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

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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 ❤

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…”

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.

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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”

Why 2017 no longer scares me

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I have something to confess. A few months ago, I was scared to enter 2017. I don’t know how 2016 was for you but for me, I know it was a trying year. It has been a year where the unexpected happened. One of my immediate family members was diagnosed with cancer and then later cleared (glory to God), I spent my birthday this year in a hospital, depression tried to knock on my door numerous times, lost some friends on the way and experienced rejection in a new way. Whilst 2016 did have some great times, it came with unexpected circumstances and in addition to this, certain things which I was believing for didn’t come to pass.

Has He forgotten me?

As I got to around September this year, I began to really reflect on the last few years of my life and how they’ve been. I began to think about how different 2016 had been in comparison to how I thought it would be and then I began to consider if 2017 would be Continue reading “Why 2017 no longer scares me”

Where Are You?

FullSizeRender(1)Genesis 3:6-9: So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”

In Genesis 3 Adam and Eve sinned and ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When they sinned their natural reaction was to cover themselves with fig leaves.  What do fig leaves represent? Fig leaves come from the earth and represent the flesh and false righteousness. Prior to this even though physically they were naked, spiritually the glory of God was their garment and their identity. Continue reading “Where Are You?”

God can you heal me? Am I beyond repair?

This is a question many have asked themselves in relation to emotional healing. We hear that God can heal our souls but we often look at our wounds caused by life experiences and question this reality. Some of us have been through abuse, rape, failed relationships, disappointment and other things that have left us broken. We muse on what we’ve heard about God’s healing power, we look at our broken states and think “God can you heal me? Am I beyond repair?” Being transparent it’s a question I have asked God many times. Continue reading “God can you heal me? Am I beyond repair?”