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 nearly a month pregnant.  The water works that followed continued till months after I gave birth, it was a disaster.

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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.

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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

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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