The year 2016 will be marked in my memory forever as a very special year for me. It was the year that I really became political active and decided that I would dedicate a large portion of my time educating myself and doing what was whatever in my reach for social justice. I expected that my priorities would change, I would be doing a whole lot more reading , attending more debates and workshops and be knees deep into social media. What I didn't expect was the effect it would have on mental health.
The phrase ignorance is bliss was not said for nothing. The more you learn about how unjust the world is and how deep systematic oppression lies in all factors of our modern society the more disheartened you become. It becomes harder and harder to have faith in humanity and hope that things will get better. With the huge number of senseless police killing all over the world but in particular in the United States. The refugee crisis and the growing extremist ring wing political movement in Europe you may not be wrong in thinking the world is doomed. For those of us who are people of colour , part of the LGBTQA+ community or just not of the elite it can sometime feel like our fight is in vain as we are constantly being attacked where it be a physical act of violence or some law being passed by various governments.
In addition there are some really ignorant people out there. It is really hard to express you views and concerns when there is a constant bigotry backlash your receive whenever you voice you opinion. When people are telling you the despair and tears you cry are dramatic or do not matter and thus try to silence you, you can easily feel the need to lock yourself away from the hurtful world.
What is important to know that in a day and age where you can see your fellow brother killed by policemen on Facebook live that you should never neglect your mental health. there is only so much a person can take. Every now and then you need to take time to for yourself. Surround your self by an positive and encouraging support system of family and friends. Take time to do things that don't involve politics or social issue, listen to music, go dancing, bake or talk to someone. There is not shame in admitting that you may be gong through a depression and there are a number of therapist and mental health help out there for you.
So I am asking you that in your social justice fight please do not forget abut your mental health. Your feelings are not unjustified and you do have the right to every no eand them to take time fore your self.
Published by Elizabeth Adofo