Today we have 2 beautiful moms sharing their journeys and experiences with mental illness both really moved me.

Here is Part 1.

Our first mom is a beautiful mama, Nerisa Manuel from my home country South Africa. This story is close to home because Nerisa and I were friends as teens and I did not pick up on anything. Had I had the neccessary education I could have shown her the necessary support and love..

Dealing with Depression.

My name is Nerisa Manuel. I’m a 34 year old mother of two married to my best friend & life companion.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with Major Severe Depression. Believe it or not being diagnosed was actually a real light bulb moment for me.
I had a break down at work one day, one minute I was fine and the next it felt like the world around me was crashing down on me. I became very sick and could not understand why. I asked my husband to please take me to the doctor that same afternoon, we went to our normal GP as I thought it maybe just stress or lack of sleep.

After explaining to the doctor what had happened that morning and days before that, he immediately knew what was wrong with me, I was suffering from Depression for so many years and did not even know it.
As a teen I used to always feel like the odd one out, I never fitted in with other girls, I always tried to please everyone around me, and this made me very unhappy. I started getting suicidal thoughts and started to self-harm (cutting), this carried on right into my 20’s and no-one knew what I was doing or going through.

I started withdrawing myself from people, not going out, socialising was the last thing on my mind, I hated getting up in the morning, I just wanted to be in a dark room all by myself, I was dying a slow death inside. Whenever I would get a suicidal thought I would act on it, overdosing on pills, cutting my wrist (tried just about everything) but for some reason it didn’t work (thank God).

In February 2016 I was admitted to a Psychiatric Hospital (not a looney bin) lol…… by my psychologist so that I could get the help and guidance I needed to help me cope with life. I was put on medication (which I’m still taking) and also met a lot of people who is dealing with a lot of other mental illnesses. Having Depression & Anxiety is no joke, I’m so thankful for my husband and my children who are standing by my side and helping me through this (it’s really not easy on them).
The fact that a lot of things over the years from my childhood (which is a story for another day) contributed to me being diagnosed was a real shock. Things that happened, things that was done to me, how I was treated by family, all had a role to play in this, stuff I didn’t even remember anymore or just chose to forget, made my parents & my siblings very upset. The more we tried to explain to them what I was going through and that this was about ME, the more they pushed away.

To this day I do not have a relationship with my brother & sister. My relationship with my parents is on the mend and getting stronger with each passing day. I had to make a lot of changes in my life in order for me to heal… I stopped socialising with negative people & family, it hurt a lot but it gets easier with each passing day.
I still breakdown now & then, but then I look at my kids and my hubby and all the pain just melts away.

God has and is keeping me and helping me to get through each day. I still don’t like people much… lol, but I’m thankful for the friends God has placed in my life.

Everything makes sense now, my behaviour in the past, how I would react to things, why I always felt like I was never good enough (light bulb moment), and now I know how to deal with it.
I’m still on the healing path it’s been 2 years now, and I still see my psychiatrist & psychologist once every 6 months, I’m also still on medication, but I know and believe that I will get better.

I hope that my story will touch someone even if it’s just one person. If I can encourage you………

Always put God first without Him I would be dead now. Pray, pray & pray some more, It helps to talk to someone who won’t judge you or look down on you. My faith is what carries me through all the tough times.

Thank you for allowing me to share my journey with you.

Much Love