It almost always starts with the smallest annoyance, like an unanswered phone call. My emotions will take off like a runaway freight train. I begin to think about how I feel so alone, how nobody cares about me, and how I wanted to offload some of the words swirling in my brain through banter but of course, people have something better to do and I'm nobody's priority.
This self-pity train ride gathers traction and turns into self-loathing and rage. Anger at some of the decisions I made that landed me here. Anger at my mismanaged life. Anger at myself for being so weak. The anger turns into grief, grief turns into sadness and all of a sudden, the emotions exhaust me and the train starts to slow down. Numbness and indifference take over. At this point I become like a passenger looking outside the window of the slow-moving train, listlessly taking in the scenery. Hence the cycle of my psyche.
I thought I started feeling depressed in my mid-20s when the “love of my life” broke up with me which led to me making some interesting decisions. I moved out of the apartment I was sharing with friends to stay with my married sister and her family, and then I quit my job and decided to try my luck in Southeast Asia. Of course, that did not work out because my head was not in the right space and so every interview was a total disaster. I came back home and decided to stay with my parents for a bit and the first thing my mom said was that they would not be financially responsible for me. I was okay with that because surprisingly that is one resource, I had not run out of but it stung because I would have liked a mommy and daughter moment before we got into all of that.
Recently, I came across my first journal from 2006 when I was in high school just after I had started boarding school. The entries were all addressed to God and it seems like for a few months I tried to keep him duly apprised of all my activities. In quite a few entries I fervently begged Him to send a friend my way and I am happy to say that that prayer was answered and I made 3 lifelong friends- turned into sisters in boarding school. On the other hand, there were some entries where I referred to myself at age 15 as a “depressed freak” and recorded that one of my teachers pulled me aside to check on me because she was worried that I was reserved in class, somewhat anti-social and was always biting my fingernails.
So, what do I do with the realisation that I am a broken vessel that the Potter did not discard but thought would make an avant-garde art piece? Honestly? I do not know. A friend asked what self-actualisation looked like to me and at the time I had no answer and I still don’t. But the curiosity of finding the answer is enough, in the meantime, to make me want to live to fight another day.
Remember you are not alone on this journey called life. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength, and there are various resources and communities available to provide support during challenging times. Whether it's through your local church, support groups, mental health professionals, or helplines, there are people who genuinely care and are willing to assist. You are not alone.
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Edited by Bwalya M Mphuka
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