Growing Pains

An Alien To The Status Quo

My Mind And Me: A Dance With Darkness Within

My Mind And Me: A Dance With Darkness Within

Depression is living in a body that fights to survive, with a mind that tries to die.

― Unknown

In 2022, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. Before I was diagnosed, I was spiraling; drowning in an endless sea of desperate sadness that I couldn’t understand. I was sick, and there was no apparent reason. I was so weak. My bones didn’t have the strength to hold me up for more than a few minutes so I would lie in bed all day. I was permanently exhausted and sleep wouldn’t fix the issue.

Every day, I cried until my stomach hurt. I was so careful not to show anyone around me how deeply not okay I was. But I felt so wrung out of emotion. So empty. I would mindlessly watch and scroll social media, not registering anything. It was something to do. This went on for months and months. The cycle of listlessness was neverending.

I knew that I was depressed. How could I not? Every time I googled my symptoms it all led to depression. Of course, WebMD also told me that it could be cancer, but that’s neither here nor there.

I knew I needed help. But I was too proud to make the first step. Too stuck in a past that claimed mental illness was not something that Africans suffered. Too afraid to be labelled ‘mad.’ Too broke to afford the exorbitant fees that therapists charge.

I prayed. Of course I prayed. Everyday, I prayed that the heaviness in my chest would go away and be replaced by a lightness that would be bearable. I prayed for Jesus’ light burden and yoke. But there was no answer. It felt like I was knocking on the door to heaven and no one was home. I felt like I had betrayed God by feeling the way I was feeling. I felt like an absolute failure of a Christian for being depressed.

Talking to the people around me was a nightmare. Africa is generally very unforgiving of mental illness, let alone our brothers and sisters in Christ, which is a whole other topic that will unpacked one day. Who are we if not for the rules that govern our society? Mental health is often sacrificed at the altar of survival. Who has the time to figure what’s wrong with their minds when they are looking for food to eat?

This trend is compounded by three factors; ignorance about the extent of mental health problems, stigma against those living with mental illness, and the mistaken belief that mental illnesses cannot be treated, or can be treated with just a little Jesus.

How many times have you been feeling sad and been told to just suck it up and that life is hard?

People think depression is sadness. That it’s crying and dressing in black, but people are wrong. Depression is the constant feeling of being numb. It’s being numb to emotions, being numb to life. You wake up in the morning just to go back to bed again.


How many times have you heard, ‘don’t be depressed, just pray,’ when you try to speak about how you’re feeling. The people that say that usually mean well and that’s because they are not equipped with the knowledge that could potentially save a depressed life. Our society we live in is very unforgiving of people deviating from the set rules.

It’s easy to say, ‘my head hurts or my tooth hurts…’ This is something that is acceptable. Even quantifiable. But saying “my mind is broken,” is betraying a status quo that seeks to keep broken people in the closet.

I got help. I needed to. I had become apathetic. And my thoughts constantly veered towards ending it all. I had to fight for a way to still be here. And this was a last ditch effort for me. I saw a psychiatrist and cried in her office, trying to explain what it was that was in my chest and my mind. Trying to articulate depression is the hardest thing. Even this article doesn’t fully cover what it is on the inside.

I cried for 2 hours in that office, wringing my handkerchief in my hand. She wrote notes on notes on notes while I talked, pouring out what felt like burden after burden. She asked pointed questions, helping me to identify what it was I was feeling and telling me it wasn’t all in my head and that I wasn’t alone. And then she told me that I would be okay and, for the first time, I believed that I would be.

My struggles are far from over. Every day is still a fight but I truly see the light at the end of this tunnel and UMEME hasn’t switched it off yet. Life is just a clutter of crises happening all at the same time without a breather. And Mental health is about finding ways to cope with said crises.

If you are struggling, seek help. If you are in Uganda, Strong Minds has a toll free line that will help you when you’re feeling down. Just call 0800212121.

A burden shared becomes lighter. I’ll be starting a mental health support group, open to everyone. It will be a judgement free zone where we can share our struggles and support each other. It will be largely on-line so if you want to be part of this, send me an email on You are not alone.

4 thoughts on “My Mind And Me: A Dance With Darkness Within

  1. I am not sure I have ever told you this Mable but I see myself in you.

    Your pain, struggles to understand that pain, the feeling of wanting to end it all, the but doesn’t God see me going through this and why doesn’t he help me phase, getting the guts to admit that you need help and taking a step to follow it up.

    I want to ASSURE you that it gets better my dear. Even after my therapy, I have had my super down moments but my mind still fights to keep me sane because we cannot go through that dark hole again. In my heaviest of hearts Mable, I believe your mind will start fighting too, equiped with the right help, you will be surprised with time.

    Extremely proud of you for accepting to get help😘 Its a process my dear so give it time but It does get better I PROMISE. Please add me onto your mental health support group, our kind surely needs each other for support and stability.

    Kind regards,
    Depression Survivor,
    Mary 🥰

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