(16) THE TREATMENT

When everything came bubbling out, I went, emotionally, mentally from Bruce Banner to the Incredible Hulk. I was angry, all the time. Even when I was crying, I was angry, even when I was eating, I was enraged. Even when I was walking, one of the only things guaranteed to make me let go of my anger and fear, I would be so angry, I would be screaming into the wind. That’s another aspect too: I would wake up some days screaming, other days crying. On other days, I wouldn’t be able to speak.

I felt like I was in a race between me and myself and the prize was my life. Because it was clear to me, clear to my parents, clear to everyone that I couldn’t go on the way I was going on. But there was still nobody willing to listen to me. They knew all about it. But I had been holding it in for 10 years at that point and I wanted to talk about it more than once. More thoroughly than someone telling me, “okay, we have heard. Ndo. Now stop talking about it”. Why did I have to stop talking about it?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll undoubtedly say it many more times, Evil and indescribable pain lurk in places where people want you to be silent. To let it go. No, I want to talk about it and by God you will listen. You will listen to my grievances, you will listen to my mammoth sized rage, you will listen to my terror. You will fucking listen. Because there has been too many years where I woke up from sleep and wanted to cut my wrists and feel my blood flowing out. There have been too many days when I flirted with thoughts of suicide. A huge truck is coming. Just step in front of it, and your problems will be over.

I unpacked my mind thoroughly. I love(d) psychology. Encarta was my favorite database when I was growing up and I’d always gravitate to articles about psychology and mental health. I loved reading articles on psychology.

And now I had a chance to practice. On myself. From my diagnosis, I found that I had severe anxiety, the manic depression was caused by severe stress and there were “tinges” of schizophrenia. All for me. You shouldn’t have. The perfect cocktail of mental health issues.

You could claim you have diabetes and you need insulin. Just stockpile the insulin for a couple of days, then buy a syringe and an intravenous needle. You’ll be dead in no time. Clearly, I had a lot of resentment buried too.

I was screaming and screeching at God and I firmly believe that is what saved my life. The Saviour who dared to cut me (paraphrased T.D Jakes. YouVersion plan. Crushing it: God Turns Pressure into Power)

I love walking. In the darkness, when the sun goes behind the clouds, my favorite thing to do is take a walk, bottle of water in hand. I was walking around Ikeja, near under bridge (I actually do not remember how or why I got there, it remains a blur) one such time when I saw the book for the first time. The title immediately grabbed my attention.
The Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer. It was applicable as I was having a severe crisis of confidence. And I knew that if I wanted to make myself over, break me down and build me up again, there’d be a new slate.

And I could make myself, the perfect version of me that I was always meant to be. So I bought the book. And having a new purpose, I decided to stop thinking about death, stop craving death and start working on my life.

It is and it remains some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. Ever. I used to set goals for myself, U-U smile at everyone today. U-U have a conversation with your mom/dad today, a friendly conversation and leave whenever it degenerates into anger or she tries to emotionally manipulate you. U-U, forgive yourself today. U-U forgive your parents, your friends, and Uncle Asshole today. U-U write the story of what Uncle Sunday Asshole did and share it with everyone. U-U, when someone upsets you, unleash all hell on the person. U-U, unleashing hell made you feel terrible, shebi. Now go and apologize. And from now on, learn how to correct people in love. (Still learning this lesson). U-U, celebrate your birthday on Saturday this year. Invite lots of people. Did your brother say he wants to save your ice cream cake for his friends? Let him do it. It doesn’t matter if he didn’t pay for it. Let him do it. Buy 3 cakes for yourself, you have been through the storm, you have been through the fire, you have come out of it alive. Celebrate. Things will get better for you when you believe truly that it will get better.

An uncle, whom Nebolisa was named for invited me and Nonso to spend a day with him. He took us out to Ice Cream Factory, bought us food, distracted Nonso with more food and ice cream and took me into his office where he had a very candid conversation with me where we unpacked yet more problems and yet more resentment. But at the end of that day, I was quicker to smile. And I was hopeful. Sometimes, just sharing how angry you are with someone who has a pre-existing relationship with you and your family greatly helps you feel understood, appreciated and hopeful.

I started playing Maroon 5’s She will be loved. Continuously. In addition to all the other songs Joy and Ife put on my phone or recommended to me. The only songs I used to listen to in that period were songs that made me either angry or very angry or depressed. But I started listening to happier music.

I once read a book; This song will save your life (Leila Sales). The songs that saved my life were Hillsong’s mix, 116 Clique’s Man Up Anthem (it’s non-gendered abeg), Lecrae’s More but in that period, most especially Hillsong’s Freedom is Here.

If you read the 2015 review, you might have guessed that I completed my self imposed treatment in February. But I definitely did not. It was a continuous process and journey. And I’m still not finished. It’s gotten a lot easier especially as the raw points of my pain, anxiety and anger were covered. But I’m not finished with it yet.

With the help of the Holy Spirit, I identified 5 major areas where my thoughts were perverted.

1. God: I truly believed at a point that God hated me. He’d have liked me to become a martyr. I once asked him, that if He could transfer the breath in my body to someone else, why wouldn’t He just do it? Because I was tired of living with his disappointment and disapproval. I would keep to our agreement. 6 months. But if he wanted to hasten my death, it was fine by me. Martyr behavior something πŸ™„.

2. Family and Friends: The lessons I learnt in pain were not so easy to unlearn. I felt like no matter what, I couldn’t count on anyone but my self. And that is a very painful belief. A very limiting belief in addition. It began to dissolve when the Holy Spirit showed me how Joy, one of my closest friends was sacrificing her time to go buy me lunch and make sure I ate it. It was in how my big brother finally listened as I unloaded so many years of pain and bought me jumbo sized Skittles and a carton of grapes. In how my parents were taking unprecedented levels of care and concern in my life; my dad was buying me shawarma, nkwobi, asun. In how my mom let me rest my head on her lap and kept on stroking my hair and calling her brothers and my dad’s sisters to tell them to describe how they loved me so much. My friends and family were there for me. And I didn’t have to be strong anymore. I could let it go. Because someone was always on hand to pray for me. Someone was always checking up on me.

3. Money: There was a reason behind why I started to check my motives for giving money in the first place. And a reason I hardly give out money of my own direct capability anymore. I speak too much big English. What I mean to say, is I rarely give money or provisions in such a way that people know it came from me. I prefer giving it to a church and watching them/being absent when they distribute it.

4. Sex: I’m not saying anything in detail about this oh. But I had a lot of miscommunication and misconceptions regarding sex and Wikipedia, girl’s/boys magazines, secular and Christian romance novels have helped me to clear it up. Still a work in progress but I’m nearing the end of my target goal regarding my beliefs and where I need to be. Please if you are following my game plan pro forma, ask yourself; is there anything/situation/relationship that would cause you to sin against God/your own body at the current moment? To decide whether or not to read a secular or a Christian romance novel. It’s very key.

5. Hope: There’s a verse in the Bible (1st Corinthians 13:13) that says: And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I completely disagreed with that verse in that period of my life. Wholeheartedly disagreed. At that time the greatest struggle for me was believing that better things were ahead of me. Better things were coming for me. There was too much happening in my life at that moment in time and I just needed quiet and peace in my soul. And hope, hope that everything would get better. Hope that my nightmares and night terrors would turn into good dreams and my irritation with every human being in the world would morph into a calm, a silence borne of peace, tranquility and the ability to actively ignore anything and anyone that did not serve my purpose, my goals or my pocket.

I unpacked everything. And at the end of it, I would feel so tired. Super exhausted. My speech and elocution improved greatly (I used to get very easily tangled up over my words and unable to get them out in time when someone was waiting for me to speak. Oooh, I just realized, (the angel of) God did this same thing to Zechariah!)

I got so much sleep in that period. No bad dreams, no night terrors, I finally retired the small knife I was keeping under my pillow back to its spot in the kitchen. I felt safe. In my house, in multifarious family members’ houses. My godparents house. My friend’s houses.

Thank you God for bringing me to the realization that I’m where/at the place I wanted to be all along.
There is nothing you cannot accomplish once you set your mind to it. And ask for God’s help.

Peace be with all of you! Hugs and 😘.

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THE DAY AFTER 7/10

As I move further into my 20s, I find that I tend to feel happier the day after my birthday. The pressure to be visibly happy is reduced greatly as is the pressure to do things you’d rather never do for the sake of social media.

I’ve found that there tends to be so much pressure put on birthdays and it starts from childhood. I’m sure some of us can still remember the days of primary school when we’d share goody bags. And there was always that one person who had everything in their goody bags. So we’d go home and wonder why we didn’t have all that stuff in our goody bags and then resolve to change it up on our next birthdays. Except by then, the goalposts would have changed once again and the cycle and questions would continue, and the pressure would increase.

I don’t do well with pressure. It makes my heart race and gives me what I call pressure paralysis. It makes me feel extremely anxious like I’m back in Law School, up on stage in front of 5,000 people and I know what I’m supposed to say but the words won’t come out and I start having a panic attack.

I figured out a hack that has helped me greatly: if the pressure to do something a certain way is choking you, scrap that idea and do it another way.

My birthday was yesterday and I did nothing out of the ordinary. I had planned this birthday to the last second, I’d have 2 cakes, small chops, juice, I’d have professional pictures taken, I’d go out and turn up etc etc. And then on the week of, I noticed I had literally no energy to do anything towards that. So in the end, I did absolutely nothing. No cakes, no professional pictures, de nada.

What surprises me is the peace of mind I had yesterday. I’d bought small chops and asun for the ones who gave me life on Friday and I’d praised the One who made it worth living on the day of and there was no one and nothing for whom I had to pretend anything for. So relaxing.

It’s the day after my birthday today and what started out as a thank you post has now become an op-ed. 😊
Getting back to the purpose of this post, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to my village. The people who stand by me every day, every time. My brothers, Olayinka, Ayomide, Joy, Fifi, Mobi, Tomi, Rukayat, Yanmife, Nedoux, Bisola, my cousins, my uncles, my aunties etc etc etc.

I’M SO GRATEFUL I GET TO DO LIFE WITH YOU ALL!

I kept a pen for 6 years and other short stories

I kept a pen for six years…

I have a fascination with unusual pens, whether their unusualness is color related, the place I got it from or the shape. I have a pen shaped like a toy car. And basically everything most people lose often, I have a tendency to keep for ages. Bobby pins; I’ve had my current pair for 3 years. Hair bands, nail cutters, hair decorations, there are some in my room that my mom has threatened to toss out. They’ve been with me for a long long long while. Think 11 years and above.

The point, a colleague of mine received a green pen from a customer and after a while, she forgot it at home. Now I had a green pen too. So we were hanging out after work and she mentioned that I’d taken her green pen. Lol. I then fully explained all the differences between my green pen and her green pen and then I ended with the statement, “Don’t test me oh, I’ve kept one pen for 6 years before.” I had indeed, from age 12 – 18 only ending once my pen bag was filched, probably because of the N1000 I’d taken to keeping there. But as a lesson to everyone who has a pen similar to mine, “do not test me oh, I’ve kept pens for 6 years” and not for lack of usage too. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸ‘ I’m clapping for myself.

DiCS personality testing

So in one of my bank’s training sessions, the facilitator had a breakdown of this personality test and she explained that dominant personality types are drivers, result oriented people who don’t particularly care if they hurt your feelings, how they look etc etc. I know some dominant people. Influential people are the kind who care, who’ll take the time to explain why while making you feel like the choice is completely yours but you’d definitely want to do as they say because you see the benefits. And then she explained C and S. Cautious/conscientious (prone to reading everything before signing or agreeing (I’ve read the terms and conditions of quite a few online agreements, think 60 pages of small print), have unbreakable, sometimes unreasonable routines, conscientious people really really don’t want problems and they look for lots of ways to not get in trouble; and Steadiness. I was listening to the personality traits she described and I was like, Uju, this is so you. And then she said, everyone has little bits of all these personalities but the difference is the ones they exhibit constantly. Imagine someone being a C and an S in one body. Basically me. Chai. Chim o. I almost burst into nervous laughter. I’m a bloody hero guys. I’m a super hero. I’ll sign autographs for you as long as you feed me for an entire day day. And I eat, a lot. 😊

P. S- I have absolutely no idea why the I is always in non capital. I completely forgot what the opposite of capital letters is. I just remembered, it is Small letters.

John Oliver- Last week tonight

Please take some time out to watch this show. It’s crazy funny and very very informative. See,

This is my rule, ignore it

I wrote on a previous post, that I’d stop reading blog posts if the blogger didn’t reply comments I’d left on their posts. So here’s an amendment and an apology; shit happens. I realize that lots of people have commitments to more than just me and I’m cool with that. I don’t like it at all. But if I like a blog and leave a comment and I’m not replied to, I’m cool. It’s very peaceful not caring too much about crap like that.

Jevinik Place: A review

Went out with a friend today. I suggested Jevinik and he agreed. I had to be at work by 7am and we were to meet by 2. So I was quite hungry by then. Remember, I like food and Jevinik is known for its huge portions.

I ordered Abacha and my friend ordered pounded yam and vegetable soup. And then I ordered Nkwobi to go.

Things to note, you had to order your sides separately. Basically, my friend had to order goat meat separately. My Abacha was good. I had to answer questions about Abacha and what it was and by the time I was done, I was exhausted. Also, my abacha came with zero “encouragement”, zero “motivation”. I had to pick out my friend’s dry fish and munch. I didn’t know you had to order sides separately.

P.s: I didn’t know I was going to do this review until halfway through my food. So there are no full pictures. Sorry.

Then there was the bottle of water we did not ask for which the waiter gave us. A confused order perhaps. But still. I’d ordered the abacha as a starter but in the end, it was starter, main course and dessert. I have a tendency to overestimate my appetite. Adaeze can tell you. We had fresh juice, as the waiter called it. He did not make a distinction as to what the fruit was but, come close 😳 it was pineapple juice with lots of foam. You’re welcome. The prices were fair, except I just noticed that the price of the goat meat was more than the price of the soup. Lol.

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Everything considered, including the 10 minute power outage, I give the place a 3.5/5 star rating.

P. S- Thank you so much dear for being the kind of person whose food I can grab and chew without shame. Thank you for the long ass walking tour and everything else.