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About 3 years ago, I was formally diagnosed with mental illness after battling on my own for nearly 5 years. Where I come from, any form of psychiatric condition is highly stigmatized and deeply misunderstood. This was why I kept my troubling symptoms under wraps for so many years till I gave way in my senior college year.

Since seeking medical help I’ve been prescribed almost every possible drug in my doctor’s arsenal but nothing alleviated my woes. I experienced side effects of varying severity, some purely irritating like massive weight gain and others more troubling like splitting headaches and dullness of mind. Life which was already very difficult became a living nightmare. I echoed the words of the Psalmist that “darkness is my only companion”. I felt the force of Blake’s poetry that I was “born to endless night”.

I was in a major crisis with the odds stacked against me. Grace alone has preserved and kept me at the edge of sanity. For that I am grateful—thankful for a second lease of life though it will be fraught with…