“A top of the morning workout reminds me how grateful I am to have my life, health, and strength. For me, a quick run is like a peace resonator that keeps fragile me from wanting to scream to the top of my lungs until something breaks. There’s something about the physical, tranquilizing sensation of exercise that locks in the focus and offers an escape valve. If it were not for those endorphins being released, I’d be a hot mess machine ready to combust.
Another important practice in my life as a 37-year-old millennial woman of color is frequent online therapy. I’d like to add, for the avid churchgoers especially, that because I’ve chosen a licensed professional counselor does not mean I’ve stopped choosing God. This is what I believe certain Black people fear most about professional counseling services; however, God can be easily integrated into this area of mental and emotional wellness.
I’ve been doing the therapy thing on-and-off for about four years, and consistently since the end of 2020. Therapy works for me in many ways: (1) it teaches me to self-regulate, (2) it keeps me objective when I’m overthinking and over-romanticizing; (3) it gives me a check point to ensure I’m being authentic and self-reliant (I can be conformative and codependent.); and (4) my counselor is a Black woman who was called to do this work, so there’s that vantage point— and I feel like I’m reaping and investing at the same time.
When I log on to the client portal to pay that total balance of $153, I beam knowing that for one guaranteed hour each month, someone will be there to simply listen to me while I talk. Whew, that part. For Black women, that part of the therapy process is a fucking luxury. Like, for real— way better than the morning run. I submit my payment proudly because I understand that the actual total balance has nothing to do with a debit transaction; yet everything to do with caring for the mind and spirit of an often neglected woman in America.”
— Excerpt from the personal narrative “Total Balance”, Serenity Everyday
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