Mpho Mathaba’s Message to People with Mental Health Disorders

Guest Post by Mpho Mathaba

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Mpho Mathaba

Dear Warrior,

All of us are suffering, to a certain extent at least. All of us are fighting wars in a raging battlefield, one where the chances of our victory and survival look scarily thin. For some, our own minds are the war zones.

How easily can a human being go through battles where one part of theirs fights against the other? Not easy at all. One fact stands though, if/when you do emerge, you come out more than just a survivor does; you rise A WARRIOR.

My warrior-in-the-making, this is for you.

I, myself, am no Oprah; else, I would spew out all motivation this universe could create and fill you with the hope of a lifetime. I am no singer and I cannot tune up songs of survival to keep you uplifted. What I am is someone who understands, I am someone who sees you.

For starters, I commend you. I commend you for waking up every day through an enraged storm whose waves work overtime to pull you under. I commend you for the days when the sea succeeds to drown you; yet somehow, even if it is after a while, you muster up a force that pushes you above you water.

Sometimes it seems hopeless to not succumb to the strong gravity of the sea which yearns to suck you back in for good. You and I know that there are times when you try to signal to society that you need a boat to sail back to dry land to no avail. Society sees, society stops to stare and talk; but society is brutal enough to leave you there for not just the stormy waters to sink you in, but for all the sharks to make a feast out of you as well.

Many ships have thrown passengers in the water during terrible storms – both before and after the one you were boarding almost drowned you. Some of those passengers lost their will to fight immediately and sank to their demise, yet somehow you kept the strength.

Some of them have managed to reach the shore and are working to never get back in the middle of that angry sea. Then there is you, still floating and sinking and floating again. You or them, I am awed by the bravery in all.

There are different stories of how each passengers ends up being pushed off-board yet in the end, all of us go through similarly different collisions with the sea. You are not alone. My story may be different, her story too, his as well. Yet I hope it makes you realize that you are not alone though it usually feels that way.

Even though others immediately sank to their end, I applaud you for trying to hold on to the rails of the ship when you were toppled over. I applaud you for swimming nights and days to get back on shore. I applaud you for telling your story and working overtime to not have a repeat.

Yes you, I applaud you for continuously trying to stay afloat, for keeping your eyes open and for filling up your lungs with air even when it is a difficult process to do so. I applaud you for breathing and for not giving in.

I am proud of you for staying alive.

All My Love,

Mpho Mathaba

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Grace is an uprising youth activist who uses her voice to inspire and inform. She has worked internationally as the Deputy Secretary General with Model UN Impact. This is where she advocated for youth inclusivity in the implementation of the SDGs and further launched projects such as PHAHAMA MOSALI. She is currently the youngest SDGs Ambassador for the internationally renowned Global Citizens Innovative Solutions SDGs Challenge.