourself? I doubt it. She has a Black mother, so I hardly think she is out of touch with her “black side” and ashamed of who she is. This is one of the problems I have with some people. You make assumptions about mixed-race folks, with very little understanding of what it means to be not just black or white but BOTH.