Posted in Sensitive Topics

DEPRESSION? GET OVER IT.

It’s been a pretty uneventful week; well, uneventful as far as writing goes for me anyway. I’ve had a crazy case of the writer’s block, its kind of like chlamydia, but worse. Instead of feeling like I’m pissing razor blades, my mind feels like I’ve been listening to Plies speak on loop all day. I don’t think I have enough RAM up there for all that. Not that I would know what pissing with the clap feels like by the way. Chlamydia is the clap right? Or is it syphilis? Wikipedia says that it’s gonorrhoea, who cares what Wikipedia has to say when I can ask my friend Vi…, you know what, lets forget about that one.

omar-snitches-in-court-throwback.jpgAfter a long day of watching Omar (The Wire) testify and talk about shooting the boy Mike Mike in his hind parts, and looking after my little brother and his annoying little friend (and by looking after I mean hiding in my room until he had left) I’m laying in bed and a trip down memory lane has brought me on to a pretty sensitive topic that is very near and dear to me, something I can more than relate to. I don’t even think this paragraph is grammatically correct, but hey who cares, I’m about to pour out my heart and soul to you, don’t be a prick and start getting technical.

A few years ago this is something that I would’ve NEVER been able to come out and speak about because for many years, I was ashamed.

Lets start from the beginning so you can kind of get a little bit of a background on my situation. Don’t you just hate people that just get into it, no foreplay no nothing; you didn’t even check if it was wet yet. But anyways, I was born and raised, for the most part of my early life, in Zimbabwe. I lived with my mother, as my father lived in the UK, London to be specific, and after a brief visit, I decided I wanted to stay with him. The more you get to know me, you’ll soon realise that I’m very impulsive and I tend to visit places and never come back lol. After moving there, my dad and I quickly realised that we didn’t really know each other that well, never having spent much time together, and this wasn’t going to be a good idea. This is where the problems all started. We never really got on, a little small talk here and a little small talk there and that was about it. My dad is your typical ‘tough love’ African dad, (the kind that doesn’t know what school you go to but can tell you every single day that you haven’t washed the plates since your birth) and for a mama’s boy like me that was used to endless amounts of affection, this was going to be an issue.

I soon moved from London to live with my cousin and his mum in Middlesbrough. That is probably the first time I have ever referred to him as that. We spent so much of our childhood together; we refuse to be referred to as anything but brother. After a few years there, and secondary school was done, I moved back to London to live with my father again, full time. We still didn’t have much in common and he wasn’t the most approachable person, so we never really did get close. Tempman was probably more approachable than him. If you lived in or near Brixton circa 04/07, he’s either jumped out on you or been the reason you took the long route home from school/work at least once or twice. We lived together, but that was about it, there wasn’t much of a relationship. I was like a tenant that didn’t pay rent in his house, they call them squatters right?

A little time went by and I went out and I made some friends, a lot of great ones and a few very questionable individuals. I was getting used to life in London at this point and was growing quite fond of it. One of my friends, a very unsavoury character, introduced me into the world of crime and money, and I built a very unhealthy relationship with it.

We had money, more money than we had sense and I drifted further from my dad because of it. As far as I was concerned, all he really did was give me money and now I had my own, lots of it. I was a rebel without a cause and I did a lot of things that I am still paying for to this day, because I wanted my father’s attention. The only time I really felt like he noticed me was whenever I fucked up, so I made sure I did a lot of that.

I enjoyed my time with my money; it got me whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I was living the dream, money was my everything. For someone that felt this strongly about money, you would think that I would take better care of it, but no, that wasn’t my style.

The day I realised that I was broke, was probably the hardest day of my life at that point, I was screwed. This is where it all went downhill. Slowly but surely my life started to fall apart. I had no money and because of the way I conducted my business in the past, I had no ways of making any either.

I became a shadow of myself and I lost an immense amount of weight because I wasn’t eating. I didn’t want to acknowledge it, but I was depressed. I barely left my room, let alone my house. I would stay in bed all day and I would occasionally hang out with my friends and pretend everything was cool. My life was spiralling out of control and I felt like I was all alone and had no one to talk to about it. I was ashamed of my friends ever finding out I was like this and I didn’t want to tell my mother because she was on the other side of the world and she worries a lot. The only other person I could talk to was my dad and we weren’t really close. I was just that nigga in his house that was eating up all the food and not washing the plates. Some people noticed a change in my behaviour, but I always swore it was nothing and they were imagining things.

I was by myself and the more I drifted away from everyone, the worse I felt. I felt worthless and there are days when I woke up wishing that I had died in my sleep. This feeling of not wanting to be around grew stronger and stronger by the day and I eventually reached the lowest point of my life to this day, and tried to kill myself. I won’t get into much detail but I was in a very dark place and I made a very bad decision.

It was at this point that I realised how much I really wanted to live and finally decided that I needed help. I was still too embarrassed to speak to anyone I knew, so I found professional help. It turned my life around. I refused to be medicated so I had to find my own ways to help myself recover. A lot of people see the love that I have for fitness and they have no idea that it saved my life. I found a way to occupy myself that worked and it became my happy place. I spent ALL my time in the gym. It was one of the many things that helped me rise above a situation that nearly consumed me.

There are as many causes of depression as there are people struggling with it: money, family, work, health; purpose—finding it and following it; along with unresolved issues. It can be the culmination of everyday factors or the aftershock of a singular, life-altering event.

Depression is something that is very downplayed by society. A lot of people don’t take it seriously, and coming from the black community, I know how much less attention it gets there. If there’s something we as black people don’t like, it’s acknowledging that mental health issues are not just a ‘white people’ thing. Mental illness is more common than you think; do you know how many roadman/gang members are in mental institutions? Broadmoor is full of some of your ‘olders’. Some of them were as crud as they were because they had mental health issues. Those guys you would see on the roads in puffer jackets and body warmer and Nike gloves in the scorching heat, did you think they were of sound mind?

One of the main reasons I couldn’t bring myself to come forward and speak up was because of the stigma behind depression and mental health issues, I was embarrassed. In many African households, depression is nothing but a rumour that you hear from playing with your white friends and you leave that nonsense at the door when you enter this my house. It’s crazy that we as black people are statistically twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues as white people, but only half as likely to seek treatment.

“Get over it!”

A lot of people think it is as easy and as simple as that. I used to be like that too, I thought depression was something spoilt white girls used as an excuse to get lavish gifts and attention from their parents. It’s not that simple, it’s not something that you can wake up and shake off like morning wood. A lot of people think that it is something they SHOULD be able to get over just like that, which leaves them feeling worse when they can’t.

‘I DON’T WANT ANYONE IN MY BUSINESS AND I HAVE TO DEAL WITH MY PROBLEMS BY MYSELF.’

This is exactly how I was, keeping everyone out and wanting to work on it all by myself when it could’ve been a little bit easier with the help of friends and many. That “I’m a big rasclart man, I can deal with it by myself” mentality lead me to my downfall. I had collapsed from the weight of all my issues and still refused to let go and seek help.

Why did I write this article? I don’t know, its now about 3/4am so it could be poor judgement, who knows, but for the most part, I feel that this is an issue that is very slept on. Something we could be doing a whole lot more as individuals to make easier on those suffering with it. People suffering from depression may not always be the easiest people to love and help, but they usually really need it the most.

Talking and listening, we don’t do enough of that. A lot of talking gets done, but we never listen. When I was suffering from depression, I didn’t know it, hell, I didn’t want it, but I really needed someone to listen to me. I was ashamed of needing someone and that is what happens to a lot of us, especially black men.

My relationship with my dad has improved a lot by the way lol didn’t want to leave without clarifying that. We are 2 grown men that have realised we are different and are trying to make it work.

2014 was one of the worst years for me in a long time. Anything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong, from money to health, anything you can think of. I’m surprised I didn’t start smoking buj (heroin). It also turned out to be the best year for me because I got to be with my family. I think one of my coping mechanisms when I’m faced with hardships, is surrounding myself with the things that I love. I got to see my mother for the first time in 10 years and I also got to meet my little brother for the first time in his 9 years of life. I felt myself slipping into a bad place and I dealt with it before it became a serious issue. The change of environment has done wonders for me. I started the year off on an amazing note and I intend on seeing it through the same way. I have achieved a happiness I didn’t know was possible, but I guess with the right people and energy around you, anything is possible.

I wake up daily to sunshine and an unparalleled love and I can only compare the happiness that this brings me to that of a nigga that just found out that his girlfriends brother is the connect, or that the nigga he consigned 2 kilos from got killed.

If you are suffering from depression, don’t be afraid to get help; don’t be embarrassed to speak to someone. If you think a friend or a relative is suffering from depression, don’t be afraid to lend an ear. You might just convince someone that his or her life is worth living.

@mrexposed

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34 thoughts on “DEPRESSION? GET OVER IT.

  1. I highly commend you for sharing your story, I’m positive that this will touch someone going through depression. I know first hand what it’s like to have someone with mental issues in the family, the black community still isn’t willing to accept that it does affect us too! But perhaps with people like you telling your story that can start to change. All the respect in the world for sharing this. God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I commend you for sharing your story, I’m positive that this will touch someone going though depression. I’ve experienced first hand what it’s like to have someone close to you suffer from mental illness along with the fact that the black community still refuses to acknowledge that it affects us to. All the respect in the world for sharing this. God bless you

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post.
    I hope it encourages people to be more open about their struggle with this. It’s definitely reminded me to give a bit extra to my loved ones that suffer from depression.
    All the best for this year and beyond

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was a very good read. Being who you are on black social media, and the stigma within the black community about mental health issues, I really commend you for putting this out. A lot of black people don’t recognise the signs of mental health – especially within african households. If and when they do 70% of the time, they blame it on juju or generational curses. This means so many people don’t get the help and proper treatment they need.
    I’m glad things are working out for you in Australia. And I’ve developed a whole new level of respect for you now.

    Keep up the good work. You’ve got a real way with words

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow. Just reading this post has really given me hope. I myself have suffered from depression for most of my life on and off. I even used coping mechanisms such as self harm. I regularly considered suicide, and even got as close to cutting my hand with a kitchen knife. I am in a good place now, after talking about it to close friends and finding better coping methods. Like you said, I felt so ashamed and didn’t tell anyone for ages. The worse thing was having it during my university time,with no one to talk to.The problem with the black (African) community is that they like to sweep things under the carpet.

    Loving you posts and the way you write. Looking forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for writing this. As someone with a big platform/audience online you’re helping to break down stigmas regarding mental illness and I appreciate you for this.

    I was diagnosed with clinical depression over two years ago, and it took me years before my diagnosis to go to the doctor for help. Even before my diagnosis it took me reaching complete rock bottom – I’m talking spending thousands of my mother’s money on nothing in just weeks and not remembering how I’d spent it, actually planning my suicide, never leaving the house and also having hallucinations and bouts of compulsive lying. My mental health has since changed for the better, but when I wanted to tell my mum about the health problems I was experiencing (I was away at uni) I was worried that as a Somali, African woman she’d not take it seriously, but surprisingly she came to see me immediately after I told her about the depression and she helped me to heal, therefore I’d say that sometimes we underestimate how much Africans and the black community know about mental health. But at the same time we need to do something about providing support, guidance and raising awareness for those in dire need of help like me at one point.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This was very touching, I have a cousin who suffered from severe depression and this gave me more insight into what she had been going through. I loved the ocassional humour, it gave this post a light hearted balance. I truely feel God saw your heart and walked with you.

    All the best

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Though it feels somewhat off-key to regard this as a “brilliant” read, that is what it was. Thank you for sharing and congratulations on overcoming it all. Wish you an excellent 2015!

    Like

  9. I don’t think you understand how amazing it is that you’ve shared your story like this! And I am more than certain that others will benefit from it because I have! And there are many others out their suffering depression in secret and this is the push we all need to seek help rather than doing nothing and allowing it to consume us to the point where I have personally wished for my life to just come to an end! Long story short I really do commend and appreciate you for sharing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’ve never commented on a blog post before but this was too special to just read it and not say anything. Well done for your openness and honesty and good luck with your continued efforts to stay in a good place

    Liked by 1 person

  11. You keep blogging things that are so relevant to my life right now. You don’t even realise how much you’re helping people, just knowing there’s someone out there thinking the same as me makes things so much easier. Props

    Like

  12. i commend you for sharing your experience its not easy for most people to do. I too had issues with depression and anxiety and looking back now it must of been apparent for years before i sought help mainly due to the stigma. Its stuff like this that makes me realise its very common and there are people out there who feel the same as i did. Thank you for sharing your experience all the best

    Like

  13. I respect you for sharing this! Mental health issues within the black community are not discussed enough which is such a shame because it leaves a lot of young black people suffering in silence out of ’embarrassment.’
    I love this post.

    Like

  14. I remember reading your blog post about depression not too long ago, you saying “a lot of people refuse to admit that it is happening to them” thinking to myself that could never be me, I would always be true to myself unaware that, that is me. It is unbelievable to think your blog post prompted me to research about depression in trying to figure out recent occurrences in my life. And I just wanted to thank you, for helping me realise what would have probably taking me a longer time to face up to without reading your blog post, also thank you for the humour you in-still into your posts. Have a lovely day. 

    Like

  15. I applaud you for openly sharing your personal experiences related to depression. It’s topic which should be widely discussed more often but thank you again for writing this blog it has inspired myself and many others. Your posts and blogs are enjoyable to read and interact with.

    Like

  16. I was wondering if you had an email address I could contact you on regarding this post? Great read & I’m hoping you might be able to help. Thank you.

    Like

  17. This has to be the most amazing blog I have ever read. I had tears in my eyes whilst reading this. As I suffer with depression this has just helped in ways I didn’t think it would. It’s made out to be such a small thing so I haven’t really spoke up about it to anyone. When I did try it was swept under the carpet and not really understood as such. But I thank you ever so much for this post. It is AMAZING!

    Like

  18. I love how blunt this post is. My cousin actually tried to take her life Sunday just gone after months of depression. Her GP gave her antidepressants without even referring her to a psychiatrist or psychologist. These are the pills she then went on to use to overdose. I thank God for her life and now that the family have been through this experience and can see depression is very real. The stigma has been removed and they can see it’s not just an “oyinbo disease”.. It’s real and can happy to anyone.

    Like

  19. Before I post this I’d like to say well done to MrExposed/Keith, what ever your name is, for your work on this blog. The problems or better yet sensitive topics” that you speak on altered the way I viewed similar situations for the better..

    I’ve seen a lot of tweets today about Kanye’s performance last night, mostly about how “white people” were intimidated by it and if it was a bunch of white guys on stage their reaction would be different..

    But I don’t blame them. They’re scared of us.

    (Please bear with me as I have a problem writing sentences that no one but me can understand)

    Yes, that is true. If a bunch of white guys were jumping on stage they would receive a different response, some would call them “cool” or “hip”, some would call them “nutters” and frankly some others wouldn’t give a toss. I’m sure a lot of you lot know by now the reason why but I just wanted to say it again so people can get it in their heads..

    I’m sounding like what I’m about to say is factual but theres many avenues you could take-

    The majority of my friends are White British and when I ask them “Would you cross the road if a hooded black guy was coming towards you” Of course they answer “Nah mate”

    I know they’re lying but I don’t blame them. They’re scared of us.

    Now the actual point of my post; Why are they scared of us?

    All you have to do is turn on the TV. The big square thing that sits in your lounge – Some of you reading this probably got one from the Riots. (Joking) LOL. Any who..To put it simply –

    We are all over the news and not for good things either. We have been all over the news for years and years, mostly for bad things. drugs, murders, robbery, assault etc & Yes it’s easy to say “There is bad in every race” but it is so obvious to see it is more prevalent in our Black Youth and people need to stop running from that.. We need to accept that its a problem

    Maybe certain black youths stop fucking around getting themselves into shit, act civil and then maybe we will be able to prosper as a race. Maybe we will be able to get the respect we deserve. Just maybe! People have every right to be intimidated by us. Just read some of the papers regarding boroughs in London – Stabbings 24/7 and you lot want to be like “RACISM STILL EXISTS”

    Of course it bloody does. (As you can probably tell I’m getting lazy writing, but it’s not lazy, I’m just angry and can’t be bothered to think about structuring my sentences.)

    If we were back home in Africa living OK and white people were acting like how some of us are here I’m sure some emotions would be stirred up! It’s really that simple to me. Maybe I need more of an education. Maybe others just need to stop overcomplicating the “race issue”..

    I just hope in a few decades people won’t be scared to look at me or walk past me because of my skin colour. It hurts you know. There’s a lot I need to write to fully clarify my points but frankly I haven’t got time, I’m just sitting on the bus bored and thought I’d share my thoughts.

    P.S

    I posted this on here as I know “MrExposed” is popular within “Black Twitter” so hopefully someone will find this, challenge it and be voiced somehow. I wanted to tweet this from my profile however getting retweets would of been difficult so I guess this is a form of advertisement.

    THANK YOU AND PLEASE DONT THINK TOO DEEPLY ABOUT THIS. IT IS WHAT IT IS – BULLSHIT

    Like

  20. Amazing to read.. I completely understand where you’re coming from and it’s a tough place to be! You’re so strong and I’m so happy you’re in such a good place right now! Thank you for sharing it lets others know it can happen to anyone and they’re not alone! Big love X

    Like

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