By SheiFunmi Nomia
Sincerely, how I feel when I have to genuinely talk about mental health, particularly mine, I begin to get teary eyes because I often recall moments I wish I’d let go forever or self-harmed to feel numb and aid implosion. Then there’s this anxiety that picks anytime and day to show up, this anxiety never says how long it’ll be around for, so I always have to navigate through. Have you ever been in a terrible turbulence or gone on a scary roller-coaster ride? Yes? Imagine yourself in that state for almost an entire day, yet there’s a yearning hope saying you won’t crash.
There is the anger too, which often comes after the numbness and implosion. This is the time where I have to remind myself that I’m not steel, I wasn’t made to be steel. I have to let myself know that I wasn’t created to feel, that it’s okay to feel and it’s important I feel. What happens when I forget, or when I’m oblivious to my own strength? Then meet the unintentional crawl down a deep dark hole, there’s a very thin rope you can barely see; the rope hangs from somewhere.
In this hole, I become frozen, cold. I begin to experience pain with no clue whatsoever as to why everything hurts, no visible scars, my chest clutches all the time in that hole! Have you ever felt your heart break? In this deep dark hole, I feel the break. It keeps breaking but it does so slowly, taking it’s time to ache and all I can do is get misty in my own sweat and tears without knowing the reason for any of these feelings.
Unjustifiable guilt lives in this hole. Days I pay attention and put in more effort to fight the voices in my head, I can hear the echo of voices far outside that hole. On these days I hum and sing melodies of my feelings, I lift myself up in pain with tears rolling down my cheeks. I travel in thoughts, I let myself rest and dream while going through the pain. When I pay closer attention, the thin rope that hangs from somewhere becomes visible. The rope is in the hole for a reason, so I have come to realize.
Battling with these feelings drove me crazy. For quite a while i couldn’t clarify my feelings or the downpour of emotions i was encountering. Before long i discovered of what they were, Bipolar Disorder II. The first time I touched the thin rope, I felt purpose amidst the other horrendous feelings. The first climb wasn’t easy, it was extremely difficult. I got into the deep, dark hole with nothing, but suddenly it felt like I was carrying dumbbells of different sizes. I tried for days and months taking the first climb. Eventually I did!
After several visits into the hole, I learned that the rope swings when I let myself go. Climbing the thin rope, I feel some of the dumbbells falling off and a little brightness on my face. I close my eyes and look up as I continue to struggle climbing up the thin rope, enduring the pain. The thin rope is very strong and sharp but climbing brings bright recollections of hope, faith, love, unattained goals, dreams and visions; almost forgetting all the pain, aches and baggage. As I continue to climb up, it gets to a point where I start to feel not only the sun but hear people’s footsteps and voices, but still I close my eyes because I need to attain strength to keep climbing.
The thin rope reminds me and let’s me know i’m not insane, I’m extraordinary! Every visit is always shorter than the previous one and I am happy that I’ve been able to match voices I hear with the faces that look into the hole, stretching their hands for me to hold on to as I climb out of the hole while giving room for the sun to shine on my face and for me to feel the heat from the sun.
All these feelings, all of these emotions and long travels while I am right in front of you, smiling, laughing and kicking it with you. We as a whole have voices in our head, the difference is i have to fight to keep mine from getting the better of me. I’m most grateful for the thin rope in the deep, dark hole. It has taught me the importance of Faith, Love, Hope & Purpose.
Welcome to #NoShameDay 2016!
‘In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invisible summer’ ~ Albert Camus
‘Sometimes silence is the loudest kind of noise’ ~ Bassey Ikpi
How To Be A Part Of #NOSHAMEDAY
We are asking people to publicly share their mental health journeys or speak as allies for loved ones in their lives. Individuals are encouraged to participate by telling their personal stories via social media outlets (Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, etc.) as well as live panel and open mic events in select cities. They are also urged to use No Shame Day as the opportunity to take their first steps towards mental health wellness. “We’re encouraging people to tend to their mental health that day without shame,” Ikpi explains. On No Shame Day people are asked to unapologetically seek out community and treatment in order to empower their quest for mental health wellness.
@thesiweproject / www.thesiweproject.org