How to Deal with the Broken

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Dealing with the BrokenGrowing up in a culture where everyone had to ‘toughen up’ meant that negative emotions of anger, pain, hurt, depression etc. had to be hidden or suppressed. It was (and still is) a culture founded on the misconception that emotions make you weak.  Those who have read Chinua Achebe’s famous ‘Things Fall Apart’ will understand how crazy it gets when one begins to prove a point of being strong rather than weak. It’s a survivor’s race. More

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Bleak Christmas

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Bleak christmas

My first Christmas in Lagos is a nightmare. Fuel scarcity has been the order of the day; fewer buses available, more grumpy commuters and yet, insane traffic! It’s absolutely crazy. More

Night Files: Gone Girl

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large

Photo credit: weheartit.com

She’s a ghost 

Walking through the empty walls 

People she used to know 

Seem like aliens to her  More

Letters to the Depressed 3

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LTTDI know you hurt right now and the last thing you want to hear is that you should stay strong or just shake it off. I know there’s nothing I can say to you that you don’t already know. The worst part is, I know you think no one else understands what you’re going through. But I do, because I’ve been there. Thanks for reading the first and second lettersMore

Letters to the Depressed 2

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If you’re reading this, then you probably read the first letter and you’re back as I asked. Or not. It’s just an assumption. I’ve been trying to write to you. But my cares and worries won’t let me. I’ve been trying to speak to you but my voice is muffled inside. I’ve been trying to reach you, to let you know this too shall pass. Well, it either passes or you pass from it.   More

The Therapist- Thoughts of the Past

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Previously on the therapist…

After too many sleepless nights to count and another appointment with Richard, I struggled to stay awake. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep this up; trying to solve other’s problems when under the surface, I was one giant time bomb ready to explode.

If anyone needs a therapist, it’s me.

It was a sad irony that continued to haunt me. I could solve other’s problems, but I could never seem to fix my own. At the same time, I’m pretty sure it’s this very job that gives me the courage to get out of bed every morning. They say that helping others eases our own pain. I believe this is true.

Today, Richard began to open up about his childhood, which was more difficult than I could have ever imagined. He was abused as a child by parents who were hardly around. He often went to his best friend’s house after school, hoping to escape the pain, but lost his friend to a drunk driving accident at only seventeen. I could only imagine the pain that would come with loosing a friend to a reckless, irresponsible driver who should never have gotten behind the driver’s seat to begin with.

Little by little, I’m beginning to learn his story, and discover the demons of depression and anxiety that he battles on a daily basis.

It seems that so many of our battles start in our youngest years, as our experiences and personalities mix to create the person that we are today. I still remember the day that my dad walked out on us. My mother begged him not to go, as my youngest sister cried. My older brother tried to be aloof, but I found out later that he took it the hardest of all of us.

I suspect that my dad leaving may have something to do with my difficulty in forming relationships. Psychologists have said that we learn through imitating those around us. Without a healthy relationship to imitate, how could I be expected to form one of my own?

I don’t mind it though. The extra time gives me the chance to think and reflect; something that’s almost as essential as breathing to me. There’s a familiarity in the solitude. I know what to expect from it.

The same can’t be said about people.

I often wonder how God creates plans for us when He knows we’re so prone to screw them up. Why does He allow us the privilege of carrying such great responsibility in the midst of our fallen state? How can we be image bearers of God when we can barely keep up our own image?

These are the things that weigh on my mind when I’m alone too long with only my thoughts to keep me company.

I climbed into bed and pulled the sheets over my head, trying to shield myself from the storm that was making it’s way into my mind. There was a time to analyze my life. This wasn’t it.

Now was the time to get some sleep. I have a big day tomorrow with a new patient, in addition to my regular appointments with Richard.

If I wanted to be of any help I would need to be well rested and alert; which meant that I would somehow need to catch up on a week of lost sleep overnight.

When my head hit the pillow, I wasn’t sure I would be able to do it.

The next morning, I came to the realization that I could.

©Courtney Whitaker, 2016

I was so happy to have Courtney help out with the series. It takes a brilliant writer to be able to pick up from where another stopped and run with it! Thanks again Courtney.

Lesson for the day: It doesn’t hurt to ask for help when you need it!

Have a pleasant weekend! xoxo

Hurts Do Heal

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hurts

Photo Credit: brightside.me

I know you hurt. I hurt too.  

It’s a stabbing pain I can’t explain.  

Like I’m drowning in the Atlantic Ocean  

With no lifeguard in sight

Gasping for air 

I’m afraid this pain is too much  

For my feeble shoulders to bear

Shoulders slumped from the confidence that has been blown away. 

I used to be the happy one 

With the cheerful smiles 

And big brown eyes 

Now I’m the dark girl 

Hiding in the shadows 

Afraid to see my reflection 

Because it just may reflect my heart 

 

Oh the pain! It rips me apart! 

The tears! They’ve formed an ocean 

Salty waters, I shed 

Salty waters I drown in 

I know what it means to be depressed 

I almost know it as I do my middle name 

I still feel its slithery fingers 

Wrapped around my cold skin 

Numb. 

I’ve been that way too long. 

Hurts do heal. 

Hearts do mend 

Nights do end 

Joy comes in the morning 

Everyone hurts 

So what makes your hurt more special? 

Or any less? 

Hurt is hurt. 

The heart bleeds too- 

It’s an organ after all! 

Hurts do heal 

Tears get dried up 

The sun shines after the rain 

This weary heart of mine 

Someday shall dance again 

To the tune of love 

These patched lips will crack a smile 

For this storm isn’t to drown you 

But to make you stronger 

To make you grow  

So pick up the pieces of what’s left 

Give it back to the Fixer 

Rise up and live 

Today isn’t the death of you 

Hurts do heal, my love. 

©Mfon Etuk, 2016

He heals the heartbroken and bandages their wounds- Psalm 147:3

If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.- Psalm 34:18

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