Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Let's catch up

Yesterday I come up with a list of things i want to start doing regularly if not everyday
  1. Blog
  2. Journal
  3. Draw
  4. Work out
I started taking free online drawing lessons. I have a natural ability to draw fairly well, but i have never taken an art class or had any formal instructions on that, so now that i have some free time, i want to pursue that interest. I have drawn something today and done a couple of shading exercises, so i decided to blog next.

Even though i might be anonymous to a lot of you, i'm not exactly an anonymous blogger. Not only do friends, some classmates and family have access to this blog, i also have my pictures on instagram. So lately, it's been quite a challenge to figure out what to share especially since i am actually still dealing with some of the things i would like to talk about.

I think any insightful or perceptive long time reader of this blog can easily put two and two together and figure out something is wrong even if they don't know what. I'm not interested in complaining and ranting about how unfair life can be on here because that's what my paper journal is for. I'll say this though, twice in my life i have become a statistic (or maybe 3 times).

- 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence (intimate partner violence) in their life time.  The first time i heard that stat was in my Psychology of Women's course in undergrad. That was also the first time it dawned on me that i was a statistic. I was the one out of four. I had never been around any kind of relationship abuse, so i had no clue that the emotional and verbal abuse could possibly turn physical. It didn't even cross my mind. Without going into details and being overly dramatic, let's just say i am thankful I did not die that day. I could very, very, very, very, very, easily have been killed that day. I saw a human being turn into an unrecognizable monster and before the skeptics and victim blamers ask me what I did to cause it, you would just have to take my word that I didn't do anything wrong. I wrote a statement for my lawyer in 2005 when it happened and I have never read it again. When I let someone read it this year, the comment I got was "that guy shouldn't be allowed around women". They said it read like a Nollywood movie, which was a very apt statement because the whole experience was very surreal. I am so thankful for my family. The day that guy hit me was the last day I spoke to him. The only times i saw him after that was in court.
 I'm completely over that experience, thankfully. I was in therapy for a year because of it. Some stupid Nigerian guy (who lives in Nigeria) who was trying to talk to me back then said i should get over myself, what do I mean I'm in therapy because a guy hit me "Na only you man done beat before?" those were his exact words to me. I was just like wow, wow, wow.

My experience with this guy also gave me the opportunity to see what a FRENEMY looked like. That was a lesson i am very glad i had early on. I have picked my close friends very wisely since then. I'd rather not have any friends than to have a snake as a friend. That girl was the height of evil. God forbid!

It would be nice to say i will tell you guys the full story one day, but I know I won't. I'm not trying to remember all of that mess.

- ~25% of medical students suffer from depression. "Research also suggests that black students are particularly more susceptible to suicidal thoughts" Source

There's this Mnemonic SIG E CAPS that is used to screen for major depression - Sleep, Interest, Guilt (or hopelessness), Energy, Concentration, Appetite, Psychomotor agitation or retardation, Suicidal

There's a big difference between just having a bad day vs being sad vs clinical depression. During my first and second years, I was surprised and very thankful that I didn't get depressed but i was beyond stressed out. I felt like i was in a never ending hazing process. The madness was unreal but I would have a bad day, sleep it off and bounce back the next day. But from mid 2012, I started hanging out more in the sad but not completely depressed zone. I'll leave all the gruesome details out as to the whys and hows, but being in med school can be a bitch. I would constantly screen myself for depression using SIGECAPS, sometimes I would have 5 or 6 out of 8, but never 8 out of 8. But Instead of things to get better with time, they got worse when i started scoring 8 out of 8 constantly.

I don't have a lazy bone in my body, so when I saw myself spending whole weekends in bed, only getting up to pee and barely eating, I knew there was a problem, talk about psychomotor retardation. I was pratically a zombie for all intents and purposes. The whole time I would be in the hospital, all i'm thinking of is when i can leave and go lie down in my bed. I remember days when I would go to clinic and not even bother saying a word when i went in with the doctor to see the patient, even though the doctor specifically asked me to chime in and interview the patient with him (I thought that was a shitty way to do things anyway).

 I have a Bachelors in Psychology which i believe is a blessing to me as a Nigerian female because it allowed me to destigmatize and give appropriate importance and attention to mental illness. Towards the end of last year, I literally couldn't exist anymore. When your mind is not right, nothing can be right. I would come home from rotations and curl up on the floor in a corner of my apartment with my hands pressed hard against my ears trying to drown out my thoughts. I didn't want to hear the thoughts in my head, it was a battle and i wasn't winning. I constantly dealt with the thought of hanging myself but I knew I wouldn't do it because I love my mother and my little nieces too much to do that to them. Inspite of all this, I would still have get up in the morning, dress up, show up to rotations and act attentive and enthusiastic. Do you know what hell is? I know what hell is. I have been there, I lived there for months and it is horrible. September 16th, 2013 i was driving to go take a shelf exam, I had just taken step 2 CK less than 2 days prior (Sept 14th) and i spent the night of the 15th unable to sleep or study due to freaking out. As i drove to school that morning, there was this truck coming in the opposite direction from me and it took all the will power i had not to drive in front of it. That freaked me out! I was the last person to show up for the exam. I don't know how i took that exam and passed because I wasn't even 50% mentally present for that exam.

On October 29th, 2013, my birthday, I was on overnight call in the hospital, but I had an appointment I had no intention of missing. My birthday present to myself last year was to go see a psychiatrist, so i could attempt to get my mind right and want to live again.

I'm still on that journey.


  1. Hey missy! I appreciate you for sharing your stories. I know how iffy you are about your relationship with christianity, I'd like to say that I have you in my prayers and am thankful that you are not ashamed to share your weakness. I pray that God will give you strength and you will be a great doctor when this is all done! Thank you for this!

  2. I am avid reader of your blog but this is my first time commenting. I just wanted to thank you for sharing your story. You never know who will gain inspiration and courage from this post. So many African women suffer in silence due to the way the culture stigmatizes depression and normalizes domestic violence. I work as an ER nurse and I've seen cases of battery and physical assaults by a partner that have resulted in facial fractures, stab wounds, brain bleeds...the list goes on. Some cases are like horror stories. I can't imagine what it is like to be attacked in such a manner by someone who claims to care about you. Thank you, thank you for sharing! Your strength alone is inspiration. *cyberhugs*

  3. Madame Sting, your blog was one of first I started reading when I just discovered blogger 2009 and the fact that you were a medical student was plus too. I really really like the honesty of this post and I love that you have opened up a little more. I hope all goes well in your journey.
    May God continue to give you strength and you can also ask him.
    The way some Nigerians react/respond to some things they think is "small" baffles me sometimes.
    Looking forward to more posts regularly if not everyday *winks* lol

  4. *Loads of cyber hugs* Just as you have been doing, keep gathering the strength to carry on. It took a classmate telling me to see a shrink (i won't lie, my first thought was all these oyinbo people have come again) for me to realize I needed help (mine was grief and school stress related). I found help in talking about it and praying seriously for a pick-me-up and restoration of joy oh. Just when I was getting it (even to the stage of a close friend telling me "congrats u r back to yourself, you've been on an emotional lockdown for 4 years now), {gbam!} round 2 grief and school torture started. You begin to wonder "why me?"

    The lesson I learnt from this experience (still learning) is that YES depression if REAl. Black people DO get depressed, suicide thoughts are real (I thought my christianity was strong before oh but sometimes even the fear of hell isn't a strong enough reason) we ALL need help and judge not, we have no idea what the next person is going through. The fact that you have gone through the same experience (e.g. med school) as one person, doesn't mean you are the same (channeling Bumight's comment about med school one time and no i'm not trying to stir up a fight o, that is what is just coming to mind). One-size-fits-all treatment doesn't work for everyone.

    Long story short, babe breathe, keep breathing and know that these things DO build up character in the end. The depression and all sucks but like I like to tell myself (even when I can't see it), like everything in life, "it will come to pass". That repetition in the Bible "....and it came to pass..." is real. Whether good or bad, it will come to pass. We just have to keep finding a way to move on for the people we love. *hugs*
    - Lazy Grad Student

  5. Thank you for sharing with takes courage and honesty....
    Sting, the right words fail me now ......... E- LOVING HUGS.

  6. #real. It gets better with constant work

  7. Madam! thanks so much for blogging again, I've been reading your blog since 2009, inspired me to start a blog (unsuccessfully). Thanks also for shining a light on mental illness, and mental illness doesn't make you weak (I'm currently a psychology major) and so agree with the point you made, I wish there was more awareness in Nigerian about the importance, people would rather believe its "demonic possess" or somebody cursed somebody, than take practical steps to fix the problem.

    As for the abuse, I don't understand people that want to blame the victim, the society is funny in that one hand there's a tendency to place men on this high pedestal as the "heads/leader", take charge, but them we take away their power when it comes to them acting out violently or philandering.

    Kudos to you for taking the step to get help, make sure you find someone that works for you because I've had a few misses with the therapist department

  8. Hiya...just wanted to say I appreciate your honesty and this life as an adult thing seems to be a never ending struggle. I am struggling now myself emotionally and wondering whether to see a professional as well. Hugs and good luck.

  9. Sting oh Sting! Tell you another statistic that you are? You are one of those who have been able to rise above their problems. You are already on the right track. Please take it one step at a time.
    I would like to see your drawings. Videos preferably. You can do it "anonymously" so no excuses. See you on Youtube! *wink!

  10. I want to hug you physically but this damn screen is in the way... Here is a gigantic *e-hug" - you are strong and beautiful and I am so happy you are on your way out of the tunnel.

  11. Hey, can't find you on BBM anymore.
    I'm glad you sought help. Keep doing all you can to get your mind right and keep living.

    Also good to see you this honest on here again. I know it couldn't have been easy.


  12. Sis, you know you're amazing right? Cos you are. It's been a while i've seen this side of you and i miss it. You are real. One of the realest around these parts and i am inspired by you and your courage. To think you kept blogging and holding your head up when it was hard *a million hugs*

    I'm happy about your birthday present to yourself. Again, You're amazing. Never forget it

  13. omg nigerianscorpio i have this youtube channel i've been dying to share this with you I hope you check her out :), she's hilarityyy

  14. ok wow! you have quite a story sting. In all, thanks for sharing. Your an amazing and such a real person, am glad you didn't let depression take over! We need lots of your personality around :) *cyberhugs*


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