PHILADELPHIA (JSC) — What’s Up y’all! So you likely noticed that Ep. 39 of JSC Radio didn’t drop this week. My sincerest of apologies are in order for that. The reason there was no show this week is because, if you haven’t been paying attention, the NFL Draft is here in Philadelphia. So, I got to put on my working shoes and get out in the middle of all of the insanity. JSC Radio Ep. 39 will go into more detail about my days at the Draft, but I will definitely say this: It was a really fun experience. Every time I get to cover something sports-related, it’s like going home. Getting to cover the Draft, on top of it adding another credential to the collection, is a chance for me to get back into the streets and into the swing of things. The atmosphere around the city the last week has been amazing. Yes, it’s a ton of people. Yes, it was hotter than a MFer by the time Thursday got here. But it was fun. It was cool to interact with other reporters and ask questions and not be anchored to a desk. So this week, JSC Radio Ep. 39 — which you can of course find on Soundcloud, iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and Google Play — will talk about the fun of the draft, as well as get a couple of wisecracks in about the really dumb ass name WWE has given it’s new PPV, and throw some love out to my people at ESPN after the stunning blood-letting from last week. But before I end this thing, I want to drop a quick clarification on something from Ep. 38.
During Ep. 38, I made reference to my struggles with depression and anxiety. Those were — and are — very real. I can pinpoint my first bout with depression to about 20 years ago in early 1997. I was a senior in high school and I hated everything about myself. I couldn’t put a finger on why, but it was real. The first time I thought about taking my own life came in March 1997. I thought about jumping off of the upstairs balcony at my old house in Detroit. The second time that would happen wouldn’t be for another 11 years in April 2008. I had reached a breaking point in my life and if not for a fortuitous phone call, I likely go through with it.
I said all of that to say this: I made a reference to having gone through these terrible stretches, along with the debilitating anxiety attacks, and I said I got through it — or something to that effect. The mistake I made is that I didn’t go into detail on how I did. I didn’t just “suck it up” and “power through it” like a lot of these fake, macho clowns will say. I sought help. In 1997, it was still startlingly frowned upon in the black community — especially among young, black men — to seek help through therapy. Plus, it just wasn’t as readily available. So I repressed a lot of it and suffered mostly in silence. It was every bit as shitty as it sounds and I wouldn’t recommend anyone do that. Ever.
In 2008, I sought professional help. I went to therapy through a program at Wayne State University, where I had just started graduate school. I was able to talk to someone and really got to the root of why I was where I was. I started to take more time for myself. I know it’s a bit of a corny, cliched term, but “self care” is a thing. I eventually stopped drinking, largely swore off fast food and started exercising (because stress eating is a REAL damn thing). When I moved to Philadelphia two years ago, I added yoga to the mix and it helps a ton with piece of mind. I’m not in any way clear. I will still have occasional moments of anxiety and some days are harder than others. But you don’t have to do it alone. So when I say “I got through it,” that’s how I did. Seek help. Go to therapy. Get on medication if necessary. Talk to friends who will listen. If your friends won’t listen or tell you “get over it,” then get some new damn friends.
And, seriously, if you or someone you know is struggling through a difficult time and you fear for their safety, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255. If you’re reading this now, and you feel you have no one to talk to, go to my contact page and e-mail me. I’ll talk to you. Your mental health, your life and — most importantly — YOU are too important to not do something.
So, thanks again for checking me out. I appreciate all of the support, and keep fighting. Your Success is Certain and important to us all.
Until Next Time, That’s The Way It Is. Saturday, April 29, 2017.
Take Care, God Bless, Always Dare to Be Different, and G.O.M.A.B. Σ