"I feel numb and empty" - Zoleka Mandela opens up about battle with depression | People Magazine

“I feel numb and empty” – Zoleka Mandela opens up about battle with depression

Zoleka Mandela has for the first time spoken out about the crippling effects of depression and how she’s determined to fight her way out of this dark space

Taking to Instagram, the author and activist poured her heart out about how she’s tried to ignore the feelings in the hope that it would go away, but that it’s only worsened.

“I thought I could hold in all the sadness until it all goes away or replace it with something else, but I’ve felt myself getting more and more depressed every day.

“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 a mom or to breathe,” she said.

SEE: Zoleka Mandela’s Heartbreaking Letter To Ma Winnie

Zoleka added that, even though it’s difficult to be back in therapy, she knows that it’s important for her to start making positive changes

“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.”

While beating depression isn’t easy, Zoleka is determined to get to a better place for herself and her loved ones.

“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,” she added.

Zoleka Mandela is pregnant with her fifth baby!

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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 recreate 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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Hope Winters – All4Women

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