Blogger Collab: My Mental Health Story & How I Deal with It

From my childhood to teenage years, I’ve felt a deep sense of emptiness and loneliness in my life. Now, it doesn’t mean I’m always alone. It doesn’t mean that I haven’t found what matters to me. It doesn’t mean that I don’t love or know myself. It’s just what I’ve felt. There’s been that certain sadness in me that lingers.

I used to harbor suicidal thoughts. In my room, I would spread Advil pills on my bed and think about overdosing. When I was in New York during transit, I would imagine walking into the train tracks. I wondered what it would feel like… I wondered whether if I hurt myself, then maybe someone would notice and care that I was in pain. But I never attempted any of that because I was too afraid….After all, it’s not that I really wanted to end my life. It’s that I wanted to stop feeling empty and alone. It’s that I wanted more meaning. It’s that I wanted to connect on a deeper level beyond casual friendships and acquaintances. I don’t know if you understand what I mean?

During my days as a student, I used school work and activities to cover it up. My breaking point was after graduation, during my first job. I felt depleted and mentally drained because I didn’t know what I was working towards. It felt as though all my efforts to be and live in America were in vain. I had been working hard so that I could have a certain life yet I wasn’t able to obtain the visa sponsorship I needed to stay. For several months, I would be up early hours in the morning crying. I didn’t have much of an appetite. My last year in New York, I felt broken.

Coming back to Nigeria has not been easy for me. I initially felt like a failure because it was not part of my plan. I felt alone because I had to start my life again and get used to the system and structure of life here. Doing my NYSC did however help me get used to things and also get some experience with my passion for media. But even now, not yet having full-time employment is not an easy thing to handle.

So that’s my mental health story. Now, I can’t say I’ve been able to fully overcome all my struggles. But I can say that I have felt better and had more moments of being genuinely happy than I used to in my past. This is because I make more efforts to work on my mental health. All the things I do to work on my mental health are below..

I Do What Matters To Me

Blogging is not a quest for fame. Writing is therapeutic for me. It always has been. Writing is that way that I feel I can express myself best. Writing is healing. Writing is my way of being authentic and trying to connect with others like myself. I love writing. I love it and continuing to write and having this blog helps me with my mental health. I look at my website and it makes me happy to have a place where I can be me. I can share my perspective. Writing is the number one thing that has helped me with my mental health.

4 Ways to Create a Happier Life

I Go Out and Be Involved

Being stuck in my head too much is never a great thing for me. That’s why when I’m available to go out, I do. Going out and being in a different environment puts me in a good head space. It takes me away from the issues and stresses in my life. I especially enjoy putting myself in places that align with who I am. The things I care about are arts, literature, women empowerment and volunteer work.

When I found out about Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative, it lit me up because I’ve been trying to work on my mental health. Through the organization, I want to learn and be better educated on mental health for myself, as well as to help others.

So doing things that align with me is a way of nourishing my soul. It’s what leads to my genuine happiness.

I Pray to God

I don’t know what I would do or be without my faith in God. I carry on with my days because I believe in God. I believe that there will come a time when I will not feel an emptiness. I believe there will come a time when God will fill my life with the things that I lack. I keep praying that he will. I’ve had moments where he has promised me this. That is why I continue to carry on because I trust that joy is mine to have. I trust that experiences filled with an abundance of genuine happiness, love and connection is mine to have.

I Release and Share my Emotions

Being able to express my emotions helps me a lot with my mental health. I can’t hold everything in all the time. So when I cry, it’s a release that makes me feel better. When I write, it’s a release that makes me feel better. When I talk to someone, it’s a release that makes me feel better.

Suicide Talk from Dr. Adebimpe Alder

I Exercise

I’m always writing and talking about how much I love to exercise. This is because it’s had such a positive impact on my mindset. Exercise makes me feel good. Exercise gives me confidence. It helps me to eliminate my worries, stress, and anxieties. Having a physical activity in my life has greatly impacted my mental health.

How Exercise Helps Me with My Mental Health

Truthfully, it’s hard for me to write and share my emotional wounds with you. I’m the person that tries to smile often and be active. When people say “Oh you’re a happy person, You’re enjoying yourself,” all I do is smile back. Most people don’t know about my personal struggles.

However, though I’m a bit uncomfortable with my vulnerabilities out in the open, I feel free. I needed to write this so I can let that pain go. Also, being authentic and writing about things like this gives me joy. It brings me joy to share who I am and connect with you. I hope this post provides some comfort to anyone out there struggling with things you might feel embarrassed to talk about. I get it. You are not alone.

I feel blessed to have been able to do this blogger collaboration with the amazing ladies debwritesblog and yhitschioma. You should visit their site and find out about their stories too.

Photos shot by Sam The Creative

What’s your mental health story and how do you deal with it?

Isioma Ononye

I'm a blogger, freelance writer and news enthusiast. I'm passionate about personal development and I'm a book lover. AIso, I care deeply about feminism. My bliss is found in words that move me, nature and chasing my dreams.

10 thoughts on “Blogger Collab: My Mental Health Story & How I Deal with It

    1. I’m so sorry to hear about your mom. My condolences..I’m glad you’re working on your mental health day. I find that talking about things that bring me down also makes me feel much better :))

  1. This is so beautiful, Isioma. I’m proud of how far you’ve come and glad you were bold enough to share your story.

    By and by, we’d get better.

  2. This is so deep and truthful. I love how you write as well. Thanks for sharing this.

    My mental health story is sometimes I get depressed when I’m overwhelmed with a lot. I try to reduce my workload and stay joyful. Also talking to God and reading the scriptures help.

    1. Thank you for reading :)) Yes, talking to God and reading the scriptures is very helpful. It always helps me to have a better perspective and outlook on life.

  3. Wow this was so brave of you to write! I appreciate you sharing your story that a lot of people can relate to. It’s especially awesome that you included the things that help you! And you’re a great writer. Always loved your fashion since I followed you on Instagram, but after reading your post I see a bit more of what you stand for too. Amazing.

    1. Thank you so much. I was a bit hesitant to write this but it’s something that I felt I needed to release and hopefully help others who understand those emotions. Thanks for reading 🙂

  4. Beautiful Isioma! There’s comfort in relating to your story. I struggle with those feelings daily. Until now I had felt embarrassed and afraid to talk about it. Always thinking I was broken in some way. Thank you for sharing your story. It has helped to change the way I see and feel about myself❤️

    1. Thank you for reading. Glad this brought you some comfort and I’m hoping that you do what you can to overcome the negative emotions

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