As I woke up this morning and the sun shined on my face. I first wanted to say “Thank you God” for letting me see another day. I then begin my day as usual getting dressed and doing mom duties when I finally, got to get a cup of coffee from Starbucks after dropping my daughters off at school.

While pulling back up in my driveway and sitting in the car with complete silence and sipping on my coffee. About ten minutes passed by and I decided to get out of the car and head into the house to face the reality of something that need it to be done. The first words that are spoken when entering the house is “Good morning! Can we talk?”

Then it dawned on me!  How should I begin? Where do I begin? My thoughts are all over the place. I feel like I cannot breathe. It feels like I am in an alternate universe that is holding me hostage in darkness unable to see any light. Its hold is keeping me on this island of loneliness and anger with no rescue in sight. But today it was going to be different I was ready to fight and today was the day that I was going to take my life back. As I was mustering up the words to say I took a deep breathe, slammed my hands down on the counter and looked them right in the eye’s and yelled “NO MORE”.

We all must get to the point where we can face the one person that we truly have a hard time seeing and that is “Self”. When I final got the nerve to look at myself truthfully in the mirror, I seen all of my past traumas and failures come rushing in at once. My perception of myself was negative, it was hard to see my self-worth and even more the point of living.

It is reported that an estimated one in five U.S adults experience mental illness and one in ten children according to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health). We as human beings have become some what dependent on the need for self-validation. The need to be validated is apparent through social media platforms, where your perception of self is blurred, and the mind has downloaded a perceived notation of how we are supposed to look or who we are supposed to be. And when we do not measure up to the standards set in life based on social media it becomes ever more difficult and sometimes downright unbearable mentally.

Which brings me to the question that many of us have. How do we find solace, especially in the age of social media? How do we become ok with not being ok?  Well, it starts with a willingness to face your feelings and deal with yourself when troubled. As we know mental health comes with a negative connotation any time it is brought up, which makes it difficult for people to discuss. But as a person with childhood traumas and PTSD, I make it my personal goal to promote positivity and education when it comes to mental health issues that we must face. We must stop being scared to address the elephant in the room and we must stop being scared to seek and ask for help. We need to be willing as a society to accept that mental health is a pandemic all on it is on that affects millions of adults and children every year. So, let us start a conversation and I will help you begin “Good morning! Can we talk”.


Always seek help you are not alone: Hotline for National Suicide Prevention is 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact SAMHSA ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) help line is 1-800-662- HELP (4357).


This feature was submitted by Shynikia Means


Shynikia Means is a prolific author and public speaker who passionately speaks about child advocacy and overcoming sexual abuse. This children’s book was written to show children that they can dream big and possibilities are endless. The author instills these messages in her three daughters Taseauna, Si’an, and Ariana. Visit her on instagram @elavated_to_live to find more positive inspiration.