Black, Male & Depressed – MHC Interview

An interview with two Black Christian men sharing their experiences of depression

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Being male is often associated with having physical and emotional strength. Although many men do possess these attributes, these attributes are often mistaken for indestructibility. In 2013, 78% percent of people who committed suicide were male and 22% were female (1). An even more nuanced glance is needed when statistics show that in the UK, young African Caribbean men are one of the most overrepresented BME groups in inpatient mental health services in the country (2). This is in juxtaposition to the lack of understanding/discussion about mental health in the black community.  We can’t ignore these statistics, something is going wrong and in order to provide solutions we first need to understand the problem further.

Continue reading “Black, Male & Depressed – MHC Interview”

Pick up the broken pieces and forgive

Broken Heart

Many find it difficult to pick up the broken pieces of their soul after it’s been broken by people. It’s painful when the people who were supposed to love you cause you pain and those who were called to build you up broke you down. This can lead to the soul (mind, will, emotions) being in a broken and undeveloped state.

Often, we can identify when our soul is broken and many of you know when you’re not as emotionally healthy as you should be. You notice that past hurts have left you feeling emotionally paralysed; unable to live a joyful and fulfilled life. You have trust issues surrounding building new relationships and are trapped by unforgiveness and bitterness. You don’t enjoy being stuck in this place but there’s a mindset that often stops people from healing and this is the mindset I want to challenge in this blog post. It’s the mindset that you won’t begin your healing process until those that hurt you apologise first. This mindset tells you that if you were to pursue forgiveness before that point, you would be letting your abusers “win”.

Who’s the winner?

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This mindset teaches you that you must become the ultimate evidence for the pain you suffered, to show others how real your affliction was. This occurs especially when something terrible has happened to you and those around you have failed to react. In these cases, it seems like there’s nothing besides your words and theirs’ to verify the degree of what occurred, so in order to be right, you decide that the state of your soul will be proof.

To that, I say I’m deeply sorry that your pain was never acknowledged and I’m sorry that those that hurt you never apologised. For those on the outside looking in, waiting for an apology may seem petty but for those who have been hurt it can be a powerful thing. Despite this, you can no longer refuse to become whole in order to embody what a person without a father ends up looking like, a person who has been painfully heartbroken, or a person who has been through abuse. Picking up the pieces is for you as you have the right to be whole and you don’t have to remain broken. There comes a point in life where you have to bend down and pick up the pieces of your mind, joy and future that was shattered. Picking up pieces is all about taking responsibility and ownership. This takes a killing of pride and ego because it wasn’t in your hands that your soul was shattered. Regardless, it is a job that must be done to live a life fulfilled.

Previously, I went through multiple painful situations with an individual. Years went and I saw this person prospering and I thought “no, I can’t heal and move on, that’ll mean that they’ve gotten away with their actions”. I became obsessed with proving the extent to which I was hurt by using my own soul has the proof. More years went by and one season it dawned on me that I may never receive the sorry that I felt paralleled the pain I experienced. The truth is, they can’t undue their actions to me but despite this, I have a purpose and I can’t leave my soul desolate to evidence the things they did. That’s when I made the decision to begin my healing process, not for their sake but for mine. I realised that Jesus is the one seated on the judgement seat and He will account for all things in time. To judge is not my role, my role is to invite God in and let Him heal me.

You win by picking up the pieces

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You will always lose with the mindset that healing makes you a fool. Healing makes you a victor and besides, how will putting your life on pause benefit you? Will you allow 10 years to go by waiting for that friend to admit that they betrayed you or 20 years to go by waiting for that person to take responsibility for how they hurt you? Do you know you might be waiting a lifetime for that? You might never receive an apology and how unfortunate would it be to live life half lived waiting on another’s apology.

Do your future, your soul and your destiny a favour and allow God to pick up the pieces. Take responsibility of where you are and where you are going in life. You didn’t deserve what happened to you and but it is not fair on yourself for you to remain hurt. There’s a future beyond what happened to you but you must let bitterness and unforgiveness go. You must bend down and bring each broken piece to God. Be transparent with Him in prayer, give him each memory and emotion. It’s a process, and it won’t happen overnight but as you walk this journey with God you will walk closer and closer to overcoming. Those who caused you pain don’t win by you staying broken, you win by being brave enough to move on ❤

Single, discouraged and lacking faith?

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Valentine’s seems to be one of the few seasons where you suddenly become aware of your relationship status. For some, single or in a relationship, it ‘s an enjoyable period. For other’s it can feel overwhelming, lonely and disheartening. This is the group of people I am speaking to today. Not to make you feel stupid but to love on you, encourage you and hopefully set your heart back to peace again. In this post I will be asking you a series of questions and I want you to deeply think, consider and meditate on them. Most importantly I want you to be truthful to yourself regarding the answers. It’s when you are honest to yourself, even when it’s ugly, that you can pursue truth.

1. Do you compare yourself with others?

thief-of-joy_1024x1024“Comparison is the thief of joy” is a saying that I believe holds a lot of weight. What comparison will make you do is diminish all the amazing things that are happening in your life and covet something that another individual has. Continue reading “Single, discouraged and lacking faith?”

On the brink of promise…

dont-give-upHebrews 11: 8-12 By faith Abraham, when he was called [by God], obeyed by going to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went, not knowing where he was going. By faith he lived as a foreigner in the promised land, as in a strange land, living in tents [as nomads] with Isaac and Jacob, who were fellow heirs of the same promise. 10 For he was [waiting expectantly and confidently] looking forward to the city which has foundations, [an eternal, heavenly city] whose architect and builder is God. 11 By faith even Sarah herself received the ability to conceive [a child], even [when she was long] past the normal age for it, because she considered Him who had given her the promise to be reliable and true [to His word]. 12 So from one man, though he was [physically] as good as dead, were born as many descendants as the stars of heaven in number, and innumerable as the sand on the seashore.

Many of you experienced a tremendous amount of pressure in 2018. The workload increased and you wondered whether you could handle it all. At times, you even felt like it was unmanageable and felt tempted to pull back. There might have even been a temptation to withdraw from the responsibility and people you have been called to. Sometimes, when you’re carrying a weight that’s heavier than what you’ve carried before you can be tempted to give up. Continue reading “On the brink of promise…”

#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 2

In my previous post, I discussed the first and second stages of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly. I ended my last post with the caterpillar shedding its skin until the caterpillar’s skin comes off for the final time. Under this old skin, is a hard protective layer and this layer is called a Chrysalis.

Butterfly cycle

Chrysalis: What is it?

Chrysalis (pronounced Kry-sah-lis) comes from the Greek word ‘khrusallis’ which derives from ‘khrusos’ meaning gold (harūz’ in Hebrew). Continue reading “#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 2”

#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 1

Butterfly to CaterpillarRecently I’ve found myself meditating on the process that a caterpillar takes to become a butterfly. I mean… isn’t it fascinating? A creature that had to roll and heave in order to move, months later is able to take flight above the branches it used to struggle on.

I believe that for many, their season of flying is nearing. They’ve had their caterpillar season and they are dreaming of their flight. The Lord has spoken about what the nature of their flight will look like, what colour their wings will be and how He will change their surroundings according to their new Continue reading “#Shift || When a Caterpillar turns into a Butterfly Pt. 1”

#Shift || From the Wilderness to Eden

 

Beautiful Forest

Isaiah 51: 3b He will make her wilderness like Eden,
And her desert like the garden of the Lord

We cannot dictate when God puts us into a wilderness season but what we can dictate is how long we spend in the Wilderness season. Our obedience can allow us to move with the perfect timing of God whereas our disobedience can delay our process (Exodus 16:35).

God’s desire is not for us to live in the Wilderness. God intentionally made the Garden of Eden and put man there to dwell (Genesis 2:4) . Eden was meant to be man’s habitation on earth and man was simply suppose to Continue reading “#Shift || From the Wilderness to Eden”

The Valentine after the break-up

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For some, Valentine can be a rough period for various reasons. It can make people feel inadequate for not being in a relationship. It can lead people to want to compromise and spend the day with someone they see no future with just to escape loneliness (if you are struggling with that click here). Alongside this, it can be painful for those experiencing their first Valentine’s after a break-up. This, of course, is dependent on the circumstance of the break-up. However, if you are currently in the process of moving on from a breakup and adjusting to life without a significant other – it can be particularly difficult.

Continue reading “The Valentine after the break-up”

The pain of 2017; The glory of 2018

 

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My mum often crushes pepper and spices. She likes to use a mixture of ingredients and crush them together by hand instead of using the blender. She argues that the pressure placed when she crushes the spices again and again together in a wooden pot is what truly gets all the juices out. The blender works… to some extent but nothing can replace the crushing of strong hands.
So as it is in the natural, it often is in the spiritual and 2017 for myself and I believe for many of you, was a crushing year. It was a year where the pressure applied to you was more than you’ve ever known. I’m referring to the kind of pressure that forces you to change in order to withstand it and brings out both the good and bad juices in you.

Continue reading “The pain of 2017; The glory of 2018”

Don’t fall in love with your jail cell

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So you were told that you could be free from bondage – and you believed it. You got the scriptures and you started to fight only to find out that the thing isn’t budging or it seems to be getting even worse. Maybe you’ve been trying to fight a pornography addiction for a while but now that you’re trying to be direct with it, the temptation is getting worse. Perhaps your situation is one related to mental health but the more you desired freedom, the more the sporadic thoughts, panic attacks and heaviness. So after a period of trying to break free, you began to stop and accept your situation. You began to plan how you would live life bound. You began to think about how you could make yourself comfortable in your jail cell. But guess what, it doesn’t matter if you add a TV, if you add a sofa or if you change the bed, you are still behind bars when the Lord has declared you free. Don’t try to renovate a place that God has called you out of.

You could be in a place of depression, anxiety, Continue reading “Don’t fall in love with your jail cell”