Episode 07: Real as F**k

OP-ED: LET’S ALL GO TO THERAPY

Did you hear that? It was the sound of sh*t hitting the motherf***king fan on Insecure.

You know the sound, the one Issa heard after coming home from the successful fundraising gala she organized that finally got her the recognition from her boss she’d been looking for to Lawrence asking, “who’s Daniel?”

The one ringing in Molly’s ear after Jared closed the door in her face because, like the rest of us, he’s over her hot and cold behavior.

The exact sound may vary, but the feeling remains the same. Whether you’ve cheated, been cheated on, or lived life long enough to hurt or be hurt in general – we all know what it feels like in that moment when good ol’ karma comes to remind you that she’s a petty b*tch that will always have the last laugh. That feeling when you finally reap what your a*s has been sewing out here in these streets, the moment the Mr. Krabs meme becomes a self-portrait. It’s why we panicked when we saw Daniel walk into the party. It’s why we squirmed when Molly and Issa took jabs only besties could land on one another. It’s why we almost cried when we watched the devastation that took place as Lawrence finally got the truth out of Issa. Each of those conflicts were real as f**k, so it’s no wonder that’s what they chose to title the episode.

I can think of a few times I heard that sound in my in own life. From being tried by a co-worker at the office to having a secret coming out in a relationship that left me feeling a bit like Lawrence, the situations all vary, but the sh*t stinks the same every time.

So what do Issa, Molly,  and I all have in common? We all could’ve used a therapist to help us get through (or possibly even avoid) these horrible moments in our life.

Unfortunately, Molly, like a lot of Black people, still follows the Old Testament Black respectability scripture: Thou shalt not discuss thine mental health issues, thou shalt just pretend they don’t exist and/or pray them away. Molly’s compliance to this dangerous principle is evident by how shocked she looked when her old friend Crystal told her she’d used therapy to help turn her life around and how offended she was when Issa hinted (and then later stated plainly) that counseling was something she should look into for herself.

Her disdain toward the practice saddened me because I couldn’t help but think about all the people of color, particularly Black women, who are running around thinking they have to go through life carrying the world on their shoulders with no help because of some made-up notion that we’re all supposed to be above mental health issues. The truth is, just because we weren’t afforded the opportunity to take care of ourselves properly for centuries doesn’t mean we’re above it—it means we need it more than everyone else.

Life is already hard enough without all the microaggressions we have to face in this country, why do we insist on dealing with them alone? I can only imagine what kind of trauma Molly went through while working her way to the top as a lawyer at a leading firm. She wears her ability to code switch and fit in everywhere like a crown but most of us know all too well how exhausting that mess can be. And the heavier Molly’s crown gets, the more the cracks start to show in other aspects of her life. I mean, homegirl is out here dehydrated as hell chasing men away because she desperately searching for someone to cling onto. A therapist could help her see that pattern and figure out what the deeper issue is there.

Then there’s Issa, who was quick to suggest Molly needed therapy but could use some too. A therapist may have been able to help her realize that her dissatisfaction in her relationship would manifest itself in dangerous ways if she kept sweeping things under the rug. One may have suggested she and Lawrence have a real discussion about why she’d emotionally checked out of their relationship in the first place; maybe if they had, they would’ve ended things before Issa betrayed Lawrence’s trust.

And it’s not just the women in this show that could use a therapist. We all saw how quick a couple pep-talks from lil miss bank teller got Lawrence together, imagine how far along he could’ve been if he was meeting with someone to talk through his career struggle regularly. And I’m sure Jared could use someone to talk to about how hard it is to date with the stigma that exists for men who have explored their sexual fluidity and don’t want to lie about it.

I could name a therapy benefit for everyone on this show, and every one reading if I knew you well enough, because I strongly believe we should look at mental health check-ups like we do physicals and dentists appointments, like it’s something everyone needs to check-in on as part of overall health care – because it is. Like, can you imagine how many trust issues could be prevented if we all went to therapy? Drake would have nothing to sing about.

Now, I’m not going to pretend like I came to this realization on my own. Like many I used to carry all the obstacles I was able to soldier through like badges of honor, not realizing they were weighing me down. Thankfully my mother had learned the errors of our ancestral belief that we can do it all on our own and (strongly) suggested I start seeing someone during a particularly rough patch in my life. I was between jobs, going through a breakup – and trying to figure out what was next for me while under all that emotional stress was hard. I was in the middle of what we Christians like to call, a storm. I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel, but I needed an objective party to help me build the road to it. And even though I’ve grown to learn there’s no shame in that, I’m still getting used to sharing it with strangers. Living in New York makes it easier, saying you’re going to therapy here is about as common as saying you’re going to spin class, but it doesn’t outweigh all the years I spent never hearing anyone talk about except in hush tones like Molly. Now it’s one of the highlights of my month. Seriously, beloveds, try it.

The more we talk about therapy, depression, anxiety, and mental health in general, the less stigmatized it will become. I love Insecure for being part of the solution by using its platform to tackle difficult discussions about Blackness. Whether it’s struggling to realize you could benefit from therapy, or the struggle of dating as a successful Black woman, or being mad at the white people you know over gentrification or microaggressions at work – I feel seen as f**k watching Insecure, and I’m so thankful for that.

Share this article: