Jillian Hanesworth

Take Care

I know you feel like ain’t nobody there

I know that you’re a good person and life just ain’t fair

Know you’re surrounded by people and you still feel alone

I know they’re looking at you crazy and you’re too afraid to share

Take care

I know the bills keep piling up

And the bills don’t care that you’re down on your luck

And while you’re trying to stay afloat I know they cut your phone off

And like the straw that broke the camel’s back enough is enough

I know you’re smiling outside but inside you’re in a rut

And at this point you’ll do whatever just to keep your head up

So in the meantime pay attention to what you do for a buck

Cause the trap is a trap and you might get stuck

And you can have everything that the world has to give

But it might still spit you out after chewing you up

So take care

The family problems I see how they get you down

Misunderstood and they still don’t see why you don’t come around

And when you do show up why you don’t make a sound

You won’t even walk around it’s like you’re tethered to the ground

You know somethings wrong but can’t put your finger on it

Holding on to all that pain although you don’t really want it

And even when you try you can’t seem to explain it

So the frustration becomes a box and the goal is to contain it

Place that box up on a shelf and act like it ain’t even there

Cause healing just seems harder than pretending you don’t care

Or admitting that you’re wrong and you need a little help

So you paint on a fake smile and you pretend that you’ve dealt

And that box stays alive in the back of your brain

And it taunts you every moment ‘till you think you’ll go insane

But you don’t

Cause it’s important that they only see you win

Those who only look out sometimes forget to look within

Sometimes we neglect ourselves always trying to lend a hand

So busy trying to be a bridge that we forget to be the land

Ground yourself

Deep breath

What will get you through the day?

Find yourself

Tell your truth

It’s fine not to be okay

Make a plan

Write it plain

Decide what you need to do

Cause it’s a fact that you are good to none if you’re no good to you

So take care

Remember, someone’s there

And trust me you are seen

It may get hard you may get lonely but your grass is still green

The sun shines in your likeness you have no choice but to beam

And when your light is bright pitch black isn’t as dark as it may seem

So take care


Mental Health is a very taboo topic especially in black and brown communities. For so long there has been no space afforded to minority communities to discuss mental health, even though studies show that incidents stemming from racial discrimination and societal oppression cause both PTDS and Depression. Minorities have always fallen victim to that “bootstrap” theory- the idea that working hard can help you overcome anything. This theory that was once forced on minorities has since been adopted by these same communities. Today there are so many minorities, especially minority women who associate mental health with strength even though there is no correlation. Many black and brown people think that the presence of a mental health problem means there must be an absence of strength. And because we traditionally don’t have time, space, or privilege to address these issues, we have learned to navigate society without them, and often time neglecting the need for them. This is why it is so important for artists with platforms, community leaders, and community stakeholders to help dismantle the stigma around mental health. There is nothing wrong with taking care of yourself. The same way we go to the doctor when something is physically wrong, we have to go if something is mentally or emotionally wrong. It doesn’t make you weak, it make you wise. And it helps build a new culture where it’s okay to create and occupy spaces that are designed to help end the stigma. Organizations like Madwomen in the Attic can help create this culture because it creates space for women to shine a light on mental health. It’s not only helpful, but it’s also necessary.

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Jillian Hanesworth was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. She began writing at the age of 7, when she would write songs for her mother to sing in church. She later took a break from writing to peruse educational goals, and worked to obtain a BA in criminal justice and law taking a particular interest in civil rights and restorative justice. In January of 2017, Jillian committed herself to social change through art, thus began her poetry career. Since then, Jillian has performed over 130 times, in Buffalo, NY, NYC, Baltimore, MD, Toronto, and everywhere in between. She has let her passion lead her mission to sustainable change using knowledge gained from both community activists and community organizers.

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