My eyes are heavy as I write this post, heavy because the weekend was a long one and also because for some months now, I haven’t been sleeping well. For various reasons. But I have to write this post.
In fact, I realized that I have to go back to posting daily on my blog. There is so much to say, too many people to encourage and a lot of ‘stuff’ to get out. So as hard as it might be, I’m going to do my best to put up a post every day.
If you’ve been reading my blog you already know that lately I’ve been having serious internal conflicts and bouts of numbness. It’s been happening for months. Life lost its colour. I wasn’t as excited as I ought to have been. And then, many times I felt like I was absent from myself.
I felt lost. But I could not explain why.
After praying, seeking God and trying to understand the hollow within, I decided to go and see a therapist. Take a deep breath. You read correctly.
I’ve always wanted to see a therapist since I was in my first year of uni.
“That’s an oyinbo thing.”
“What could be so bad that you need a shrink?”
“Only people who are about to lose it go to see a therapist.”
I heard all sorts but I wasn’t convinced. The only reason why I didn’t see a therapist back then was because I wanted one who was Holy Spirit filled, if that makes sense.
Earlier this year, the thought crossed my mind and I actually took the steps to research therapists in Lagos. I came across a few but I felt they wouldn’t give me what I was looking for so I shoved the idea.
Then I went for The Circle last Sunday and I found the therapist I was looking for! Before she gave her talk, she told us she was going to speak to us from a Biblical perspective and throughout her speech, you could tell that she was worded.
I knew she was exactly what I needed and I put a call through and in a matter of hours, my first session was booked.
Honestly, I was excited about going to see her. From the way she spoke to us, I could tell she really has a passion for helping young people. I didn’t know exactly what I was going to tell her but I knew I would come out of my session with greater clarity.
The session happened on Friday.
Before I left my house, I prayed for God to take over our meeting. I prayed that He would use her to speak His words to me. I told Him I wanted to feel lighter after the session.
Guess what? That’s exactly what God did.
My therapist was beyond awesome. She said so many things that made me understand why I have been feeling so numb all these months. One of the things she said is this – “You cannot bury something that is alive. It will only rise up more powerfully. See the example of our Saviour.”
From the time I was 9 until my early 20s, I lived by bottling things up (well that hasn’t changed much to be honest). There was just no one to talk to and when there was, the person wouldn’t understand. There were a lot of issues, family being the major one, but I always found a way of burying those large issues. How? By ignoring them and being an over-achiever.
I never confronted the issues head on and now, it’s like the weight of all those buried emotions are pulling me down. It makes sense. So my task now is to confront those emotions. I need to acknowledge what I feel. I need to stop running away from things that are hard to face. My therapist says, “Once you can say it, you can slay it.” So I need to learn how to express how I feel at each point in time, not just through writing but by telling someone about them.
We also talked about why I work so much and the unnecessary pressure I have put myself under. After telling my therapist about my sleeping pattern and how I work, she said with an alarming look on her face “Doyin, you are highly stressed! Do you know that?”
Of course I know I’m stressed but highly? I didn’t think it was that deep. So she probed further to find the root cause of why I think I need to go over the edge with work. In a matter of minutes, she found the answer. I had taken my fear of being broke to the extreme.
Every time I remember the events of 2010-2012 (if you are reading my blog for the first time I discussed these events in previous posts), my heart beats faster and I know I never ever want that to be in that place again. I don’t ever want to get to a point where I do not have enough money to take care of myself and do the things I want to do. I do not want to rely on anyone for money.
I realized as my therapist analyzed the situation how counter-productive what I’ve been doing all these years has been and how I am actually hurting myself.
Then we moved on to the issue of my mother. While I won’t be able to tell you everything she said, she helped me to understand things from my mother’s point of view. This is what stayed with me strongly out of everything she said, “Her idea of parenting came from what she experienced from her own parents and she doesn’t have the Holy Spirit, the spirit of counsel, to help her improve and get better as a parent.”
She also said, “You don’t have to like someone to love them.” That’s something my Pastor also says. So as best as I can, I need to learn to manage the situation at home. I need to be ok with the fact that for a while, my mum will not be proud of what I am doing because she does not understand it. I need to love her nonetheless.
There’s so much to write but I can’t write them all but I am very happy. Even though it’s scary, I’m happy that I am actually going to confront those things that have been haunting me for years. I’m happy I have found a therapist who gets me. She shared her personal story with me and in a lot of ways, we are alike.
I hope to share my therapy experience with you as much as I can. A lot of us believe only crazy people go for therapy while some believe it is for people who don’ have Christ. That’s just not true. I’ve been going for a lot of ‘women only’ events and I discovered that there are people with well primed faces who are carrying terribly heavy burdens.
The stories I have heard, the pain I have seen other people go through just because they feel helpless…it’s quite sad. I have experienced the horrible monster called depression. I have seen how it makes people do the unthinkable.
Instead of going through pain in silence, talk to someone. Sometimes you may not be able to talk to your family members, or friends or even your pastor because they just wouldn’t understand. Talk to a qualified (Christian) psychologist. Don’t bottle things up and don’t be deceived that you are being strong. It’s too much burden for one person to carry.
I’m ready to get rid of all the excess baggage I have been carrying. As I learn to love myself, be in touch with myself, celebrate myself and deal with all the emotions from the past, I know I’m coming out of this process as a much better person.
If you’ve found yourself in the position I was, I am very happy to share the contact details of my therapist with you. You’ll love her but most importantly, you’ll get a hand to help you find your balance through the unsettling moments of life.
Remember that God loves you and has a great future for you! Don’t suffer in silence.