My name is Marcquese (aka Quese). I am 27 and from a small town in Pennsylvania. I am a natural hair and proactive self care enthusiast and an exercise guru.
I enjoy being outdoors, helping in my community, and traveling when I can. I blog on my YouTube channel “checkqueseout “ where I not only educate on the importance of hair care but self care as well.
I thoroughly enjoy helping people anyway I can. If you’d like to take a a small peak into my world, you can catch me on Instagram @checkqueseout
An eight letter word, with a meaning powerful enough to control a person’s life from how they talk, walk, look, and feel on the daily. It shows up in so many different ways in people.
As for me, I dealt with anxiety my entire life and never even realized it until I reached my early 20’s. I watched multiple family members act in ways that can only be explained as severe anxiety issues.
Growing up in a black family, mental health issues were not a topic of importance. The amount of education or knowledge about mental health is severely low in the African- American community. Those of us with mental health issues are usually considered “crazy.” Most of the people with severe mental health problems either have a drug problem, are in jail, or dead.
I remember growing up and being told that depression is something that can be healed by God or a higher power if that’s what you believe in. Although I believe this is true, I also believe that therapy, validation from peers and family members, as well as self grace are needed in this constant battle with this illness. I always thought the weird stomach pains, the constant random scary thoughts, loss of appetite, and the “shivers” were just symptoms of me possibly coming down with a sickness.
Between the ages of 23 through 25 I felt like I was at one of my lowest points in my young life. I had constant suicidal thoughts, and felt like this higher power I was raised to believe in was no longer there or real. With that being said, it lead me to make horrible impulsive decisions and hurt people that really cared about me and loved me.
A Cry For Help
My first cry out for help came in the year of 2016 to my primary care physician. It was also the year where I was formally diagnosed with anxiety and depression. From there I was prescribed medication and placed with a counselor. Even though I was beginning to get help with this struggle, I still didn’t “feel happy” or to be getting better. After some time with my counselor I realized that anxiety and depression aren’t cured over night, and that there is no instant medication to heal them. Anxiety and depression are things that get a little easier to manage over much time. I also came to the realization that those around me (friends, family, etc.) still weren’t validating my feelings.
After my anxiety diagnosis, like most people who suffer from a mental illness, I had my low days and my high days. On my most severe days, anxiety still continued to affect my personality, my relationships, and even my work as well.
Over time, I continued to self educate about anxiety to understand what triggered mine. With that knowledge, I learned how to take control of how I spent my time and who I spent it around. I learned how to avoid my triggers, and also how to validate my feelings when those triggers were inevitable to avoid. I also found many platforms similar to Hope Noted, where I found peace in knowing that I was not the only one in this daily battle with myself.
Fast forward to today’s time, and for ALL of us 2020 was a challenging year. From Covid-19 to the black injustice movement peaking at an all time high, it took me back into some of my darkest days again. Fortunately, in the midst of all of the chaos and extreme anxiety, I found comfort not only in the higher power I was raised to believe in, but comfort in connecting with people who also were battling the same fight I was.
For instance, the Founder of Hope Noted, Alisa, validated my feelings and actually listened to what I had to say, every chance she could during these dark times. That really helped me through my struggles this year. She encouraged me to be verbal and to let people know what I will and won’t tolerate. That has helped me so much in setting boundaries with friends, coworkers, and loved ones.
Since the summer of 2020, I have been strongly advocating for self love, the importance of getting help for mental health (especially to the black community), and making people feel like their feelings really matter. Not only has this helped me tremendously with my own struggles, it has confirmed that an eight letter “A” word doesn’t define who I am or who you are, and there is always HOPE in the midst of chaos.
If I could leave this audience with one quote of advice, it’d be in the great words of Bob Marley: “every little thing is going to be alright.”
Peace & Love,
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