How can my heart not bleed over this?

 

 

 

By Lehlohonolo Mazindo

 

Even the very best of us are human. We break, we bend, we bleed, we feel. Even the Late Micheal Jackson sang: "But they told me: A man should be faithful; and walk when not able; and fight till the end, but I'm only human." His question was: "Will You Be There?" 

 

Will you be there to hold my hand even if I don't look like I am weak enough to get help? Will you be there to help me carry on when life seems easy for me but I'm dying inside? Will you be there to listen to the silent cry disguised in my smiling face? Will you be there to show me the bright side of life without judging me of being a "high maintenance" whiner and pessimist? Will you be there?

 

Whitney Houston also sang it: "Each day, each day I play the role of someone always in control.

But at night I come home and turn the key,

There's nobody there, no one cares for me

What's the sense of trying hard to find your dreams

Without someone to share it with

Tell me what does it mean?" Then she sings: "I wanna run to you...but if I come to you; tell me, will you stay, or will you run away?"

 

(Pastor Lehlohonolo Mazindo)

 

Sadly most people run away when we cry out in fear of what we look so bold to confront. None has the courage to help us carry the pain that we are not showing.

 

I'm battling with depression for 10 years now - been in and out of the hospital. Yes, I'm on a chronic medication for Major Depressive Disorder.

 

Throughout the years I was made to feel weak, useless, worthless and lazy. I've been called a cry baby for crying over "nothing". The people I held dear in my heart came to me in the hospital telling me how much of an attention seeker I was. As a Church Leader I was told that my faith was too weak, and I was a hypocrite who encouraged people while I could not encourage myself. At home I was "encouraged" to counsel myself like I counsel all other people (there I felt like Jesus on the cross when one of the criminals mocked him, saying: You saved others; why not save yourself and save us?)

 

Yes, was labeled mentally impaired (insane) and Raspetlele (hospital maniac) for many years by the people I held so dear in my heart. I was encouraged to drop my medication and trust God for healing, yet those very people were on chronic medication for sugar diabetes, HIV, high blood pressure, asthma, and heart diseases. Even though they could not "believe" God for their physical illnesses, they did not understand why I could not believe God to heal me from the feelings of emptiness, helplessness and hopelessness that were buffeting me every passing day.

 

When they have physical illnesses, they say they are sick; but because my illness is psychological, they say I am weak - a weakling.

 

I was denied entrance to Master of Counselling Psychology because of my chronic depression. Yes, they told me that I am not psychologically fit to deal with mental health patients. I had to give up my fondest dream of becoming a Counselling Psychologist. This became a dead end to my career.

 

I want to say this as a conqueror of depression for 10 full years: There is no safe place for depression sufferers in this world. We are expected to be as strong to ourselves as we are to others, and we are told not to "allow" ourselves to feel the life-sucking emotions we have no capacity to handle.

 

A couple of years ago, the Psychiatrist I used to refer my clients to committed suicide because of depression. I imagine she was not allowed to suffer from depression being a Psychiatrist. The stigma and discrimination attached to depression by her significant others were nothing she could handle. It was better for her to die than to live with the illness she was not allowed to experience primarily because of her profession.

 

On Friday, 27th of July 2018, a world renowned South African Cardiologist and Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Cape Town, Professor Bongani Mayosi, committed suicide after his battle with depression for two years. We tragically lost a man of high honour and rare skill to the illness that remains unnoticed by billions of its victims worldwide. Could it be that he desperately and vainly cried out for help just because people thought he knew better than to "allow this negativity" to weigh him down? Could it be that he couldn't take it anymore that he was made to feel bad for feeling bad? Could it be that the society's expectations choked him to death through this so much disregarded assassin called depression? Would it have made any difference if someone took time to listen to him for what he was really going through instead making him feel that his "undue" hopelessness made him a hopeless case?

 

How much more skill and talent must we lose before we start acting radically against depression and the tendency to belittle people who are unfortunate to suffer from it. The silent cry of the depressed is so loud, but the sad thing is: People who don't have depression just don't get it. We suffer the guilt of being made to feel bad for feeling bad, and to feel weak for feeling weak.

 

DEPRESSION IS NOT JUST AN INDIVIDUAL ILLNESS, IT IS A SOCIAL ISSUE. IT CAN ONLY BE OVERCOME IN THE SPIRIT OF: "I AM MY BROTHER'S KEEPER".

 

I am raising the banner of war against depression, and I need soldiers who are willing to take up arms and fight this ruthless terrorist with me. I am also calling upon our governments and corporates to intensify the struggle against this silent killer of great potential. Let's start by sharing this message in all platforms to raise awareness against depression. Tag your friends and loved ones suffering from depression to let them know that we notice their suffering, and we care.

 

I AM COUNTING ON YOU!!!

 

May the precious soul of the Great Bongani Mayosi (Top Image) Rest in Eternal Peace.

 

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