“This air reminds me
of years of bad poetry
and when i realized that I can get away with it.”
So I didn’t know that I was so obsessed with the notion of being okay that I ignored my mind as a result. Sounds crazy but I have known that I’m not okay since 15, but I have only realised it very very recently. I should have realised from the moment when I knew that I have never been able to fully confide in people. I just think that they will judge me and form opinions of me that I don’t want to come to terms with or accept. Ideally I would have like to have realised and started working on myself that time when my best friend asked me “whats wrong” after our horrid ordeal in Ibiza in 2015, and I said nothing. I had seen 5 police men unrightfully pin him to the floor minutes after we landed in Ibiza, choke him- near unconsciousness, and I was also dragged in a chokehold. And I was numb. All throughout our 40 hours in the dingy Spanish police cells. No food barely any water. I was numb, I felt nothing. I felt as though I had to be strong for the both of us so I suppressed my fear, shock and anger. Until it caught up with me to his confusion, months later. This has made a lot of what I do one sided. Everyone thought that I am okay, and Kemi is always okay. Kemi can handle it.
Well I cannot, and it has really hit me recently. I have suffered a really bad breakup and didn’t want to speak up because I was scared of the truth of the situation, scared to be seen as weak- scared of being seen as anything other than I had hoped myself to be. I was afraid of experiencing the depth of my emotions, so i was standoffish with people. I was almost self-righteous in a sense. Bad idea – this obsession with trying to get there, pressing on no matter what- this primitive drive for the quest to survive. Never stopping, trying to be better.
Trying to be okay meant that I was pushing all my ‘non-okay-ness’ away. Until the break up happened and I found myself feeling as though I can fix myself and I don’t need the support of others. Frustration and anger followed suit. And so did a short fuse, a temper and outbursts of violence unfamiliar to myself. I was self-imploding and I still felt like I had everything under control, that everything was fine. When did I become like this? At what point did I miss the mark and forget that as ideal as it is to know oneself and be self-sufficient, we cannot do everything alone. Suppressing the hurting and anger is not dealing with it, and neither is running AWOL on those that God has placed in your life to care for you. It also showed me that when God wants to take you out of a situation and you are too busy or self-righteous to listen to him, he will break everything around you into a pulp to get your attention.
It is not easy, opening up; and I now realise why I get so annoyed when I see people tweet that they don’t open up easily, something that I thought was once a ploy for attention and cringe to admit was actually my truth and my irritation towards people expressing it was due to my subconscious knowing that It isn’t right to be like this.
“Frustration and anger followed suit. And so did a short fuse, a temper and outbursts of violence unfamiliar to myself. I was self-imploding and I still felt like I had everything under control, that everything was fine”
You are allowed to not be okay, the only thing that can be wrong with you is not depression. As happy as I am that there is more of an understanding and openness about mental health- and that people are more open to speaking about it and their experiences. I think that it important to not hold issues such as depression as the be all and end all of all issues, there are so many complex issues that people face mentally and cannot speak about because it is their norm. There are an array of mental health issues that we didn’t even know were issues. We are afflicted daily with things that mess us up and trigger us and we get through it and don’t see the psychological mark that it leaves. My obsession with everything being okay and looking okay and trying to define everything has given me such bad anxiety that I worry about waking up. I can never enjoy the moment that I am in because I am worried about getting home, waking up on time the next day. I worry about work tomorrow and I get so overwhelmed that sometimes I don’t reply emails, return phone calls or speak to people, I had this mind state where if I communicate with people they will give me more things to worry about and because I wasn’t open and didn’t ever say “no, I can’t help you today” I would have even more things on my plate. Things to do for people, things to think about for people and less time for myself. So I just didn’t bother.
Allowing myself to relish and be still in my times of need, allows me to open up and regain focus. I am starting to see it as a normality and not a weakness. You can’t always be okay, it’s okay to have your days and I have learnt to accept this. My inability to live in the moment means that I have a lot of worries and have let precious moments such as holidays, my birthdays and other beautiful moments pass me by. That’s why I get so excited when I have no worries or no expectations, it’s like a secret euphoria that is so blissfully rare and foreign to me. But unfortunately, it is rare that I will have days where there aren’t things to worry or think about so I am currently learning to live life in the moment and take each day as it comes to me. Forgetting the mental checklist of things that I was too anxious to do so I ended up procrastinating. Limiting the days that I worry about the launch party. Stopping myself on other days from having 20 hour days full of work- no rest and waking up early the next day. Stopping myself from comparing myself to others and feeling like I am not doing enough for myself, because I am. I’m doing more than enough. Allowing my body and mind the well-deserved rest and peace that I deprived it of in the honour of my hustle and grinding hard (rolls eyes). What’s a sick hustle with no peace of mind?
Who writes these rules, these rules of not missing what you once had, rules of total self-actualization and self-confidence being the end-point, rules of not making any mistakes and having to be okay 95% of the time? I’m re-writing my rules and regulations and I pray you find courage to rewrite yours.
Hoping you can make sense of this liberating mess of a post.