It’s okay not to be okay

I’m tired. That’s how I usually explain it.

Some days, I wake up and I’m the happiest I have ever been, I feel this excitement straight from deep within which cannot be explained and I don’t usually stop to think about it because for me, that’s a gift. A gift I must hold tightly onto, and enjoy every single second of, because once that’s gone, I don’t know when it will come around again. Especially, now.

Most days, I wake up and I’m anxious; an unexplainable anxiety clawing at my insides, making everything an effort, making every action difficult.
On the really dark days, I don’t want to get out of bed, I don’t want to see anybody or speak to anybody, everything is an effort, my phone rings and my heart starts beating really fast. I hear people moving around the house, and my heart starts beating fast that they might come to speak to me, that they might require me to be normal.

My life isn’t sad. I have an absolutely awesome family. My dad has spent his life making sure that we have the best kind of love. I have amazing friends who care about me and who “know” me… I have every reason to be thankful, to be happy, to be beyond happy. There’s so much good in my life.

And yet, I am not happy.

And I have gotten so good at hiding it, at trying so hard to just be. I pretend I’m happy, I pretend I’m having fun, I pretend I want to be there, I pretend I’m fine. I try really hard because I don’t want to feel like this, It’s like this constant drowning feeling, or as if something is weighing me down. One day, I am so happy and the next day, like a switch was flipped in my head, I’m not.

I don’t know how to be happy. This sounds like a completely horrible thing but I simply can’t let go enough, this anxiety doesn’t ease up enough. And fun? its just not that much fun having fun when you don’t want to have fun.

And now, recently, it’s gotten even worse, my okay days are far between. Those days when I don’t want to get out of bed are the most common; so if I do get up, I don’t want to stop, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to hear my thoughts, I just want to push through the day and get it over with.

I’m tired though. And now, I’m tired of pretending that I’m fine. I’m tired of making the effort when I really don’t want to. I never know how to explain this, I never have the words, so I just say I’m tired… in my mind.
And I’m ashamed of how I feel, so I pretend that I’m not feeling it. I pretend I am fine. I put on a big smile and tell my therapist “everything is awesome”. And I’ve gotten so good at it. I’ve been doing it for years.
Crying one minute and laughing on the phone the next.
I’ve learnt to keep the tears on one side and continue when I’m alone. I’ve learnt to cry in a crowd and no one notices.
I’ve learnt how to pretend I’m fine.

Why am I writing this?
For two sets of people; someone who gets it and someone who needs someone to get it.

Talk to someone, it will help. tell them exactly how you feel, in the words you feel them, it feels stupid, I know, but just say them, with that one person, at least, you’ll feel less crazy, the voices will quieten, you won’t be so scared of the silence.

I’m trying to not be so ashamed of this; maybe it’s okay not to have an answer when someone asks, “why are you sad?”

The first day, I saw my therapist, she told me that “a suicide attempt is a crime punishable by jail-time in this country”… I’m not afraid of dying though. Most of the time, I’m afraid of living… But I won’t stop, I won’t quit.

I wrote these lines a long time ago “I’ll work it out, I’ll see you through, this is the life I meant for you”.

So, I simply have to remember that I don’t have to struggle alone, I don’t have to do it all by my own effort.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

BTI 001

Alone. Lonely.
They say there’s a difference
But each can be like an abyss that slowly swallows a person,
Like a feeling of hopelessness that settles like a weight upon your shoulders.

What does it feel like to have no one?
To have trusted wrongly for so long that trust seems unreachable.
How does one get past having “people” and yet having no one?
How does the heart handle giving and never recieving?

Pain. Abyss. Hopelessness.

Maybe the path to freedom is that paved with acceptance.

… It’s only life.

 

©Adeola Matemilola 2016

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

H.O.P.E

Dark days, these days
Who woulda thought?
When just a few years ago,
We were young and carefree,
Teenagers without a care in the world,
When our most important problems were the boys we liked and which friends were snitching,
Physics, maths and chemistry were the best,
Government, literature and yoruba we looked down on,
It was all fun though.
Who woulda thought?
That it would end like this?
Who woulda thought?
That one by one, we’d drop,
Like over-ripe mangoes off of the tree,
One… Two… Three…
Is that all? Do I dare hope?

But life goes on right? While we wait…?


©Adeola Matemilola 2015

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Straits

I open my eyes,
It’s a brand new day,
My heart whispers “Thank you, Jesus”
I squeeze my eyes shut,
Clench my fists,
Open my mouth wide and then I hear it,
It comes from deep within me,
From the very core of my spirit,
I scream as loudly as I can,
Lying on my bed as I am,
In that scream is a twisted mass of emotions;
failures, successes, joys, pains, frustrations…
Life truly has been “like a box of chocolates”
Filled with untold surprises
As the scream gets louder and longer,
I begin to feel lighter, in my heart and in my spirit,
Gradually, it dies away
I unclench my fists, open my eyes,
I say “Thank you, Jesus”,
Say my prayers,
Smile and get out of bed,
A beautiful day begins.


©Adeola Matemilola 2014

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Shower Time

Shower time for me is a very emotional time.
Yes you read that right! Every morning, when I get in the shower, I feel angry and sad and happy and helpless and a host of other emotions.

I’m happy that I am past the time in my life when I had to wake up at 4 or 5 am to go draw water from a well and take a quick shower outside before it gets too bright and people can see! I am just simply joyous (even after all the years I’ve now lived with a constant supply of water) at the feeling of walking into a bathroom and doing nothing more than turning a knob to get water.

I feel sad for the little girl I used to be who had to spend Christmas day fetching water with bowls and buckets almost bigger than herself! Sad for the millions of little boys and girls out there who still have to bathe and brush their teeth with little more than a glass of water! I lost count of how many times I had to do that with just a sachet of pure water (go ahead and Google ‘Naija pure water’ if you don’t know what it is ).
Kids who have to walk tens of kilometers just to get water and don’t even get to complain about aching necks or backs because well that’s normal! A good nights rest will make it all ‘feel better’ just in time for the next days water fetching trip.

I feel angry that so many people still take so many little things for granted while so many people (children especially) suffer so terribly from lack of the same things, I feel angry that things that are so abundant on one side of the world can cause so much suffering and death on another side but mostly I feel helpless! That even being so conscious of so much through my own experiences and those of others I have known, there’s so little I DO. I feel guilty looking around me and seeing so much of everything but also seeing in my head those who are at this moment living the life which I myself lived not so long ago. I feel helpless that I can’t transmit my experiences like an infectious disease so that through me those around me may be inspired to do something beyond feeling bad and sorry about the state of the world.

But as I turn off the shower most mornings, the last thing I feel is hope. Because I have met many people who live not just for themselves but for others, many in whose eyes I have seen that pity is just the first step and someday they will take the next step and take action within their capacity. I feel hopeful that not only will my tiny and seemingly insignificant actions someday mean something to someone but that I will inspire others to take those tiny actions as well because as we all know, tiny drops make an ocean!

Yes, my morning showers are a gigantic cocktail of emotions! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

P.S.:This was written by my amazing sister (Zainie Matem on FB) She ended it with this statement “I am NOT a writer, don’t judge too harshly but I hope I passed my message across.”
In my opinion however, this is simply beautiful and so true. Many of us spend so much time talking and complaining about our countries and the world and how our leaders are just not doing enough but what have we actually done ourselves, it simply isn’t enough for us to like stuff on FB. “Tiny drops make an ocean”. Do one thing for one person today.


©Adeola Matemilola 2014

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Adeola Matemilola and aeyshadeedee.wordpress.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Mommy, I feel it too

Mommy, I feel it too.
The fear, the pain, the confusion…
I’ve only lived in you one month but I feel everything you feel
I feel the pain that has you contemplating abortion, even death
because it’s starting to feel like this life… your life isn’t worth living anymore
Surely, no one was meant to exist in this way,
because you have merely been existing,
living stopped a lifetime ago,

That night, you were 15, on the way back from the corner shop, when that man dragged you into the corner and stripped you of your innocence, you never even saw his face,
You opened up an account that night in your mind and stuffed the memory and a piece of yourself in there, locking it tightly, so nothing escapes, not realizing that nothing will get in either,
At that party, you were 17, your first boyfriend, who had promised to wait, “I love you baby, I’ll do whatever makes you happy”,
he got drunk and lost his mind, forgot his promise and lost his pants, when he was done, he passed you on to 2 other friends you had only just met that night,
And you fought,so hard…only it was in your mind, you were too weak to fight physically,
You lay there and made-believe you were in love and this was your night to be loved.
Your entire life was already make-believe, so it was easy.
That account was half-way full now.
Now you are 19, touched again, in that way that had become much too familiar and much too abhorrent, a one-night stand, in a bid to fill the hole in your heart
alone, afraid, in pain, confused… and contemplating abortion, even death
because it’s starting to feel like this life… your life isn’t worth living anymore
Surely, no one was meant to exist in this way.

But mommy, I want you to know, I feel it too… and I want to live.
Mommy, please hear me, I know you feel alone, but you are not alone, I am here
and I only want to love you.
You know the right thing, you feel it in your heart… our hearts beating in sync as they are
You feel me, just as much as I feel you,
so please hear me, I want to live… let me live for you. Let me live for us.
Mommy, can you hear me? Mommy…

Video of the Month!!!

This video is less than 6 minutes, take the time to watch it, I assure you, it is so worth it.
This guy is so good and his message is powerful, amazing, awesome, inspirational and then some. And he presents it in such a fun way. This is the Nigeria people need to see to balance out all the negative messages out there.
(big shout out to Haywhy De Rhymer)

Please watch this… remember, less than 6 minutes.
And uumm… you’ll probably thank me for it 😀

Loosing Faith

I took a trip this weekend, sort of like a vacation with the semester
I was at a point where I might as well have been operating on automatic, everything felt like a chore, I felt like I was constantly in slow motion; that doesn’t work well with 5 masters classes and a job
I felt like I was drowning, I felt like I was suffocating, the only light I saw seemed to simply scream ‘Give Up’, shining brightly like the neon lights showing the way to an exit
so I took my vacation from work, missed my Thursday evening and Friday classes and took a long weekend.
I went out of the Country. I didn’t go very far.
I came back feeling worse than when I left
I seemed to have lost faith in everything
I just couldn’t see the point… of anything
I was soooo tired. I was just tired.
And I couldn’t even say why.

My best friend.
He’s Awesome!
I finally spoke to him, finally found some time in my “busy life”
I typed and I cried, I talked and I cried… I let it all out
The serious issues, the silly things
The things I could explain, the ones that didn’t even make sense at all
And he listened, sometimes, he didn’t even try to make sense of it, he just listened
And then I suddenly saw some new light and it didn’t say ‘give up’
I finally took a breath
I finally felt the load lift away
I used to say I didn’t believe in the “concept” of best friends
But I am so glad I have one.

Jesus Christ.
He’s Amazing!
I finally found my way back to Him
I’ve been “so busy”, saying a very short prayer seemed all I was capable of
But in the last few days,
I’m finding myself again
I’m re-discovering who Jesus Christ is to me
It’s Christmas-time after all, what better time than now?
This special relationship was meant to be
He loves me and it’s on me that I forget that sometimes

It’s the 20th day in December; 2 days to my birthday, 5 days to Christmas
And I am excited about everything

I simply needed to remember “talk, talk, talk, it always helps”

My best friend; I love you N. Thank you for always being there when I fall back. Thank you for being you.
Jesus Christ; The one who loves me even when I’m unworthy. I’m overwhelmed by your love and patience towards me.

Adeola Matemilola

Strength for today…

Nkiruka opens her eyes and feels the now familiar pain tighten her chest as her reality comes flooding back after a night of little reprieve in the form of a fitful sleep.

It has been five years but the pain hasn’t dulled even a little bit, it is now like a very familiar, if uncomfortable heavy bag she drags around with her everyday, it feels like she has just been going through the motions these past five years.
She knows in her heart that she stopped living that afternoon, five years ago, that seems just like yesterday, when her daughter skipped around a corner ahead of her on the way home from school and simply vanished.
She remembers like it was yesterday the moment it hit her that her daughter wasn’t simply playing hide and seek as was her habit, she remembers feeling like the world was spinning around so fast, she couldn’t see anything or hear anything, while at the same time feeling like all of her senses were heightened, she couldn’t stop screaming her daughter’s name, she couldn’t stop running around, all the while almost sure her daughter would jump out and run into her arms anytime now.

She remembers the exact moment concern changed to panic and her heart beat so fast and so loud she was sure it could be heard for miles and that one of those would be its final beat.

But that horrible dream hasn’t ended five years on, she puts her hand to her face and finds it wet from tears she hadn’t even been aware she was crying, she wipes them away slowly, and summoning all of her strength and will-power, she gets out of bed, willing herself to get up and continue existing, it is another day to struggle through.
She doesn’t look in the direction of her daughter’s room, just as she doesn’t look at her pictures or imagine what she would look like today.
She also has her name tucked far at the back of her mind, she doesn’t even think it, not since that day one year after. when she had finally accepted that the chances of finding her were getting very slim, sometimes it seems to her like she’s keeping that name safe, the way she was never able to keep her daughter safe.
And no matter how hard she tries, her thoughts everyday are filled with that beautiful girl that had been the light of her life, she still wakes up most mornings with the feeling that she might just have awoken from a nightmare and her daughter might come bounding in like she does regularly to start chattering rapidly about some school story she had forgotten to tell her the day before. That sweet, sweet voice used to fill the house, causing she and her husband to laugh hysterically sometimes, they did seem like the perfect little family and they really were. They were so happy.

Now the only sounds that fill the house are the ghostly creaks of an empty house and her cries late at night and the only voices in the house are her thoughts and memories; her daughter’s voice, talking, singing, oh how she loved to sing… her daughter’s laughter.

Her husband has long since moved on, made for himself a new perfect family, she couldn’t really blame him, five years is a long time. Or is it?

Her friends and colleagues have slowly started to avoid her, as they do not know how to act around her anymore, she couldn’t really blame them either, she just can’t seem to summon the strength to do more than exist a day at a time.

She struggles to shut out her thoughts as she lay on her bed and shut her eyes in a bid to find sleep, tomorrow is another day to do battle with her ghosts.

…to be continued

Strength for today…(2)