How many drinks did you have the previous weekend? Who did you visit? How was church? Wake up from all those memories, its another beautiful Monday! Its time to get out of your comfort zone and get productive again. I believe you are in great health, mentally to be precise. So today we will continue our ride with a new episode from Letters From The School Of Bitter Truth. Remember, this is a series that contains a continuous flow of random thoughts and random topics that most people don’t like to talk about. These ideas are presented as articles. I’m just a vessel. As always, you can bring suggestions on the topics you would love me to discuss in the coming Mondays. Just leave it in the comment box and I will get it in my mail box. Start your week fresh and mentally geared with this therapeutic straight talk piece . Have a blast fam. As always, have a productive week.

You’re Not Superhuman; Talk To Someone

Today I would like to take us through some gruesome reality of ourselves and our society. Most of us have been moulded to be strong all the time (to bottom up our feelings). There has been pressure pushing us to get to our highest level both physically and intellectually. Expectations have been set by those that that have raised us and some we have set ourselves. This makes everyday a race to get to the top of this mountain we have built for ourselves. The race accompany all kinds of struggle that have a great impact on our mental stamina. We eventually get exhausted pushing ourselves so much. I know most of you will agree with me; we are a generation that has been raised by the worst parents when it comes to being concerned with our mental health and emotions that determine our sanity. We are a generation that was traumatised and scarred for life at a very tender age. Most of us don’t even understand why we do some things. We don’t understand our temperament and our phobias. Our behavior patterns which have been building our character are born out of internalised mental shocks. Most of these are a result of some scenarios that took place years ago when we were younger.

I know some of you would get defensive when we talk of our parents being emotional saveges. They never understood how, when and what we felt throughout our up bringing. I want you to understand here that we are not blaming them and we should not. The whole idea is to understand and accept the environment we grew up in. Most of us were raised without our emotions being minded. We grew up in families whose parents continuously abused us verbally hence bruising our frigile feelings. I know people that had parents that couldn’t beat them as kids unlike me. I was whooped almost week (serious story for another day). However, despite the fact that I could get a beating every now and then, I would still feel sorry for the unbeaten friends who continuously got hurt, emotionally, more than me. The verbal assult was more heartbreaking than a good whipping. This is generally because of the mark that words leave in children. Our parents kept throwing all sorts of insults that have left as traumatised up to date. I was intrigued by one of my good friends; Mwayi Mindozo (MA Social Work student and mental health champion). She conducted a quick online survey on “wether your parents asked how you felt about anything growing up” (You can give your answer in the comment section). This includes moving to a new place or school, visit particular family members and how you felt after loss of a loved one. The results clearly showed that majority of the parents never bothered to ask. They expected us to be okay with everything. I want you to understand that I’m not saying they did not love us. They did, in their own way. However when it comes to our emotions, we literally grew up alone, scared and confused.

Over the years, we have been stumbling and failing in the quest to find our emotional stability and mental balance. Some of you have bipolar, some of us have anger and anxiety issues, some have depression and all sorts of mental health problems. All these could not be a result of how you were raised but there’s a higher chance that your past might have contributed to it. Your childhood wounds are the scars that enslave your emotions today. Chronicle post traumatic stress is what most of us are suffering from and a majority of us don’t realize it. The scars in our face have tarnished the image of a creation of beauty that we once were.

The sad thing about the past is that there’s nothing we can do about it. There is no need to be bitter at your parents right now because of all the emotional torture they got you through (if you are open minded enough to understand what that means anyway). The best thing you can do now is accept what happened to you. Accept that you were raised by God fearing parents who did not care of how you felt about anything. Be thankful if you came out right. If you are one of those that were bruised, understand that your parents were clueless and accept that they failed you on this aspect. However it’s now your responsibility to get better. Now that you are an adult and you can make decisions about your life and well-being on your own, take the first step. I want you to learn to talk to someone. It could be a therapist or a trusted and emotionally matured friend.

Learn to open up about your past and release the burden of anger and bitterness that has been poisoning you for the past years. Alcohol and clubbing will not solve your anxiety. Sex will not stabilize your depressed mind. You need to walk tall and meet face-to-face with your demons. Your parents failed to nurture you emotionally, don’t fail yourself. You might have had an experience that you have never shared with anyone; it could be rape, physical abuse or any form of abuse whose memories give you goosebumps up to date. Get help fam. Don’t let the poison consume you. It’s never too late and don’t convince yourself that you made peace with pain, it only pushes you to the adge. I know some of us believe we are okay but in reality there are more of us sick. Instead of justifying ourselves and seeking validation let us seek help. It begins with understanding that you need it. You can simply start with searching on the internet on mental health problems. Please don’t take this for granted, read from a few sources. A lot of us are sick and we need help. If you have been following the news you will agree with me on the escalating suicide rate. It’s depressing. It’s very important to understand that suicide is not a weakness. Don’t you ever judge those that resort to it. It’s because they have been mentally ill and what the media says is their reason for commiting suicide was nothing but a trigger.

I hope we all become considerate of other people’s emotions. Feelings are an essential aspect of our wellbeing as humans. How we treat others is very important. You may never know what battles the person next to you is fighting deep within. Don’t be their trigger. Be the reason someone cuts off the rope, throws away the pills or comes off the bridge. It only takes a little compassion. Be the reason someone works up to fight one more day. Most importantly, prepare yourself to be a better parent (will discuss this in depth in a different piece). If you are already a parent, be better than what your parents were when it comes to safeguarding your children’s mental health. We can build a health generation. It is possible. Let’s learn to talk to someone and above all, let’s learn to listen. Let the healing process begin.

(If you would like to talk to someone, you can contact me through my email: joedansukali@gmail.com or through my WhatsApp: +265998896206 and I will listen to your story and help you where I can. If you know me personally and you are not comfortable, I will link you to fellow mental health champions that will help you for free. I hope we all get the help we need. Let’s take the first step.)

Ntho’sPen✍️

SHARE
Previous articleThe MFP Series Episode 3: The Hooligan’s Dark Paradise
Next articleThe MFP Series Episode 4: Dear Black Child
Joseph Daniel Sukali is a Malawian freelance writer, blogger, award winning spoken word poet and a mental health advocate. Some of his works have been published in the Best “New” African Poet 2020 ANTHOLOGY, Writers Global Movement (WGM) magazine and several other local and international magazines. He is also a contributor to an online library Good Literature Malawi, columnist of Malawi Talents Magazine and editor of Love Feast Magazine. Sukali has authored and published a book "Dealing with a Heartbreak: Therapy for the Broken-A Health Relationship Guide”. He is also a co-author of a poetry anthology "Whispers of Beating Hearts". His 2020 spoken word album “Wonders Of My Perception” is available for free download online. The 26 year old is a holder of a bachelor's degree obtained from Mzuzu University. Apart from being a wordsmith, Joseph Daniel Sukali is currently an employee of Emmanuel International Malawi and he is also an ambassador for Maphunziro265 Malawi.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a beautiful piece. I love that you have given solutions at the end in the sense that now that we are adults it is our responsibility to get better. We should forget what our parents did and forgive them. The responsibility is now in our hands. It also turns out that our parents were also raised the same way with by parents. Thank you for sharing. I am inspired

    • I’m glad you feel that way about the piece. Let’s continue fighting this battle of mental health. We need to share as many insights as possible.

LEAVE A REPLY