Our survivor story pick of the day is #JeniferLewis.
A few years ago, the actress revealed her diagnosis with bipolar disorder since the early nineties. One of the main triggers of her illness was the death of her father. She shared, "I was overwhelmed with my grief, and unable to handle my feelings. I cried and cried, and I started to scream. I wanted to be let out of the darkness." It wasn't until a close friend pointed out the random outbursts were more than just grief, Jenifer decided to seek professional counseling. Being in denial is a major setback in getting treatment, because most people with the illness, find it hard to accept that there is a problem. This often leads to damaged relationships, poor job or school performance, suicide, and self-medication. The actress admitted to drinking heavily as a college student, and described the behavior, as a "byproduct of the uncontrollable emotions bipolar people suffer." Luckily she recovered and discovered a healthier approach to live with her diagnosis. "When you are depressed, you don’t want to see people. You don’t want to see light. Now, I wake up I purposely, put a smile on my face, open up the curtains and blinds to let light in. To be the light, you have to see the light. That’s why I am healthy," Jenifer explained. Although she still requires therapy and medication, the actress chooses to live in the moment, and just want to be healthy, happy, and free. The biggest take-away from the experience for her is, "for those who are also living with mental illness, another key ingredient that goes hand-in-hand with therapy and medication is self-love." We hope sharing her story will inspire young people to overcome their mental health challenges like Jenifer did. #BeatYourBlues #saveourgirls #blackish #blackgirlmagic #browngirls #blackgirlpower #blackwomen #blackgirls #womenofcolor #browngirlsrock #blackgirlsrock #dmvgirls #griefsupport #dmvwomen #dcmillennials #mentalhealth #blackmillennials #dmvladies #blackwomenrock #blackmentalhealth #blackmindsmatter #girlempowerment #mentalhealthmonth #womensmentalhealth