I’m so depressed, my boyfriend is cheating on me…
“Ah, that’s not important, you have a good job….”
Can you believe what that Pamela has been going around saying about me? I’m so hurt!
“You complain too much sha, thank God you have such and such degrees..”
I feel so lonely, I wish I had a friend..
“With the amount of money you earn, I wouldn’t be worried about not having any friends, go shopping…”
I feel suicidal, I feel like I can’t cope.
“Don’t be ridiculous, so many guys are falling over themselves trying to date you….”
It’s not that I don’t count my blessings, I do, each and every day…..when I wake up and when I go to bed but it wouldn’t matter anyway if I didn’t because I can name at least 30 people who would be happy and willing to count them for me. It’s not even that they need my invitation, NO, my ears are already ringing from their constant reminders of how lucky or blessed I am……You’re so lucky you have a good job, You’re so lucky you’re intelligent, You’re so lucky your parents are still alive, You’re so lucky you have such a close family. You’re so lucky you got that promotion. I really envy you. I wish I were like you. You are my inspiration, God has been really kind to you……..Arghhhhhhhhhh
Wouldn’t it drive you crazy as well? I’m so sick of it. It’s not that I am ungrateful, not at all, I more than anyone else know that God has been more than merciful to me but I feel suffocated by the need/expectations from people to show how eternally grateful I am for the small…….actually big mercies that God has shown me. It’s not the fact that people are constantly reminding me to be grateful that bothers me, it’s the fact that for some reason people believe that the traumas, misfortunes, problems, catastrophes that I have gone through are simply inconsequential and not worth recognising since my ‘countless blessings’ make up for whatever hurt/pain/humiliation I might be going through. For the same reasons, I am the type of person who has to wail loudly before someone recognises that I am in pain, weeping silently just won’t cut it and even when they finally recognise my pain, my feelings are instantly dismissed because they do not matter……simply because I have achieved more than the odds for a 25 year old African woman.
I never get to have a voice……this is the story of my life! I feel as though I am being punished for having achieved more, having conquered despite the odds even though I am where I am today through sweat, blood and tears. I hate the life that I have, not that it’s not wonderful but because I do not matter enough. People have stopped seeing the real me and have started seeing degrees, intelligence, a privileged upbringing etc. Sometimes I feel if I were to commit suicide, the first comments wouldn’t be of concern but those of reproach, What a waste, her life was great! or She killed herself, why? I thought she had a good job and all…..(and NO, I do not plan on committing suicide).
From a very early age I learnt to shut up about my pain. I did not like to complain or let anyone else know that I was unhappy. I learnt to feel guilty for being unhappy which made me even unhappier, which then made me feel even more guilty and ashamed of myself, which made me even more depressed and then i’d feel even guiltier (if there’s even such a word) for being depressed when I should have been grateful …….in short, it became a vicious cycle.
It probably still is the same up to now. I still have to think twice before I tell my problems to people because I’d need to say them at least 5 times before they are taken seriously. I remember once after a very traumatic incident absolutely no-one comforted me and when I tried to reach out to people, they simply told me not to be silly, my life was good, how they envied me! I remember calling my cousin in tears telling her I couldn’t cope anymore……I remember her telling me not to be silly and to compose myself! I was the luckiest person in the world and a lot of people envied my life…..She said to me that she was cooking and that I should call her back when I have had a grip on reality. “Don’t be silly…” she said, but if only she knew how close I was to the brink at that precise moment! Do you know that a large number of suicides are committed by people who are middle class or higher? Not that it’s a sport for the rich and fabulous or fantastic but statistics show that they are more suicides committed than by poorer people……I guess that is what they mean when they say Money Can’t Buy You Happiness….which is not true……it is because people are too busy thinking that your money should buy you happiness that they forget to make the time to ensure that you are really and truly happy .
I guess I am just sick and tired of having to shout in order to be heard. I’m tired of having to stand last in line when it comes to receiving compassion and kindness, cuddles and warmth from other people simply because I have been unduly blessed. Just because God has been merciful to me doesn’t change the fact that I am still human. I have insecurities. I have days that I feel ugly. Periods of time where I feel like the world is crushing on me, closing on me and I cannot breath. There would be days where I would require a shoulder to lean on. There will be months where I would gladly trade my life for yours, weeks where I won’t feel like getting out of bed, mornings where I weep and cry out to God, why me Jehovah? It doesn’t mean that I am ungrateful or have lost sight of the countless blessings that I have……it’s just that I am human and despite the countless blessings and the great mercies, if you cut me open I will bleed! So next time I am in despair and I could do with a friend, please do not recite my numerous blessings…..just give me a hug. I could do with a friend and not a blessings accountant.
“For sometimes late at night, when they lay naked in their beds with only the clock ticking to keep them company, long after the safes are locked and the banks are closed, well after their expensive clothes lie in the laundry basket and the jewellery is removed and the Jaguar is parked in the garage. Long after the stock market has closed and the house help has gone home and the curtains are drawn……..they are overwhelmed by a deep sense of loneliness …..sometimes the rich…….actually……..sometimes I, Felly, just like the rich, also cry!”
Thank you to my amazing family, especially my sister Mai Sama, who is relentless in ensuring my happiness. Thank you to my soldier – my mother, who would give up everything to see me smile. Thank you to my friends, Vee, Shannon, Sharon, Vimbai, Trish and Ashley, who listen to me rant day in and out without ever complaining. Above all, thank you to my Father – for without you as a friend and advisor, I would never have known true happiness. I appreciate your sacrifices for my happiness, daddy!