They say Igbo girls are rude
They hadn’t met me yet
Earlier this year my roommate stared at me
Did I know I had been greeting everybody since we left church?
Most of them were not even answering me
They say it’s good to be nice
It’s a pain in the ass
Thinking, feeling, empathizing with everyone
Now that you’ve been virtually stabbed so many times do you see?
Yes it’s good to be nice but to quote a church service lesson:
Don’t be gooder than Jesus
Nice people have the most friends
I prayed last year for God to send me friends
A lot of the ones I had
I won’t say anything else
Being respectful will take you far
It gave me an ulcer
I kept letting everyone cut in the food queue before me
But this is 2015
Last year I was nice, respectful, empathetic and likable. A vanilla kind of likable. Forgettable.
This year; not so much.
2014 left me with bipolar disorder aka manic depression, a 6 month plan (on the 15th of August I spoke to God. If things didn’t get better in 6 months, I’d walk in front of a truck), a healing freak ulcer, inability to string two sentences together without stuttering or rambling, forgetting my name some days (My name is Obianuju Ayalogu. I am 20 years old), incapable of trusting my own judgment and hurt. Very very hurt. I was crying most nights and making lists most days. I kept a journal and forced myself to write in it every single day. I researched – what is bipolar disorder, psychological profiling, why do I feel this way. I researched – Christian perspectives on depression. Testimonies particularly. I amassed a small library of Christian fiction because I wanted to know how people lived, being Christian in this world.
At the same time I researched ways to kill myself and make it seem accidental. It was as though I was emotionally on gear 5 and on a bend I forgot to change gears and crashed headfirst into a brick wall.
I read and reread Emmanuella Onyilofor’s poem- For those whose hearts are always open. And I knew I was going to fail my Bar Finals before the results even came out. I was at my godparents’. Read Zechariah 8 the instruction came. Trembling I opened my Bible. I prayed against it. I cried. I sowed a seed. October 17, my friends were calling me scared. Supportive messages were flowing in. My phone was switched off. I regrouped at the end of the week. Called my friends and told them the news. Answered the busybodies. Praise God (it’s truly a catchall phrase. There are some people who didn’t realize I’d failed. *shrugs*) A friend took me to see a movie then spoke candidly about how she had failed before. It was going to be alright. I would be fine. (Thank you Aisha!)
Sometime around November (21st I think my worldview changed. I was still showing my pretend happy nice face to the world but it wasn’t so exhausting anymore. Some days I was genuinely happy. I went for Night of Worship with my father in tow. Lol. He spent half the night with his head in his hand. The second half looking at us. We were standing on chairs and holding chairs aloft. I slept sometimes. Then Tasha Cobbs came out and said something I believed was designed specifically to be heard by me. And I was grateful. I wrote in my journal, I think Tasha was talking to me. I think she was talking about me.
January was interesting in many ways. My electric sewing machine packed up on New Year’s Day. 2 tries- it couldn’t be fixed he said. Another day, I was walking down that road in Ikeja, CIPM avenue, when a massive wave of tiredness hit me. I walked slowly, very slowly to Ikeja City Mall to get a bottle of water. Pace yourself. Right leg first. Just one more step. Great. 2 more. You can’t sit down now. One more step. I’ve never forgotten it. I was tired. I was so utterly, ridiculously tired. My confidence was shaking. My energy level was dragging. I wanted to get my water and sit down in a place where the sun was not mercilessly frying everything in sight.
That’s where I met Sayo. Shoprite. I didn’t talk to her, she turned around and asked my opinion on a biscuit she wanted to buy and then she had to go get something she forgot, so she let me go in her place. I got my water, sat down in the food court and drank most of it. Then Sayo approached. She was a very chatty person so it relieved me of the introductory burden of being charming. But she was also a skilled interrogator. Within minutes she knew I was a law student, how many brothers I had, what happened last year etc etc. Sometimes you meet people who say the right things at the right time. And she really did help me. She was a lawyer too and she told me this story that struck so close to home and for the rest of the day I was at peace.
Thank you Sayo!
February was the month everything became all right. The year my roommates informed me that I had begun laughing in my sleep. And I calculated. Among my prayers that time I asked God to make things alright, was to let me write my Bar Exams in peace and have the rest of August free before I dealt with my problems. So September. October. November. December. January. February. 6 months.
God will show up for you. It might be at the last moment but He will show up for you.
On People and Relationships
When I had to go register for the mandatory resit classes I met up with a friend. Later she told me she was freaking out when she saw me laughing and chatting happily. I can be morose, lots of people know that. But this year I shifted gears again. I refused to keep in touch with people who acted like they couldn’t care less whether I lived or died, or with people who’ve always treated me like an afterthought, and where before I would shut my mouth tightly or walk away when anyone got in my face, was rude to me etc etc, these days I get very close to their faces and reply. Online or in real time.
I gave out so many fake numbers this year it’s ridiculous. For instance in law school there was this dude who sat down where I was eating and dragged me into conversation. He was articulate and well spoken and I suspected he’d ask and I was debating with myself as to whether I’d actually give it to him. Then he said something about how he’s never kissed a girl with braces before and I smiled and relaxed. Fake number definitely. Dude with personal space issues proposing marriage. Just-got-into-the-university-and-would-not-shut-up-in-the-cinema. Etc etc. I’m weaning myself of it though. But the fact that I didn’t give this dude a fake number is such an effective check on any exuberance I might have otherwise displayed.
I won. I lost. I have this rule: Never place yourself in a position where you’re not wanted. I enforced it and thus broke away from about 20 people. Some days it hits me that among those people were people I loved, people I’d have given a kidney to. And then I remember the last days and I’m at peace. It’s not worth it if your hands shake and you have to give yourself a 30 minute pep talk before you call your best friend. It’s not worth it if you can’t talk about yourself without being accused of manipulating emotions. It’s not worth it when you have to claim that you have no expectations from your friends. Bullshit. Total utter nonsense. None of it was worth it.
I won. I met people I genuinely like. People I had instant camaraderie with. We might not be bestest friends forever right now but it’s a start, a promising start.
On Work and NYSC
I took a gap year. I was supposed to have finished youth service by now; except that I deferred for a year. So now I don the NYSC uniform and feel sometimes like I’ve lost 2 years of my life to the insane tiredness phenomenon. If I’d gone earlier I doubt it would have gone well though so I comfort myself with that and I’m at peace. All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Although I took multiple steps back from my family as a whole, this year has brought to the forefront of my mind how much I love them. This was also my speaking out year so I’m so grateful that none of my family members have ever attempted to molest me because the good Lord knows I would have talked and talked loud. To every member of my family, thank you. I love you all.
I grade my insomnia usually by the hour at which I can fall asleep. There were a couple of years when I could never sleep before the clock struck 6AM. These days I can fall asleep by 12AM. I’m grateful. I’m truly grateful.
This year was quite interesting. I built on and developed my personal relationship with Him but except for the 3 months I was in Law School I hardly went to church services. I’d go to house fellowship instead and only attend church so I could pay my tithes.
2014 left me jaded about lots of churches and in 2015 I couldn’t muster up enough emotional energy so I restricted my church attendance.
I have plans in 2016 so please pray? Thanks.
1) Got my drivers license.
2) My mom fired her driver. Praise the Lord. If you want to, you can ask me why it’s a testimony.
3) I fell in love with Nigerian music for the second time this year. Not sure this should be classified as a testimony but it is certainly notable.
I’ve run out of things to talk about so I’ll end soon. I wish each and every single person who reads this post peace, love, joy, prosperity and happiness in the coming days.
P. S- Please read http://adaezewrites.com, it’s an amazing blog.
Hugs and kisses!
I’ve officially run out of things to say.
Have a wonderful 2016 everyone!