I walked into this year with no resolution, no hopes for the future and nothing but sorrows of the past year. My mum’s death still haunted my thoughts, my dreams and every breath I took each day, I had become a shadow of myself, cut off from the world holed up in my apartment alone, seeking solace in my solitude.
The once happy-go-lucky me had become the epitome of sadness and gloom, with not a positive bone left in my body. I had failed myself and life had failed me. My poor boyfriend became my punching bag, he tried so hard to help me but everything he did just made it worse – I wasn’t ready and forcing me out of my depression wasn’t the way to go. There was no surprise when the relationship ended; he had given up on me but I had already given up on myself, I had become the worst version of me.
Funny thing is, my siblings got along a lot better with my mum than I did but her death hurt me the most. I guess it was because I never got the chance to prove to her how much I loved and appreciated her. I was carrying guilt heavier than my mind, body and soul could withstand and it was killing me from the inside out. I had quit my job long ago, living on my savings and off my dad who understood that I needed time and space to heal. In that period my weight kept fluctuating like a yoyo. I went from a size 10 to a size 6 in two weeks (a result of foodlessness and internal bleeding due to ulcer) then from a size 6 to a size 16 in less than two months. I never even thought I was capable of gaining weight; I’d never been bigger than a size 10 in my entire life.
Of course low self-esteem came with the new body and it was mortifying that I couldn’t seem to shed it, mostly because I’d become a house addict. Eventually the love of sitting still was replaced by frustration, a restlessness which forced me to look for work. Not finding any depressed me even more but then rather than give-up, the restlessness pushed me to keep at it.
I did anything I could get my hands on, from acting in a theatre production for a month to freelance PR (I got ‘slyed’ pretty badly in that department but discovered my strengths also). Truth is I just needed to get out. I even made a friend and lost her over a misunderstanding not worth discussing; the people who were meant to be my support turned out to be nothing more than people who showed up when they needed my help and the people I thought didn’t matter proved to me that they really cared. Sad really but unavoidable, at least those who were meant to be part of my future stuck with me even when I was being a worldwide class bitch; not like I meant to be that way, I had just let my depression get the better of me.
Well the story isn’t all bad; I did eventually find a job which showed up just in time for my recovery. I had finally woken up and the world and the people in it had changed and left me behind. The struggle to start over was greeted with the end of my almost two year relationship which threatened to push me back into misery but my will to live beyond disappointment and the grace of God got me through it.
I’d found the job that would reawaken my creativity and my life had taken a turn for the better, opportunities popped up on every side and I realized that my time had come finally come, all I had to do was take charge.
Oh but life is never perfect; three months into my awakening, death visited my home again, robbing me of my oldest brother after a long battle with cancer. It was awful but not as hard because I guess losing my mum had made me familiar with the situation, morbid as it sounds. I was sad but indifferent about it. I focused on being for strong my family instead, especially my sister-in-law, niece and nephew and well life just had to move on nonetheless.
To top of the accomplishments, my sister opened her first candy store and my baby brother finally started taking life more seriously. My mum would be proud and happy to know that even though she didn’t get to watch us become the people she had dreamed we’d be at least her dreams for us were finally coming true and she could rest knowing that all truly is well with us.
I’m in a better place in my life now, chasing my dreams with a new found purpose. The old me I’ve realized will never return; I’ve outgrown her and moved on. I have less people in my life but it’s better this way because I’m less dependent and now know those that truly wish me well and accept me flaws and all. I am still learning to be grateful for the little things and less affected by my own emotions but then what’s life without a few bumps in the road?
All in all, 2012 has been a year of self-discovery, growth and life-changing experiences that have shaped and molded me into this strong, confident, ambitious and independent woman regardless of the baggage and for this I am grateful and more determined than ever to live life to the fullest in peace and happiness.
I look forward to 2013 and what it has in store for me because I really do believe the worst is finally over.
One Scripture verse came to my mind reading this: “He was a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” Grief is like grinding your bleeding heart against the gravelly, thorny ground while everyone else plays in the garden, with absolutely no explanations whatsoever.
Dear Ife, may God comfort you. Much love.