Maliyah Perry

We have officially launched the athletic department of StayWhole and what better way to celebrate than introducing a new member to the #Swholete Family and sharing her story. Maliyah is a Tampa native, model, poet, and recently just signed to Rollins to continue her basketball career!

We have had many amazing stories from athletes sharing their journey, but I don’t believe we have had a story expressing the toll that the recruiting process takes on them. Maliyah, your story is authentic and I know that their are MANY people who can relate to what you were feeling. You are the true definition of trusting the process and not giving up!!

Lets uplift her on this wonderful accomplishment and commend her on her resilience during her mental health journey! Thank you for sharing your story Queen. You are an inspiration!

The Grind

I’ve dealt with mental health for many years now but it really started when I was a freshman in highschool. I struggle with depression and anxiety everyday. As an athlete, especially, I’ve had to push my mental state to the side many times to perform the way I needed to.I’m sure many people have had to do the same for their jobs or for school and other professions, hobbies, and/or activities. There are some good days but there are a lot of days when I feel like I can’t breathe and the whole world is against me and no matter what I do the feeling won’t go away. I’d just want to cry and sleep my problems away instead of actually facing them and avoid most or all people. I’d feel numb to things that should make me feel happy and bring me joy. My judgement would be clouded and I wouldn’t be able to think and focus. I would get frustrated at myself for feeling like this. Although I still deal with my mental healthI have fortunately learned ways to overcome depression, anxiety, frustrations, etc. and be in a healthier mental state.

Over the years that I have played basketball, I’ve been counted out and underrecurited because I am a smaller sized guard. I would get depressed, doubt myself, and have anxiety because I thought I wasn’t going to succeed or I would let people’s opinions of me affect me negatively. I then learned to change my perspective. It’s a dream and a goal of mine to play division one basketball in college. I was shown interests from division one colleges but was never offered. I was also shown interests from all levels of college basketball and offered by two division two colleges until I recently committed. I would compare myself to other athletes and think that maybe I’m not good enough to play division one basketball and became depressed. I later realized that wasn’t it. Sometimes it’s a matter of being at the right place at the right time and what God has planned on HIS timing. I also learned that just because I’m not playing division basketball when I envisioned I would doesn’t mean it’s still not in God’s plan for me or makes me any less of an athlete than another. I learned to never compare myself to another person because my journey and my purpose is unique to me. I am meant to inspire which means that my journey won’t be at all easy. Whether you’re a division one, two, three, juco, or NAIA athlete, be blessed but still strive for the goals you’ve set for yourself. Not many people get the opportunity to continue to play the sport they love. I’ve recently been blessed to commit to Rollins College to continue to play the sport I love and further my education. It was a long and hard journey and I know it isn’t over and doesn’t get any easier but I am grateful for the person I have become and am becoming and for the things I have accomplished including mentally. To me, the hardest battle I’ve ever had, and continue to have, is with my mind. No one knows the battle you have mentally on a daily except you. Keep fighting.

Mental health is very important and a serious issue that needs more awareness. Many people struggle with mental health even if they haven’t been professionally diagnosed. Sometimes therapists and doctors are quick to diagnose and prescribe medication instead of actually helping figure out why a person is struggling with their mental health. I think it’s important to find other coping mechanisms.

Many people are also not always comfortable with being vulnerable about sharing their mental health or sometimes people don’t know what is going on in their minds so it is difficult for them to express it. That is something I struggle with as well. Sometimes when I try to explain how I feel and what is going on I’m not able to because the words just seem to scrabble. It can be frustrating for me, and even for other people as well, when other people don’t understand, or I feel judged, or when I get told what to feel and what not to feel. It’s just as important for people to learn how to help and respond to people dealing with depression, anxiety, stress, etc. Mental health is not easy to maintain and can affect anyone at anytime. Mental health isn’t something we should be passive about or take lightly.

“Self Care, Im treatin’ me right”

What are some things you do for your self-care?

Pray, drink water, skin/hair care routine, showers, write poetry, listen to music or sounds that relaxes me, read books, watch my favorite movie, meditate, go to places that make me feel balanced, look for objects/people/places that inspire me, do my makeup and put on an outfit I look good in, spend time alone, spend time with my family or friends.

The Countdown

8. I’m from California but moved to Florida when I was 5.

7. My greatest accomplishment so far has been my commitment to Rollins College to further my education and play basketball

6. I plan to major in communications

5.I am an aspiring model

4. I write poetry and hope to become a published author one day

3. I’ve been playing basketball since I was 5

2. I don’t want to have only one career, I want to tap into different careers/industries.

1. I am black and filipina

Social Media Handles

Twitter: Maliyahcharisse

Instagram: Maliyahcharisse

YouTube: Maliyah Charisse

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  1. Alex

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