“I’ve recently had to realize that I can no longer afford to drag myself into the vortex of encroaching mood swings, accusations and lies that come along with the man I love undiagnosed mental illness at the expense of my own peace of mind.”
The fifth entry in Sula Journals by poet Nicole Shanté White on the toxicity of social media and relearning self-love.
“She has counted syllables of words on her fingers since she was four. She insists on five or ten syllables, one or two hands full of sounds.”
Latinx people’s relationship with mental illnesses has always been strained. For the people who live with these (un)diagnosed disorders, their sense of shame, embarrassment, or even denial is further heightened by the culture of intolerance they usually encounter within their respective Latin American culture. Before I begin, I want to address that it’s difficult for me to write about the often dangerous and hurtful stigma toward mental illness within the latinx community knowing that I don’t have any first-hand experience with it: I do not have a medically diagnosed mental illness nor does anyone in my family. Therefore, I question the validity of whether or not to speak out about this issue, then, especially because so much of the dialogue surrounding mental illness and stigma is often written by neurotypical, voyeuristic outsiders like me. Instead, what I hope to write about and bring to light with this essay is the air of demonization and denial toward mental illnesses in general that we are all exposed to as children and throughout our adolescence and adult life …
“No fire burns so painfully without leaving embers.”
“I have been terrified lately. Not just because it’s killing season for my people, but because I’m terrified that I’m not doing enough.”
“My grandma deemed me the miracle baby- torn from my mother, translucent and light as a bird, skin slimy and shaking.”