Have you ever had one of your biggest fears become a reality? Recently, I did. I have a tendency to play out what-if scenarios in my head, most of which are negative. One of those what-if scenarios is having an encounter with an angry driver that pulls a gun.
A few weeks ago, while driving black, the man in front of me decided to pull his gun on me and Solomon. I still have no idea what triggered him, I had been behind him for several miles and witnessed two white individuals cut him off and he gave no reaction. As we approached our exit, traffic was a bit congested and he tried to prevent me from exiting so I stopped in the neutral area and waited to exit. Once I merged off of the exit, he slowed down, reached over to the passenger seat, raised his gun, cocked it and then lowered it in front of him. His motions will forever be engrained in my brain; it replays over and over like a gif.
In a matter of seconds, one of my biggest fears became a reality and it triggered a lot for me. If you follow me, you may recall my article, Momfession – Anxious., about seeking behavioral health services to address my anxiety, I did follow through. I had just discussed my what-if scenario thoughts during my first appointment two days prior. I am glad that I took the first step in getting help. I am even more grateful for God’s hand of protection and peace following the incident. The scenario could have played out a lot of different ways, but God.
That day I was forced to make a decision: was I going to allow the what-if thoughts to consume me or was I going to move forward and do what I was called to do. I decided to move forward. Do I still have moments that are difficult? Yes. However, with each decision to take charge over what triggered me, I gain more strength.
Mental health is important. I will always rely on my faith, and in doing so I acknowledge that God gave certain individuals the gift of wisdom concerning mental health and I myself have sought help in that area. If you are struggling with mental health of any type I encourage you to seek proper care, in the meantime, make your requests known to God and meditate on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of good report, virtuous and/or praiseworthy.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” Philippians 4:6-8 NKJV
For me, it was important to find a provider that may have had some of the same experiences, etc., I found my provider here: https://providers.therapyforblackgirls.com/
Additional resources obtained from www.mentalhealth.gov:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
If you or someone you know is suicidal or in emotional distress, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Trained crisis workers are available to talk 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Your confidential and toll-free call goes to the nearest crisis center in the Lifeline national network. These centers provide crisis counseling and mental health referrals.
SAMHSA Treatment Referral Helpline
Get general information on mental health and locate treatment services in your area. Speak to a live person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. EST.