Being Mary Jane: Black Women, Anxiety and Suicide

It’s 2am. And I’m awake. Not because I’m having fun partying. Not because I’m up working. Not because I’m on #TeamNoSleep. I’m awake because I’m not okay.

 Watching the latest episode of BET’s Being Mary Jane really resonated with me. Mary Jane Paul wears many hats. Many that I won’t be able to even tell. Similar to my life. She’s a black woman in America. She’s a daughter. She’s an ATM for her family. She’s a single woman. She’s a best friend. She’s a socialite. She’s a public figure. She’s a liar. Like each and every one of us.



On this particular episode Mary Jane is already suffering from keeping her job as a Prime Time TV News Anchor. She’s suffering holding on to that job because the network is tired of her black face.

Mary Jane also receives news that a loved one committed suicide. Sadly, this loved ones death, on the outside looked like a beautiful death. She showered. She clothed in a beautiful gown. She laid in her neat bed.

She then drank. And took pills. And drank some more. She drank until she died.

Her outside no longer looked beautiful. The foam exuding from her mouth released pain.

Mary Jane holds pain. We all hold pain. Some of us are here to talk about it. Some of us aren’t. We all are guilty. I always tease a close friend of mine because when someone asks her how she is, she has no problem telling someone she is tired, stressed, hungry, broke, etc. She also isn’t on social media.

Today we yearn to post a selfie for the world to like. Yet the world doesn’t know that you can barely pay that phone bill that you’re snapping photos with. The world doesn’t know behind that smile, you’re fighting from crying. The world doesn’t know you are not okay. The world doesn’t know that the smile is temporary due to a temporary desire. That desire could be alcohol, marijuana, pills, someone’s spouse, a credit card you can’t afford to pay off. But we yearn to tell the world we are okay when we aren’t.

Suicide is very prevalent. Depression is one of the leading causes. Being exposed to depression as a child, I know how it can affect you and your loved ones. Depression makes you act like someone else.

Instead of allowing depression consume you, get help. If someone makes you think a therapist is a mistake, you made the mistake of listening to their opinion. I’ve went to therapy for a year for Post Traumatic Stress. And honestly I could use more sessions. I’ll admit that. I’ll admit my truth.

We repost these memes of “Team No Sleep” but are surprised when someone becomes sick due to sleep deprivation.

We repost memes of “Relationship Goals” and fall easily for lustful desires that lead us closer to pain than happiness.

I could go on forever. But…

It’s 2am. And I’m awake. Not because I’m having fun partying. Not because I’m up working. Not because I’m on #TeamNoSleep. I’m awake because I’m not okay.

I’m a young black woman in America.

I’m a single mother.

I’m fighting against being America’a statistic.

I’m a college student.

I yearn to be a socialite and stay true to myself.

I’ve suffered PTSD.

I’m a Christian.

I’m a Christian in 2015.

I’m a millennial with respect to traditional habits.

I’m a blogger.

I’m a brand.

I’m a entrepreneur.

I’m a single woman.

I yearn for many things.

And right now I’m yearning for us to be honest.

Are you okay?

Are you truly okay?

If you are, ask someone else. And offer a way to help, regardless of how large or little.

That is community.

I could go on for hours. But I won’t. Because it’s 2am. It’s 2am and I’m awake.

Not because I’m having fun partying. Not because I’m up working. Not because I’m on #TeamNoSleep. I’m awake because I’m not okay with us killing ourselves due to lying to everyone else.

If you need a therapist or have suicudal thoughts please contact:

For St. Louis residents:

Community Psychological Service | 232 Stadler Hall

One University Boulevard | St. Louis, MO 63121

Phone: 314-516-5824 | Fax: 314-516-5347

For U. S. Citizens:

1 (800) 273-8255 National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Hours: 24 hours, 7 days a week

Languages: English, Spanish


Watch the latest episode here 

4 thoughts on “Being Mary Jane: Black Women, Anxiety and Suicide

  1. Shia says:

    If we all stop pretending to live perfect lives, there will be no need to hide truths. Whether it’s within family, friends or the imaginary world of social media, life needs to be less judgemental and more supportive. Honesty and empathy are key to ending bullying, depression, suicide and so on…

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