Mental health

Tasha finally got it right: Seek help when you need it!

Tasha St. Patrick

I was watching Power today (like the rest of the world) and was so touched by Tasha. While I don’t always agree with her she was my favorite this episode. I love how she acknowledged needing help. So many times, we (especially black women) are supposed to just shoulder shit and keep moving forward. To see Tasha be so open about needing help was EVERYTHING!!! She stated multiple times she was not ok and needed to talk. I was like yes way to be self-aware. What made her my favorite this episode is that not only did she recognize the need, but she did something about it without having to be referred or begged to seek help. She had a game plan to help with her healing and I love her for it. We must be proactive in all aspects of our lives. So, bravo Tasha.

What was also so realistic and heartbreaking to me was the person who should have been her number one cheerleader in getting help because they understood what she was dealing with was shutting her down at every turn. I have been there on multiple occasions. Once when I was 19 with a newborn and had no idea what postpartum was and kept being told I had to get over it because I had done this to myself. Another time was saying I wanted to be a therapist and being told by family my career choice was a joke. But let me get back to Power... James originally did not want to even consider the grief group. He said he wasn’t feeling it. I found myself feeling like I was back at work with my forensic clients asking them what’s not to feel? A safe place to say you are hurt (which clearly, he needed). Unfortunately, the way James was acting is nothing new. Saying “I’m not feeling that” or some other derivative is too common.

What also had me side eyeing James was the fact that he didn’t trust her to grieve and describe her feelings because they are different from the people in the group. Sure, the other people in the group probably were not drug dealing murders, who had an affair with the DA and missed what was happening to their son which lead to all this anyway, but a grieving parent is a grieving parent. After all the secrets (setting up Canaan, providing an alibi for killing Lobos, and whatever else) and shenanigans she has dealt with and handled like the proverbial “ride or die chick” why question her now? Why not give her what she needed? Like she said, she can discuss her feelings without discussing the other stuff.

While I baby clap him for being willing to go he was there again blocking Tasha from getting what she truly needed. Simply showing up to the group is not enough for some people. They need to be able to interact and share their feelings (the point of the group anyway). She felt led to share and he shut her down so smoothly. As he has done in their marriage multiple times (but that’s not even why I’m here). Him stopping her from sharing struck me on several layers and I will try to unpack a few…

On the surface you have a husband shutting down a wife who has said she needs help. When people reach out for help or admit to feeling vulnerable, not right, sad, or whatever listen to them. Shutting them down only ensures the next time they will not be sharing their feelings with you. Telling people to get over it, toughen up, or put their big girl panties on is not always the answer. In fact, if a person is actually feeling something I can almost guarantee it makes their stomach turn to hear their loved one say some insensitive shit like that, and they will think twice before opening up again. Why are we so quick to shut down a person who is expressing vulnerability?

On another layer, we have someone telling another person not to do the very thing they think will help them. Tasha felt lead to the group and simply on the strength that she thought it would help her it would have in some way. We have got to stop shutting people down from getting help their way. Which lead me to religion. The minute someone wants to cleanse their energy someone calls it witchcraft. The negative connotation associated with magic, ancient healing rituals, and being a witch is also not why I am here but needs to be mentioned. The second someone says Allah instead of God they become a terrorist. Everything doesn’t work for everyone. The reason some medicines work for some people and are like skittles to another person, the way some children need timeouts and others need a spanking (yes I said it) or removal of toys, its simple… WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT. It is perfectly ok to believe, practice, and grieve differently. We must allow people to choose their own path and then respect when their choice does not match our own.

While Tasha has a few more episodes left to deal with her demons, and her choices, you reading this do not have to wait. I wish I could say do this and the pain will go away, but it is not that simple. You must put the work in and be willing to expose yourself. Being self-aware is not for the faint of heart. When you really trying to change and really trying to heal, it has been my experience personally and professionally that it will hurt worse first. It’s like when you really cleaning up and organizing so you pull stuff out of hiding and it looks a hot mess before it looks clean. Be brave like Tasha and admit you need help, but also seek help. It’s not going to be easy the question is are you willing to stick it through?