A few short years ago, my life was changing so drastically that I often wondered how I was going to cope with everything that was happening. Here I was in my 30s nowhere near where I thought I would be in my life and certainly never thought I would be mourning the death of my only brother. I felt broken, defeated and like such a big time failure. I was unemployed, unhappy and alone and just could not see a way out of the darkness I was in. I could not control anything that was going on and because of that, my health began to suffer; I was falling sick every other week or month, was losing mad weight, plagued by daily headaches and migraines and a rising blood pressure. I was scared that if things did not change soon, my mom may be mourning the loss of a second child and that thought alone was enough to shake me out of the depression I was slipping into.
I had battled depression years ago in my 20s so I knew what it looked like for me when I began to feel and think the same destructive thoughts I used to have. Just as I didn't think I could talk to anyone then, I had nobody really to talk to again. All of my family had moved here, my brother had just died and all my close friends had gotten married and were having babies so I could not possibly talk to them. Eventually, my mom could sense what was going on with me and made the decision fly home to spend some time with me, it was at this time I broke down and let her know all that was going on. It was clear that I needed to start my life over again and I made the difficult decision to do so by leaving Nigeria for the U.S. When I arrived here, I was happy to be in the midst of family as I had been separated from my older sister for 15 years and my younger sister for 4. I had never met my niece, nephew or brother-in-law and so I was overjoyed by the reunion but I knew I had work to do spiritually, emotionally and mentally to take back control of my life quickly and so I set to work doing the following things:
1. READING: Christian and Inspirational books became my daily companions. I immersed myself in re-connecting with my faith and was determined to read as many books as I needed to till I was able to hear, see and feel God again.
2. WRITING: I've always journaled and it was probably the one thing that kept me going in my difficult moments but this time, instead of writing from a place of pain, I chose to write from a place of hope. I needed to believe there was a reason I was brought here and that I had gone through all I did for a specific purpose. It helped me truly see things differently and it still does today.
3. FORGIVENESS: I had a lot of forgiving to do and to ask God for. I had been disobedient to Him and because of that, paid the price heavily. I needed to not just ask His forgiveness but allow myself accept it. Then I needed to forgive myself for playing a role in my own suffering and choose to forgive all the people who had hurt me so severely. It was by no means an easy thing to do nor was it something I was able to do overnight, it was a continuous conscious process and I am just now able to say that I have forgiven myself and every one else.
4. STARTING OVER: After resolving my internal conflicts, it was time to start my life over, in my new home and in my new reality. Literally everything about me needed to be brand new; from my thought process to the people I chose to surround myself with. I am not where I need to be just yet but I know I have come a very long way from where I used to be. I'm happier, healthier and at peace with everything. I'm by the grace of God starting businesses, building healthy friendships and loving on my family 10 times more.
All I'm saying in effect is that sometimes we may have to start our lives over based on certain circumstances and it can be a difficult thing to do at first because that's just what change is. It is easy to slip into depression and feel like a failure as a result but in order to live the kind of life you want and deserve, you need to let go of the life you are living that is not serving you well. Take care of your mind and your spirit and allow yourself go through the process, feel every emotion and then put them in their proper places. You can only control what goes on inside of you and once you do that, the outside has no choice but to follow suit. TRUST GOD.