*This post was inspired by Lynda Nyangweso*
This is the face of someone who is healing from depression via PTSD.
I had no idea what was going on and why it was happening. I didn’t know who to reach out to and how. I just knew I felt disgusting. I couldn’t look at myself, I let myself go, I fell into the deepest, darkest slump and didn’t know where else to go aside for further down.
The depression creeped up on me. I didn’t see it coming and you never really do. Now when I look back, I see all the signs and wish I got professional help then and then. It all surfaced 2.5 years after the Westgate attack.
I sat in it for another 2 years and it wasn’t fun. I was losing myself. I lost friends. I lost hope. I lost faith. I was losing everything.
One day, I woke up and literally felt like my soul was looking at me from above, just laying in bed and asked me: WTF are you doing to yourself?
I can’t explain where the courage to fight it came from but I’ll tell you this much: if it wasn’t for really close friends and family, who didn’t know what to do but still stuck by me, it wouldn’t have been possible.
I finally got help in March 2017, which shifted everything. But the saddest part is that it never goes away. There are triggers and they can take you down a depressive state faster than you can imagine, but you just have to know yourself and your triggers and do all that you know how to do, to stay above it.
So yes, you’ll see me out and about, you’ll see my big smile, you’ll see me hugging everyone and I seem as normal as everyone. But there are days when I just don’t want to get out of bed and those are the worst days. But everyday I learn new ways to swim to the surface.
I watched the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why, and no, it’s not glamorizing suicide but helping those, who are ignorant about mental health, understand what one goes and can go through and what it can lead to. 1 in every 5 people has mental health issues and we all need to be more aware and conscious of each other. Be kinder to each and show love and care. So if you know of someone who hasn’t seemed “normal” to you recently, ask them how they’re feeling. And try to get them some help.
Some signs of depression creeping in: sleeping too much or too little, eating too much or too little, disinterest in everything, spacing out a lot, rambling a lot or not talk at all, cynical comments, usually about themselves, push people away, rub eyes and head a lot, avoid eye contact, always shakey or avoid certain conversations.
For Kenyans, you can get professional help here: www.niskize.co.ke
For those outside the borders, you can check out www.13reasonswhy.info – which is also available in Kenya.
To special people: Whether it was randomly driving down to Naivasha; messaging me everyday; giving me a free ticket to go down to the coast; sitting on a couch and watching movies; getting me out of town for the Westgate anniversary; getting me to work out; taking me out dancing; taking me out for Chimichangas or just sitting in silence and doing absolutely nothing… Made all the difference in the world, and I am so grateful for each & every one of you. You were there, and some are still here for me ❤