I Was Depressed.

My father was shot dead a bit over two years ago. That day plays over and over in my mind as if I’d watched everything unfold on a TV screen. It was on a very cold and wet Wednesday evening when I received a call from my not so little sister, asking me to rush to Alexandra Police Station because something had happened to Papa.

Many different scenarios played out in my head as to what might have gone wrong, my Dad was a chronic diabetic and I was expecting to hear that he had been hit by a stroke. He had survived many other diabetes related afflictions and of them all, I dreaded the possibility of a stroke. Would he survive? In fact, Mdala, as we used to call him had been amputated twice before and remembering his survival gave me a glimmer of hope that all might be well. Had I been given the opportunity to choose between death or a stroke for my father, the obvious choice of a stroke would have been embraced with open arms. The choice was not mine to make.

The police station had an eerie energy, I recall feeling a deep sadness overcome me when I arrived. It had been declared a crime scene, very strange, I thought to myself. In that very moment I knew death that the dark cloud of death had visited us as a family. There would be no more opportunities to tell him he was going to be okay, as was the norm whenever illness reared its head. A secret fear that my father would lose his life in the line of duty came to life. It had been with me since I could make sense what it was that my father did to put bread on the table. Falling asleep was extremely difficult whenever he had to work nightshift, anxiety kept me up until I heard the gate open. The time didn’t matter, I needed to hear the gate open so I could be at ease that he had returned home. My father lost his life in the line of duty. Inside a police station, a place of safety.

Anyway

The day of the funeral finally arrived following a week and a half of preparations. I am not particularly comfortable with saying that the events leading up to and after the funeral went well, yet I was at peace with all the proceedings. My father, my hero was sent off like the King that he is. The magnitude of his funeral is a testament to this fact, he was great a man and I am extremely honoured to call him my Father.

All that took place between the time I got the call and the funeral is blurred, I was functioning on reserve energy. To deal with the trauma, I deployed my trusted method of drifting out of my body. This defence mechanism had served me very well over the years, however this time was different. The reality that I was down one parent knocked me out cold. There was a hole in my heart and only my Father could fill it.

Completely bewildered I slipped into a deep depression, life lost all its meaning. His death halted my ability to feel any type of emotion, I lost the ability to love even myself. Depression is extremely intrusive because it exists in a very sacred space, the mind. When it takes over, it allows negative thoughts only. One feels like they’re in a bottomless pit of sadness and anger. Always fighting to be freed from the clutches of anxiety. It places a gagging order on your emotions. It can dent your soul, be careful.

It is most at home behind the loudest person in the room, or even the one with the most amazing smile ever. Those who are concerned with fixing the world are usually crying out loud for some type of help, they are deflecting attention from themselves. Strangely enough, while conducting my superman duties, I developed feelings of bitterness and resentment towards people because it seemed like nobody cared about my wellbeing.

At one stage, I wanted to pull a permanent disappearing act and tap out from a world, which seemed to be brutally cold towards me. It was that bad!! I had to get out of it, there was absolutely no way I was going to participate in my own demise. Not on my father’s grave anyway. My mind had to be changed, and it did.

There is no shortcut out of depression, you must visit the thoughts which have always tormented you and flush them out of your system. On some days the fight does not seem to be worth it, life does not pause and wait for you to deal with yourself. The very mind you’ve used to feed negativity to, must now be nourished with positive thoughts. It is a messy affair, however that the fight to get out is worth it.

As a matter of fact, I am grateful to have worked through my depression because it has placed me in a much better position as a human. It has taught me many great lessons, chief of which is love. Not the romantic type of love, but self-love. I strongly believe that one can only ever truly feel and embrace love from others if they are able to love themselves. And with self-love comes gentleness and a much deeper understanding of people.

My understanding of why numerous folks can succumb to addiction is much clearer now. Addiction and suicide seem to be the only sensible options out of it. Only because it is painful to deal with. For man, it seems as if life is out to get them. Some get it right after what feels like forever, unfortunately for others that day never arrives. A hard truth to accept is that you can never run away from yourself, this is what most people try and do.

What may help those in need, is to put their hand up and ask for help. It is easy to do that, but the choice to do so is difficult. It may surprise you as to how many people are available to listen to your story. To those who have the capacity to listen, just listen, your time is the difference between life and death, literally.

Sebitši.

 

  • Selby Sivuyile
    13th Jul 2017

    … I do not know what to say or write because I have failed to define what I have been feeling lately. Not being able to deal with what you are going through, let alone ask for help (not knowing what’s happening) adds on the frustration, confusion and anger. My cry is not loud enough.

    Thank you very much for the post!

    • Ngakabae Sebitśi
      13th Jul 2017

      Try a different way of crying, also forgive yourself for being human. You cant hold your vulnerably against yourself. Take up your rightful place under the sun.

      • Nofearorfavor
        3rd Oct 2017

        If it is you, who shared the loss of your beloved father with us all, you are very blessed indeed, because you are in touch with your inner self– your real eternal self. I don’t know what I would have done without solitary meditation and walking when I lost my mother. I found being in nature highly therapeutical, but especially meditation energised and enabled me to continue attending my duties… Thank you so much again… I felt so close to my beloved Mama when I was reading it.

    • Cynthia Giyani
      8th Aug 2017

      I was in a dark place for about 2 weeks, failed to understand what was happening to me, cried all the time even to most minute task seems like a mountain. I could not say what was wrong, i didn’t even understand it myself. it took medication to et me back and even with it i had to face what sparked the episode. I now understand going forward i know i have to find a way to deal with my emotions

      • Nofearorfavor
        3rd Oct 2017

        You will, just believe in yourself… If we only knew how unique we all are– like snow flakes… My mother used to say, we sometimes tend to take for granted the beauty of nature around us, the fact that we have a roof over our heads, a bit of food to eat and clothes on our backs– that we are normal and healthy…. all gifts from the Giver, yet do we really, really seek to know the Giver! It left a very deep impression on me … Each one has to travel his/her own road, but sitting in silence on your own for even 15 minutes daily… making the effort to quieten the endless flow of thoughts and consciously relaxing, the effects and benefits from it, are there.. As you said, giving in too much to emotions, can cause havoc… We have all the tools within ourselves to heal ourselves, but we have to remember our energy comes from within — the soul is the generator and the soul is a spark of God’s essence. You sound so young… maybe get an exercise mat and do a bit of yoga stretch… very relaxing for the mind … Bless you little one.

  • Tieho Mamorena Sebuse
    13th Jul 2017

    Thank you for articulating what so many of us are going through, but have no words to fully express the hopelessness that comes with being in a the state of depression.

    • Ngakabae Sebitśi
      13th Jul 2017

      Fight yourself, for yourself it is worth it. Remember that you do not need anybody’s permission to breath. In fact nobody taught how to do it. You are worth more than your depression.

      • Nofearorfavor
        3rd Oct 2017

        It is grace from Above — every breath that we breathe He is with us … every action we perform is His grace. I do not follow any religion, but my mother taught me to spend quiet time within yourself every day, to quieten the mind and completely relaxed just to sit still and listen. I grew up with it and if I miss even one day, I am out of sorts…

  • Asanda Daza
    18th Jul 2017

    Its amazing how you have put my emotions on writing, I battled with depression for many years post my mother’s death. To this day, I can’t say I have fully recovered from it, because I don’t think one ever truly does. However, like you I have learned to love myself, take care of my self and slowly let go of the bitterness. Your piece is truly inspirational.

  • Nofearorfavor
    3rd Oct 2017

    One never forgets a loved one lost– especially not a parent. When I lost my mother, I felt numb– Later on grief hit me and it devastated me for some time. Yes, negativity fills one, but I was helping my husband with a struggling business and simply had to carry on. Broke, my only escape was hitting the road on my own, walking many kilometres without even being aware of it. However, the trees, the shrubs and scents of so many flowers, as well as the song of the birds and the breeze on my face– all these blessings, were like balm to my broken heart. She passed on in 2008 and next year, it will be ten years that she left…

    Yes, for some years it was just pain, as so many things reminded me of her– she’d been my best friend always– so it was very hard, but healing did come. Even now when I’m busy with dinner in the kitchen, I sometimes almost hear her sweet voice asking, “what foodies are you making for us? It smell heavenly!” and it brings warmth and comfort that although I miss her physical nearness– she actually did not die– she only shrugged off her body like an old worn out coat and her spirit took flight. To my mind, who we really are, is eternal, because our souls are the very essence of the Supreme Being– the eternal breath of life.

    When Sebitši described so beautifully above that, “To deal with the trauma, I deployed my trusted method of drifting out of my body.” I felt tears behind my eyes– was astounded, because he’d left his body and entered his Astral or finer body. It is referred to in the Bible as the “silver cord.” Eastern sages are well-versed with leaving the physical body– did Jesus not say, ” The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.” Christ was not referring to the physical eyes, but to the inner vision and inner hearing we all come equipped with at birth. With Sebitši’s mind empty of thought as he was in total anguish, his consciousness rose and as he said, when he experienced trauma, it was the “trusted method” he always employed (to escape from the world around him). Very deep and spiritually blessed human being he is.

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