The Late Birthday Appreciation Post + Nenkinan Unfiltered
A lot of you have always wondered what goes on in my life and head. Well here’s a taste of Nen unfiltered.
Its 26th September 2018 – four days after my birthday and I haven’t made a birthday post or appreciation for wishes. I’ll explain why but let me get to the appreciations first.
Thank you all for your massive show of love and support it means a lot to me. You most probably won’t understand why but I needed to hear those words. I promised myself to reply every birthday message on every social network including tags on post and it wasn’t easy but I think I did. Ya’ll were everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, WhatsApp (slept by 1am and woke by six thirty to about fifty chats which I replied only to be slapped by another 38 or so by 9:30am) and even phone calls I was at a training between 7:30 and 9 and I missed 15 calls.
To all those who sent me long essays reminiscent of my style thank you so much! I got so many titles I didn’t even know existed and I got info about some zones I didn’t even know I was inside.
But against the backdrop of all I wasn’t as excited as I expected – I had looked forward so much to the 20th year, but it came and all I felt was meh.
And then I began to reminisce. The 19th year was especially difficult for me and I don’t think I’ve had any like it. I went through various storms and emotional whirlwinds in that one year that I honestly didn’t think I’d made it. For up to half of the year I was depressed and it took only God to deliver me from that pit. I wonder how I didn’t get suicidal but my prayers were – I can remember vividly three nights of begging God to just reserve his oxygen only to wake up in the morning and hiss a loud hiss.
This is a very sensitive topic and if you know you can’t handle it, I’d advise you to stop reading now.
Why was I depressed? Well in retrospect some of the reasons seem lame but that’s because they’ve passed – in the heat of the season they were legitimate. I was depressed because I was seeking the meaning of life – it didn’t make sense to me that you lived only to die one day and that was it. I asked myself what it was worth. Some of my darkest days in that period was when the news of someone who wasn’t too old dying reached me. I’d ask God why this person with wife/husband and small children? Why this person who’s struggled through school and stressed to get an education? And I’d ask God why he didn’t take me instead since I was young and hadn’t done “much” – I reasoned (and ya’ll should forgive me) that if I died tonight, you’d all mourn but you’d move on from it soon all of you and at least somebody won’t have to grow without a husband or daddy. I asked God (and probably still do) not to let me get married if he won’t let me live to be in the 70’s and 80’s because frankly I still fail to understand why he does what he does.
Another depression source was I was tired of fighting. Those familiar with my story know how I have trod with a nasty left knee ailment for six years. It didn’t make sense to me again getting up, suffering and sleeping. I knew God’s grace was sufficient – it was evident in how I woke each morning with leg pain and slept with it but somehow survived the whole day’s activity but I was tired of a road without end and it extended to other parts of my life. If you know me, you know I love to have things under control and function as an A student but I was failing woefully in the “Keeping away from Sin and Temptation Class” especially sensual sin. I did all the do-able’s- restricted my TV and music consumption and listened only to Christian music, restricted my literature consumption which also meant cutting off my writing career in a way, filtered my friend list to only God glorifying and professing young people (which made me join the YWAP family – not in any way regretted), cut off male friends ( I came to a crude conclusion that boys my age only talked about soccer, money and girls in a bad way – a sentiment they try to prove everyday) but eventually found some worthy men of honor, took devotions and prayer seriously but after all that the devil still refused to sleep. My mind developed a mind of her own and always imagined things she hadn’t even seen – it’s crazy how creative God created our minds to be. And I’d get angry that I was failing again. I’d pray a short prayer of confession and force the thought out but before you know it – it was back and sometimes I’d let it play before hitting stop. My mind started playing games whenever in the company of sisters and I’d always be tensed and as distant and conscious as possible then chastise myself after – I had done everything to avoid objectifying women and yet here was my sinful nature at play.
I asked God why I had to fight and win today only to wake up and fight tomorrow again. And at a point I felt I couldn’t persevere long again – I felt (and something still says) that when it comes to the battle with sexual purity I’m going to fail soon. And that made me depressed. I asked God why he liked making things hard. Asked him what was so hard in removing sexual organs and hormones and only activating them when the time was right at which he would by divine command (to both parties) join a man and woman for reproduction but again God didn’t answer. Then stories started coming of men of God who had failed in this area and I became scared that after all I was doing for God and the Jesus every day I was going to fall great like Bill Cosby.
Then another source of depression came – pressure and expectations. I started feeling suffocated by the pressure everywhere from all directions – spiritually people were looking up to me because they felt I had it figured all out (and I still don’t) I started wishing I wasn’t a writer with a God given voice. In family, school and life generally there was so much pressure. And the pressure came with fear – fear that I was going to fail and fall and there is nothing I fear more than falling – I fear it more than death which was partly why I wanted to die now that I haven’t reached anywhere. I still haven’t overcome that fear.
Another thing was I had just come out of a nasty breakup from a relationship I shouldn’t have been in the first place. Toxicity drove me to a breakup but it had serious reparations. I love communion with people and involvement with them but then after the breakup the person refused to talk to me and blocked me out and I really hated it. Coupled with that many of the people I poured out my life, time, energy and resources into especially in secondary school stopped talking to me. And it hurt me because I was connected to them but them not wanting to talk plus the feeling of my “waste” of investment in their life was overwhelming (God eventually showed me I only did the right thing and we love because he first loved not because they deserve it) – I felt used and dumped and I value relationships deeply.
These and other factors all lies from the devil drove me into a pit of depression so deep I doubted I’d ever come out of it. Days turned to weeks to months of darkness. It was like I was drowning under the sea and I had a gas mask – Gods word and promises – all I needed to do was inhale every moment but I didn’t want to keep inhaling because help and rescue weren’t coming and I was tired of the effort of still breathing.
I won’t say I’m fully out of the ocean now and none of us really are but I’m not as deep under and God’s grace is sufficient.
I wrote this for all of you who feel you’re already six foot under and the grave only needs to be covered. For those of you going through dark depressive seasons of gloom. I didn’t give any solutions and I did on purpose because depression varies for all of us and what I did to get out won’t help you but there’s a constant in all of us – Jesus.
So the only thing I’ll say is turn and keep your eyes upon Jesus. It won’t be easy. Sometimes you’ll lose sight, others like Peter you’ll become too aware of your immediate circumstances but our heads to the sky and eyes on the prize is the only way out.
And remember it’s not over till it’s over yet. It will feel like you will die – I swear if you could sadden and depress yourself to death I would have died already – but after Friday Night, Sunday morning would surely come.