Suffering from the ‘Black Dog’? Read this week’s SAGN newsletter

Don’t Get Mad, Don’t Get Sad…Get Up!

by Justin Foxton 

 I have battled to write recently. This is odd because I usually have a great deal to say.

But I have been struggling with what a dear friend and colleague calls “the black dog” of depression. For those of you who suffer from depression, you will know that it is damn nigh impossible to create from within the bowels of the beast.

Dr Louise Van Rhyn, founder of Partners for Possibility, talks about there being 4 possible responses to the challenges we face in our nation. She says;

  • you can get depressed,
  • you can get angry,
  • you can leave (well, some of us can) or
  • you can get up and do something.

My choice since returning from the UK in 2007 has been to do something. My contribution has been to persistently challenge the prevailing narratives and to explore possibilities rather than problems. In short, I have tried to tell a different story about our country.

But then sometimes the black dog outruns me. He outruns all of us from time-to-time. We get negative and even depressed. This can be clinical. It can also be situational. I think many South Africans are suffering from situational depression right now. Zuma has been taken out and nothing material has changed.

We are on a major Ramaphoria come-down and it isn’t pretty.

But I don’t wish to get angry and as a family, we have closed the backdoor for good. Leaving is unimaginable for us and not an option. I do not wish to be depressed so the only thing left is to get more involved.

My involvement today is simply to say this. We are better off than we were 1 year, 10 years and 20 years ago. I am not making this up – the data proves it. So, please don’t leave; don’t get angry and try not to get depressed. And if you want to get involved and you don’t know how, then consider this invitation:

What if the future we want for South Africa is in our hands?

Each one of us holds infinite possibility in our heads and hearts. This possibility is our “true self” – the self that sees possibility all around us. We are laden with possibility; with potential; with gifts that our world desperately needs. And yet we get trapped in thinking: “I’m not enough; I don’t have the time, the money, the talent etc”. This is simply not our true self speaking.

If you are interested: Join myself and Dr Rama Naidu and begin a journey of discovery of the unique gifts that you have that our country urgently needs

Date: 18 September
Time: 8:30 for 9:00 until 13:00 (lunch will be served)
Venue: TBC but in Durban
RSVP to Thandiwe no later than 10 September 2018 via email rsvp@ddp.org.za