Lonely and Alone

This one is tough guys. This one is hard to write. Last week, much to my amazement, I heard myself saying, “I’ve changed this year. I feel much lighter.” It was strange but I’ve never thought much beyond the changes that I had felt in my gut needed to be made. Neither did I examine the emotional reasoning behind logical actions such as leaving my former church. I guess you could say that in that moment, examining the situation too closely would have revealed truths I was in no way ready to handle. It was time for a self-discovery.

As I thought back on last year, I could clearly hear myself questioning the reason why I had so many people around me but only few realized I was stressed and unhappy. A lot were quite happy to add more drama to my plate. I looked deeper and realized that at that moment in my life, unhappiness was too mild a word, I was depressed.

Acknowledging depression is a hard pill to swallow because when you generally think of depression, the image of the girl with the bright aura and smile doesn’t readily come to mind. Instead, we generally visualize the emos, dressed in black, sullen, and looking for all the world to see “depressed”.

I remember a few years ago, I saw the story of a young woman who was dead in her apartment for two entire years before any noticed. I remember thinking, “How could that situation have happened? Didn’t she have friends, family, neighbors, etc.” I am afraid of getting there. Dying and no one noticing. At the time, I thought to myself, that could never happen to me. I have way too many people around me.

Yet, last year, I remember sitting down in church and on the choir, and wondering how could I be surrounded by so many people and still feel so alone. Aren’t these the same people who hugged me on a Sunday and called me “daughter”? Why did I feel so alone?

Why was my phone full of church contacts who, for the most part, only called or messaged me when they needed something? Why these numerous contacts only seemed interested in the wide white smile but none took the time to look beyond and see the sadness in my eyes? These were the persons I prayed with. These were the persons I sang on the choir with. These were the persons I joker around with. These were the persons I spent a large percentage of my free time with. These were the persons I thought of as friends yet when I needed, no one knew me enough to see.

Where were all my friends? Why didn’t my family notice something was off about me?

Honestly, I felt betrayed by God too. Where was He when I was internally screaming loudly? Begging Him for a physical sign that He had heard my cry? Begging Him for someone to speak directly to me, to my feeling during one of the Sunday messages. Where was He? Why didn’t he give me the sign I needed?

I can remember thinking to myself, “So many people but only a handful.” It was amazing that despite me knowing so many persons, only a few thought to check if I was okay when I went MIA. Even fewer thought to push deeper when I gave my regular “I’m okay” to the general polite question, “How are you?”

A part of me recognized that I wasn’t needed. I didn’t want to be in such an environment where everybody looked but few really saw. I recognized I couldn’t stay. My mitigation action was simple. I let go of my “BIG” church and a lot of acquaintances. I chose a smaller church and began focusing my energies on building strong relationships with the few friends who have shown themselves as being worthy of the title. I gave myself the permission to be free of the things I didn’t believe in at heart and focused on ensuring my emotional health. Eventually, I felt lighter.

In retrospect, I wondered how I got to the point of being depressed and yet no one or myself seemed to notice. The answer hit me. I was always the one who could fix it. Most of my acquaintances believed that I always had it together. I didn’t need help, instead, I was the one capable and always willing to offer the assistance. It just didn’t cross their minds that maybe I needed help of a different nature.

Guys, I hope my blubbering makes sense. I want to call you to action. I came close but I escaped from the clutches of depression. Don’t be one of the persons who looks but do not see. Care enough to stop and take the time to see beneath the surface. Care enough to ask deeper questions.

XOXO,
Chañel.

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Zoomers Moments

A few nights ago, unable to sleep, I found my thoughts wandering. These wanderings took me down memory lane….

I was in my first year of high school when we were given a group assignment to present on various themes in the book, Silver Sword. As a natural leader who hates inactivity, I ended up planning a production. We were going to do a talk show with the book characters. After all the planning, I realised, much to my dismay, that I had planned out myself! I had totally forgotten to give myself a part!

Now note, if you did not present, you did not get a grade. I returned to the drawing board. We couldn’t change the production at that late stage but there must be some element that I had missed. During lunch (whilst eating one of my favorite cheesy snacks), an hour before the presentation, an idea took root. In the middle of the presentation, we had an intermission and I delivered one of the best impromptu Zoomers ads ever seen by man! 😂😂😂 (or so I like to believe…)

We got the highest grade for that assignment!

This memory reminded me of a couple lessons, I had learnt early in life.

  1. In moments of crisis or pressure, your levels of ingenuity will surprise you.
  2. In life there will always be Zoomers opportunities, you just have to be willing to open yourself to the possibilities.
  3. When faced with challenges, embrace your “I CAN” and “There must be a way.” attitude.
  4. Your belief in yourself and capabilities will take you a far way.
  5. Never plan out myself.
  6. Self-doubt gets you nowhere!

    What are your thoughts? Have you ever experienced a situation which required you think on your feet? How did it turn out? Let me know in the comments below.

    XOXO,
    Chañel.

    Death Could Not Hold Him Down

    For the last few nights, I’ve had difficulty sleeping soundly. There has been a few things on my mind and I kept taking naps before my sleep patterns kept getting disturbed. This habit has made me restless, edgy and tired. I also recognized that if I kept it up, I would soon be unable to function efficiently.

    To make matters worse, I was ridiculously ill yesterday. I spent the day in pain, popping pills, nauseous and dizzy to the point where I kept digging my nails in my palms to fight the waves. Only God knows how I managed to stay on my feet for practically the whole day as I worked non-stop. I was unable to keep anything down until dinner. When I finally went to bed, I found that once again I was unable to sleep properly.

    This morning, rare for me, I got up before my first alarm, my thoughts centered on a project that I am currently at the tail end of. It has been a long couple of months and let’s just say that the last few days have not been easy as we draw closer to the end.

    Early morning found me talking to God about the project and all the moving pieces that refused to settle as well as my health. For the first time in a while, I pulled up a Benita Washington medley to listen to as I completed my morning routine. I headed into the shower singing along to the worship medley. My shower time turned into a worship session. The thought that struck with me was:

    No matter how dead your situation may seem, remember you serve a God who not even death could hold Him down. Our God is ALWAYS victorious.

    God used this opportunity to remind me of the many dead situations that He had resurrected in my life. He reminded me of His story where not even death could hold Him down. He, Reigning King, had conquered death and the grave. He reminded me that He’s got me covered.

    For the first time in a while, my soul felt still and comforted. I knew then that everything would be okay despite what seemed to be a storm.

    Folks, God is simply better than slice bread. He always sends a word or shows up on time. Today worked out well and although there is still much to be done and there was a moment when things seemed really dark, He came through.

    Then again, if He is a God who conquered death, why should I worry about seemingly threatening discombobulating situations. He has never lost a battle and is always victorious. Death couldn’t hold Him down!

    XOXO,
    Chañel.

    You never realize how much work you have to do until you have little time…and a lot of problems

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    This week has been extremely crazy! I feel like one of those mad ants running around trying to get things done. So, for all those who have been following me, I ACCEPTED AN OFFER ON MONDAY! I now have two weeks (well one week now) to get my desk up-to-date while they try to find my replacement.

    Doing all in two weeks that would normally take a month is driving me batty. I literally spend most of my time making lists, doing and ticking off items on my lists, fast forwarding certain projects and making more lists… To top it all off, my wisdom tooth decided to declare war. I’m teething (my friends’ and mom’s words) and this morning I woke with a sensitive swollen right cheek! My brain is working in overdrive! Plus everybody wants a piece of me. Did I mention I’m making a lot of lists? And my computer has decided to make a mockery of me… I’m more than ready to declare a Chañel lockdown…

    Lord Jesus, HELP ME!!!! I’m stressed out…

    XOXO
    Chañel