Zoleka Mandela opens up about suffering from depression

07 December 2018 - 07:00 By Odwa Mjo
Zoleka Mandela
Zoleka Mandela

It's been a year of ups and downs for the soon-to-be mother of five who has openly spoken out on depression.

Zoleka who recently announced that she's expecting her 5th child has also been grappling to come to terms with the death of her beloved grandmother Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

After months off social media, Zoleka returned to bare her soul about how she's been struggling with her emotions. 

"Its never an easy emotion to wear or disclose but in my weakness I've always found strength in asking for help even if I always have struggled to ask for it because I don't always know how to or because I do fear losing control," she said. 

Zoleka said that it's been difficult to do routine tasks on a daily basis.

"I thought I could come back to social media after a few days and pretend that these past few weeks didn't scare me into silence, into finding it difficult to shower, to be a wife, to be okay, to get out of bed, to leave the house. 

"I'm depressed and maybe if i'm more honest about these emotions that are representative of the rawness of my reality, the silence won't be bigger than I am." 

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I thought I could hold in all the sadness until it all goes away or replace it with something else, I’ve felt myself getting more and more depressed everyday. It’s never an easy emotion to wear or disclose but in my weakness I’ve always found strength in asking for help even if I have always struggled to ask for it because I don’t always know how to or because I do fear losing control. I thought I could come back to social media after a few days and pretend that these past few weeks haven’t scared me into silence, into finding it difficult to shower, to be a wife, to be okay, to get out of bed, to leave the house, to stop crying, to be mom or to breathe. I’ve found that even in my own vulnerability, speaking out has actually always helped me. We feel less alone when we know of each other’s pain and darkness and I have learned that you can’t do secrets and lies when you’re clean and sober and wanting to stay that way. I’m drowning and I have been feeling numb and empty, it’s all consuming and heavy - sometimes I don’t always want to face the very things I know that I should. I know I often recreated unhealthy patterns I’ve used in order for me to deal with the ebbs of my life and although being back in therapy after 8yrs has felt like way too much effort and work for me, it’s teaching me that I am probably where I need to be right now, to start making more difficult but positive changes in my life. There’s so much healing to look forward to, so much healing, freedom and hope that comes with getting the help I’ve been avoiding for so many years. I think what I’m wanting to say is ... I’m depressed and maybe if I’m more honest about these emotions that are representative of the rawness of my reality, the silence won’t be bigger than I am, that I realize that what is going to destroy me is not how I have been feeling but how I’m always running away from experiences in my life I have not shared on social media. Today feels better though, I’m feeling more determined to overcome these feelings of hopelessness and self-blame and not just for my husband and my five children but for me too, because despite everything else, I am still worthy and deserving of LIFE ...

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