Many a time i hear colleagues say mental health programs have been done to death but I think it’s one topic we can not tire off. We need to engage regularly and continue doing so. The triggers are numerous , it’s not a homogeneous condition. The end thoughts and condition may be the same but how we get there can be different. Some of you have suffered loss in business, in life, some breakdown in relationships, unfulfilled dreams, our parents retirement benefits have been wiped clean they can’t afford retirement, others are battling with coming out.
As a people we need constant motivation to get out of the dark places to keep going, stay motivated. Zig Zeigler says motivation is like bathing that why it is recommended every day.That’s why I post motivation on my Facebook everymorning, someone needs to hear just that
I have been struggling with depression for a couple of years. I have had dark and really dark days but I always have managed to dig myself out of the hole. I have been fortunate to have a great support structure I can rely on. At times I have had to go to therapy. As a black young male in Africa that was a big step and one that required huge courage and requires one to go against many social expectations . I went through the expected why didn’t you tell us you struggling from my aunts When I dropped the I’m going to therapy bomb at a family meeting. I knew it would have that effect, make them feel unsupportive, unapproachable but at times you need to do you do what you feel is best and will work for you. With time they will understand.
I’m a strong character naturally I don’t back down, i dig in, I stand up when things are tough, I am a fighter. However at some point in life it takes its toll. I have had so many heart breaks in my short time on earth but I have managed to kick right back.
The first time I almost broke down I had watched my mine owner dream come crashing in a series of events. I had prepared for any eventuality, had work plans, anticipated every threat and prepared contingency measures. I had taken a loan from my parents and set out on a adventure, all worked out at first, beginners luck and all but when it crashed I was never prepared I had never been floored this much. I sat at home never left the house.
However a few words from my Dad after we had journeyed over a 1000km to Zimbabwe and two Zambezi lagers later I was back on my horse. He calmy reminded me business is a risk, you were courageous enough to act on you dream but at at times we have no control over some things in business and life,don’t start thinking I will think less of you or dad will go into a rage, you have learnt something from the experience. That kicked me back into action got me solving my problems with a change in attitude.
The second time I had a episode was the aftermath of my first pub LA Gondola adventure. I had poured everything into my Pub Revolution I have written in my other blogs about the glory, the good times but I have never mentioned the toll it had on my health and mental health especially .
It was mentally exhausting! I barely slept was constantly working at times surving on Redbull actually had four a shift. What gave me extra push was that I was going to be a father in less than 5 months. The pub had to work to cover my new responsibilities. I pushed myself to the point I crashed, my body seized, I had a fever for a few days well that didn’t do much to stop me I bounced back.
Behind the scenes I had to battle a lot of work pressure, and stay focused, that took a lot. Management is one of the most taxing of jobs out there,it’s consistently managing everyone’s expectations. Making sure targets are met, salaries are paid on time, staff moral is high, right people are hired or fired, ensuring customer satisfaction all the time, dealing with legal issues. When I took a break and went to across to South Africa for my kids birth the relief of a new environment was so huge I didn’t want to go back to the chaos.
I had faced many business of mine fail before since I was a teen . Like my good buddy Simon says, “this guy is one person who knows how to bounce back with the same energy and zeal after each failure!” but nothing prepared me for the events of the following days.
My girlfriend went into labor in Joburg while I was still in Durban. Itwas July 28 my dad’s birthday what a prezzy for grandpa! But it wasn’t to be my daughter went into surgery shortly after birth and passed on hours later never knew pain so deep. I was in so much pain I was numb, the only thing I could say was Fuck for 10 minutes. Weeks later I was home sick and heartbroken, I sank into depression. I called one person I know would listen, comfort and give it to me as it is Thandie. We would chat and gradually I rediscovered my touch and began moving up again.
It’s been a year since we lost the triplets and my Rock my Mum within months it almost knocked me flat. But that is life we go through such it will happen. Les Brown says when things go wrong don’t go with them.
I am a fighter, I don’t back down, I’m am fragile yes, but I do not quit. Make that decision to go on and stick to it We have to take care of our mental health it’s not easy living in this world. Especially if you from a country like Zimbabwe that doesn’t give dreams a chance. Where you feel like your life doesn’t matter. Where being a graduate or the best in your field doesn’t come with financial rewards. Build a support system, have rituals and goals to keep you focused.
Let go of hate and that pain and hurt. Like Joel Osteen says your attitude determines your altitude, how high or how low you go depends on your attitude , choose happy and positive. Normalise going to therapy especially when you doubt you need it. Let’s Normalise speaking mental health and not get tired.we need to Stop coping and start dealing with our issues even if it means getting help. Zimbabwean lives matter, mental health matters.