See what I say? Just last week, when I first analyzed mental health issues, characters Unsafe I was dealing with it, I was writing about decisions…and healing from decisions. And this week, the episode was really called “Choices, OK?” Maybe you think I’m a psychic or I know what’s going to happen next but I don’t. But what I do know is that I love the way writers and producers take us on a mental health awareness journey through very common life experiences such as intrusive thoughts about a past, fear or fear of the future, moving too fast (Issa and Nathan) or moving too slowly ( Molly’s parents), and the fact that we don’t even know what the future holds but everything it contains is a response to our decisions.
So, let’s get into it.
1. Good friends are important. The types of friends who will sit next to you when you have to hold your parents accountable, and take care of them better than they did (reverse role at its best). Friends who will send wine and chicken so you won’t be alone (physically alone, yes…but emotionally lonely – not), and friends who will tease you when you fall in love. Remember that love is an emotion and an action. If you keep chasing the feeling of love, you’ll be alone for a long time, and that’s a whole piece for another day.
But shout out for ways that seem easy but difficult, the characters appeared as friends during Episode 8. Look, good friends know when you need something because they’ve been listening and watching over you. They know when something is going to be too difficult for you, or when you are moving too fast. Good friends have studied you and know the difference between your needs and desires. They are your life partners and when your mental health is challenged, as in, you need that good friend who sees you, feels you, and loves you. Good friends are both protective factors and coping mechanisms for your mental health.
2. There is actually such a thing as “moving too fast”. It is not so much about external and observable actions as it is about the internal space to process, inspect, make decision and prepare for rewards and consequences in the short and long term. Yes, Issa and Lawrence broke up over a year ago (reference point: the last episode and Olly’s big baby who was in the stroller) but that doesn’t mean she’s addressed all things. In fact, we haven’t seen her until she tackles all things because the episodes are over a year old. But what we did see was the inner dialogue and guiding thoughts that Lawrence continued to emerge in pivotal future moments of her life. And by appearing, I don’t mean when we have a fleeting thought or a memory of the past (that’s worth a nod and a quick prayer that they’re fine…or burn in hell, your choice – again…options) but (popped) I mean when we have an idea of what might They are doing in our lives at this moment. Which means they are no longer part of the past… but they are part of the present/present and even the future. This may be a reflection of a lack of relationship grief, relationship healing, and energy channeling. It could also mean that the relationship isn’t over yet… but let’s see how the season unfolds.
3. “Because I was on my way to the bridge.” Yes, sister said so. It’s a bit skipped but let’s get to it here. Suicide is a thing of real life. I was working with SAVE.org and we talked about the fact that there is a disproportionate percentage of black women who commit suicide. Basically, we don’t do that very often. The reason behind this is that we have more protective factors and coping skills, the research says. But there is an additional factor that we never have a choice, until it becomes one. And for this sister, suicide was an option until she experienced the divine intervention of Jesus. And that’s the thing, we need space to feel a range of emotions to include the lowest levels. And we need divine intervention to remind us that we have a choice. We always have a choice (choices, okay?). Sometimes life gets so hard and we just want the pain to end. Pain, obstacles, challenges, repetitive trauma, etc. And here, the choice is not about life and death, the choice is about allowing or ending something, so that you can live. So, here we go, back to the choices.
In this place I often see people escaping from the IT department, but on Onyx I see clients who want to do business with IT. See what I did there? The average person will run, and the extraordinary person will go to counsel, which on its own can be divine intervention because anything to do with healing is related to the divine, right?
4. Fear of the future will make us stand still. Listen, Molly’s parents weren’t careless but rather ashamed and afraid. Pops said he didn’t want to see his life on paper because it wouldn’t reflect all the hard work he put in in this life. 50 years of work. But this is not a foreign experience for us blacks. We are working. We work hard. We work long. We put our hearts into our work. We put our lives into our work until our work betrays us (another piece for another day). But we also avoid things because we don’t want to be reminded that we worked hard and have “nothing” to show. We don’t admit that we’ve already broken a cycle, carved a path for another family member, learned things the hard way, or just found an uncommon sense of happiness and contentment in our family. So, instead of giving ourselves grace, we beat ourselves up because we don’t have a home, a heavy savings account, or a will. But fear will do that to us. Fear will paralyze us. But what I’m telling you is that you’re doing a great job. I mean, you obviously care about your mental health because you’re reading this article.
The next thing I’m going to tell you is, write what you have on a piece of paper, draw an arrow and say who you want to go to. Then make a copy and give it to a friend. Is it a commandment? Not yet…but it’s a start. We all need to start somewhere. Take one step at a time.
What we saw in this episode is that one choice will affect the next. This is how life works. Everything is connected. So, I would encourage you to sit down for a second and think about your choices. Instead of being emotionally rooted, emotionally directed, and/or impulsive, sit back and think about your decisions, write them down and draw lines to “what could be.”
For those of you who are overthinking, limit yourself to five possible outcomes, then three, then two, then one. And if you want a partner and an accountability therapist, contact a therapist near you.