Life as a young adult with an unwanted pregnancy

I had used the whole safe period method and I also took a morning after pill, so I was certain that I was not pregnant until the day I missed my period.

“Being alone and having no one to talk to is the worst feeling ever.”

Kuziva* Friendship Bench Client

My name is Kuziva*. I’m a 20 year old girl and I’m a University student in Zimbabwe.

I was going through post abortion depression. This all started after I aborted the pregnancy that I was not prepared for. I had used the whole safe period method and I also took a morning after pill, so I was certain that I was not pregnant until the day I missed my period. Thereafter I took the pregnancy test and it tested positive. I was extremely shocked and from then I cried every single day. I was not ready for parenting, l was in school and was afraid  of  the drama that would come after my parents knew about the pregnancy.  I knew that I could not keep the baby because the circumstances that  I was in could not allow that. l decided to seek help. A friend of mine linked me to some ‘professional doctor’ and the abortion process was carried out successfully.

However, once the abortion had been done, I was left with a lot of negative feelings. I started to question myself, l had feelings of regret and guilt. I could not forgive myself and the abortion haunted me day and night. I felt like a murderer and I was also scared that maybe I had lost my chance of being human again. I felt l had lost the only chance  of having a baby. I was not able to open up to people around me. I always looked okay around people and yet inside l was suffering. Every time I thought about the abortion I would break down and I cry, every night since it happened I would sit at night in the dark scared to close my eye, and again I would cry, I think the exhaustion from crying got me to sleep.

In one of WhatsApp groups I was in, there was a discussion on depression. After that discussion l knew l was going through depression and l needed someone to talk to. One of the facilitators in the group posted a flier for the Friendship Bench Online Sessions. It was then that I realized that I needed  help and immediately booked my sessions. The online sessions helped me  express all my fears and worries without being judged. It really felt like a safe space for me  to talk about  what l was going through and after each session l felt empowered to take on life again. I have managed to open up about my experiences and it has given me the courage to help people with the same situation as the one I had.

My life has a new meaning now. Being alone and having no one to talk to was the worst feeling ever but now I know there are people to talk to who won’t judge or criticize. The Friendship Bench is for everyone.

* Names and certain identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Author: Friendship Bench Zimbabwe

The Friendship Bench provides sustainable community based psychological interventions that are evidence based, accessible and scalable. OUR MISSION: Creating Safe Spaces and a Sense of Belonging in Communities to Enhance Quality of Life ​OUR VISION: A Friendship Bench Within Walking Distance For All OUR VALUES: Empathy & Connection; Anchored in Research