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Giving up is a very easy thing to do. It is a choice made in our subconscious and the mind just flows with the conviction that the heart has made.

These past few days has been the most tempting moments of my life because I was hanging on by a thread so thin, I felt my steps slipping over the edges of oblivion. I was consumed by a darkness so thick, it blinded all forms of reasoning and thoughts of hope in my life.

Being an epitome of strength and independence as a woman are my core values and I expressed it as often as I could even in dire situations; but I felt helpless and defeated when the dark clouds closed in on me. I screamed for help but nobody saw past the wall I had built to shield myself.

The nights were the worst of it all; sleep eluded me, my fears invaded the sanctuary of my mind, thoughts of being a failure and never having any tangible proofs of my hard work and success weighed heavily on my shoulders.

Next came the migraine, sore eyes, loss of appetite, mood swings and a total black out from the world. I shut down internally and allowed the universe play tricks with my head and sanity.

Who made the rules that measured success? Who said I had to compete with others now and be great?

I looked back on everything I had done so far in my life and felt it had all amounted to nothing and I took it so hard it nearly killed me. I became a lifeless husks, hiding from the world without telling anyone what my problem was or why I disappeared from the face of the earth until a quote from a movie and a phone call stirred hope in my heart and helped me fight the darkness.

In the movie, she told her sisters,

“When you focus on your fears, you end up running into them but when you dwell on your goals, you end up manifesting them”.

I cried so hard, it felt like my chest was going to burst open because that touched the depth of everything that was my problem. I was scared I would turn thirty and still have nothing to show for my life’s work.

I was scared I would get married soon and be a burden to the man I was supposed share my life with. It felt wrong that I was unable to fulfill my responsibilities to my family and those who depended on me.

If I couldn’t fulfill the responsibilities I owed myself, how could I fulfil others?
I dialed the one person I knew wouldn’t judge me and would listen to me with an open heart. She picked, even when it was so late at night, she knew something was wrong and all she asked was, “what’s wrong dear”.

I spilled out my guts, I balled my eyes out over the phone and she just listened to every word I said without disconnecting or saying a word. At the end she said this to me, “ you are still the strongest person in the world I know”.

My friend said to me; Jane, I draw strength from the knowledge that you face all of these challenges in your life and still follow your heart and do what you want, so please don’t stop, fight.

It shook my core that I was a beacon of hope to someone else when I couldn’t even believe in myself. I was a total mess and a heap of sadness but someone saw me as a source of strength and a model of courage.

I decided that night to pull myself together and stop worrying over situations beyond my control. I promised to keep doing everything I could to feel alive again which included writing how I felt at every point in time.

I decided to pick up my professional studies where I left off and continue working on the novel drafts I had abandoned. Next in line was to reconnect with friends again and the world I had left behind in a haste to retreat into my sullen world of darkness and emptiness.

Being alone is hard which made it easy to fall deeply into the dark because I had no one around to talk to that would understand the depth of my anguish. I wore my strong suit so often, everyone just assumed I could handle anything that came my way.

That call to my friend opened my mind to greater possibilities and appreciation for the little things, because they mattered the most. No longer would I compete with the world, rather, I would work diligently at my own pace.

Competing with forces beyond our control is dangerous to our mental wellbeing and sanity. I nearly lost mine while chasing shadows and blaming my stars whereas I could have made more useful inputs with all the time I spent wallowing in self pity.

A note to self for the future, “Don’t get to your breaking point before screaming for help”.

A nature lover | Author of Romance Fiction Novels | Writer of Fictional Pieces on Self Growth and Advise on Personal Development. Twitter Handle @EbubeohaJ