Today I will be recapping my journey mostly just to solve a few problems I am at odds with for myself. Lets see where this takes us shall we.
I was a kid. From the very first day I knew I had a connection with God. I was really innocent as a kid. A gifted child academically. A straight A student as I have mentioned before. I was the class clown. I was popular because of it. Not a cool kid but well Loved or so I remember it. I loved my childhood because back then that was when things were perfect. I was friends with everyone, full of life, innocent, was raised right. I loved my friends and my parents. I loved God. I had so much faith in him in a way not so unusual way for a kid. I would pray silently to myself every 30 mins and I talked to him like I knew he was a real person. I believed so much that he loved me and would answer my prayers. He always did. I had a great life back then.
I was having problems at school with bullies which I had never mentioned before because of the severe psychological change I had gone through due to me being schizophrenic and it went under the radar for most people that knew me because not a lot of people in Africa are sensitized enough to know about it. When you think about Mental Illness in Nigeria you think of that guy in the streets in rags walking around speaking to himself unaware of his self. Mine was milder and was a slow descent into madness. I went through a severe character change. I stopped talking entirely, I withdrew, I couldn’t think properly and was in a haze most of the time. I would just sit by myself staring into space and thinking about anything. I lost my self esteem and was in a deep depression, always brooding, like 24/7. I didn’t even recognize my voice when I spoke because I spoke so little. I wasn’t the same. I didn’t feel like the same person.
Before I lose track of the topic, I joined University and was immediately noticed for my weird behaviour by the Older Kids in my hall. It was a really bad time. The worst year I had ever had. Imagine being a really nervous kid with depression and severe anxiety in a hall full of older kids 2 years over you, shy and new to your surroundings and this happens. I had to go through this for a while but it was definitely the worst year of my life. So being the lover and obedient son of God I would always place my hand on my head at church when they asked us to pray for healing. I told you I knew something was wrong with me back then I just didn’t know what. I had never known what schizophrenia was back then. I knew God was watching and with that innocence of always believing God had my back I had faith. I would also pray that my enemies or not my enemies, my detractors as some people called them some times would have a change of heart. With the kind of faith I had, it came with a hope that something had to happen especially with the intent that I had. I eventually broke. I couldn’t understand why someone like me who always enjoyed being close and favoured by God would go through this for so long. I just stopped asking at some point because my heart couldn’t take it anymore.
I eventually made friends and this is the miracle. I met a friend named Michael. I didn’t know this at the time but was really popular and he also was a really good person. He and this other guy were my roommates. He was one of the few people at the time who would see how shy and nervous I was. Getting mixed up when I would talk, trip on my own feet and wouldn’t say a word. He just would spend time talking to me like those things never happened. Ofcourse he was good with people but not until later did I realize what he was doing. He kept me close to him and helped me get free of my inhibition. I did adjust but that wasn’t all. Everyone around my friends and everyone else that we knew grew to accept me. The most miraculous thing was that somehow all the heaviness in my head, the unclear thinking after being loved and feeling like I mattered went away. He cured me by just being a friend and that his why I am going to be indebted to him for the rest of my life. How do you repay that kind of debt. He taught me that life was more than living for self and to show kindness to people.
The thing is life became great at this point. I had friends who I could count on and who loved me. I had grown apart from God though. I just couldn’t take the pain and somehow I just lost faith. I went through a couple life changes over the years and realize it was my being too young to understand and my ignorance that took me away from him. I just didn’t know better. Today I am picking back the pieces and trying to be a good Christian.
I hope I can stop this from happening to someone to. Mental illness is real and can ruin your life like it almost did mine. How can you fight something if you don’t know what your fighting. Someday I wish to get people sensitized about mental health issues. If I had a psychologist at my school for instance that wouldn’t happen.
Also, I urge people to never lose faith in God. He is always there rooting for you, leading you when you can’t see him. Even in the darkest parts of your life he still loves you more than anything. It just takes a devotion to him and patience to see it. You see there are two choices. You can be negative and believe everything is against you or be positive and believe that everything happens for a reason. And God is leading you. Believe that God is doing something in your life. He wants you to be better. Try not to fail him. Believe in the positive and that we are all not here for nothing. That God put us here will see us through. If you believe that your life is positive it will be.