Twas the Season and I had severe depression for the holidays, what did you have?

4:48:00 PM

Twas the Season
I had the WORST holiday in holiday history, if they did a tally of the WORST holidays, I'd win hands down...complete with crown, trophy, dummy cheque and photo op. This is not new to me though, so I am not really complaining and if you follow my work (or can pick out my December blog posts), you know I am not that much of a holiday person. During my birthday, when I flew to Dar, I had a Skype interview with Larry Madowo for the Trend and a radio interview with Choice FM, Tanzania as part of my holiday itinery...The more I think about it, I prefer to describe myself as a workaholic who finds fun in her work and doesn't need to break from it to enjoy life, that's separation issues, huh?

(I got to read Americanah and Gone Girl  for the holidays and I so feel like the authors right now as I narrate my holidays, grab a cup of something and some tissues, twas that bad)

It all began on Oct 22nd with a series of events I'd rather keep to myself, after which I went to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in November where I got mental health in 4 out of 11 of the critical areas of discussion. I also began feeling sick while there and since everyone has an opinion about everything these days, they  said it is the attitude in Ethiopia or my subconscious reaction to the overwhelming response I got when I spoke at the UN there.
I got back home and it kept getting worse until one Friday night when I curled up on my carpet and cried until I had no tears to shed. I wanted out of everything and that was my red flag; I was suicidal.
Yes Super Heroes need heroes too...I felt very defeated with stuff, and it had been a gradual feeling, I had stopped going to the office for some time before that. I just felt MMMF as an organization and 22214 (the helpline) weren't working or achieving any objectives even though we all know they were and people where sending testimonials left, right and centre. Most of all I felt I had failed generally as a human, do ask, read on. I wanted to close shop and just disappear and it was a feeling I had had for the three weeks before that red flag carpet incident.
For those three weeks, I struggled to leave bed, sometimes midday, other times 4p would find me there, struggling, sleeping on top of covers, sleeping with my feet where my head is meant to be, still struggling. Then at night I struggled to get sleep, I'd repeat the morning process or cry myself to sleep, then there are days I over ate and others I did not eat at all. In the earlier days, when I managed to leave the house for meetings I'd be happy and present, interactive with people but I'd get back home feeling tired and just cry and cry and cry for no tangible reason until I slept or ate myself to sleep, don't ask read on. I gradually stopped picking calls, I'd looked at the phone ring over and over, the unanswered calls would be followed by texts, more than half of which were of how I have disappointed someone who really needed help hence the phone call and that only reminded me why I needed to head out. On the flip side I just didn't want anyone telling me how great I am and the big things I have done and how I have achieved a lot and all that because I didn't see it, didn't feel it, didn't want to be linked to it...I just wanted to be left alone and that's when I got off social media, round about when I fell on stage at Sawa Sawa Festival during my performance and had a not so good experience in Kisumu during Call me Crazy screening.

But even with all that despair, the star in me couldn't be put out and as I lay on my carpet that night, crying and courting the other world in my mind, I reached out to a few people to pray for me, to pray for me because the feeling had gone on for too long and I was afraid I may give in and be done with it all.

I have Bipolar 1 and what I went through is very typical of it. I have been suicidal before but this level of depression and physical manifestation was new to me and  wouldn't wish it on anyone. This year I have not done any resolutions or a vision board for the year, the only thing I will learn to do is to rest more. I slipped alright but I didn't fall, I might not be this lucky next time.

This post wouldn't be here without my online sisters Kia, Chante and Marsha  and Viber brother Alffie (not sure he will like that name though - Viber Brother) who prayed and kept checking up on me. until wee hours of the morning.

My offline friends Triza, Fred and Ken who made my house theirs and did turns coming over and inviting me for meals or just fed me (my cheeks are still there). Heshan for the texts asante sana.

To my staff for being understanding even when they didn't understand what they were understanding, it was nice just taking them through it all yesterday when we had our beginning of the year meeting and seeing their concern inspired me to do this post.My Ugandan Sister, deserve an award. To my doctor, the new meds brought me back to me.

Last but not least, to God; He who began this work in me is faithfully completing it.

To you who read my blog or follow my work online and offline, now you know why I was away and what I had for my holidays...what did you have yours?

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  1. sis is so nice to read you back from a stormy period... stay strong and creative...tons of hugs valentina

  2. I'm very sorry for the tough time Sitawa, am glad you're stepping out of it again. I admire your quality of writing in this blog, very impressive. I look forward to seeing you again, Superwoman!

    1. Looking forward to seeing you too...sending love and light.

  3. Hi Sitawa. I hope your fine. I wish you good health and happiness. I have an interesting read here:

    1. Thank you for the wishes, I will check out the reading...appreciate the recommendation.

  4. The greatest thing is that you went through it all and now you are encouraging your me. Keep on keeeping on are strong and very creative.

  5. Hi Sitawa.. I am new here. I wrote this poem for you on my holiday..

    I DREAM...
    I dream I will seize this seizure
    That tiny stain imprinted in my beautiful life
    Visible to the world I can't hide
    But I dream I will seize it
    Defeat it, making my life spotless clean
    That day which is so near-
    It is a matter of time.
    I have walked in hiding
    Trying to keep my head high
    In each and every event am invited
    Ignoring that tiny spot that's so visible.
    I have tried to cover it with beautiful colours-
    Beautiful smile and a confidence to boot-
    But still, it rear itself.
    I feel scared not knowing when it will show
    At the moment, peace I need so much.
    One day, I dream I will seize it
    Conquering it; making my life beautiful again.
    They say it is a lifelong companion-
    But I say, as long as I breath life
    A companion in better I will make it
    Friends I will use it to make in a friendly way-
    Money I will use it to make
    For the purpose of saving a soul that needs a breather..

    Hope you enjoy it.Thanks for your life

    Anthony Otieno.

    1. Thank you very much for this poem Anthony, I will use it for my next blog piece and put it on my Instagram. Thank you for visiting my blog and I pray you will subscribe to it. Sending love and light.

  6. My breakdown started from 22nd October too.... everything you went through plus a whole lot more I went through but by the Grace of God (and the helpline) I AM HERE... Keeping you in my prayers.

    1. Amen, I am glad that you are still here, that we are still here, that the Grace of God kept us and I am also glad that the helpline helped you. I will keep praying for you as you pray for me. Sending love and light.