It’s the 18th January 2020, and as promised I am back to continue from where we ended on Wednesday. I trust you are all well and the week has been kind to you. Welcome back to my blog and to our new friends, thank you for choosing to partake on this journey with us.
Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.Kahlil Gibran
Things build up; you don’t just wake up one day and decide to make a certain move about your life or anything else for that matter. The day someone breaks down trust that it wasn’t an overnight emotion, rather a consequence of countless emotional, unacknowledged set of events that contributed to that one significant event of which we are presented with. Not knowing the whole story, I believe makes us ignorant when it comes to the truth of the matter. We have associated weakness with; people who commit suicide, people who have eating disorders, people who have drug problems, people who cut up their bodies, people who are promiscuous and many more other things of which we fail or rather choose to be ignorant about or not discuss for that matter. Basically, we assume a person is weak if they don’t deal with things like we do. We have all been dealt with different cards in life, and each of those cards contributes to some part of who we eventually become. However, never make the mistake of believing that those cards define you because they don’t! You define yourself by who you choose to become regardless of whatever cards life has dealt you with. At the end of the day, the ultimate decision lies with you.
A lot happened in my life preceding my biggest breakdown, yet! I think elaborating on those events would require me to set up a whole forum and have an in-depth discussion with you about it. Well, someday! In any case, for now, I will settle on giving a narration of my journey from when it all began. My hardship began in February 2013 and the journey towards healing took the entire year all through to February 2014. Come to think of it now; February isn’t my favorite time of year; it is somewhat a bittersweet time for me. Anyhow, 2013 was the final blow to a culmination of events that began in 2010, when I met the one person who eventually became the “breakdown of me” because I allowed him to. He stripped away my confidence just as well as he stripped away my soul, heart and my emotional being, all through his unkind words and other acts that dug the knife even deeper. This is one instant in my life which I can refer to as an example of the truth that stems from the statement that “Not everyone has the same heart as you.” Trust me on this; I experienced it first hand and saw darkness erupt from a man who had presented himself with no streak of such whatsoever. He had done so many things of which I forgave and in hindsight, I realize that it was one of the biggest mistakes I ever made. However, I have always had so much faith in people that I think I became a victim of my own optimism not just when it comes to men but people in general and the relationships I form with them. All these have been lessons for me especially all a part of my becoming and the choices I have made. I think you go through things for a reason, but sometimes you never see it until you’ve survived it. The day he pushed me against the wall and said to me, “You are so stupid. You are such a fool!” is the day it all fell apart. After having said that he walked away. I was so motionless, shocked and broken by these words. I mean, how could he say this to me? What did he mean? Am I, really? I got caught up in all that negativity and began doubting myself which pushed me all the more towards that dark hole. I battled with so many thoughts after that; I was broken because of everything that I had sacrificed for him and putting his needs well before mine.
I never told anyone about this incident, not even my best friend. I could not share this with anyone because everyone always believed that I possessed great strength and had a good head on my shoulders. I was afraid, I was ashamed, I was totally lost and I did not know how to deal with it. I withdrew from things that I loved; I stopped writing; I stopped reading; I stopped eating; I became a chronic insomniac; I stopped going out and I deleted my profiles from social media platforms. Honestly, I stopped living and kept myself cooped up in a dark room not wanting to talk to anyone and my academics suffered. It was all too overwhelming for me to deal with. I couldn’t eat that I lost so much weight and went from being 75 kg to 60 kg in a matter of 2 weeks, might be less even. However, the weight loss was drastic that when I did go out, people would ask me what my secret was and I told them I had joined the gym and had cut out on carbs. Imagine that. Such lies! Perhaps I should have flat out said, “It’s depression. Get it, and it will work wonders for you!” Anyway, I was so broken that I even fell into destructive behaviors because I did want to confront my feelings. I cried every day, even the smallest of things would trigger me. When I did go out, I would put on a mask and smile when in fact deep down inside I was screaming out for help. I just wanted to die!
Emotional scars run deeper than the Nile and often lie lurking behind a smile.Khang Kijarro Nguyen
This one time I went to visit this young lady I was in class with and we talked about school and other things but when she told me how her sister had died through suicide I felt a lump in my throat and seeing how emotional she got about it, broke me all the more. The fact that she had chosen this path and left so many unanswered questions as to why she did it, touched me deeply. I didn’t even know the sister, but I think my emotions were founded on the thoughts of suicide I had been battling with at that time. As soon as I got back to my place, I bawled out as I never had before. That was my breaking point; I felt my heart break, I felt myself break, I felt a pain that I can’t explain to this day and my soul just felt so empty. Many thoughts flooded my mind, and I thought about the effects my committing suicide would have on my family and I wondered why I would ever want them to ever hurt like that. I picked up the phone and called the man who had broken me, who had hurt me in the worst possible way, who had abused me, who had cost me my dignity and everything else in my life and told him that I never wanted to see him ever again. I dropped the phone and wept all night through. The next day I looked up a psychologist in my area, and I found one. My sessions with Dr. Fiks began in May 2013 right through to February 2014. I swear if I had never met Dr. Fiks I would not be here sharing this with you which is why I am an advocate for people seeking therapy when things get hard. I am a testament that it actually works. That woman helped me regain my self-confidence, my dignity, actually, she helped me find myself again.
Dr. Fiks carried me through that entire year of brokenness. I kept my appointments to see her; at first, though it was not easy opening up. I cried throughout the entire sessions. Honestly, I feel that I cried so much during that phase of my life that it is so difficult to get a tear out of me. Unless of course, it is something significant. After our sessions, l would feel empowered and better but once I got back to my house the feelings of worthlessness, pain, hurt, death flooded my mind all over again. I would curl up on the bed and cry. It was a dark time, hardest ever! She advised me to journal everything and take up jogging, I think that’s how I started, how when things overwhelm me I always just get on the road and it eases the tension. It took time for me to confront my feelings towards this man and actually forgive him. I remember I was jogging one morning and went past his place somehow I wanted to go knock on his door but I decided against it, instead, when I got home I texted and told him that I forgave him. I think that was the day I let go and began my journey toward forgiveness and healing.
After February 2014, I decided that it was time to get my life back after a whole year of being academically interrupted and going through the motions. I empowered myself and swore that I would never allow myself to go back to that dark place ever again. Honestly, it was not easy, but I tried to get back on my feet, I applied to school again and began my new life in August 2014. It was hard at first, but I had the support and I would talk to Dr. Fiks when things got harder. I managed to complete my degree & the day I graduated in 2018, I sent her an email of gratitude because if it weren’t for her, I doubt it would have been a possibility.
The last decade for me had so many lows and a glimpse of some highs here and there. However, it was mostly the hardest. I put so much faith in the wrong people and saw the best in them that in the end I got burned. I have learned that a person builds strong bonds with those who share the same ideals, that if you exude joy, peace, confidence, and love, you will most definitely connect with someone with the same aura. Also, I learned that hurt people hurt others because that is what they know and because of that they take out their hurt and negativity about self on others. I suppose that’s why I am single again because I haven’t met any man who complements and matches my aura. A man who can completely understand and appreciate all my scars and not see them as flaws but rather as flowers that blossomed despite the wind, hailstorms, etc. So likewise, my scars are a reflection of me having survived and blossomed into the strong and resilient woman that I am today.
Ten (10) Lessons learned from my battles in the last decade:
- Healing takes time and once you journey towards that path, don’t give in to anything.
- Fall in love with yourself first before seeking love from anyone else.
- Be kind, gentle and patient with yourself; you are work in progress after all.
- Learn from your mistakes but never allow your past to define you.
- Understand that there is no shame in leaving if things are not working out in any relationship you are involved in.
- Consulting a psychologist/therapist is not a sign of weakness, rather a sign of great strength and there is no shame in seeking help from one.
- Acknowledge when you need help before your behavior due to hurt is who you become.
- If there is any hope of you getting better, the first step is confronting those feelings which are a hindrance to your healing.
- You don’t need validation and acceptance from anyone else. Trust that God loves you unconditionally and through His acts of love for you He validates and accepts you as you are.
- Surviving, choosing to stay alive, building your life up again and being content with yourself is a possibility.
I have survived thus far and continue to hold on because of this fact. I am loved. You are loved!