I think I am a pretty liberal person. Liberal enough to make some people uncomfortable, at least. I think people need to mind their businesses and leave other people alone. And I think that our response – to everything –as Christians, should always be love. Pretty difficult considering that human beings are a lot. But I pray about it a lot. I ask God to help me love people,regardless of the situation. I pray for people a lot too (I don’t know why I started with this- my hands are shaking, my heart is racing and I have tears in my eyes)
“But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
I pray. I prayed. A lot. For people. The ones who talked about being sad, depressed, or done with life. I’d see a random tweet and say a quick prayer for the person. Then send them a message. I’m a pretty good sounding board. I listen; I try all my best to help find a solution. I want,always, to help make someone else feel better. Every time, as long as it is within my power.
You know whom I couldn’t help though? Myself.
I tried. By Jove, I tired. But I flunked almost all of my plans for the year. Failed. Woefully and miserably.
“I have no peace, no quietness, I have no rest, but only turmoil.”
I was a blank pole for the most part of the year. I walked and talked and laughed and played like ii have always done, but I was missing.I wasn’t there. I was nonexistent. I was going crazy, only quietly. I would type ‘I need help’ in a group chat and add a LOL and someone would respond ‘Hahaha you too dey joke’. Or I’d type it and delete before anyone could read it.
First came the self- doubt. I wasn’t sure I could do these things. I hid in my office. I shied away from sending mails. I ran under the umbrella of my boss, and nested there. I hid. Every time. I wanted so bad to be invisible.
Then came the voices. Persistent. Consistent, Vile, Uncouth.‘You are useless, you cannot even do anything right. Useless’ Every Morning for about two months, I heard them, first thing in the morning. Then consistently throughout the day. I tried to fight. I tried to say ‘no. that’s not what God says about me’ I rebuked them. But my voice was small, without authority. So when they left, they came back with more of their friends.
Then came the memory loss. I would blank out in the middle of a conversation. I would start typing a mail and forget what I was saying. My conversations were sparse with ‘what was I saying’ A joke. A complete joke, I was. I forgot stuff. Dates, birthdays, discussions, mails I had read. It’s a miracle I did not lose my job. Then, the panic. I would suddenly be dead sure something terrible was going to happen. I’d wake up with my heart pounding, certain I was going to get fired. Or my mother was going to die. An accident. A shootout. Cancer. Something. But I was never scared of myself hurting. I was tired.So, so, incredibly tired. I wanted to go away quietly, forever, peacefully.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”
Last weekend in September, I went for a retreat. I said ‘God, you see me, do something’. Then Olabisi took the mic. She talked. I listened. I said to myself ‘ Motunrayo’. She’s talking about herself. But she’s talking about you’. Then she came back to her seat. She sat just before me. I leaned in. I said ‘You just told my story. Can I talk to you?’ She smiled genuinely, so we went outside.
I started to talk, but I started to cry. Olabisi embraced me. She sang with me, to me. She prayed with me, for me. Then she said, suddenly ‘oh My God, Oh My God’, Let me see the back of your head.’ And so I turned. She looked at the back of my head. Then she said ‘Thank You Jesus, Oh Thank you Jesus’ And embraced me again. Then she pulled back and looked at me, really looked at me. She said ‘ I saw you. I saw you when I was praying. 2 weeks ago. I did not understand. But I saw the back of your head. I did not know what it meant then, but now I know, God sees you. He has you in mind, You’re part of the reason I came here’. I stood in her arms and cried. I said ‘thank You Jesus’.
Then I took the mic. I shared what had happened. I told myself, ‘Motunrayo Jesus loves you. And He sees you’.
The next morning someone came to me. She said ‘ I heard your story…’ I said ‘how do you feel?’ She started to talk, but she started to cry. So I held her, much in the way Olabisi had held me. And she told her story, but she also told my story. So I said to her, much in the same way Olabisi said to me; ‘Jesus loves you; He sees you’ And I sang with her, to her. And I prayed with her, for her.
In October, I was making a box. I was tired. I knew Jesus loves me. I knew He saw me. But I was tired. I was so tired. I felt alone and lonely. I wanted everything to stop. The paper cutter was sharp, I knew I had to be careful with it, very careful. All of a sudden, I blanked out. And I saw blood. On my wrist. I screamed. I wandered aimlessly around the house for some seconds, leaving a trail of blood in my wake. Then I went into the bathroom and tried to stop it and cleaned up. My father came in unexpectedly. He saw my wrist, whisked me to the hospital, and got it stitched.
At work the jokes flew. Loudmouthed people said ‘Were you trying to kill yourself ha-ha-haha!’ I thought – ‘That’s a possibility I should probably check out’. I said – ‘hahaha haba now, na mistake o abeg ha-haha-ha’
I went through my Bible App, and saved most of the plans I could find on joy and happiness. Prayed, listened to Michelle Williams devotionals.
Loneliness is destructive. But it is oh so attractive. You know what it does? It lures you in then wraps its fangs around your neck till it snaps. I stayed away from everyone. It wasn’t just that I didn’t want to talk, it was that I could not. What would I say? How would I start?
One day, I googled symptoms of depression. Freaked out because I had at least 95%. Then I went and took an online test. ‘Severe Depression’. LOL Me? Depressed? How? All my life I’ve been the strong one. The one doing. The one who ‘would go places’. The one to reach out. I did not want to be reached out to. I did not want to be checked on. That was not the plan. I texted a mental health establishment. They said ‘Go to Gbagada General Hospital, you will get a diagnosis’ I said I will. I did not.
‘And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.’
Last week, I stumbled on a creative I had done for my business page. It was John 14:27. My favorite verse in the Bible. I read it aloud. Then again and again. I realized I had not followed the instructions in that verse.I had let my heart be troubled and I had let myself get discouraged. I realized what I was looking at- content for my business page. MY BUSINESS PAGE. My business did not fail. When everything else did, it did not. Oh it was tough,but it grew. Not soooo much, but still. Also I didn’t die. I did not get fired. I saw light. No cancer, accident, or GoFundMe. I have my faith. My salvation. I still believe in God. I even got a staff of the month award at some point. I have a couple of people in my corner. Tobi. You absolute darling. Precious, Tolu, Mayowa, Temi, Olabisi.
2018 was A LOT. But I did not die. He loves me, and He sees me.