Mental Health Awareness interview with Semaj & Draya (Black Ink Chicago) Part 1

Hello guys! My brother interview Draya from Black ink Chicago using our mental health awareness questionnaire! He also answered the questions. I really enjoyed this. Here’s the first part. I’ll upload the rest once the website allows me to haha ❤️ #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike

Part One.

Mental Health Awareness Questions (Jaleesa)

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

⁃ I was probably about 11

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge?

⁃ As far as my dad no…but my mother was sent to a mental hospital at the age of 9.

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ I was mostly raised by my grandmother, my parents were around but….not full time parents.

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?

⁃ Smoke weed, meditate, listen to music, make sure I take a mental day when needed, meditate in the shower is one of the best ways for.myself to mentally cleanse.

5. What does mental health awareness mean to you?

⁃ Mental health awareness to me is, knowing it’s ok if you’re not ok. Awareness is knowing when you’re coming to a tipping point in your mental health and sought out ways to try and stay afloat if possible.

Instagram: @iigotthajuiceee

Mental Health Awareness Questions ( Destiny E.)

Instagram: @destiny_xs

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

I was in elementary school when I realized mental health was a thing. I grew up in foster care, so my mother made sure I saw a therapist to help us understand our situation a little better, and It kind of helped with other issues I had as a child. I didn’t think of it as something helpful until my father, sister, and uncle passed away and I didn’t know how to cope.

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge? 

I’m uncertain if my foster or biological parents had mental issues diagnosed by a doctor. However, my foster mother did show very clear signs of depression.

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

My mother didn’t know how to handle her emotions so she would slip into a state of depression where she would either distract herself with work or stay in the room for days. My brother and I were oldest so we spent most of middle school and high school taking care of the other kids in the house. Cooking, cleaning, helping with homework, etc. It was confusing sometimes because one moment she would do everything for us and the next we were left to take care of everything on out own.

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?

I rock climb, hike, plan international trips, personal research, read, try new things/ food, and when I feel like I’m overwhelmed I sleep or listen to music.

5. What does Mental Health Awareness mean to you?

Giving people the proper tools to help themselves or the people around them. Assuring people that Mental Health illnesses are very common and that we are working on coping mechanisms that cater to every type of person.

Mental Health Awareness Questions (Courtney H.)

Courtney 🥰
IG: Co_Killa
FB: Courtney Minyon

1. How old were you when you realized mental health was a thing?

⁃ I was maybe a 13/14 when I realized mental health was a thing

2. Did your parents have any mental issues from your knowledge?

⁃ I strongly believe my Mother and Grandmother struggled with mental health

3. If so, how was it growing up ?

⁃ Growing up I witnessed mental weakness, depression , alcoholism, nervous breakdowns , mood swings etc. it wasn’t until I was an adult that it made sense of what I was witnessing

4. What hobbies do you practice to keep your mental in tact?

⁃ Some of the hobbies I practice to keep my mental health in tact are yoga , Self Care Time , coloring , journaling, hanging with loved ones , sitting at the beach, just to name a few .

5. What does mental health awareness mean to you?

⁃ Mental Health Awareness means a daily check in, being aware of your sanity and emotions. Knowing it’s okay to have emotions and don’t feel bad about feeling. It’s okay to take a step back and just be selfish.

Dealing with Death Part 1.

I was going through a lot of pictures from my childhood and it made me pretty emotional. From my mom to my grandfather. Some deaths you can’t get pass. Growing up I always thought that only deaths from people you were constantly around would only effect you. I also thought that the pain wouldn’t last for that long. I was definably wrong. Over the years I leaned that it’s about the deaths that hit home that affects you.
My mom passed when I was about 19. It wasn’t easy. Still isn’t. I remember being really emotional for months on in. I only talked about her, I worried about my brothers and how they were affected by it. I didn’t know what to expect from life after that. Mainly because I didn’t expect to lose a parent so soon in life. It wasn’t that I depended on her. I just liked knowing that she was ok. That she was still breathing. That’s how I felt about both of my parents. They didn’t really raise me. They were around and I love them for what they were able to do. I worried about my dad more than anyone. That was someone he felt really close to. It was like he had lost his best friend. He hasn’t really been the same since.
Growing up, I always felt like the sibling in charge. Not financially but emotionally. I had to make sure they were straight even if it compromised my mental sometimes. I don’t have any hard feelings towards anyone for that. I knew someone had to be the stronger one. Death is hard to tackle on your own. This is when you should be there for others more than ever. Also, you have to have patience with people. It takes some of us longer to get passed these things than others. You can’t rush a healing process. Sometimes death brings other emotions like guilt, regret, love, hate etc. death is the beginning for some of us.
I often regretted how close I wasn’t to my mom and her family once she passed. Even now I don’t make it a habit to call my family like I should. After she passed I felt like I was isolating myself even more. I often felt like if I wasn’t really talking to anyone while she was living that they really didn’t want to have anything to do with me while she was gone. I made myself depressed because of this. No one never told me these things. I was in my head; something that’s hard to control when you lose someone. I often think about therapy. I still do, but I’m not ready for that just yet. It’s been over 10 years and I still feel like I’m healing from her loss. A small part of me is happy that I experienced this, mainly because when my friends go through these things I’m more understanding. When you’re going through something like this your first thought is that no one understands what you’re going through. I felt like that for years. Losing someone and getting passed it (or getting by) is something a lot of people aren’t able to do.
I’m telling my stories because I want my viewers to know that it’s ok to feel the way you feel. It’s ok for you to be upset when someone passes no matter what the relationship was. Only you can determine how important that person was to you and your life. If you know other people that have suffered from a loss you should try talking to that person about your situation. Those people tend to understand what you’re feeling the most. Lastly, therapy is there for a reason. It’s not for everyone I know, but when you feel like you have no one to talk to it’s a good way to talk your emotions out. It’s also a good way to figure out things about yourself that you didn’t know was an issue. Maybe your father passed and you weren’t that close but it has affected you a lot. Maybe therapy will get to the bottom of that. Don’t ever doubt something that you haven’t tried. Love you all and thank you for being the listening ear that, for a long time, I didn’t feel like I had. #thisiswhatdepressionlookslike.