I have been cooking for ages now, most people that know me seem to use that against me. They will call me over to their places to chill and somehow manipulate me into cooking. Its so bad that they even try to guilt me into cooking for them, I am quite sure that as they read this they are rolling their eyes because they are about to send demons of guilt my way for writing this. I mean do not get me wrong, I love cooking but every once in awhile I want to be cooked for too.
I want someone to invite me over when they have cooked my favourite foods and we talk about the stupidest most random things. Who does not like to have some TLC (not the girl group, still power to the non- scrubs) every once in a while? We all want to be taken care of even the most independent super women out there. Especially the super women! You see most people that make things happen in our lives tend to hide a lot in their lives.
The people that bring smiles and joy to our hearts, they are the ones that need us most. You know how your mother would wake up at 5am with the nanny to make sure you were ready for school by 6am? These same heroes would stay home all day cooking and cleaning, doing your laundry then sleep way after you are enjoying your bed because they wanted to make sure everything you needed was there. Did you ever sit their and ask yourself if anyone took care of what they needed? They took care of the whole household but still smiled hiding the fatigue and stress they went through.
Those days when school fees would become an issue and your Dad would leave early and come back because he was trying to make sure you stayed in school all year to get the education you deserved. He would play with you and your siblings make noise for you about your homework or doing your chores then neglect his health just so you were happy. African fathers are what we like to term as strong men, you never see him cry but you can see him angry. We never actually ask them if they are fine, you expect him to be fine, he is a man. No? I saw my Dad cry twice, once when Kukhu Petwa (Grandmother) died and when I was rushed to the hospital because of a horrible ulcer. On both occasions, my heart sunk but you would rather that than never knowing he was ever sad. You would rather see him in pain and help through it than see him smiling everyday then gone the next.
I am sure you have already figured out this is not about cooking nor food, this is about the underlying issues for the people in our lives. I have written about depression several times, many more people are speaking up about it. We all need to see this as not a “millennial problem,” but as a mental diseases that if handled well, the ones we love can openly live without fear of being judged for something they do not have control over.
I know a mother who could have won the “best mother” award but because no one noticed her pain, she decided to end it all and left three young babies who would never hear her voice through their childhood. It is not easy to detect depression because we are too busy telling people that “they can get over it.” They would rather be silent than face your nonchalant judgement, instead of listening to them and trying to bring light you create more darkness.
Much like cooking and entertaining, you can never tell if the chef wants someone to cook because you always expect them to do the kitchen duty. It becomes automatic that no matter how many cookouts you have, that is the person you will always choose off head without asking if they want. I do not know how to help those who are depressed but I know how it feels like to drown in your own darkness. You are never alone, you are loved and you are very important in this tapestry of life. Don’t be ashamed to talk to someone and if you feel scared there are so many psychiatrists available on http://tumainicounselling.net/, we do care.
PS: To my friends, I love cooking for you guys and will not stop.
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