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Tamara Jeffries

Manuscript and Editorial Consulting

Now I See


Everything's Just Fine

Posted on 23 November, 2010 at 0:08
In the summer of ’09, when the call came from the Carter Center telling me I’d gotten a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism, I gasped—thrilled, honored. This will be a sweet little addition to the resume. Little did I know how deeply I would be affected by the experience of spending a year looking at the complexities of mental health and mental illness—especially among women and in communities of color.

What has really moved me is the people who quietly whisper out from behind their facades of “everything’s just fine” and admit to depression—indigo deep, bruise blue. It’s not just that folks find courage to talk about it. It’s how many—how many—of us there are. You’d never know.  We hide our secret perfectly. But scratch the surface…. No. You need not even apply that slight violence….  Just touch.  The bruise will bloom. That is the impetus to write about it and talk about it—letting people know they aren’t alone.  

And when a powerhouse like Terrie Williams talks—openly and everywhere—about fighting depression. When Ntozake Shange speaks insouciantly of trying—twice—to commit suicide, and not getting “the hang of it.”  When brilliant psychiatrist Carl Bell reminds us that “we are stronger than we are weak.”  Well, that’s what you write about and talk about—letting people know that healing is possible.  

This is the place for that conversation.  Thank you for being here to have it. We've got to let people know. 

Categories: depression, Carter Center, mental health, women, Black health, Ntozake Shange, Terrie Williams

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Reply Eric Godbolt
3:45 on 8 December, 2010 
Again, simply great to see you and know your doing well....peace, blessings and the grace of god be upon you.

Reply Eric Godbolt
3:45 on 8 December, 2010 
Again, simply great to see you and know your doing well....peace, blessings and the grace of god be upon you.

Reply Briana Barner
2:58 on 9 December, 2010 
Depression, in my opinion, in the Black community is such a taboo topic because we feel that we have the burden of the world on our shoulders--the history of our ancestors, the brutal racism experienced in the '60s, the supposed "post-racial" world that we live in now--it makes sense that we would be depressed when dealing with all that.
It makes no sense though. Whoever told us that we had to be and represent everything good for our race, gender, sexual orientation, class, etc. clearly needs to be reprimanded. Look at what is causing.
Reply Vandorn
19:35 on 18 September, 2011 
Wearing one of the masks of anger, depression, is an exhausting experience, and in many people's cases "journey through life". One's suffering from not asking for what one truly wants in life is often due to the programming (beliefs) burried in the subconscious mind. Clearing that closet can result in a liberation from the debilitating effects of depression, and is a goal worthy of the effort!
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