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2020 American Music Awards - Show

Source: Kevin Winter / Getty

Some of us are under the impression that celebrities, with their money, spacious homes, and access to healthcare of all sorts–mental and physical–that they’ve skated through the pandemic with relative ease. But it’s a false assumption. While they may not have had to worry about job loss, the dangers of going to work, thinking about how to stretch a $1200 stimulus check or anything like that, this year affected all of us in one way or another, mentally and psychologically.

On her show addressing issues of mental health, “Peace of Mind with Taraji,” the actress and host shared that earlier this year, she contemplated taking her own life.

“Let me take you there, so during this pandemic it’s been hard on all of us, and I had a moment, I had a dark moment, I was in a dark place, for a couple of days I couldn’t get out of the bed, I didn’t care… that’s not me… then, I started having thoughts about ending it. It happened two nights in a row…and I purchased a gun, not too long ago, and it’s in the safe y’know and I started like…if I could go in there right now and end it all… cause I want it to be over like, but it’s in my head you know? I thought about my son, I said he’s grown, he’ll get over it…you know what I mean, I just didn’t care, I felt myself withdrawing, people were calling me, I wasn’t responding… I didn’t care. 

Taraji shared that she was able to break out of this pattern by simply sharing what she had been experiencing with a close friend–despite the judgement or concern she felt may have accompanied it.

Finally, I am talking to one of my girlfriends and I knew, I was smart enough to say, I have to say it, cause a part of me was ashamed… I don’t want them to think I am crazy, I don’t want them to obsess over me, or think they got to come and sit on me, because this one will [points to Tracie], and so I was like I don’t want to be handicapped and I feel weird. So, one day I just blurted it out to my girlfriend, she called me in the morning, and I was like ‘I thought about killing myself last night…[sighs] oh my god I feel so much better, I’m not going to do it now.’ For me, I’m no professional, but I felt like if I don’t say it then it becomes a plan and what scared me was that I did it two nights in a row and the thoughts kept coming, now I started think about how, at first it was like ‘I don’t want to be here,’ and then I started thinking about going to get the gun and that’s why when I woke up the next morning I blurted it out because I felt like after a while it was going to take over me and it was going to become a plan because that is how strong my brain is. You know our thoughts, they’re that powerful.”

Dr. LaShonda Green, who appeared as the mental health expert on the show, shared that Taraji’s decision to blurt out her feelings proved very helpful.

“It is very normal to feel lonely, to not want to do it anymore, there are so many things that we think that are wrong, that are unhealthy, that are absolutely normal, but when you said it, it was probably a very cathartic moment for you because you took away the shame and you validated, and you normalized it for yourself. Especially now, where people are isolated, cut off, and you don’t have to believe every thought you have.”

You can watch the entire episode in the video below.

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