" I lived In A Religious Household.. Mental Health Was Never Really Discussed" -- Sipiwe Bwalya's Mental Health Story
I have been opening up this page of my blog for other writers to share their Mental Health story or even share their knowledge of the stigma going around about mental health. A fellow writer named Sipiwe Bwalya offered to put her story out there. I feel like I can relate to her, especially when she talks about being raised in a religious household. That is even more difficult because there is so much more expected of you when being raised in a religious household. I hope you sympathize with her story as much as I did. Plus find out where you can learn more about Sipiwe and her blog below!
My second year in University was tough. By the end of it of the year I would barely get up to classes, constantly felt tired, and have panic attacks at the idea of writing my papers. This eventually all caught up to me as I saw my GPA drop. Needless to say that did not help me at all. I felt trapped, helpless, and couldn’t turn to anyone. Most of all I was scared to tell my parents. You see I grew up in a very religious immigrant home and talking about mental health was never something that was discussed in a positive light. Whenever we talk about it wouldn’t be the greatest, the conversation would always involve how the said person needs the Lord in their life, how demonic they were and how they had a sickness that could not be cured. To be honest feelings where never really discussed, I was raised to be the perfect child an example not only my family but my community. It was hard to hear, I wanted desperately tell them how I felt but that I couldn’t how was I. I felt broken with nowhere to turn. Mental health had always been demonized and could not bring myself to talk about what was going on. I went on and continued to push it back and pretend that it didn’t exist. I thought that if I acted that it didn’t affect me it would one day not affect me. That didn’t end up working, I was so low that I would sometimes cry sporadically at night because I couldn’t take it. It wasn’t until my friends noticed a change in my behaviour. She could tell that something was off and thank goodness for her. For the first time in a while I was able to breath. Having someone to talk to, the support my friends gave me probably saved my life. Without them I don’t know where I’d be. I’m not saying that ever since then I have been good but it has been easier and I know that there is nothing wrong with me.