One year, one lesson: Start living a joyful life.
I interviewed the beautiful Samu-Siwe Makhanye, all the way from Pretoria. This is the first brave soul to share her heart-warming “One Year One Lesson” message with us!
Samu had quite a rough mountain to climb when she was she was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder.
However, this strong woman, supported by a few beautiful souls, has turned her life around and wants to use her experience to help others find their path in life.
Please give us some background as to why you would like to share with us.
The truth is, looking back I was not coping and I was very sad.
I decided to go for therapy.
After my first session, my therapist sat me down and said “Samu you have what we call major depressive disorder – MDD.” I was not expecting that at all! It was a shock to hear this.
How were you feeling before you found out about MDD?
I wasn’t feeling well… I think that I was depressed. I always felt sad. I needed to talk to someone because I definitely had problems. That is what drove me to just book a session with the therapist. I just needed to talk to someone. So, it was unexpected when she confirmed that I was depressed.
However, what came as even more of a shock was when she told me that she needs to admit me into hospital. I was not prepared at all to hear this.
Anxiety kicked in as millions of thoughts ran through my mind. I kept thinking “what are people going to think about a mental illness,” “what is my family going to think!” At the time I thought they would think “she’s weak,” “she’s crazy,” “she’s mad!”
Did you decide to go to hospital?
I did. I asked my therapist when she would like to admit me into hospital. All she said was “whenever you’re ready.”
I exited the consulting room and told my husband the news. Four days later I decided that I need to get admitted. I was in denial, but I decided to get myself help.
I was booked in for a week and the rest is history.
I am here now and I am happy!
What happened in hospital to start the shift out of that depressive state?
I met wonderful women who have bigger problems than I do. I also met a wonderful psychiatrist who became my rock. She assisted me through all this turmoil.
However, what really helped me was meeting other great women and sharing stories and problems with them. I then realised that my problems are minor when you start to share with the other people in hospital.
If you had to look back over this entire process, what would you say the lesson has been for you?
The lesson in all of this is that when you have a problem, seek help. Talk to somebody; whether it’s a friend, family member, church peers or book counselling.
It does not go help to walk around with problems, hurting inside. I was very unhappy and very sad.
That is the biggest lesson: talk to somebody.
On a practical level, what do you do differently now?
When I was depressed, it was so difficult for me to wake up. I struggled with laundry, I struggled to make breakfast for myself, I struggled to take care of my children.
Everything was such a mission.
But, now I wake up and listen to music.
I listen to music, I laugh, I dance! I have a specific album that I wake up to. Even my children know; when mommy wakes up she sings and dances.
It’s the small things that make a huge difference to bring in that joy.
Is there one thing that has been a source of inspiration to you?
My inspiration has been a person. It has been my husband, my rock. When my husband found out about this he began reading more about depression than I did. So he understood exactly what I was going through. He supported me all the way.
Zoom forward to the end of 2018, and imagine that you are looking back at your year. What do you hope to see if I was interviewing you in a year’s time?
I would be saying: “Nicky, I am a coach!”
I have already registered with Inner Life Skills, and I will be starting in February 2018. I want to coach young black women on how to be confident, to gain self-esteem and take care of themselves.
When did you decide that you want to be a coach?
After this whole experience. It’s like you said, when I came out of the depression, I found the real Samu.
I now know what I want.
I have found inner peace and I would like to share it. I believe that I can help someone.
I have also released all of my fears – I mean the fact that I am sharing my story with you is something in itself! The old Samu would never do this.
And the fact that my fears are released has helped me to transform. I believe that this experience was necessary for me to become the lady that I am now.
Thank you, Samu for being such a brave soul and for allowing us to interview you!
If you enjoyed this interview, and would like to watch it first hand, please find it here: The Abundance Circle. Please feel free to comment and join in the conversation. You will be prompted to join The Abundance Circle in order to view and comment.