It’s been well over a year since I last posted on Faith, Fitness & Everything Else. In fact, this post has been sitting in my drafts since the 21st of August 2021. To the people that stayed subscribed y’all are the real ones. So why did I stop blogging? That honour is fully piled on depression. I’ve written before about my fight with depression on this blog but something about the isolation and severe restrictions during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa sucked the joy from activities I loved so much. Where exercise and healthy nutrition was once my escape, I found myself turning to junk food and abusing that moderation. I’d have a week or two where I would try to be the old me, the me that was a lot more disciplined and driven but it never lasted long. Everything was dark. Eventually, a month turns into two until you can no longer comfortably fit into your favourite jeans but worse than that is the disconnection you feel with your body. I no longer recognised the woman that would stare back at me in the mirror. I was at a crossroads with my faith as well. I’ve previously written about my older sister passing away, leaving such a void that feels as palpable almost three years on. A death that I still struggle with. It just became too much for me. Thankfully right before I reached the end of my rope, God through my brilliant husband gave me another lifeline. I think it’s important that we acknowledge the role we play in our ongoing journey towards healing, however it is also important to acknowledge the people that help us get there. Hubby was able to travel to South Africa just before we closed our borders (again) to international travel and to say that he’s been my rock would be a gross understatement.
Even though I was reunited with my favourite person, I still found myself waking up every day and feeling as though I was begging God to help me get out of the fog that seemed to cloud my brain. A fog that turned into darkness and was strongly responsible for the indifference with which I led my life. For months I thought I was functioning exceptionally well considering this onslaught of darkness that felt permanently part of me, I was not. My husband was the first to have a conversation with me about how my solo mental health battle was affecting our relationship. At that point, I was coasting and had resolved to go with the flow and while that had worked in the past for me. This time it wasn’t enough. In that conversation, I was able to realise that I had reached a breaking point where if I didn’t get the help I knew that there was a high chance that the next thing I would lose would be my life.
So off to the doctor I went, I can’t say that I was excited about that because even though I am an academic (BSc. MSc. in the field of science & medicine) accepting help goes against the self-deprecating nature that many academics have. When my sister passed I remembered the doctor I had gone to and scheduled an appointment with her. I’m glad I did. I cannot state enough how much I love my doctor (Dr Celeste Henry hey girl hey!) She gave me the time to express my symptoms through the lens of my experiences as a black woman. For the first time, I felt heard and understood. My appointments with Dr Henry have been nothing short of amazing, her suggestion for medication felt as though she was listening to me and not just eager to get me out of her office. In time I will write on my journey with anti-depressants. For now, I am happy to be alive and okay. The turbulence in my mind no longer feels like it is stronger than the peace in me. Does it mean that I enjoy every aspect of life? No. By no means have I done all the work I know I still have to do to alleviate the darkness that depression brings but I’m on my way.