Growing 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. Continue reading “How to Deal with the Broken”
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. Continue reading “Bleak Christmas”
She’s a ghost
Walking through the empty walls
People she used to know
Seem like aliens to her Continue reading “Night Files: Gone Girl”
I 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 letters. Continue reading “Letters to the Depressed 3”
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. Continue reading “Letters to the Depressed 2”
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.
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
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
I’ve been that way too long.
Hurts do heal.
Hearts do mend
Nights do end
Joy comes in the morning
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