I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE

It did not occur to me to think of any other thing other than death. It was the only conclusion I could come up with amidst the whirlwind of emotions that I was feeling all week. The exhaustion did not help either; I was too tired to think positively. All I could feel was self-pity; the worst kind of pity. ‘‘Allergy’’ is a fancy name to describe my ordeal for the past 14 days but when you are feeling the way you are feeling and nothing about your body remotely makes any sense, you start to think of something like death. This is because death is easily descriptive; it is an inevitable reality that will happen to all of us., except we do not talk about it deeply. Our soul needs to be saved from fear.

I had been so consistent with my newsletter until this week. Every Sunday you would receive a new update on your email and whether or not you decide to read it, it did not matter to me. I was fulfilling the wish I set up for myself when I created this newsletter – I was writing. The absolute aim of BLACKPROWRITER was to create a space for me to write. So no matter the responses, the views, the engagements, as long as I was writing every week, I was feeling good about myself.

However, I could not bring myself to write anything past Sunday. I have been sick all week, bedridden, and forced to stay indoors to recuperate, swallowing pills and crying from injection sticking in my bum. I was a mess for fourteen days. Nothing mattered. I was too weak to even write the brilliant idea of an article I had come up with. And the thought of you not receiving an email from me last Sunday really broke my heart, more than the sickness did. My consistency since I began writing my newsletter was so inspiring, I did not want it to stop. And because of this feeling, I wanted to find the courage on Saturday night to write something, even if it was a sentence, just so I would tick that box of self-admiration and say to myself, ‘’I did not miss this week. I did not break my consistency.’’

But what is the point of ticking the box if I am not healthy enough to bring in my A-game? For me, you have to bring in your all or don’t come at all. It is the only thing that makes sense to us creatives who are struggling to create projects with limited resources. We are working on a system of belief – hope that someday we would be recognized for our art. But when will it occur to us that we can sometimes bring in our A+ game and yet still lose? Success is not relative to how much hard work you put into your work, sometimes success is luck. You can be so lucky that the universe will smile upon you and align your effort with the right outcome.

So what if I had died from allergy complications or suffocated on my own vomit, or just gave in to the weakness that surrounded me? Would all the ticked boxes be worth it? What would be the point exactly? In those fourteen days of snorts and slow breathing, all that mattered was my family. The ones who took care of me. I was off social media for a while, the tweets did not matter, Instagram was not a cure. I slept and let my body rest. I did not even need to lift a finger, my anxiety came on Saturday night when I had nothing to write and left on Sunday morning when I woke up to rain and hot Pap and Akara. I did not die. My anxiety melted.

Sometimes, the pressure we put on ourselves is insignificant. So next time I am going to think about death, I must be certain I have spent time with the people that matter to me. And I would not care so much about unforeseen anxiety.

I am still high on all the pills I am taking. So if you made it here, reading my drowsy confessions. You are a real one.

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