Day 14: Depression In Pregnancy

I was miserable from the very day I found out I was pregnant.  I was at my oldest sister’s place for the weekend and after telling her I had missed my period we decided to do the next best thing.  I think I took the pregnancy test close to 10 times before accepting that I was pregnant.  I remember the day like it was yesterday.  I later went to see the general doctor and I was informed that I was nearly a month pregnant.  The water works that followed continued till months after I gave birth, it was a disaster.

86710ba129100a3c2a7f624d8d924c05.jpg

Image from Pinterest

Imagine going through pregnancy with someone who keeps telling you that he doesn’t want you but the child you are carrying.  That’s what I had to endure for a whole 9 months.  I never got any special treatment, we were together yes but if I am very honest I with myself I went through everything on my own.  I went for doctors appointments on my own, I didn’t have any maternity wear, I didn’t get any back or foot rubs, I didn’t even get any pregnancy photo shoots like the ones I see when I go through photos of people that are expecting and I spent most of my days alone because the father of my child worked out of town and I only saw him on weekends when he came home.  I wasn’t going to work at the time and didn’t have any money to indulge on my cravings but thankfully food wise I loved traditional food so my mother would send through different fruits and vegetables as often as she could.  I was a moving body of hormones and I cried almost every single day.  This is round about the time I asked my Doctor friend if slitting my wrists would lead to instant death…  I didn’t realise it then but I was depressed and what was happening inside me was only magnified by what was going on in a relationship where I was clearly unloved.

My little girl was born on the 17th of September.  You would think it would be the happiest day of my life right? I cried for hours after I found out that I had given birth to a baby girl.  I thought to myself, she is going to experience what life as a black woman is like, go through all the sorts of unimaginable mental issues because to be honest being a woman and a black woman for that is not easy.

Back home with a new born baby life was difficult.  I was trying to figure out what was wrong and boy did she cry.  She cried all the time and so did I.  I didn’t leave the house for nearly 2 weeks.  I never used to cook for myself and lived on juice and water.  The only time I got up was to go and wash my daughter’s clothes, give her a bath and take care of her every need.  I remember I never used to sleep much the first few days because I was scared I would fall asleep and roll over her and suffocate her in her sleep.  It was all too much to take in.  My cousin came to visit a few weeks later and found me in bed with my daughter, curtains closed the house an absolute mess and she couldn’t believe how much weight I had lost.  For someone who had recently given birth I had lost close to 15kgs.  She took over and only then did I finally give myself a proper bath, change into decent clothes and took a walk outside for the first time after giving birth.  She was heaven sent!  She stayed with me for nearly a month until I was back on my feet again and functioning normally.

I didn’t go through depression only.  I went through pre and post natal depression!  Those who have gone through pregnancy know that pregnancy alone is already overwhelming now couple that with depression.

7533e543762475dacf113d149967c7c6.jpg

Image from Pinterest

It was a rough journey for me and this is the major reason why I don’t want to get pregnant again.  I don’t want to go through it with someone who doesn’t want to be completely involved in the process.  I want to be with someone who will pamper and baby me throughout the entire time.  Pregnancy is a miracle on it’s own and should be celebrated with love not sadness.  The image above shows what I want if ever I get to decide on having another baby.  It has to be all or nothing at all.  A man who will adore both me and the child I will be carrying will make pregnancy feel like a dream.

In our culture depression is not recognised and unfortunately for me I only got to find out that’s what I was going through then years after the incident.  Perhaps if I had known earlier I could have taken steps to better my situation?  I will never know…

Researchers say that some of the triggers of depression during pregnancy include:

  • Relationship problems
  • Family or personal history of depression
  • Stressful life events
  • History of abuse or trauma
  • Previous pregnancy loss

Mental health is something that our culture needs to start acknowledging because it affects men, women, children alike and the more we ignore it the more people go through difficult situations without having anyone to turn to.  My advice to women in unhealthy relationships is first talk things through to find a compromise but if all else fails it’s perfectly fine to leave.  Your emotional well being is one of the most important aspects in your life that needs to be handled with tender loving care.

Set Fire To The Rain by Adele played throughout the time I was in labour, a whole 17 hours of it!

Thankfully my experience with pre and post natal depression is all in the past now and I’m healthy, happy and living my best life!

Have you experienced depression before, if yes how did you deal with it?

©MaKupsy 2017

Advertisements

Day 6: Women Creative Wednesday – RuTendo DeNise

Today is Day 6 of the #30DayAfriBlogger Challenge and the theme is to write about your experience at a event or restaurant.  I wrote this piece last year on the 1st of December and everything in here still applies today.  Read and enjoy, this event changed my life!

I love all things creative and when I got an invite from Lo to attend an event at Moto Republik I was thrilled.  They have a do they have every month they titled #WCW (Women Creative Wednesday) Women Creative Wednesday is an intimate presentation & discussion platform focused on introducing and educating young women on careers in the creative industry as well as connecting them to mentors and peers within the sector.  For the month of November their feature was Rutendo Denise who is a Zimbabwean performance poet, writer, model and social media success story.  

Lo was hosting the discussion and I clearly remember her saying that in Africa, the moment you tell your family that you want to pursue a career in the Creative Industry they go wide eyed and ask questions like “You want to get paid to Tweet?”  So funny!

I normally live Tweet when I attend events but this one was too intimate I had to give it my full attention and I was mind blown by the things that Rutendo shared with us.

0dde182e-6c64-46ba-94c8-fc2f4e5d2cb1.jpg
Rutendo touched on so many different issues ranging from drug abuse, suicide, friendship, creativity…it was a mixed bag that left you thinking long and hard about your own life.  I took my “goals” notebook with me and I had nearly 4 pages full of information and trust me years from today I will look back at these nuggets and thank myself for attending this do because information like this rarely ever comes your way.  I will give you some of the information not all that way you guys will attend events next time you hear about them.

Hello

A hello goes a really long way.  People get really “cliquey” when they arrive at events and miss out on opportunities to meet contacts they might need in the future.  When I arrived I remember Rutendo asked us which music albums we were each currently listening to just to break the ice and it got everyone talking.  Later on during the discussion she mentioned that the reason she had asked us about music was because she was nervous and trying to find a way to get us chatting.  She emphasised how a hello can go a very long way because after everyone introduced themselves we had a Blogger, Artist, Chef, App Developer, Journalist, Fitness Consultant, MC & Poet all in one room.  Now imagine if we hadn’t said hello.

Own Your Story

f8a345be-f560-4155-9a88-a7fc4e67c1c9

Above is a screenshot from one of the stories from one of her followers that she shared.  You have to be comfortable with what you have been through.  You will stop yourself from being great because of your past.  You know that feeling of constantly thinking you can’t do certain things because people will then walk up to you and say but we heard you once did a,b,c…  Rutendo has a “#Testimony Time series” on her Instagram where she shares stories of the things that have happened to her that most people are not comfortable talking about.  This has opened doors for other people to also share their stories as well.  We are all going through the most and she has done a great job of getting people to speak up, sometimes that’s all you need, someone who will listen.

Growth

We are all seeds that need to be nurtured. This time next year you will not be the same person.  You will have to put in the work if you want to see results.  Push yourself and strive for excellence.  We have all been given time so make sure you make the most of it doing the best of what you love.  There is no time for mediocrity.

This was an experience that was worth every minute of my time.  You know how you attend something and you keep looking at your watch wondering when you will be put out of your misery?  Not with this one.  This experience was engaging and informative. My passion lies in the creative industry and getting to have time to have one on one dialogue with someone who is in it and doing exceedingly well is something you don’t get to do everyday.  I want to look back a year from today and tick all the nuggets in my “goals” book and send Rutendo a very long email telling her how I smashed all of my goals and I am finally doing the things that fire my soul full time.

9a755601-3bab-4f6a-8344-cdf74657f9cf

Artist, Blogger, Chef, App Developer, Journalist, Fitness Consultant, MC, Poet, Plus Size Model a mixed bag of creatives all in one room

Without a willing heart, fighting spirit, discernment and the constant pursuit of personal excellence, you won’t achieve or amount to much. .R.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

771865f70b9a25d75b11f138b4161e54.jpg

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.

e84cdd9c515cc8b217ca80d61f9cb63d.jpg

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

Say Yes To Body Positivity!

Self-love is a characteristic some people in our culture fail to identify with.  We are raised to have limitations and not be the best versions of ourselves.  Often times we get into unhealthy relationships because of lack of self-love and we tolerate toxic behaviour which leaves us more damaged that before.

The other day we spoke about body shaming and one of the participants in the group shared her story which I feel a lot of people will relate to.  Have a read and share with anyone you think might benefit from this inspirational story.

Not so many years ago I weighed a whopping 120kgs and I wore size 44-46.  To be honest I was comfortable with my weight. My closest relatives actually complimented me on how “healthy” and “well kept” I was.  I actually thought being that fat was a sign to the world that I was fine and dandy.  I would eat any and everything and I would sit on the couch and eat a whole chocolate slab, packet of crisps and gulp down and entire bottle of red wine while I watched TV or read a book.  Exercise was something I would watch on TV and something I never got actively involved in.

body positive.jpg

I got a rude awakening from my unhealthy eating ways when I found out that the man of my dreams had gone on to marry someone else on the exact same day he was meant to pay lobola for me.  I found out he had been dating my “skinny” friend and it had been happening for a while and I had never suspected it, the betrayal and the heartache were beyond comprehension!!  This whole time I was being a couch potato the man of my dreams was making other plans that didn’t involve me, life changing plans for that matter!  I decided to seek advice from the people who knew us and the people who were close to us and I was shocked and disgusted by the responses I got. Let me tell you the five top responses that made me hate my body and feel disgusted by who I was and who I had become;

  1. Aigodii nekufuta kwawakaita?” (What was he supposed to do with the way you are so fat?)
  2. “Honey, the way you are looking like a 40 year old and yet you are only 25years old is unbecoming”
  3. “I am so sorry but what did you expect look at your friend she is skinny, beautiful and fit and she is light skinned.”
  4. “I am so sorry about what you are going through but I think you are to blame I mean you are fatter than his own mother, he went to what was attractive.”
  5. “You need to lose weight. If you were skinny like his now wife I am sure he wouldn’t have strayed but her body compared to yours there was no chance you would keep him, hauna kana shape.  (You are shapeless)
45eeaa4b-0821-48f0-a1cb-ff297b6a1831.jpg

at 120kgs

Those were the harshest and most cruel things anyone had ever told me and what made it worse was the realization that in their heart of hearts all these people had thought this but never said anything about it.  I probably would have taken offence if they had but real friends would have said something about my sky rocketing weight.  Those words coupled with heartbreak drove to a state of self-disgust and I hated my body and food.  I blamed those two things for letting me not see that my man was losing interest in me and making plans to be with someone else.

I wished I could exchange bodies it seemed all the women I saw were slimmer and prettier.  Suicidal thoughtsyes I got them because to me there was nothing worse that the world seeing you as fat and ugly.  Couple that with everyone knowing that the man thought was for keeps had left you for a “slimmer” and “prettier” woman.  Thankfully, I couldn’t get myself to follow through my suicidal thoughts because I had two little angels who looked up to me and I couldn’t imagine leaving them.  Instead I decided to diet and lose weight but when I started my weight loss journey my reason was to win my man back, I wanted to be pretty for him and I thought he would love me again if I was “slim and pretty like her” and we would get back together and get married and our fairy tale life would continue as we had both imagined it.

And so my weight-loss journey began.  I gave myself a couple of weight loss rules that I was certain would work.

  • Eat as little I you can
  • Exercise for 8 hours a day
  • I have to match “her” weight or maybe lose a few more kilograms then I will be “pretty”
  • I will have to do all this within 90 days

I would eat practically nothing the whole day.  On an average day I would have 2 slices of brown bread and a lot of water the WHOLE DAY.  I would go to the gym from 5am to 9am and again from 5pm to 9pm and I would push myself harder and further each day till I go to a point where all I would eat in a day would be chewing gum when I felt hungry and water.

The weight dropped.  Within 3 months I had lost close to 70 kilograms but unfortunately I had also developed ulcers, acid re-flux and insomnia to name but a few.  My skin changed colour and even my hair grew thin and just when I thought people would compliment me they started saying I was sick and maybe I had HIV.  I clearly was not doing something right because even after all these efforts my man has still not come back to me.  I decided to lose more weight pushed myself to lose more. I think I had gotten to point of being anorexic because eating any food was no longer a part of my life.

83aa22b0-b03f-44c7-8741-3295d1db89bb.jpg

at 50kgs

An angel of mercy came to my rescue.  She had seen my transformation and had heard me break down in my room so many times so she sat me down and offered a few pointers.  I remember her advice like she told it to me just yesterday.

No matter how much weight I lost I would never feel beautiful unless I was beautiful to myself first.  Beauty comes from within and with me and then radiates on the outside for everyone to see.  Beauty did not have to be physical alone but both inside and out.

This got me thinking…

Yes I loved my ex boyfriend but for the right love to find me I had to love me first before anyone else could love me.  I had to be my first love and just because we did not work out it does not mean there isn’t a prince waiting for me out there.

 Weight loss and health work hand in hand. I had to take care of my body for it to take care of me. I had to lose weight in a healthy manner so as to avoid skin and stomach issues that I had developed as well as to curb the insomnia (the insomnia had got so bad I couldn’t concentrate at work and I got fired).

Being healthy and being mentally stable work hand in hand, if I am mentally stable I am able to deal with issues that come my way better.

My world and my actions should not be swayed or centered around what people will say about me or about my circumstances but it should be centered about what I feel is right and what I know I should do.

I had to find a way of dealing with my pains, ups and down besides turning to food or to the gym and I chose to keep a journal. That way I could separate issues and still eat healthy and love myself.

After the talk it took me a while to start eating again and to go to the gym.  I now work exercise for a maximum of 2 hours a day and I feed myself with positive affirmations each day.  I got over my ex boyfriend and I moved on. I became my first love and I taught myself to be able to separate issues and deal with them in a healthy and progressive manner. Today I weigh 89kgs (I am definitely not going back to tripledigits on the scale) I am exercising, I have a new job and I LOVE MY BODY SOOOO MUCH. I want to lose weight for me because I want to be healthy and I am doing it in a healthy way this time around.

My new rules of losing weight now are;

  1. Eat a maximum of 5 small meals a day
  2. Watch my portions
  3. Incorporate more vegetables in my meals and less carbs
  4. WATER, WATER and MORE WATER
  5. Run, skip and go to the gym
  6. Prayer and meditation for my soul
  7. Join group of other people that are in the same weightless journey as me for motivation(#RunWithFitnessBae)
  8. When I am not okay I write it down in my journal
507ee279-a8b0-4659-a351-c93d7246a664.jpg

at 89kgs

You gain weight gradually and you will certainly lose it gradually.  Weight loss is a journey and not an event.  It takes hard work, determination and perseverance!

Have you gone through body image issues in the past?  If yes, how did you deal with them, if not, how have you helped those around you to love themselves both inside and out.

Fitness Bae®