BEBRAVE STORY #8 - Rabia Shay

Hey Friends! 
It's the beginning of a new month, (Happy May!) that means a new #BeBrave story. This couldn't have been at a better time to, it is Mental health Awareness Month and so it is even more important that a story is shared today. Rabia Shay will be sharing her journey into being diagnosed with ADHD, as well as the stereotypes and obstacles that come with her being a African American Christian dealing with a mental illness. 

* You can learn more about Rabia and her work below, after this post* 

I’d spent years searching for answers to life’s big questions: Who am I? Why doesn't this come easy for me? What am I doing with my life? I’d read various self-help and wellness books, listened to meditation and calming music, talked to counselors and consultants and went to so many prayer meetings. Ever since I was a little girl, I'd felt something was off. The signs that pointed towards the issue were often trivialized. I couldn't quite put my finger on it nor could I utter a name for it. Whatever it was seemed akin to solving for X in algebra. 

I'd been told: 

It's all in your head.

Let's continue to pray, maybe you aren't praying hard enough.

You aren't trying hard enough.

You're just being lazy/ hardheaded/stubborn, etc. 

It wasn't until a relative graduated from college with a degree in psychology, expressed concern towards my mental health that my legal guardian even considered seeking consultation for me. In the end, my big clue arrived: a diagnosis of ADHD.

I fought it like a plague. Me? I wasn’t crazy! I don't need a doctor. I'm fine. They don't know what they're talking about. Sure I felt something was off but not to the extent I'd be labeled crazy

To fully understand, I'd like to point out I'm an African American woman. In the African American community, the perception and attitude towards mental health are that we don't talk about it and for some, they pray it away. 

I'm a Christian and while my belief in God is important to me I still believe that doesn't prohibit getting seen by a doctor if need be. Growing up this way wasn't easy but I am managing to unlearn rhetorics that no longer serve my well being


About Rabia Shay

Rabia is a writer and reader who has been conquering life with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, anxiety and many other struggles but has still managed to motivate and inspire many with her writing and blog. She loves sharing the work of fellow literary folks and fellow artist as well. 

You can follow Rabia at the following social media sites! 

Twitter:  @fairlyliterary
Instagram:  fairlyliterary


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