For years I have suffered from depression and social anxiety and being a Nigerian woman, I honestly don’t think any one person can fathom how difficult it is to just survive being those two things at the same time. Between balancing sports, two jobs and trying to excel academics, I feel the pressure to be successful even if my sanity is forced to dissolve in the process. And although I am fortunate enough to have friends who comfort me during times where the nights and days merge to become ceaseless cycles of nightmares, I still struggle to earn the support and patience of my family. Like I mentioned before being both Nigerian (Black) and a woman, I feel the urge to hide my scars and silence myself into society’s submission, allowing the discussion about mental health and the manifestations of mental illness in our community to be swept under the rug. This, of course, led me to frustration and extreme resentment towards all that dismissed my concerns about my own wellbeing. From the age of 7, I wondered how I could pray away the panic attacks in the middle of class, the seasonal depression that kept me in my room for days at a time, the constant feeling of drowning. Somedays I felt like caving in and living a life guided by iniquity, others I celebrated for just getting out of bed.
Within years, I found myself lost, feeling so empty in the world so full of people renders anyone completely hopeless. For me, it inserted the shackles of fear and the will to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
This is why I am sharing a compilation of poetry I had written starting from when I was only 14 years old in the hopes that it would encourage me and others to see fear as an external element that will be conquered as long as you remind yourself of the temporariness of negativity and how sensitive our hearts truly are. I hope you find peace within your storm and realize we are all on sinking ships but the will the swim is what keeps us afloat. Also, I truly encourage you to explore the world of self-expression through journaling, there is so much power behind paper and pen.
Also, I truly encourage you to explore the world of self-expression through journaling, there is so much power behind paper and pen, screen and words.
“Note 2 Self”
“Escape from mental warfare and immerse yourself in self-care”
“Dancing with the wind”
“Let me fly freely in the wind”
LoveThyself more thanunrealistic beings“Comparison is the thief of Joy”Do not allow thoughtsTo manifest into other beingsYou are nothing but yourselfAttempting to be anything but that suffocates the soul.Final Companion, follow your dreamsBelieve life’s bottoms’ is made of rubberThat with every fall to failure, you propel to postive energiesYou are surrounded by constant avenues for self-progressionBut remember to never compromise your self worth forIncomplete ideas or opinionsYou are made in the best possible ImagePlease don’t ever forget it.-Nmachi Som-Anya