Shameesha Pryor, a junior at Connecticut College, who is studying aboard in Florence, Italy, has come to an acceptance with a flaw of mental health. Shameesha sees this as a flaw because for many years and throughout her childhood, she was aware of keeping family secrets. Telling “outsiders” about personal issues of feelings were seen as negative. She always had a deeper understanding of the world around her, but struggled to understand her internal thoughts, feelings, and questions about her identity. The idea of therapy or showing emotions in difficult times were viewed as weaknesses, so she became immune to keeping most of her feelings and thoughts bottled up. Many people will state that this is not a flaw because its not physical, but it is a flaw because sometimes mental and emotional thoughts can be internalized as a negative quality within life.
Shameesha is now 21 years old and she did not accept this flaw until fairly recent. She has learned that self-health and mental health are just as important as obtaining a college degree, or making sure you have good hygiene. She started to see a counselor during her first year of college and accepted the reality of comfort and assistance. She thinks the most courageous thing she has ever done so far in her educational journey and life itself, was expressing her true feelings and still feeling strong, powerful, and in control of her.
Shameesha has shared some words of wisdom to anyone young women of color that is having a hard time accepting their mental health. “If I could say anything to other young women of color dealing with “flaw” I would tell them, embrace it and F.I.G.H.T! Strength comes from understanding and accepting one’s self-identified flaw. Focus on a better you, Ignite, Gain power, Honor yourself, and Treasure the triumph you’ll receive after following these steps. A strong woman is a healthy woman, “built by flaws” and cherished by her story.”
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