Why I went to Therapy-Yommie
Trigger warning: the article below contains a discussion on suicide. Please leave this article if the topic of suicide is triggering for you. There’s absolutely no shame in struggling with suicidal ideations, if you are struggling or you know someone who is, I need you to know that you don’t have to suffer in silence. Please seek professional help here.
‘I embrace the label of bad feminist because I am human. I am messy. I’m not trying to be an example. I am not trying to be perfect. I am not trying to say I have all the answers. I am not trying to say I’m right. I am just trying—trying to support what I believe in, trying to do some good in this world, trying to make some noise with my writing while also being myself.- Roxane Gay, Bad Feminist
Some darkness cannot be fought in one lifetime; when all you’ve known is survival, your stories become about pain. I didn’t think I’ll ever write on why I—a slay queen—went to therapy. But I’ve had a nudge to do so for a while, and so I will🎊.
I hope I don’t panic and not send this out, I hope I’m brave enough this time. Deep breath. Here goes. I’ve struggled with my mental health for as long as I can remember. Since I was a little girl. At the time, I lacked the wordings and the terminology, but I just know it felt overwhelming, consuming, and weird. Constantly, I was inexplicably sad, I couldn’t seem to get anything right. I had past traumatic experiences that were constantly recurring in my head. I wasn’t sleeping well either, I was constantly crying, the sadness I felt was debilitating.
It always felt like I was wearing a mask, it felt like I was two people. There was the outgoing, fun, friendly, playful Yommie -I really like her; she’s cool. Then there was the sad sad Yommie, the one who found coping with life incredibly difficult. My relationships were usually exhausting and strained. Regardless of how much I tried my life was just difficult. Omo.
In 2017, I cut myself for the first time, but I’m not a cutter, so I didn’t continue. I absolutely hate scars on my body. Even with all my struggs, slay queen na slay queen please 😂. 2017 was really difficult for me, probably the most overwhelming year of my life. One day, I had another long drawn out argument with my ex and it was just one too many. I got home and had an argument with my family. My job at the time was just ewww😭. When your mental health is already frail, anything can push you over the edge. I entered my room in tears, mascara ruined, my shoes scattered across the room, my heart tired. My mind kept saying to me; nobody wants you here Yommie, you’re worthless, the world’s better without you, so I overdosed on pills. In my head, I was done with everything, ciao, bye👋🏽
The next morning, I woke up 5am sharp, not nauseous, not groggy, actually gallant and clearheaded for the first time in an incredibly long time. I cursed God. Cursed Him over and over again. Why did you leave me on earth to continue being tortured? Why do you want me here? Why the fuck am I still alive? I remember just crying and saying God what now? But here’s what I’ve come to know — nobody is worthless, you deserve to be here, this earth is our own, streets don’t run us, na we dey run streets, nobody and absolutely nothing can run us off till it’s our time❤️. I’m a spiritual person so I believe I have a purpose, to be on earth to help others, I think God was sharpening me for the heavy work He wanted me to do. He was moulding me, preparing me.
I want to say it got better but that didn’t happen. Not immediately, at least. was constantly drinking, self-sabotaging, ruining my friendships, my relationships, shaved all my beautiful hair off, I had unhealthy coping mechanisms. I hurt everyone and everything that tried to hold me close.Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better, it’s a dark tunnel and then slowly the light slips in, you find more reasons to be here. II needed something to numb the pain I was feeling. At some point I had passive suicidal ideations, I wasn’t doing anything to harm myself, but the way I lived, the choices I made, weren’t of someone who wanted to be here.
Omooo, this article is getting long sha😂, there are a lot of contours, experiences, in-betweens but I eventually gathered the courage to see a therapist for the first time. Guess what? I absolutely hated it. I felt critiqued, judged, profiled and unheard so I ran far away never to return. But I did get better. I got way better, I learnt healthier coping mechanisms, I found inner peace, I learnt how to love myself, even the not so pleasant parts. I love my friends and my friends love me, my family is incredibly supportive, loving and kind, life has gotten lighter. I smile more, I have more reasons to genuinely be here. The darkness did not win.
When I started the ‘Why I went to therapy’ series, I decided to go back to therapy, also because I was moving out to be alone for the first time in a new country. I wanted to be as mentally fit as I could be. It’s been an incredibly complex journey with therapy, I feel like it’s breaking me apart, forcing me to sit with my inner child, confront my hurt, my trauma, unpack and grow. I’m still on the journey, but it’s been very revealing. I definitely think everyone should get therapy. You don’t need to struggle before you decide to go into therapy.
Getting my diagnosis also helped me in some weird way because I could name what was going on with me, so I could understand and learn how to support myself better and communicate when I needed help. I also understand my triggers (Nigerian men😂) and I stay away from them. It’s been one hell of a journey sha, very layered, complex but it’s my story, it’s my reality, it may be messy, may not come in a cute package with a bow, may not be the way I idealised it but that’s me and I’m happy.
I too talk😂, I hope you read this article and realise there’s so much joy, so much beauty and so much enjoyment to be experienced in this lifetime and I hope you stay around to enjoy it. You deserve to be here, the world needs you. I need you. You might think you’re alone but we’re all just strangers with our hurt, our struggles, trying to figure this shitty thing called life out.
I’ve written on ‘Managing Suicidal Thoughts‘ for Nottingham Trent University, I hope it helps someone.
I love you❤️
PS: the pictures I’ve put into this article are pictures of me the day after the experience, sitting pretty. I still went out to eat, I still wore makeup, I still posted pon di gram. It’s basically to say poor mental health doesn’t have a face, a social class, a gender. it’s all around us. A little love, a little kindness, a little more sweetness.
Your favourite neighbourhood slay queen,