“There is no meek way to mend.”
— Amanda Norman

“I was made to die but I am here to stay.”
— Ocean Vuong


Even silence, a symbolism of serenity, has become a knife so I play David Kushner’s “Daylight” on repeat. The darkness in my room is crawling over me like a skin. My journal lies on my bed like a Pandora’s box. It has not been opened or updated for days now. I am in bed, body curled beneath a blanket. I feel a cold wind haunting my skin—it is spirited like a mob of wraiths satelliting the atmosphere of my room. My body feels like a living corpse, and it is no hyperbole. My mom comes to check on me frequently asking if I am okay. I answer every single time I am—

I am not. I am not. Something scalds my throat. To speak becomes torture. To not is a conflicting affliction.

I wish I could diagnose myself for the cause of my melancholy but sadness sometimes doesn’t have an origin, does it? I am sad because I feel sad and I have no reason for it.

I struggle to get out of bed. I crawl to my reading table and turn over to my current read—a collection of lyric essays entitled Pain Studies by Lisa Olstein. I have been rereading the same chapter for days now. It is my habit—ruminating over a passage ’til I am dawned by multiple revelations and epiphanies.

I highlight the words: “Pain is pain: vivid even in its opacity, vague even in its precision.” I feel tired and drowsed so I look at the time. It’s 8:56 am. I try to recollect what time I slept the previous night. I remember the last time I looked at the time was 5:15 am.

I go to the bathroom, wash my face, come back, take my journal from the bed and return to my reading table. In it, I pen down the words I had highlighted.

I think of starting a poem.

The word “Lethargy” comes to mind. I write it at the beginning of a blank page, then I just scribble haphazardly on it. I close the book. I head back to bed. I coerce myself to sleep, it feels difficult to and it feels tormentous not to.


I hardly sleep.

Something keeps me awake all night. My mind is often occupied with thoughts that I don’t even know what they are. My mom says it’s just stress of school and whatnot. So says the doctor. They advise that I should sleep—funny the prescription is the ailment’s malady.

I was not born an insomniac. I don’t really know how it began but its symptoms surfaced greatly after my WAEC & UTME exams.

Anxiety kept me in fear.

My fate, as far as I knew it, depended on how well I passed these exams. No one knew but something within me wished the world ended because then I wouldn’t need to bother about how my fate fared. As a bright student, it was odd to feel terrified but I was. Night after night, I would hold intimate vigils conversing with God beseeching that if he gave me excellent results, I would forever abide in his vineyard meaning my loyalty was tied to the covenant of his loyalty to me. I believed he would not disappoint me strongly. But now, because of who I have become, I can say back then my faith was not faith at all, it was desperation.

I wanted to defy reality not hold on to the greater hope that I had in The Celestial Being, which coincidentally is sometimes the illusion of Christians’ faith nowadays. We strongly seek to be the authors of our fate, designing our miracles rather than letting the spontaneity of these events bear their course.

Somehow, my false faith won luck and saved me nearly.


It all began when the admission body of the university I had applied to began sending out mails and I realized what it meant for me. I had never wondered what leaving my home would feel like. It was terrifying and ironic considering how often I had tried to escape home.

Home, to me back then was nothing but a prison—locked between the barrage and disputes between parents, disregard from younger siblings, money issues arising among many others.

Suicide, sometimes, feels like the easiest bail out but I was never despicable enough to commit this personal murder. My fear was too arrogant and obstinate, it wouldn’t let me.

Like a rattlesnake’s tail, I was tethered to my own hurting so whatever I tried, any elixir I implemented, only exacerbated the pain.

Self-help books kindle the ache, suicidal thoughts only humiliated me more as a coward because I could never accomplish them. I badly wanted to die, to leave this pain like a man exiting a hinged door—but that’s the problem, it’s impossible. I am ribboned to my hurting, and even to my penance. Learning to heal myself is a continuous process. There’s is a sanctum in me burning with embers and the fire sermonizes to me that pacification is an eternal task.

It is either I am slowly dying daily or I am slowly living daily.

I want to live.


How to not exist as a living corpse?

Step one: Do not worry about worrying. Peace is heaven, a place where the angels sing on repeat and the sky shines brighter evermore. This must be your reality: a bright life even in this circus of darkness. Do not let your demons bury you alive.

Step two: Repeat step one.

Step three: Repeat step two.


I am learning to be peaceful with the multitude of myself—to live every moment and be in every microsecond of every moment because if I don’t my life will pass me by and I’d be filled with regrets. There are and will always be challenges. I have come to learn that it is these struggles that makes life worth it, valuable, and give it the option of a price we are optioned to take.

Right now, I am in the university and things have not been any easier than they were before. More difficult challenges arising. But I want to be flooded with the ecstasy of life so I will live through them and face them because I think that is a price worth paying for life, to live. In every oasis of every moment of my life, I want to be bathed with the experience, both good and bad and not lost.

Someday, all will be well. For now, I want to live. I will live!

As I conclude this inconclusive piece of work, a symbolism for my unending travail of existence, living slowly every day, Cat Burns’ “Live More & Love More” blares from the distance.











Photo by Ashley Byrd on Unsplash