SHEIFUNMI – CONFIDENTLY A MENTAL HEALTH SURVIVOR
Five years ago today, I sat in my flatmate’s reading space at 2.00am and unwittingly rolled out an intense moment in my life online from my basement loft on wood grange road, as though I was liberating another person. I had finished one of my washroom self-harm reliefs, however the tears and dejection wound up plainly overpowering, and the consecutive social media tirades and posts ended up plainly debilitating. The most widely recognised question I get is “What has changed?” well, I’ll let you know! EVERYTHING changed and it hasn’t been a walk in the park either.
One of the scariest things I’ve needed to do is open up about my psychological wellbeing in a general public with little compassion, unyielding religious convictions and dishonesty. What was considerably scarier was experiencing my journey in Nigeria, in front of the public eyes, family that find it difficult to comprehend and friends who astound you with their actual aims. I spent a decent amount of the past five years spiralling, getting by in the most undesirable ways imaginable. I searched for approaches to numb all sly and nosy feelings, mood episodes encountered, and I wound up noticeably voiceless, ashamed and a recluse. While my profession appeared as though it was popping, it was exceptionally shaky, unrewarding and unfulfilling. Days I had vitality from the manic side, I was the high functioning compulsive worker with a mental health imperfection which earned me the epithet “The Machine” without colleagues understanding the genuine reason for the over-achievements on their projects, or my administrations to them. Days of hypomania and melancholy I turned into failure, became indecisive, the canceller and the furious man.
Hidden underneath all these were issues I refused to recognise, despite the fact that my initial mental health diagnosis suggested multiple defects which made my challenges more complex than what they were. I was managing the mood episodes extremely well since I had built up an adaptable structure for the, yet I had didn’t have a handle on the BPD traits (Borderline Personality Disorder) that suddenly appeared when I just started grappling with my insanity. What creeped in this time? I became unable to deal with emotions; emotions like happiness, gratitude, sadness, love and self-expression because difficult to communicate. I lost my sense of purpose, and my self image. I built walls while trapping myself inside with the fear of abandonment and loneliness. I was loaded with outrage! My grin turned into a veil and wrath was all I felt. This is not me! This is not my identity! Why are you always so angry?! Why are you harming and pushing away the individuals who care about you? These inquiries made up my every day, dashing my thoughts.
Because of my past encounters, I knew the time had come to see a mental health professional yet, amazingly, BPD was something medication couldn’t settle for me. I needed to physically, emotionally and candidly work through the healing procedure. I needed to confront the side effects that appeared to the overall population as “weird” or ‘he’s different’. The overwhelming anxiety that prevented me from stepping outside the house, the dietary issue that formed into peptic ulcer, the consistent suspicion and absence of trust. A big part of my healing process is taking the initiative to get better; BPD demonstrated that I really need to take every necessary step to live and accomplish the fantasy life that I hoped for; to manage this sudden guest, journey of self-discovery. In the process of learning to deal with stress, my high alert brain, I became more self-aware of my principles, values, goals and ideals. I also put in work and still doing the work so I can be simply the best individual I know myself to be.
It wasn’t until the last two years, that I have started to better understand all things relating to my mental health and self-care comprehensively. The biggest part of my journey so far is learning that my mental health challenges are the least part of my story, however the mental health aspects are the core challenges I have to win constantly just so that I can get to the other side where my dreams, hopes and visions are. I am a mind explorer; now I simply don’t go into the dim any more. In the midst of these feelings and overpowering feelings, I learned my true intentions and the major reason behind my anger was my inability to express all the love and kindness in me because they felt awkward. Despite the fact that I still encounter bad days, I am always ready to perceive every good on my most awful days and make the most of my great days. Presently I simply go for what I need; anything I set my heart to. No restrictions!
After five years, I have unquestionably entered a space where I adore everything about myself, learned from my defects and excited for what’s in store, while putting in the work day by day to carry on with a healthy mental life.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light” – Aristotle Onassis
SheiFunmi now runs a PR and Communications firm NOMIA PR, which has been behind some of the most impactful events, projects and brands in the Media & Communications sector. Shei is still a freelance TV and Radio personality. He also has a humanitarian initaitive for youths called “Project Get Naked”. Project Get Naked promotes mental health wellness and awareness among young adults in Nigeria.