Day 3: Michael

I first wrote a review of my year in 2012 and I followed it up with one in 2013 (the first one I put up on 19th Street). I have a fear that this is the last review that I’ll be able to bring myself to write. It seems so because it gets more difficult to put the events of the year in words with each year that passes. It’s as if the major events of the year become more private as the years go by.

The years are getting progressively shorter and progressively worse. This year, my life was deconstructed into its constituent parts and each of them seemed to be moving off completely independent of the others. At times some things were going so well while others were not and it was really confusing.

Academically, the year was a rollercoaster. It felt like I was struggling to do just enough – pushing myself, but not far enough. Sure, it gave me the results I expected, but sometimes I look back and realise that the amount of extra effort I’d have had to put in to do much better was so little that it’s painful that I didn’t.

I passed the examinations I’d been ‘preparing’ for for two years. I felt afterwards that I should have been much happier about this fact. I would have been, but for the nagging feeling that I didn’t do as well as I could have.

Now, I’ve resumed at a whole different level in School. There’s so much talk about Clinical School and its rigours and the severity of the situation at hand seems not to have fully hit me.

This year, there were too many things and people that I chose not to think or talk about. It made for a simple year with fewer panic attacks and heated outbursts than last year. On the other hand, it has left me now with a taste in my mouth that could have been nostalgia – the taste of what could have been but sadly wasn’t.

This year I lost a sizeable portion of my liver and felt good doing it. I learnt about addiction and substance abuse and many other things I’m not proud of. In retrospect, learnt is probably the wrong word to use in this context. I’m currently making lifestyle changes that I hope will last into the new year and beyond.

I’m too young to be this jaded. I’m too old to still have no idea what I want to do with my life. It’s worrisome now because next year I will stop being a teenager and can no longer blame my excesses on teenage exuberance. I know that by now I should have moved on past this teenage exuberance and I really should not be waiting until it’s almost too late to let go of these habits.

In addition to all this is the knowledge that, if the past is anything to go by, next year is definitely not going to be a bed of roses.

I can’t end this without adding that, in spite of how sombre the tone of this post is, there are many things that I am thankful for. I am thankful, first of all, for the lives of the people I care for; I am thankful for baby steps in the right direction that they are making. I am thankful for the opportunities that each new day brings, even though at times I am ungrateful and ignore them.   

Last year, I ended my review with a quote that I honestly believed when I submitted that review. This year, however, I have learnt that although the quote is correct – hope indeed springs eternal in the human breast, but sometimes this hope is misguided. However, I am human and I cannot but hope that next year is my best year yet.

You know what? I’m ready for anything that fate is going to throw my way.


I have often thought that hope is the most powerful thing in the world going by its size to weight ratio. No matter how small hope is, it can carry so much weight it colours your entire life. Reading this, I still felt the little flicker of hope at the end.

Thank you for sharing, Michael. This evening, we will have Nero on here for the first time in our review series. Don’t miss it for anything.


I love to learn. I love to teach. For me the two are the same.


  • Abigail says:


    Take care of yourself young man. And hold on to your hope.

  • AMAKA says:

    I hope your lifestyle changes continues into the new year and beyond. Baby steps Micheal and before you know it, that which you seek will come to you.

  • edgothboy says:

    I don’t know if I’m qualified to give advice cos I’m still figuring this life out, but this is what I’ve learnt.

    – I think you’ve put yourself under a lot of pressure to be ‘successful’ and ‘sociable’ and ‘forward’. And there is also pressure from everyone; social media, friends etc. That pressure will kill you. You have to let it go, say fuck it and cut yourself some slack. You’re 19, act 19, be 19.

    You’re still eligible for hugs from your mom, take as many as she’ll give you. Nag, complain, be a bitch occasionally, pout when you don’t get your way. Allow yourself be 19. Remind the people around you that you’re 19. I’m serious, remind them. You need to hear yourself say it, so they (and you) will lower their expectations to something realistic. Your sense of self depends on it.

    One last thing, Let the expectations you set for yourself be entirely yours.

    • Timiebi says:

      I want to say thank you for this, I might not be 19 but I needed to read some of the things here 🙂
      Oh and Michael, this advice is solid! Act 19 and be 19 because you really are 19!

  • Grey says:

    Hang in there Michael.
    Time is going to be your counsel.
    And your reconstructor.
    And your solution.
    And your Clarity.
    Without moments of despair as these, you won’t truly comprehend or appreciate (fully) the essence of freedom that comes with rehabilitation.
    You have to believe you will be okay. Forget the how or when, just have the faith.
    You WILL be okay.
    Hang in there Michael.

  • greatise says:

    Hope, keep hoping, don’t stop hoping . That’s all we got to leave for, hoping tomorrow will be better. I’m 35years and still figuring this life out. This morning my wife asked me, “is this all we are supposed to be doing, or there is something more we should be doing that we are not? Its becoming a monotony! ” We are all still figuring it all out. Hang in there hope for a better year ahead.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, all through medical school, I felt I didn’t give enough, didn’t study enough and I could have done so much better if I had. This was in spite of the fact that I never failed an exam and graduated almost top of the class! But I would beat myself up knowing that if I had given just a little extra more I would have been top. Seven years AFTER medical school, I am still trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life but I am learning to do it differently. I’m relaxing, I’m chilling, I am happy, I’m loving, I’m trusting God… I’m not going to let the quest for a better tomorrow or a past that would have been greater steal the joy of today. Relax dear, you have the whole world in front of you and you are capable of so much more than you can imagine…

  • Nero says:

    This post got me emotional, whereas I’m often emotionally impenetrable. Please allow yourself to be a teenager. Teenagehood is such a fleeting gift, don’t squander it. Tell the pressure to go fuck itself. Tell everyone to give you a break, but by all means, don’t isolate yourself. You speak well, and you pour yourself into your writing. It’s all beautiful. Hang in there, don’t worry about stuff, cut toxic people off without regret and most of all, ENJOY LIFE!

  • Clarion says:

    What edgothboy said. You are 19, cut yourself some slack. It’s ok not to know where your life is headed for now, you have the next decade or so to figure it out. Keep hoping, and keep your head up.

  • Michael says:

    Thanks for all the comments.

    You have no idea how much these comments are helping, really. For starters they’ve helped me forget what a stressful day I’ve had.

    I will try to keep my head up and be happy and be a teenager for what little time I have left as one (although in the past that hasn’t gone too well.).

  • Seunayo says:

    Sometimes when you’re being so hard on yourself, I just want to hug you. It’s a pity we’ve never met. If we ever do though, I’ll probably squeeze you hard. Really really hard for always doing right thing no matter how hard it is or how much you protest, for bearing disappointments gracefully. Harder for listening to my problems even while you’re going through so much more. Harder still for deciding to stop your excesses on your own.
    Be a baby, Mikey. :p

  • Ire says:


    Just live.

    Enjoy the living.

    Hold on to your hope.

    Feed your hope. With people, with stories, with events.

    Add light to your flickering light, Connect with people who share your hope.

    Let your hope burn bright.

    Here, add my hope to yours!


  • K.O says:

    Hey Micheal, I read (and shared on twitter) a few months back…”The go hard or go home syndrome makes us forget to appreciate the little things we should celebrate and lead to burn out”. So I’m glad you’ve still found things to be happy about despite the tough stuff life seems to be throwing at you. I’m hopeful that this will not be your last review, and more importantly things would be much better.

  • Jvmoke says:

    Okay…Everyone has spoken and said most of what I had on my mind while reading this.
    Just one more thing, if a tiny voice in your head asks,”why are they telling me to be 19? Aren’t 19yos lame and stupid?” The answer is, yes many times they are, but evidently, you’re not one of the lame ones. So I’d say, maybe ‘be’ 21. Grown enough to be responsible, but young enough to enjoy your early youths..

    It’s a beautiful life ahead!

  • OTDamilola says:

    Don’t do drugs. Drink responsibly. And don’t put yourself under so much pressure. There is always something to search for and look forward to.

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