I was pronounced a talented writer on the strength of my first poem which was a piece on depression. My suicide note received more applause than did my love note to an ex-lover…I was rather befuddled this by but as I grew older I learned that your misery is as good as an orgasm; people are aroused by your downfall. Twisted right? (Your people Lord).
For the first time in my eight years of fighting a ‘white man’s disease’ (as my black folk call it), I have finally come to realize that the line between depression and spiritual dis-ease is as thin as that of a homophone. Before giving in to my spiritual calling I, of course, went through major anxiety and major depression, both of which I was clinically medicated for and yet prescription tablets could not fill the void caused by my depression. I had to stop for a second and understand what TF was happening to me. I had to interrogate my abrupt breakdowns. I had to introspect; unpack the cause of my anger, tantrums, outbursts, impatience…I had to do it all before submitting to a bipolar diagnosis (and trust me I was on the verge). So I meditated, burned candles, drank water, prayed, burned western and African incense, meditated, burned candles, prayed, burned incense, cried it all out and finally taught myself how to listen to myself. But that was the real issue: I was listening to myself, the self-healing-depressed- self-with-four-packs-of-medication-self…
I stopped and did this again. Meditated. Prayed. Left out the western incense this time. Drank water. Lit candles. Buried my head in the smoke of burning incense. I gradually taught myself to connect to a part of my life I had been ignoring all along; that’s the voice I should’ve listened to eight years ago; the voice of those who are more…it had been calling but I obscured my own view with this modern crap, lifestyle, Instagram-life.
The ancestral voice was not new to me…The new trick my old self had to learn was how to listen to that voice with comprehension.
And then I stopped. I narrowed it down to burning just candles and incense and praying…it was them all along! It was the ancestors all along…
The line between depression and spiritual dis-ease is as thin as that of homophones. The penny finally dropped; eight lengthy years later, I had finally come to terms with my true self. I had finally made sense of all the jobs I had lost for inexplicable reasons, all the friends I fought with over nothing really, all the break-ups I still can’t fathom.
Let me tell you – it’s a tough journey. I have been made fun of by close friends who claimed to support the purpose of my white ancestral beads and the premonitions I pronounced to them. I watched some of them sing joyful songs and roll their eyes when I broke down because of this, this burdensome ‘gift’. When I lost most friendships, another close friend said to me ‘idlozi lakho likhathele abantu aba hlekisa ngalo’ (your spirit guide is tired of people who, when you embody him, make fun of you meaning they’re making fun of him). Pay attention, people you are losing are people your spirit guide is sick and tired of because they’re malicious to your spiritual journey and they’re pretentious to you as a gifted person,’ she bluntly concluded. I debated…she reminded me of my own words and advised me to pay attention to the distinction between my depression and my spiritual dis-ease, both of which I needed to learn who to share with.
One day it finally registered. My own damn words materialised. People masturbated to the sight of my demise and I got so blinded by the notion of friendship that I almost let my spirit guide down…It was finally time to let go and let gone. It was time to appease my spirit guide so I could be healed, and to finally accept that those I loose in the process are the ones idlozi lami (my spirit guide) was just too damned tired of!
I was pronounced a talented writer on the strength of my first poem which was a piece on depression…eight years later; multiple outbursts and breakdowns later, I finally know that spiritual dis-ease was the root of my depression…one didn’t take away from the other but it is way easier, I found, to heal the spiritual being before the physical being.
By Lynneo Kekana