My Battle With Suicidal Thoughts

In our African Culture suicide is something people don’t openly talk about.  I would like to believe there are people who have gone through what I used to go through but never told a soul or perhaps went on to carry out the act of suicide because they had no one else to turn to.  This is not an easy post for me to write because I know it will open old wounds and raise eyebrows but I feel it’s a story that needs to be shared and hopefully help someone who is probably contemplating suicide.

I have three close friends and I have told them about my battle with suicide thoughts.  It wasn’t something I just woke up one morning and decided to share with them; I had to make sure I could trust them with my dark side and have confidence that they would not ridicule me…I have always been a neat freak.  The state of my house reflects the thoughts in my head.  If I am in a happy and healthy space my house is sparkling clean.  If I am upset and overwhelmed then as you can expect my house will be an actual mess.

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Image from Pinterest

However, there was a time being a neat freak was not only about keeping my house clean.  It was my way of preparing to leave.  Why was I sticking around anyway, no one loved me, no one cared about me or believed in me so what wast the point of it all?  I thought to myself if I finally decide to end my life then at least people should come to a clean house and pack my things away without a hassle.

This happened to me for months on end. I would think about how I was going to go about it.  I walk to work and I cross a very busy street.  Some days I would contemplate throwing myself right in front of an oncoming car, other days I would think of jumping off from an office building and on the worst days I would think of getting run over by a train.  The one time I even asked my doctor friend if slitting my wrists would kill me.  I obviously asked in a round about way and when he told me it would send me straight to my death bed I had one more method to add to my list.  What made all these thoughts more real was all the suicide incidents that I would read about in the paper every other day and I would think to myself, why not; this will definitely end all my misery!  I was in a very dark space and what fueled these suicide thoughts were the obstacles that I kept facing; (heartbreak, unfulfilled dreams, low self esteem, no life purpose).  

The thing about suicidal thoughts is that you can’t go around telling people that’s what’s going on in your head incase they might think you have lost your marbles.  You will be fighting demons that you can’t see but can feel at every waking moment.  I had an injured soul and I took to many devices to try and cure it with no luck.  My friend used to complain about my “mood swings” not realising that they had more to do with my thoughts more than anyone in particular.  I could go for weeks, months on end without wanting to speak to her and some of my friends.  I just wanted to be left alone.  I withdrew from social media platforms, I even stopped going out but took to drinking alcohol instead to numb my thoughts.

From my experience suicidal thoughts come with depression which is unfortunately not acknowledged in our culture.  Tell most people that you are depressed and they will tell you to get over it.  I know you are reading this probably asking yourself why I didn’t talk to anyone about what I was going through.  Well, I did actually but I didn’t tell them the full details. What I got in return was “It’s a phase it will pass.”  Unfortunately this phase stuck with me from College days till just a few years ago when the suicidal thoughts finally left and set me free.

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Image from Pinterest

I would be lying if I tried to give you a formula on how to get rid of that heavy feeling you feel around your chest.  The thoughts of how you are worthless and how you are not serving any purpose on this earth.  The thoughts that suicide will make things right for you.  I don’t have that because for me I just woke up one morning and the dark cloud that had been hovering above me was gone.  I think whatever it was realised that it was putting me through unnecessary pain because with each day I was becoming more and more disinterested in life and I could hardly recognise myself.

Suicide is real.  I have seen friends take their lives over a heartbreak, people throw themselves off a building because of financial stress and wives burn themselves to death after finding out about their husband’s infidelity.  Before I experienced suicidal thoughts I mocked them and thought to myself who in their right minds would end their lives over things that could be fixed? I hadn’t walked in their shoes and it was easy for me to judge them.  I didn’t know that sometimes the thoughts in your head can be so bad you have to find a way to run away from them and suicide may be the only way out.  Now I understand that some people, me included will go through and have gone through some dark phases in their lives and unfortunately for some they will not live to tell their story but for the lucky few you get a chance at life again.

I am thankful that I never went through any attempt to commit suicide.  It all ended in my head.  Had I gone through with it I would have never had the chance to see my beautiful little girl.  I would have not seen how much of a positive and determined individual I have become and I would not have had the chance to write this and share this with you.

I am generally a bubbly individual. I have great days and not so great ones but my life experience so far has made me realise that we are all going through something.  It’s easy for us to forget to be kind to the next person but if you can be good to those around you.  You never know the difference your encouraging words or smile can alter their entire day.  Your positive energy may the the one reason they won’t go ahead and commit suicide.

In most cases of suicide a person doesn’t want to die they just want to stop the pain.

©MaKupsy 2017

Album Review : While I Was Away (Prayersoul)

Music is the art of thinking with sounds. – Jules Combarieu

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Prayersoul

I had made one too many promises to attend one of Prayersoul’s events but last Friday I told myself that come what may I was going to go and watch his live performance.  The venue was well laid out with a comfortable sitting area, drinks that were reasonably priced and a bonfire to keep us warm because winter nights are not being very friendly at the moment. (well thought out if you ask me) Prayersoul was interactive with the intimate crowd throughout his performance.  That makes a world of difference because not only did he get to play his music he also took time to share his story with his biggest fans.  I found that to be one of the outstanding things about the whole show.  I got myself a copy of his new album While I Was Away and I could not wait to get home and have a listen.  Attending this do was my highlight of the week, I didn’t regret it at all.  It was a beautiful experience and you should have been there!

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While I Was Away is Prayersoul’s Second Album.  The NeoSoul musician released his 10 Track album early this year.  The album genre is mainly NeoSoul but it has a blend of a lot of African Nuances in percussion, guitars, rhythm, and vernacular lyrics in most songs but clearly all soulful.  I listened to his album all weekend long and I must say, I was not disappointed.

I already have not one but four favourite tracks from his album and you should have a listen.

Track 3: Uxolo

This was a pleasant surprise.  I didn’t realise that Prayersoul was a Bulawayo boy! Nothing wins me as much as listening in to music that has vernacular lyrics.  English is alright no doubt but vernacular always brings the message home.  In this track he sings about forgiveness.

Track 4 : Million Reasons

My mind went back in time.  It reminded me of the days when love was honest, pure, no games and you were not afraid to be vulnerable.  Remember that time you could sit down with your partner and count the many ways why they meant the world to you?  We are now living in times where you have to extremely guard your heart because you have no idea what the next person’s intentions are.  This is something a lot of people can relate to, when you get your hands on his album make sure this is one of the first tracks you listen to.

Track 5: Go

Screaming!!! The moment I listened to this my mind went straight to Zumba.  It has a Samba feel to it.  I have added it to my running playlist.  I already have a mental image of what the music video would look like.  Women in short dresses, men in tight pants and shirts unbuttoned down to reveal their chests, everyone sweating from all the dancing, smokey room by the beach and some men seated and enjoying the music while smoking some cigars!!  It will be a great setup to go with this track that was clearly made for dancing.

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Prayersoul

After listening to this album one three many times and obviously annoying the heck out of my neighbours I finally got a chance to read through his shout outs.  What pulled at my heart strings was his last shout out that he gave to his wife, Nadine.  You know how they say you always save the best for last…It is beautiful to watch couples celebrate and support each other especially on a creative journey that a lot of people do not understand.

Thanks to attending his live show I got to find out a few things I didn’t know about Prayersoul.

  • He writes his own songs.
  • His favourite social media space is Facebook.
  • He was born in Bulawayo.
  • He moved to Masvingo for High School and University education.
  • He plays a little bit of bass guitar and a bit of piano.
  • He has a BSc in Social Sciences.  When he was looking for a job he would occasionally perform and he started getting calls for his performances.  He never got a call for any of the CVs for his Degree.  He started getting paid for his performances and that became his job.
  • He facilitates for guitar lessons for age groups starting 4.5 years to as old as possible, watch his social media for details.
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Prayersoul & MaKupsy 🙂

Upcoming Events…

Look out for promo events featuring Prayersoul at Chez Zandi , Organiks and a couple of Prayersoul launch concerts and these are mainly to connect with his fans before he travels out of the country.

You can keep in touch on any of his social media pages:

  1. Facebook
  2. Instagram
  3. Twitter
  4. www.prayersoul.com
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my signed copy 🙂 USD5

This is my first album review and I can safely rate 8 out of 10 for While I Was Away.   You have to do yourself a favour and attend one of his events, his live performances are captivating.  You know I always recommend quality things and this album will be worth your money, trust me.  If you are looking for an album that will soothe your soul and take you to a happy place then you’re in luck!  Prayersoul is a talented man and I wish him all the beautiful things on his creative journey.  Keep making soulful music Mr Soul!

 

Prayersoul says the best advice he ever got when he was starting out on his journey was that you need to find out what makes you unique because everyone else is already doing the same thing that you are doing.  Find your Africanness! 

©MaKupsy 2017

One Zimbabwe #ThisFlag

The Story Of One Man Who Changed A Nation With A Bible, Flag & A Smartphone BaeZel

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The first time I heard about Pastor Evan was when I heard him on radio.  You can listen in here.  I just sat on my bed and thought to myself, WOW, this man is saying nothing but the truth.  He talked about all the issues in our country that we are too afraid to speak out on.  This was nearly two months ago and since then there have been a series of events that led to yesterday.  My heart would not let me simply sit at home and do nothing, tweeting did not feel like it was enough so I dressed up and went to join the crowd outside the court.  I was part of the crowd in the evening at Rotten Row Court and the experience there was indescribable.  Never have I seen so many people in one place joined together for one cause and that was to free #PastorEvan.  Black, White, Indian, Coloured all races were there; the diversity was overwhelming!  This will surely go down in the history of Zimbabwe!!!!  People in almost every part of the world were praying and doing any and everything to spread the word.  Social Media is indeed a powerful tool; a wildfire.  The hashtag that was and still is trending is #ThisFlag “#ThisFlag movement’s goal was to “get as many citizens as possible involved in nation-building”.  I tweeted and asked if anyone wanted to feature on my blog today and Mako came through.  This is her story…

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It’s hard to put into the words, the thoughts and emotions I’m experiencing. As a writer, this is both surprising and frustrating – I’m trained to use words as my weapon but words yesterday failed me. That’s what tends to happen when I write about my country. I experience a torrent of emotions that leave me unable to type a thing. However, reflection is a beautiful gift. Sleep and a short break from social media has afforded me time to look back at everything that has happened.

The first time I saw Pastor Evan Mawarire’s very first video, I got chills. The last time someone had dared to speak up, he had been dragged away, never to return. As I sat in my room in a university far away from home, I felt as if he was speaking to me. His struggles were my struggles. His frustration was my frustration. And it felt so good to hear someone say what many of us felt and experienced. It felt empowering to hear him say that our hardship was real and oppressive.  And when I saw the flag around his neck I was reminded of who I was. I am a Zimbabwean, and it’s my duty to do what I can to break the culture of fear and silence.

The stereotype that Zimbabweans are ‘passive’ or ‘lazy’ is a misconception that I have always loathed.  We were not passive when Mbuya Nehanda happily danced and sang to her death knowing that the fight would continue.  We were not passive when young boys and girls left school, crossing the border to join the fight for freedom.  We were not passive when people nationwide stayed at home on 6 July in protest against a system that seems to go out of its way to make life a living hell. We were not passive when we rallied together in support to help free a man that we all know did nothing wrong.  We are determined, hardworking and fiercely patriotic people.  When we rise to the challenge, we do not back down.  Yesterday serves as proof of our perseverance.

The news of Mawarire being called in for questioning made my heart drop. I remembered others whose voices were muted: Itai Dzamarara, Learnmore Jongwe, people whose names never got to reach the public’s ear. The pessimist in me slumped back in defeat.  It was going to happen again. Another one, gone, disappeared, or dead.  However; I remembered my favourite line from the movie The Prince of Egypt, “though hope is frail, it’s hard to kill.”  That tiny voice inside me beat back against my resignation, telling me not to give into that sense of despair. That night I prayed not just for the good pastor, but for all of us, not to give in, not to run out of steam. Then I set my alarm for 8:30am and slipped into an uneasy sleep.

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Image taken from Twitter

I woke up at 9:30am on 13 July. I scolded myself for being so complacent as to sleep through my alarm. Others had woken up much earlier to go to the courthouse and make their presence known. I’d simply hit the snooze button and wrapped my blankets around me. As I got out of bed I felt an all too familiar pang in my stomach. A sharp stabbing sensation that spread across my tummy and made my knees buckle. My period had arrived, and this was going to be a bad one. I walked bent over like an old woman, each step on the cold floor amplifying the pain in my stomach. I chastised myself again. It meant that I would be rendered immobile, confined to my bed, battling with nausea and dizziness (I get particularly bad periods). But it would not prevent me from doing what I could to support and spread the word. So blanket, painkillers and hot water bottle in tow, I sat and tweeted and retweeted and posted until past midnight.

The day’s momentum was stop and start. I expected that we’d have to do the VPN dance once again, but to my surprise the Internet connection was working just fine. As I sat scrolled through news sites and social media, conflicting stories came in. Evan Mawarire isn’t at the courthouse. Wait, he is! But there’s been a delay. Oh they’re moving it to a secret location. It’ll be at University of Zimbabwe, a move to have the hearing in secret.  No, that’s a lie; it’s still at the courthouse by Rotten Row. The only certainty was the people coming through to support.  With their flags and their voices they stood outside the courthouse, watching and waiting for any news or development. I’m so grateful to all of those people. They represented all of us that day; those that couldn’t come because of distance, those that couldn’t come out of fear and even those who ridiculed and trivialized their efforts.  They showed power and dignity in their loyalty to the country and to the flag, and by keeping the rest of us informed as to what was happening, they provided factual and up-to-date coverage of what was happening.

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And a lot happened… Mawarire’s arrival at the courthouse.  The sight of 100+ Lawyers from the Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers Association showing up and all volunteering to represent the accused, free of charge. The police who stood and watched as their fellow countrymen sang and danced.  For a moment, I felt sorry for these police: many looked like they too wanted to drop their uniforms and join their peers, but they couldn’t.  There were celebrities, businessmen, civil rights activists and politicians that came through and raised their flag in solidarity. It was so beautiful to see everyone together for a common cause. I can’t imagine how it must’ve felt to be part of the gathering at Rotten Row.

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Two announcements symbolized the nadir and zenith of my emotions. The first was the change in charges, from inciting violence and disturbing the peace, to treason and attempting to overthrow the government. I laughed out loud. It was a harsh, joyless laugh. Same old, same old. Even as I felt that familiar resignation creeping in I refused to slump back and accept the injustice. That mental shift wasn’t just reserved for me alone. Many others also refused to simply accept it and walk away. We failed others who spoke up for justice with our silence. We could not let it happen again.

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Then the big news came. HE WAS FREE. The tweet from one of the people on the ground flashed on my screen and I exhaled in shock.  As much as I had fought hard against that nagging doubt, the news of Evan Mawarire’s release stunned me. They had done it. We had done it.  I immediately turned to tell my mother.  She almost dropped the cup of tea in her hand and asked me if I was sure. It was true.  Justice had prevailed.  Pictures and videos of people celebrating outside the courthouse filled my Twitter feed. I drank it all in, inspired, humbled, and proud, so proud. It was an unfamiliar pride, something I can’t quite put into words even now. It was the pride of knowing that, despite everything that had happened to us, we still had a voice. We’d just forgotten about it for a while, but now we’re reclaiming it.

I want to use my voice more. I want to give of myself to my country, my people and my future. I want to play a role in building the kind of Zimbabwe we all want: a prosperous, open, fair society.  To everyone who’s been tweeting, taking photos and videos, hash tagging and reporting these past few months, I salute you. Thank you for reminding me that this flag is for all of us.

Mako

 

 

 

I can’t wait for the day we become a stronger, richer and enthused nation.  A country with better opportunities, a country where no one thinks of relocating and leaving their children and loved ones behind because they are happy and content.  I feel like that day is coming soon though, yesterday proved that together we can make a world of difference.  Thank you to EVERYONE who supported this in each and every way they knew how to. #ThisFlag #PastorEvanIsFREE

 

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Got this photo from his Twitter account @PastorEvanLive , he certainly is a History Maker!!

 

This was the highlight for me yesterday:

@simonallison Judge asks who is representing @PastorEvanLive. 50 lawyers hold up their ID cards. Incredible moment #ThisFlag”

If you were and still are a part of this movement please feel free to share any or all the moments you have experienced through this.  Let’s talk.

Photo Credits : Tino Nyandoro

Blog Credits : Mako also follow her blog on mwanawevhuzim.com

 

MaKupsy

 

 

 

 

 

My Hiking Wish Came True Through AfroFit!

I went hiking for the first time yesterday and had the best time ever!  It was just a few weeks ago when I Tweeted that I had never gone hiking and fate would have it my tweind Linda sent me a link to a hiking do that was going to take place soon.  I got all the details for the hike and started my hiking count down.

Yesterday morning I got up, ran 4km did 100 squats (I’m doing this 100 squats a day challenge for the month of July) took a bath, prepared something to eat and got ready for the main event of the day.

Everyone was supposed to meet at Pomona Food Court by Sam Levy Village at 1:15pm for 1:30pm.  Unfortunately we had to wait for a couple of people and we only got to leave for Domboshava at 3pm. We were also supposed to have gone to a different location but because of something along the lines of non residents weren’t allowed to go through yesterday we had to settle for Domboshava.  Ordinarily I would have been really upset about this.  I mean, after waiting for over an hour and then changing the location unannounced my blog post was going to be about how super annoyed I was yesterday but after the experience I had I can safely say it was worth the wait.

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Wesley giving us brief information about the hike before taking off.

Wesley told us the hike was going to be 2 and half hours in total.  In my head I was like that’s easy, I run 10K in 1 hour so what’s 2 and a half hours of walking.  Boy was I wrong or was I wrong!  To be honest, In my head I thought hiking was a walk in the park where you get to enjoy watching all sorts of scenic views, take nice photos, go up a little mountain or two and basically have a great relaxed day out.  Biggest joke ever!

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Domboshava

There were 15 of us in the group, one tour guide and two instructors with serious energy.  These instructors would run up part of the mountain and come back and we would be panting and feeling like we were having a near death experience!

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It looks like we were taking a leisurely stroll up the mountain but that was actually the hardest part of the whole climb!

 

It was a good kind of feeling though, it took my body to the next level and I also overcame my fear of heights at the same time.

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Those are the two instructors with toooo much energy!

We took breaks every few minutes so that everyone would get a chance to take pictures of the amazing views and to catch our breath.  I for one made sure I didn’t drink any water at all.  I can’t stomach water during a workout I always get cramps so I was not about to get myself feeling all sorts of unwell during such a time.

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There is so much peace and quiet during hiking.  Its such a welcome change from the constant noises from town.  Sometimes all you need is some time out and a chance to inhale some clean air.

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He is the only person I saw who managed to go up that part of the mountain, the rest of us would have failed dismally if we had tried to do this!

 

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Made some new friends along the way.

I actually want to do this again and from what I learnt, they do this every month so they should be sure to count me in each time.  If you want to be a part of this be sure to Like their page on Facebook so that you are always up to date.  The wonderful experience was $5 and that right there is value for your money.  You get to exercise, refresh and network at the same time.

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Group Photo

My camera really takes beautiful pictures if I do say so myself and the sunset photo wasn’t too shabby.

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All in all it was a beautiful day and minus the great test of my physical capabilities I will still do this again.  I am actually surprised that my body is not in any form of pain today.  Maybe it’s all the working out that I do?  I am happy my hiking dream came true, its amazing how the universe keeps answering all my little wishes except the one where I win the lotto.  Something really has to be done about that one!

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What was your weekend all about?  Did you get up to anything exciting and memorable?

For the couples out there, next time you think of something fun to do with your partner this would be a really nice outing and it won’t cost you much.  Instead of downing bottles of alcohol every weekend why not have clean fun for a change, you will love it!

P.S. Someone from the group said they recognised me from blogging and they even knew my blog name!  She said always passes through to read a blog or two.  I was totally wowed, I must be doing this blogging thing right!

MaKupsy