The Essence of Life is Giving! – Billy Knight

As part of an ongoing challenge, I began the write-thing today (Day 15) about the shame and stigma associated with unwanted pregnancy. Emphasis on unwanted. – i.e. Even amongst legally married people. I got first-hand account from a few people and my mind went on a roller coaster of emotions, deeply wounded by the stories and experiences of those who cared to share their tales.

Subsequently, my thought process triggered a flow that went somewhat like this: “When an ‘unwanted child’ is growing up in society, especially for the child borne out of wedlock, who (should) get the blame or the brunt of our bashing: the parents, the child, or the circumstances surrounding the birth of the child?” Is it even appropriate to blame or bash, and if so, why?? “He who is without sin should cast the first stone” – Jesus.

He who is without sin should cast the first stone.

However, news about Billy Knight committing suicide (or being found dead) a few hours after releasing a “goodbye video” further wounded my already bleeding heart. I try not to judge people that do not understand depression or suicide, because, like faith and Christianity, it defies logic and rational thought.

em·pa·thyˈempəTHē/em·pa·thy        noun      the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.

Empathy does not even cut it, how do you empathize with a situation or condition that you do not understand? It is an ability you either have, or lack, or choose to cultivate (if that is a possibility).

A very good friend of mine died in 2012 and, his death got to me and hit me so bad, I began to wonder what happened in the hereafter. I started a full blown research re what the departed do in paradise. I not only became depressed afterwards, I subsequently became overwhelmed with life and living. I got to such a low point that I began to envy the departed. I penned a goodbye note to the world, and just before I posted it online, I received a call from a beloved friend. The sound of her voice woke me up and brought me back to my senses.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste!

Fast-forward to 2015, I suffered the worst episode of depression (till date) and became suicidal again. Alone and far from social, physical, and emotional support, I began contemplating ending it all. After all, this time I did not have to worry about being missed since I was not known, I was in a strange land and city and was a random statistic, a visible minority, a non-resident alien, a POC. {#DWP – and no, this is not the title to the Netflix Series!!!}

In the nick of time, my doctor called me randomly to check on me, and I knew I was going to be here much longer. We talked at length and she suggested I do something to bring people together even if I couldn’t necessarily afford to be with them, physically. 

Following doctor’s orders, I created a group chat and added my friends. As silly and as selfish or unethical as it might sound, it was therapeutic and it worked just fine. I regained my sanity.

The role of friends in fighting depression can never be overemphasized. Integrity starts with “I”. Be the “friend” that someone needs today. Be (y)our brother’s keeper. 

Friend frend/ noun

noun: friend; plural noun: friends; noun: Friend; plural noun: Friends

  1. a person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, typically exclusive of sexual or family relations.

synonyms: companion, soul mate, intimate, confidante, confidant, familiar, alter ego, second self, playmate, playfellow, classmate, schoolmate, workmate; ally, associate; sister, brother; best friend, kindred spirit, bosom buddy, bosom friend;
Informal pal, chum, sidekick, crony, main man, mate, buddy, bud, amigo, compadre, homeboy, homegirl, homie, dawg, gal pal, BF, BFF; peeps
Archaic compeer

    2. A person who acts as a supporter of a cause, organization, or country by giving financial or other help.

synonyms: patron, backer, supporter, benefactor, benefactress, sponsor;
* a person who is not an enemy or who is on the same side
* a familiar or helpful thing
* (often as a polite form of address or in ironic reference) an acquaintance or a stranger one comes across – “my friends, let me introduce myself”
* a contact associated with a social networking website – “all of a sudden you’ve got 50 friends online who need to stay connected”

antonyms: Enemy

Life is in stAGEs and sometimes, we outgrow our friends. However, at the time that it mattered, at the time that it was necessary, I had the support of these friends and it worked for me.

My point?: The secret of living is giving. As long as we continue to live for ourselves alone, something dies within us. Gradually killing that which is still alive within us.

Constantly looking into mirrors almost always reveals a defect. This typically causes sadness or depression, and usually triggers a need to take appropriate action to modify our appearance(s).. It’s okay to reflect and make necessary changes where applicable, but we need to look out of windows and reach out to serve and help others more.

Morbid introspection has never yielded good fruits. It only leads down a dark path and spirals us further into the abyss.

A·byss əˈbis/ noun
a deep or seemingly bottomless chasm.
Synonyms: chasm, gorge, ravine, canyon, fissure, rift, crevasse, hole, gulf, pit, cavity, void, bottomless pit

I do not pray to lose any friends or family members to depression or death by suicide, but I do not know how to help people who refuse to speak out or ask for help.

Disclaimer: In spite of seeming evidence to the contrary, I am not clairvoyant.

clair·voy·ant          ˌklerˈvoiənt/        

noun   1.a person who claims to have a supernatural ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.

synonyms:         psychic, fortune teller, crystal gazer;

adjective 1.having or exhibiting an ability to perceive events in the future or beyond normal sensory contact.

synonyms:         psychic, telepathic, visionary, oracular; second-sighted

The essence of life is giving!

Selah!!

 

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The Accidental Side-Chic

Drive: Sometimes we need to sh-air our struggles so that some of our friends, family members and third parties (aka other people) will know they haven’t cornered the market on problems. We need to let them know about our humanity and that they are not alone.

If you want to hide something from me, put it in a song. By leveraging on YouTube and Google though, I may find it, or at least, find the lyrics of the song. However, if you want to completely hide something from me, put it in a music video. The part of my brain that should help me ‘get’ and/or follow the tales of most music videos is probably not well-developed.

De Trigger: A couple of weeks ago, I watched the 1998 video “The Boy Is Mine” by Brandy and Monica and I actually (somewhat) understood it. At least I followed the story for the most part, and daresay I got the gist. It caught my attention because I had earlier come across a startling videoclip from a ‘religious faith fighter‘ caught on camera saying that if she ever found out that her man was cheating on her, she would pray against the woman till she became paralyzed.

On a side-note, “We-Men always get the bashing when they dare to cheat. From men, from other women, and from the society at large. When the Sheep cheats, the sheep is frowned upon, even though sheep usually get away with it. When the Shepherd cheats, “touch not my anointed”.

To each his own. I respect her hustle for her cheating, lying, greedy, unfaithful man.

Pardon the name-calling, lol. Brandy and Monica on the other hand, worked to-get-her to ‘shame’ the guy that was toying with their emotions, feelings, and bodies.This is all my perspective anyways. After all, it is the first music video that not only makes sense to me, but also that I totally get. I did not need anyone explaining the sin-by-scene de-Tales.

It is commonplace for people to judge the side chic. It would seem we-men always get the bashing. Many years ago, a woman was caught in adultery, and brought to the village square to be stoned. This woman was publicly shamed, but the man was neither called-out nor exposed. Yet, she was CAUGHT IN THE ACT of adultery. It’s always we-Men (pronounced women).

Disclaimer: This isn’t about the willful-side-chic though. By this, I mean ladies (single or married) with eye candy that go after the fiances and husbands of other women. They sure have their reasons but my post is not about them right now. Several other pieces have addressed their case. They exist and live amongst us and I will not dignify their existence with anything but a random mention.

My post is about the executive single lady, living her life and facing her grind, who suddenly begins to get attention from a keen man. Being human, not to mention the fact that she’s vulnerable, alone, and possibly lonely, she yields to his advances and begins to enjoy the attention and companionship.

Dear married woman, pause and think about all the good times spent with your man. Project those good times to this scenario and by extension, to this single lady. She has finally found someone to call her own, without prejudice. Her forever and a day. She is happy. Except of course, she’s a side chic, but she just doesn’t know that, yet.

Disclosure: Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby introduce to you, the accidental side chic. That woman, who, unknown to her, is dating a married man, innocently and totally oblivious of the fact that he’s a taken man. Yes, she should have done her background checks, after all, the eWorld is a global village and there are six degrees of separation (it takes only six people to connect to everyone else in the world).

I do not support extramarital affairs, but I think there is a proper way to handle emotional issues that pertain to men and women. I also know for a fact, that there are innocent women out (t)here suffering shame and abuse, simply because a man got away with improper behaviour.

The irony is that there have been instances where, a woman has settled into the routine of being wife and possibly, mother, and her marriage is now devoid of sparks. A fresh dude comes onto the scene at work, at church, at the gym, or possibly an old flame, and he reignites the fire. Married women also accidentally cheat. It is wrong to keep bashing side chics. Selah!

Dear woman, go and scene no more. Stop creating scenes. Like Brandy and Monica in the fictitious musical video, We-Men need to work to-get-her to make men accountable and stop bashing one another.

We-Men always get the bashing when they dare to cheat: bashing from men, from other women, and from the society at large. When the Sheep cheats, the sheep is frowned upon, even though sheep usually get away with it. When the Shepherd cheats, “touch not my anointed”.

Principles are universal truths, irrespective of office, role or gender. Let the truth be the truth. Now I’m just ranting. SELAH.

PS: If you have any “Men-are-Scum” or “Yoruba-Demon” tales, educate me… Thank you!

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Confessions of a Blog-a-Holic

Saturday 9th November
I woke up at about 1:53am and sat up for a bit wondering what life, in particular, my life, is/was/is about. Seeing I did not come to a logical conclusion, I began to craft a beautiful “goodbye world” letter: addressed to anyone that would ever stop by my blog, page or FB profile to read. It was the least I could do …

I saw it as my way of “giving back” to society. Most of my contemporaries happen to be e-Literates: certified post graduate degree holders with enviable careers and professional qualifications; whilst I ‘seemingly’ only excel at ‘doing the write-thing’. I knew I was being parochial, but I talked myself real down and low, so low, I began to envy the departed. 

So, here I was, investing my time, wit, and resources on my-last-will-and-testament. It didn’t help much that I was laughing at myself in-between paragraphs, knowing full well it was nothing but an attention-seeking scam, marking a transient phase. I plunged into it and worked hard at editing and paraphrasing till about 6am when I was jostled back to reality by a phone call from my mom, YeLumde.

There and then, I knew that ‘letter’ would never see the web pages it had been intended for. There was no way I was going to be stupid enough to bring any more pain to the woman that brought me forth to life. Unfortunately, even though I tried real hard to hide it, she could hear the despair and despondency in my voice. God bless our mothers. God bless all mothers. And so, thanks to YeLumde, you will never read that letter. 

Yes, I love attention, and I do have my down times, but I will never give in to a permanent solution to a temporary situation. Life is worth fighting for. We’re all going to die someday anyway, so whilst I’m here, I’m going to make my life count. And chicken-ing out is not the way.

What brought me to this point? A blocked goal. Nothing more than a detour in my path. Something I had neither foreseen nor preempted. Simple.
What took me out of it? A phone call… A genuine and healthy conversation from a caring heart. Concern. Attention. Affection. Simple.

To the few friends I reached out to, thank you for being just-a-phone-call away. 

Please stay in touch with the people you love. It always helps.

Alosimis

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Moments in 2013

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I don’t remember January much, except that I was preparing for my birthday in February.
This picture was taken at a friends birthday party in February; Fairy tale themed.

I dressed as a ninja turtle. (That was the only costume iLiked that fit my tiny frame *wink*

 

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Then came my long awaited birthday in February.

On February 21, I turned “Sweet Sixteen” Yaay!!!

 

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It wasn’t a landmark birthday, so getting so many cakes was a little overwhelming. This was Thursday, 21st February. God prepared me for the next couple of days, weeks, months and years by making me extra happy. I was on an unusual ‘high’, thanks to my boss and colleagues at work. They made it extra special

 

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Sunday February 24th, I receive a phonecall that my only sister had passed.

We had spoken briefly on my birthday (the 21st), so I … I still don’t get how these things happen.

Suffice to say, nothing has been the same ever since.

 

 

 

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The emotional roller coaster was set in motion pre and post the burial.

She was buried on Wednesday, February 27, 2013.

Barely a week after my birthday.

 

 

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Life as I had known it, suddenly became ‘meh’ and I began to question everything.

I became particularly curious about what the departed do in paradise.

To cheer me up sometime in March, and get me out of my head, a few friends invited me over to the beach for a “festival of kites”.

This was fun! It was great watching dads become boys again, flying kites and playing with their kids. The role of friends when fighting depression or going through a tough time must never be trivialized.

 

20140101-083013.jpgAnother set of friends decided to make me glad. It worked.

We visited South Africa on a whim. Lol I’m grateful for my friends!

I needed the distraction. I had to get away from my reality for a bit.

 

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And it’s a wrap!

…and back to where it all began, my birthday!

To imagine that I was still seated behind my desk at 18hours on my birthday is the summary of my “work-life-balance.”

Work was a great distraction following my sisters death though. Old habits die hard 🙂

2014 is definitely going to be a better and greater year. I’ve seen all the signs.

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome to the first of the best years ahead!

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Tribute to the Wiseone

Sunday 3rd of June 2012 is a day that has been etched in my memory for several reasons. I woke up that morning and went to church. For the first time in a very long time. I still remember what I wore, like it was just yesterday. I recall receiving calls and text messages from old school mates, friends and acquaintances later that evening. All of them saying the same thing in many different words.

The Wiseone had always been a survivor. “He would have jumped out”, I told myself repeatedly. By the time I confirmed the details about the crash, wrt the manifest in particular, I wept. I wept that night and for several days and nights that followed. Ah, I wept. The death of a loved one is always bad, worse with each fresh blow; hitting the already wounded soul at its most vulnerable spot. Harsh!

The next few days, I tortured myself with morbid scenes of his unsuccessful attempts to escape. I pictured him trying to jump out of the burning plane as the die-hard-survivor I had known him to be. I could not stop imagining the supposed final moments of the passengers in the aircraft. If they were conscious pre-impact, or at impact, prior to the time the plane was engulfed in flames et al. 

What were their thoughts? Dreams? Aspirations? Motivations…? Wishes? I mean, what flashes through your mind when you realize that death is a possibility, if not imminent? Worse, when you’re totally helpless? Handicapped to death, forced to an early grave without the benefit or luxury of organizing a “last-wishes-to-family-and-friends” dinner.

By Tuesday, his body had been identified…along with all the drama that ensued. He had not been burned. I’m sure he would have made it out alive if not for circumstances beyond his control. Friends and family eventually came together and we started making plans to lay his unscarred body to rest. By the end of that week, he had been buried. 33 year old, ambitious, wise, but… deceased.

Burials give friends and family a bit of closure. A semblance to ‘moving on’. We returned to our jobs and locations, giving the immediate family some respite and time alone to grieve. They did not need constant reminders of their loss, albeit from empathetic strangers. Yes, it is always better to mourn with those who mourn, but hosting people is tiring. They needed to rest.

Prior to his death, I had never given much thought to the hereafter. 
However, in the days that followed, I began to ponder about life after death. Where was he and what was he doing there? What were all those souls doing? Where did they all go? Why did God (Kabiyesi) allow that crash to happen? What … Where … How … WHY?!?

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