As we honor the Mental Health Awareness month of May, we took time to share a story by Tawanda Mhuriro, popularly known as, T1 Wema1. T1 Wema1 is a ZimHipHop rapper who went through a rough page. Taken from a post he made on Facebook back in November 2020 and this is his story:


DEPRESSION IS REAL

I’m gonna try and keep this short but we all know how that’s gonna go šŸ˜…

Over the past 6 years I went through some stress inducing experiences that got me slipping from being a mild cigarette smoker to smoking through packs while throwing weed in the mix. Family and friends would often encourage me to pray but I would always find my mind wandering while mid prayer. My mind was heavily distracted. Takura says on his song #itsokaynottobeokay

“Hondo iri mu brain yandivhiringidza…”

When it all started I didn’t fully appreciate what depression was so I just chalked it up to simply feeling bad and I comforted myself with the thought that nothing cures a bad feeling better than alcohol and drugs. Little did I know I was digging a hole that would only get deeper and deeper. My esteemed friend Michael Mcpotar Mupotaringa says

“If you find yourself digging a hole, stop digging!”

However simple it sounds in writing it was so profound as it spoke to my situation!

Overtime I found myself smoking a blunt or even 2 followed by up to 3 cigarettes each morning. I’d do this to help me get through the day. At night I couldn’t sleep so I chalked it up to insomnia and figured more weed and cigarettes were the solution to get the much needed sleep. Sometimes I’d even throw alcohol in the mix.

To the people around me I was still the same T1. Nothing had changed as far as what they expected of me. So they couldn’t understand why I would not pick up their calls or why I’d snap while having a simple conversation. Little did they know there were times when I felt like not talking to anyone or times when I’d snap all because I was angry inside. I felt life had no meaningful purpose. I’d like to think my wife and son’s presence were the only deterrent to having suicidal thoughts.

I had been trying to shake my nasty smoking habits for over a year as it was affecting every imaginable facet of my life. Sometimes I’d zone out after smoking or I’d feel even more depressed after smoking so I’d smoke even more so I could zone out.

Suddenly and ironically, I had an epiphany while smoking a blunt at night. The thought of health deterioration, possibly cutting my life short and by extension not living to see my kids grow sent chills in every possible zone. I told myself this was the last time. Let’s go cold turkey!!!

Surely enough the next morning I woke up to downloading a home workout app and got to exercising. It was hard, my chest was heavy but I pressed on. Fast forward to now and I’ve been clean for 3 weeks with the commitment to never looking back! Of course the risk of relapsing is still quite huge but it takes commitment, focusing on the positives and constantly reminding yourself of the benefits!

A lot of people are going through similar or worse experiences and they are resorting to vices such as drugs, alcohol and even sex just to numb the pain and feel good. Fortunately society is waking up to the ills of depression but we need more awareness and education. Depression is not a choice but a disease! A disease of the mind.

I’ve taken a picture of my 6 year old, infamous weed box which I’ve used to “select” my weed while remaining with the stems and seeds. Over the years I’ve emptied this box countless times only to fill it up again. I’m keeping it as a reminder of the step I took to never go back!

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