KEMNET Talks Mental Health – A Story of Redemption

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Macc Miller, Chester Bennington, Robin Williams, Hip Hop Pantsula, Avicii, Marilyn Monroe, Heath Ledger, Kurt Cobain, and Ernest Hemingway. There’s a thread here, leave a comment when you find it.

All bright lights snuffed out by the scourge of depression. Like candles in the wind, if only Mr Elton John knew how true that line resonated for us all. Because you see, we are all candles in the wind, looking to shine our light as bright as we can before the wind gets us. For some, their light is so bright that it burns itself out.

What is depression? Am in no position to tell. Medically, the experts would tell you that it is a mood disorder that causes feelings of sadness and or anxiety. What I do know for a fact though, is that, it has many faces, and some experience it in different ways than others.

When I was a boy, 12 years ago, I took a handful of pills and gulped them down. I must have been 15 years old. Anxiety was the boulder on my shoulder. Social Anxiety, so I’ve heard it being called.

The root cause of anxiety/depression is trauma, hey, don’t take my word for it. Do your own research. Trauma can come in many forms, but mostly it’s as a form of abuse or neglect, physical abuse, emotional and sexual abuse are also leading causes of trauma.

Psychologists have always wanted to probe the human Psyche, find out what defines “humanity,” I think I just might have it. Our need for “love” is what defines us. Neglect and abuse destroy us.

As a child I was of often alone, this continued throughout my childhood, until I became a youth. I felt disconnected to my peers, I viewed myself as an outcast and started to close myself out from the “outside” world. This led to my, yes you guessed it, social anxiety.

Kids are meant to play and interact, so you could imagine my state of mind when I was younger, not a pretty place to be in. Thank God I grew out of it.

Most writers would shy away from their closets, never daring to take a peek just in case a skeleton might leap out. Lord forbid, they air out their laundry in public.

But I’m no writer. I’m just a human being who happens to blog and wants to make a difference. Truth is, most of the people who will read this have gone through gruesome ordeals. And I’m in the business of healing the sick. “Bring ye forth all those with psychological scars and emotional wounds and KEMNET shall lay thine hands upon thee.”

It helps no one if I hide my story, I just hope someone might see themselves through my knockoff “ray-bans”. We are a youth that is dealing with problems we don’t speak on because it’s considered taboo.

Who are you to have a twisted past in this instant-gram glam era? You might be seeing flames behind closed doors, but just put on that smile in public because you spent three hours trying to perfect Beyoncé’s, “Just woke up like this” look.

But just sit for a bit mogherl, and listen. It’s okay, you’re not crazy. You’re not abnormal. You just need a friend. You need a helping hand. You need to admit that you’re not fit. Everything is not okay, and that’s okay…in fact that’s life.

Don’t believe the screen. It’s not all glitz and glamour. Sometimes it’s blood and guts, to make it through you’ll have to realize that you’re not alone. Emotionally a lot of us are facing a lot.

The greatest actor in the world is your neighbor. It’s not that she has it figured out, it’s just that her “mask” has a richer foundation.

KEMNET Talks will be discussing mental disorders this October. We aren’t aiming to change the world with this one. We are just aiming to change perspectives.

To let You know, yes You!, that you’re not alone. Stop carrying burdens your back can’t handle. I know you can feel it, it’s almost going to crack, the weight of the world has been on your shoulders for far too long. But I also know you’re going to make it out ALIVE, because I’ve been there before.

How did I make it out? I realized the error with perfection. That’s what was really causing my anxiety. My constant need to fit in. My fear was being “found out”, if I showed my true colours then people would know that I wasn’t really special. In fact, I was more or less underwhelming.

Two things were wrong with this statement. The first being that the people I was trying to impress were facing their own issues. The second one, I just forgot.

That’s why KEMNET was founded, to expose reality. Not what people perceive but what lies behind the “mask”. A generation of crying faces hidden behind mascara, foundations and thin lipped smiles.

It won’t get better if we sit back and do nothing, let’s create a depression free Lesotho. Let’s spread love and unify. It won’t happen if we hide behind “cool” façades. Truth is, just like everyone bleeds, everyone hurts as well, some scars are just deeper than others, therefore less visible.

By telling my own journey I’ve made myself less vulnerable, one can’t steal what has been given freely. That’s why KEMNET is my redemption. If I had succeeded 12 years ago then I might not have had the chance to change lives today.

That’s the beauty of life. The fact that one life can have an impact on many others is simply just amazing. So live to inspire.

“The problem with looking from without is that you might never find enough. Taking a within perspective will change your life.”

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KEMNET is a communications network that is solely interested in the pursuit of the “African Dream.” It is our hope that by presenting to you (the youth of Africa) a platform where you can voice your opinion on issues that affect us here on this black continent; we will bring about a positive change.