You are not alone

Each time I come across anything about suicide, it really does break my heart. Mental health challenges are taking us silently. They take our voices, our will, isolate us to a breaking point. The sadder thing is we only talk about them when someone loses their lives. You see posts of “the signs were there” but at the time no one cares, because it’s attention-seeking. It’s not an attitude problem, it’s not attention-seeking, there is a war going on and someone is crying for help, just listen.

Take the time to learn the changes in your family and friends. They used to be chatty, what made them stop? They used to care about birthdays but now they forget and don’t care about celebrating their own. It’s the little things that make the big things, so take note of those things. Most of the time they just want a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, a reminder of their worth and that they are loved.

I was once there, I wanted to die, ideas about going to swim at the beach when I can’t swim, ideas about jumping off bridges, thoughts of jumping onto oncoming traffic and sleeping pills, lab chemicals, but I didn’t act on them. Somehow I found a listening ear or two at the most critical moments, subtle reminders of my worthy, acknowledgements of the love they had for me, that’s how I got through to a place where it is hard, but I don’t want to die.

Be someone’s saviour today, just be a friend. Don’t wait for the time you can write, “I noted something had changed, I should have talked to you.” Now is the time. Check up on your friends and families, be kind, and while you are on it, check-up and be kind on you too. Smile at a stranger. Let’s not let mental challenges isolate us, that’s what makes them formidable.

You matter too!

I know I am a little late for suicide awareness day, wait, it should be a daily thing. Anyways, they often say check on others, you don’t know what they may be going through. Well, I want to remind you to check on you too. Often, we let a lot go unchecked until we are broken. Don’t let it get to that, check on you too. “It’s okay to not be okay”…

#mentalhealthawareness

The dungaree

Mine wasn’t ripped☺: photocredit google

The best thing about Christmas growing up was new clothes. Boy boy, the excitement kept us from sleeping. To prevent that, my parents often hid the clothes until a few days before Christmas.

But one Christmas, I was in grade 2, it was different. They bought clothes almost a month before Christmas and they did not hide them. Maybe I saw them too early, I don’t know. So, I came home from school and went straight to my parents’ bedroom and there were clothes strewn all over the bed. There was everything for everyone, except me. I have always been a fragile soul, never been good at taking jokes. When my mom said they didn’t get mine, I was shattered, I left their room and went to my room, so I could have a good cry-my parents didn’t love me. They let me sweat it out for a while before they said jokes.

I got a pair of short dungarees and this beautiful white and blue striped golf t-shirt with a zipper. This t-shirt was very beautiful, I wore it till it had holes everywhere, and I have never liked clothes with holes. Anyway, I was so mad that when I got my clothes, they were just bluh.

Skip a few years later, I became obsessed with my dungaree, it was as if that was the only piece of clothing I owned. I wore it until I was in high school, and the first thing that stopped me was it had become uncomfortable and the second reason was my mom got rid of it. I came home for the holidays and my precious dungaree was gone…

I have been looking for a replacement ever since. I have seen so many, but I don’t know why I am still yet to buy another one. Maybe it’s just irreplaceable…

Healing

Healing is a true virgo!

Photo credit: Pinterest

You can’t dictate her pace,

You can’t tell her what to do,

When she is ripe and ready, she will show up!

Healing is one long and stubborn process. You could be suffocating, wishing for death, but don’t think for a second she will bow to your needs and please you. She demands that you go through the whole process of pain gracefully, or not, but she wants you to go through it. You will go through all kinds of processes, some will break you, but you just can’t dictate to her.

But when she is finally good ready and she feels you, she leaves you complete. You will poke at the scars, but you won’t feel an ounce of pain. You will try to revisit the pain, but once healing is there, be rest assured she got you, loyal to a fault, but only after you have gone through the process.

So, whatever you may be going through, hang in there, she may take her time, but she will get there. Hang on a little while!!

Relationship diaries: are we dating?

I have been seeing a lot of relationships have their ” owners” who determine the pace and the timeline of those relationships. Honestly, I am part of this generation but I don’t understand how we are relationshiping…yes it’s a word!

Well, it reminded me of a time I met this guy and we just started talking. He would call and text and hint he was in the area and wanted to drop by. It was a friendship for me, I don’t do signs-they are open to misinterpretation- so if you don’t use your words when it comes to relationships, please, don’t assume.

So, back to this guy, we were friends until he sent me a shocking message, “for this relationship to work, you should make time.” What?! A whole relationship, I didn’t get the memo!! Did I do something to make him think we were dating? So many questions came to my mind. But I couldn’t see it. Most of my friends are guys and I have been talking to them for ages but I never found myself in a “relationship”.

It made me realise that words and actions are important in any relationship. With some people you just vibe, but that’s where it ends, for others, you need to clarify, say what you want from that person, it can save you from potential heartbreak or may get you a happily ever after, nonetheless, COMMUNICATE!

Moments of doubt

They say I am in between jobs, well I am currently in between faiths. I was raised a Christian, I loved going to church, I was even the Scripture Union leader in high school, so being in between faiths is something that came as a shock to me.

It’s not something that I just woke up to say I am struggling with my faith and have too many questions no one can answer. It’s been a long and arduous process of pain, disappointments, loss, anger, and a whole lot. I tried to find my back like I always did but this time was serious. So, I decided to not force it, but let it be what it is, I will find my way one day, whether to Christianity or to another faith altogether, but I will find it.

But in the midst of my doubts and questions, there is a part of me that always believes in the Higher Power I was raised to believe. I seriously believe I have been sent help when I needed it, been sent comfort and strength. Because I can’t explain it, I just say, thank you, Lord!

Recently I have been having some questions about where I am going and if the things I really want will ever manifest, and a long time friend I rarely talk to nowadays called. I was laying on the bed but when the phone rang and her name was on my phone, I sat up. We talked and all of a sudden the conversation became serious. She was talking about how things will fall into place when the time comes, and I was like, wait, have you been spying on my thoughts? I guess this was one of those moments when He understands my weaknesses and my doubts but He still watches over me, because He knows my heart of hearts.

Even in doubt, I still believe!

When you show up for you

Often, society tells us it’s not about you, it’s about everyone else. I do get it, to an extent. But, do you know something else I realised? If you don’t put yourself first, you may never get to be number 1. Another thing, you can never know how to stand up for others, love others and care for others if it does not start with you. That’s my understanding of, “charity begins at home”.

It’s the lesson I am trying to learn at this my big age. And I have been trying to teach my siblings too. My baby brother was having problems at work and I told him, “you come first, no matter what. Stand up for you and fight for you.” Guess what, I am pleased to know that he is actually doing it. Actually, he is doing it better than me. He made a decision to leave his workplace because it wasn’t serving him well. It was then that he got a way better deal. He chose himself, he put himself first, he spoke up for himself and he stood up for himself, the result, they saw his value too!

So, remember it’s you who is supposed to show up for you. Chin-up and choose you!

The world is yours!

Sibling love

‘I love you’ from parents and amongst siblings is something I didn’t grow up with. So, you can imagine my surprise when my baby brother sent me an I love you message. You know, I had tried it before and all I got was ‘iribho sis’. I made peace with it.

Then one day, I got him a tablet. The moment it was delivered, I saw an ‘I love you’ message from him. I read the message, put my phone down and then opened it again. The message was still there. I had to confirm with him. I was like, I think I got a message that’s not meant for me and he was like, no, it’s for you. It was surreal, it took just a gadget to get an I love you from my baby brother.

Now they come here and there, but it’s usually when he wants something. Younger siblings are precious.

Who am I?

Ever just sat down and started thinking about, well, everything and nothing? That’s me right there. The journey I have taken with this mind, the lives I have lived, if only my mind could speak on it’s own.

One of my thinking journeys took me to a rather interesting, or is it a disturbing place? Who am I? Don’t get me wrong, I know who I am, or do I? Okay, to be safe, I know who I am not. I am a scientist, I have a curious mind and I have always been inquisitive, but because I was shy to ask questions, I often read to get the answers I needed.

I clearly remember the day my relationship with science might have started. It was a post-filtration lesson in one of my early grades-don’t remember which one exactly. It was so exciting, I was mesmerised by the miracle of science. Like dirty water becoming clear and I am actually amazed at how I understood at that moment that clear water wasn’t clean water.

Curious me got all the apparatus the teacher had used to demonstrate this “miracle”, including gravel stones- a story for another day-I had to make sure it worked. I don’t remember where I got the cotton for my home experiment, but I got the muddy water, the sand the containers, I mean a whole little laboratory in my backyard. Voila, it worked! The teacher wasn’t lying to us, the muddy water was clear. I was so over the moon. I think it was then that I wanted to become a doctor. I was set, I had it all figure out.

High school, the dream didn’t change. I was not a bad student, I did really well and I was selected for the sciences class. Tried to back out because someone scared me but my teacher knew better and just ignored me. I enjoyed science, my teacher was right. But I was also a writer, something I didn’t know until years later. I used to get praise for the way I presented my words, I even vividly remember one of my compositions (essays) was read out in class. Most people believed it had actually happened.

I wrote, notes to my friends, poems, I had a lot of material, and I was still oblivious to this passion. Or was it lack of exposure? Could one have a career in writing? Of all the questions that crossed my mind, this one never did. People talked about how much I wrote and it was just one of those things for me. Any note or poem for my friends, I would be the first guess.

Fast forward to University, they talked about my writing, I didn’t see it. It was just one of those things for me. My lecturers, even new ones, they praised my writing in front of an entire class. One lecturer went as far as saying, “her work is a pleasure to read after a long and exhausting day”. I still didn’t see it, it was just one of those things. Then, one day, my supervisor called me and was like, who wrote this for you? I don’t like trouble, so imagine the number of thoughts that crossed my mind. Nervously, I told him I wrote it myself and he was just like I am impressed with your writing. Wait, so, I am actually a good writer. That’s when it hit me.

When my experiments are giving me a hard time and writing consoles me, that’s when I find myself asking who I am. With career guidance, could I have been a writer, or could I jump courses, or kill two birds with one stone?

Oh well, either way, I create!!

Birthday plans

Yes, I am a September baby, a true Virgo. With my birthday coming up, I have been thinking about ways to commemorate the day my mum went through that pain, just so I could walk this journey called life. I always make it a point to do something for me on that day, I take myself on dates, I actually prefer that if someone wants to do something for me, they choose another day because my birthday is my me day, well each day is my me day, but this one is the real deal. I buy myself gifts, yes, it’s the one day I make excuses to go for that ridiculously pricey pair of shoes, that gorgeous bag with a huge price tag and that sassy dress with an enormous demand for my wallet.

This time, I want something different. I thought of a spar day, but nah. Then, alcohol came to mind. Yes, I don’t drink but it’s not because I haven’t tried, someone said don’t say you don’t drink if you haven’t tried it, and I have tried it before, we just didn’t click. Another reason for my aversion to alcohol could be a list of other things; a former SU chairperson-tjoh, the expectations, a dutiful daughter, an exemplary sister. Since my birthday is about me, I am laying off that armour and be me, just a girl who wants to drink and get wasted, responsibly.

Another crazy reason is the lockdown. True story… With this lockdown, I have been craving a little Rosé, don’t even know how it tastes. I do have an explanation, maybe. I have been sanitising my hands too much ever since I started going out and I think the alcohol is getting into my system…#laughter. On a serious note, I have been curious about who I am and the limits I could break if I weren’t too aware of myself. The time I tried alcohol, I passed out from barely a glass and when I woke up the following day, the pain in my body told me we didn’t click.

Before the lockdown, I was hoping this would be an experience I would share with a visiting acquaintance who is a bit adventurous, but well, 2020. So, here we are, the ban has been lifted and birthday is around the corner!