The Success Of My Depression

by

Diary of A Successful Black Woman…

Sounds like the headliner of a prominent black magazine, maybe another title for a Tyler Perry movie or some online article full of pictures and stories of an inspiring black woman who has made it from nothing and is now at the top of her game. A self-made billionaire who earned every penny through persistent hard work. A glamorous young woman who can stand her own, and married or single is content in her successes. One would hardly associate the title with a woman suffering from depression

My successes past and present as a qualified chef include Jems Caterers, a gourmet 5*catering business that stood high above the rest as one of the leading Caribbean caterers throughout the 90’s catering for weddings and glamorous affairs. Jemz Cake Box, a thriving bespoke cake business where attention to detail is second to none. As an author, my first book, God’s Romantic Getaway chronicles my journey from the lead up to the peak of my depression to freedom, after 35years. The Behind Closed Doors Christmas Feeding Program, a program I set up for families and individuals affected by mental health struggling throughout the Christmas period. I provide fully loaded home cooked hampers with food for up to a week. GRG Intimate Seclusion Retreats, a spin-off from my book, GRG 7 day retreats offer a tranquil spiritual backdrop away from the distractions of life, exposing individuals to the restoration received through deep intimacy with God

Having read all of that, let’s hope you won’t be disappointed by the fact that I am not a self-made millionaire and I am still working on the glamorous side of things as I ditch my Cinderella mindset. Am I content with still being single? Mmmm, let’s save that for another blog. As for being at the top of my game, in the eyes of the world, I am forever excelling.

I called my blog page Diary Of A Successful Black Woman because I have lost count of the number of times I have been told,” you are such an inspiration”, “you are a great role model”, “you are a wonderful person”, ” you are a successful entrepreneur”, you are so gifted”, “your hands are blessed”, “you are so beautiful”, “you have a wonderful figure” and more. All this, and what the world sees is what in their eyes makes me successful. But on the other side of the coin, I have also lost count of the number of times I was told with an impatient tone to smile, called miserable, moody, too serious, named the Iron the lady, was ignored, overlooked and very much misunderstood.

In a recent interview at my church, I spoke openly for the first time about my long battle with depression, the audience both young and old were so captivated you could have heard a pin drop. The gentlemen interviewing me broke down as he questioned why I was able to walk through the doors week after week without anyone noticing. I didn’t say this then, but I will say it now, because for the most I was, and always have been pre-judged. Both at church and in my own family, the very people that called me miserable were the very people who broke down at the realisation of how bad things had become for me mentally. They were the very people who went on to praise me for my bravery of stepping out and speaking about my depression. Today they stand alongside the many who call me inspiring.

In my blogs, I aim to share with you the gritty truths of what it takes to be successful while managing depression. I feel this is necessary so others in my shoes can start to look at success, namely theirs differently. You may be walking the very path I am on and not seeing anything great about yourself or what you do. You may be feeling like a failure, wondering what’s there to live for. Well, there are many days that feel like that. With all the successes of Jemz Cake Box, my book, the charity and the retreats, there are days when I wake up thinking, “What on earth am I doing and why do I feel like such a failure?”

The world has no idea how much I have to talk to myself, push past the thoughts that bombard my mind when disappointment hits. How much I have to control my down days, so my thoughts don’t activate my emotions and the heavy oppressive mood that is always trying to gain its way back into my life. The world looks at what I do and deems me successful, but I look at what I have to manage and deem myself successful.


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17 Comments

  1. Reana D. /Reply

    AMAZING. I was hooked from the first word to the very last. You so eloquently describe how you made and are making your biggest pain your greatest success. The world is so in need of hearing stories like this with a perspective like this. I know you have so much more to share and I am excited to read! Can’t wait for your next post!

    1. Jemma /Reply

      Reana!
      I am amazed at how well it has been written, I keep reading it thinking did I write that?
      I believe at long last I have one of the many powerful avenues to air my voice from. A platform where I must and will be honest about my journey. It has been long and hard with so many secrets that have caused so much pain and damage, but the time has come to speak it out. To keep silent for fear of exposing others means silencing the voice of my story, and that I believe would be an injustice to me and so many other out the suffering in silence.

      Welcome to my journey!

  2. Darleen-Marie /Reply

    In our world at the moment…”having a voice” is such a difficult, wonderful and rewarding thing! Everyone is so busy, life is so fast-paced and it’s so sad that unfortunately it’s easy for all of us to feel as though we’ve fallen through the cracks of our lives at some point. So actually “finding your voice” becomes the hardest thing!
    I believe that you have found your voice Jemma, and I also believe that through this blog you have found a voice for others and will help some to find their own voice.
    Amazing…I sincerely hope you will keep your blogs coming!
    I am excited and expectant…thank you!

    1. Jemma /Reply

      Dareleen

      Thank you, I believe you have hit the nail on the head. For the longest time, I felt like I needed to release what was inside of me. I needed to speak before I burst, but I struggled to find a way to do it. I tried videos, which are great, but did not feel that was a complete way forward. I had a lot to say, and this I believe this is the way, so thank you for confirming and speaking into my life.

      Welcome to my journey!

  3. Sabrina Carr /Reply

    That last line is so powerful. I met you at a Youth Retreat last September and I had to make sure I got your book. I just got your email that you sent out regarding your testimony and it was so encouraging to read. For you to show how faithful God was to you when you put his business first was so inspiring as it’s not an easy thing to do. Especially when you’re looking at things in the natural eye. Thank you for being so transparent and god bless you on your journey. May God continue to keep and strengthen you.

    1. Jemma /Reply

      Hi Sabrina

      Great to hear from you. Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment. I am so glad you found the testimony encouraging too. At one point I thought, is this the type of thing you should be exposing about your ministry? But Father knows best.
      Hope you get to start reading the book soon and hope to see you on one of the retreats too.

      Welcome to my journey

  4. Samantha Blenman/Bourne /Reply

    Jemz im so proud of you, for opening up, and speaking out loud the truth about the real Jemz and how you have felt & no doubt still feel. It’s a battle that you have fought & must continue to fight. As i said to you, you are blessed in so many other ways, and have a talent which is amazing. Your hands were made to write, design & create. But first & foremost you Jemz are an amazing person. You need the right people in your life to lift you & help guide you. Toxic people are destructive & need to be avoided and discarded if they are still in your life. The only thing guaranted in this life is death. So live each day as if it was your last. Continue your journey, seek help, read & write & make time for you. Jemz cakes box is amazing, BUT you still need time to BREATH, YES BREATH. DEEP BREATHS. HOLD FOR 10 SECONDS, EXHALE SLOWLY, AND REPEAT WHEN NECESSARY . Discover, understand, research, believe & fight the demon depression which attacks at no set time. Upwards & onwards my dear, & thank you for sharing such a personal story with us. I look forward to reading more from you xx

    1. Jemma /Reply

      Thank you so much, Sam, for looking past my gifts and seeing me, the person. Your words are an encouragement. People will be surprised to read about my story, but it is time to speak out and help myself while helping others. You are so right, I have to make time for me, this is me making time for me. xx

  5. Sharon Brown /Reply

    Absolutely wonderful.
    Loved this…explains exactly how I feel on a day to day basis. It is not easy getting up out off this bed in the mornings to face the world, at times it feels like Groundhog Day.
    Thank you for being transparent and willing to share this. Without sounding cliche…it will hurt many others also ❤️

  6. Jackie D /Reply

    There is no stopping you Jemma. Good luck with this. Many are in awe and wonder at how you have pushed through and broken down the walls of depression. You are and will forever be an inspiration to others. You are truly blessed and well loved. Peace be with you xx

    1. Jemma /Reply

      Thank you, Colin.
      It will be refreshing to finally share what goes on in my head on the journey of living with, managing and overcoming depression

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