The strongest person is not one that fights battles people can see but fights one that only she feels and understands.
Sometimes the people with the widest smile are the ones hurting deeply and most times their only companion is themselves because nobody really understands what they go through each day.
In commensuration with world mental health day, I’d just share a little bit of my mental health journey and how I still fight every day knowing that I’d definitely be victorious at the end.
The Story… (NB; it is a lengthy read)
At about age 7/8 when I was in primary school, I got bullied because I didn’t walk “straight” I used to limp, well I still do. I didn’t talk to most girls in primary school because they were the chair people of “bad mouthing” the way I walked.
I never like to see myself walk, with through a mirror or in a video so I had really low self-esteem because I never thought I was up to the standard of the kids in school, I didn’t walk like them neither did I even feel beautiful in any way then.
One day at say age 11/12, I was watching a comedy skit on TV on how a guy was trying to get a lady’s number but she wasn’t really paying attention to him, then she finally said ; follow me to my car” and when she walked and started limping the guy was astonished and laughed so loud that he said “so you dey form and you no get straight leg”. Since that day I zeroed my mind that I was ever going to marry because no man will love me once they see me walk. That made my self-esteem deteriorate.
Fast forward to secondary school, most of the activities I really wanted to be a part of like the marching squad during inter-house sports and the rest, I wasn’t allowed to, the senior said if I join, the judges will see that I don’t have straight legs and they will come last, I was really sad, I ran to my room, cried as much as I could cry and then depression started.
I wasn’t myself anymore, yes outside I’d smile, play, be cheerful with my friends and at night in my little corner cry so much that the tears in my eyes literally finished.
Then during my teenage/youthful stage, I had various life issues that I am not bold enough to share yet, which happened to me that made me question God on why I was created and if He wasn’t ready, I was ready to help Him take my life and come to join Him in Heaven.
At home, my mum always kept shouting at me, that why was I doing tomboy walk step and she’d flog me sometimes if I walked the way I did. But she later realized I had a total hip dislocation which made me undergo a surgery, during the surgery time I had no friends around me, I was alone and every night throughout 2011, I cried every night and just wanted to end the mental and physical pain I was going through.
My road to recovery…
I joined the Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative in 2016 to seek for closure on how I felt, and then I met someone that I thought I was gonna spend the rest of my life with. You know that type of love that you find and you this butterflies in your stomach that this is “THE ONE” yup that’s the kind of love I had for him and then one day out of the blues, he breaks up with me and oh boy I was shattered, I felt my walls were crumbling and I could feel every brick that landed on me and it hurts so badly.
Then I had made up my mind that this life really isn’t for me and I need to just leave, I called my sister and she begged me not to do anything and just hold on till she came back but how can I hold on when where I stood had bricks falling on me.
I thank God I made the right decision else I wouldn’t be sharing my story here today. For like some months I stayed off anything that reminded me of Him which included social media just to get myself back.
During that period, I was plugged into listening to gospel music (I still do), it’s my remedy anytime I am slipping into depression, I started building my relationship with God, Jesus and the HolySpirit which gave me a new perspective with how I see myself.
Secondly, every day I look into the mirror I see a beautiful, smart, intelligent, resourceful, hardworking and so much more lady staring back at me and I say loud so I hear it ; I am fearfully, wonderfully and beautifully made and created for a purpose which is to be a force for positive change in my society.
In my few years of living, I have cried more than I have laughed (my sister will be shocked when she reads this because she says I never cry but the truth is that I never cry in front of anyone).
Thirdly, my involvement with Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative has given me knowledge and insights over the past years I have positively impacted as much people that have come across me, so I know I am definitely created for Gods purpose and yes sometimes I drown in feeling lonely even if I have close awesome friends to always cheer me up, I still will always rise above all and be Victorious.
So try to get involved with like minds and build your mind daily.
Fourthly, I keep myself active with writing, photography and my fashion design brand that I am building. so if you are going through any mental problem, be sure to get busy with your passion so you build yourself every day to be a better person.
Finally, to everyone struggling in one way or the other, people might not see your battles but keep fighting, SEEK HELP, know that you are stronger than whatever you might be facing and just like me you’d rise up Victorious.
The most important thing is to seek professional help and speak out. Do not die in silence