A List Performance
By Deborah Oniah
Ode was forced to learn to live with loss, shame, pain, and all the hardships she faced growing up. “You have to be grateful!” The society also said to Ode, “You are alive – Thank God for it!” She put on an a-list performance that did not stop the loneliness, the sadness, the depression, the anxiety, and panic attacks. These feelings consumed her. Ode’s past influenced her decisions, leaving her exposed to poor relationships and friendships.
I am Ode, I am resilient. I made it to the other side. I can talk about mental health because I am no longer ashamed of my past, my losses. I decided that my anxiety and panic attacks needed to stop for me to be the best mum for my children and the best version of me. I allowed my inner child to heal.
As I begin to heal, I’d like to share that to recover, one needs to feel safe. If a person with mental health issues never gets to that safe place it will only get worse and the end is drugs, addiction or maybe suicide. I have sought out help since the past year – be it counselling, engrossed in group work, signed up for further education and training. My morning starts with spiritual practice be it prayers, meditation, a walk in nature or journaling. Earlier, I failed to have my own back and now I affirm myself – “I am doing the best I can, I am a great mum.”
I highly recommend therapy and counselling. It’s important to live this life happy to be at ease within yourself, you deserve that gift to yourself – to truly live life fully. Counselling has saved me. I have learned that as life goes on, most of the pain we carry is not for us to carry. Of course, it takes time to truly understand the significance of this insight and feel its power. It has taken me a good while to feel empowered to let go of my loss, anxiety, pain, the panic attacks.
I am in a better place now physically and mentally and that’s why I am very passionate about mental health. The truth is healing is possible – if it is possible for a Nigerian girl, who decided to turn her life around at age 37, who moved to Ireland 4 years ago, then rest assured much more is available and possible for everybody.
I am resilient. I made it to the other side.
It’s possible only if you make the decision to heal and only you can take that first step. When you do, there are many people along the way to hold your hands, to cheer you up because you are not alone, you are never alone, you are never the only one going through even if the voices in your head tell you otherwise. I read Padraig O’Morain’s ‘Daily Bell’ to help me grow everyday. I am pursuing courses at UCC and College of Commerce to keep my head occupied..nourished even. I listen to Joe Dispenza a lot during the week. I highly recommend the SHEP courses because the SHEP personal development course helped move the needle for me.
I have also recently finished ‘Pathways’ in Mallow offered by National Learning Network (NLN). NLN has offered me effective support in my learning journey. In my experience, Ireland has offered me great support and helped me feel safe. Please make that appointment and do something for yourself today. I have been on both sides and I know it’s possible for you too.