Welcome or welcome back to my blog! It feels surreal writing this.
I have finally mastered the courage to come back here and pen something. A decent number people have asked me why I stopped writing; some more than once. Truthfully speaking, I did not give anybody a concrete answer. I always promised to be back soon, though I had no idea when that would be. I planned to write but every time I started to, it would end on the first paragraph. Some days I would cry, delete everything and move on with life. I hoped that one day I would be back here and pen something, which is one thing I honestly love to do.
This post is not in any way meant to elicit sympathy or anything close to that. I hope to answer the questions of those who have been genuinely concerned about my hiatus and those who have been simply curious (which is still fine). While as I have always been very skeptical about what I share about my personal life, I trust that this post will encourage one, two or even more people to do the needful.
Before today (when I’m posting this), less than ten people are aware of what has been going on in my life this year. LESS THAN TEN! earlier in the year, I was diagnosed with depression, albeit mild. Writing this makes me feel fish out of water! Many of my friends and probably extended family are unaware; and I intentionally had it stay that way until I got in a better place to actually talk about it.
How? You must be wondering. I mean, I am a happy and bubbly person and my online persona says otherwise! I have always striven to be a prim and proper big sister, daughter, friend, mentor, employee, Christian and most often than not, I have always tried to take charge of life and everything life brought my way. Rarely letting the ball drop! No matter how much I did though, I never thought it was enough and every other day I would strive to do more.
2018 started on a decent note. I was trying with every fiber within me to be happy. I did not know what it was going to take for me ‘happy’ but whatever it was, I was going to do it! New Year’s Eve came roughly a month after a very dramatic end of what I thought was a good relationship. After countless sleepless nights and a distorted diet, I was determined not to have it bring me down. I shut down any unwelcome and happy feelings and thoughts.
I learnt how to keep my mind occupied most of the time and always ensured that I was thoroughly exhausted by end of every day. That way, my brain would be too tired to entertain any sad and real thoughts or insomnia. The next day, a happy Nimo would wake up and continue to live life ‘happily’.
This ‘happiness’ would not last for long. A few months into it I realized that I was actually empty and faking this happy phase. I felt like a shell. A hollow and empty shell which would break at the slightest touch. I became irritable. I started went back to skipping meals and in turn my weight started going to the dogs. In as much as I express my every emotion through tears (which is quite hilarious to everyone around me), I would now cry daily over the smallest of things!
I knew I was not okay. I confided in my sister, my best friend and two of my friends at work and asked all of them to keep it confidential. Many a times they watched me cry inconsolably. They did not know what to do with me. One minute I was okay and the next I was a total mess. I lost interest many things and I was scared that I was losing control of myself. I thank God for all of them because they stayed and tried to help the best way they knew how.
During that period I did not want anything to get in the way of my job, to be perceived as weak or to get to a point of hopelessness. I tried to get out of these feelings of extreme sadness but I could not. I knew I needed to talk to someone who would understand me. Secretly, when I wasn’t crying and feeling sad, I started scouting for professionals who I would talk to.
One day I had one of my episodes in front of someone who I truly respect and this turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Out of it, he recommended that I visit a psychologist and graciously linked me up with one. I will be forever grateful to this person!
The first session of therapy was for lack of a better word, therapeutic! Though I cried an ocean, it felt right. Through the sessions, I have managed to unearth so many things that I harbored within which in one way or another had led me to my situation. I have been relearning what I thought I knew and learning new things about myself. I could talk about all these things now but they are a quite personal and I would be digressing from the purpose of this post. Also, chances are this post would be five times longer!
Why am I sharing this? The number of mental illness cases I have seen online are too many. So many perfect looking people have taken their own lives. Every other day I see people online express how they have battled depression and mental illness. Behind all the smiles we see every day, people are battling many situations. Depression is real.
Growing up, I watched my mum slip in and out of depression, though I had very little understanding of what was going on. Now that I know better, I choose to help myself. I choose to do what I can for my sake and for those who look up to me.
To anyone who may be going through any situation which may or may not be depression-related, I would highly advise that you seek help. Talk to a friend, a trusted family member, somebody in church and if you can, seek help from a professional. Luckily, we live in a world where this information is available online. Please seek help. The same way you would seek help if you had a flu, do so for your mental and emotional stability. There is no shame in seeking help.
Love and light!