Lived Experience Leadership

Ever since I was young, I have always been described as a happy person, free spirited and very social. I have always had big dreams and aspirations, and I would put my all into everything I did and by normal standards I was quite successful at an early age.

My story begins early 2008 when I started noticing some changes within me. I was extremely irritable, and I would go off at the slightest provocation, I was always crying for no apparent reason, I had intense feelings of loneliness and worthlessness which led me to turn to alcohol. The biggest battle of them all was struggling with suicidal thoughts. All these symptoms caused me to loath myself as I felt like I was ungrateful for the things God had blessed me with, and this took me on a downward spiral.

Fast forward to 2015, the feelings I had been experiencing were at an all-time high. I was now drinking heavily on a daily and sometimes I would drink alone. I would struggle to go to the office whether I have a hangover or not.

In June of that year, I collapsed in the office and was rushed to hospital, this begun a very painful chapter in my life. I was in and out of hospital for about two months as the doctors could not come up with a diagnosis. After seeing different specialists, I was finally diagnosed by a neurologist who then referred me to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist confirmed that I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety disorder and he immediately put me on anti-depressants and anti-anxiety drugs. The diagnosis brought me a lot of relief because the symptoms I had been experiencing for seven years all made sense. One would imagine things would immediately get better, however they took a turn for the worst. I had to move back home to my parent’s place, I was not able to go back to work for about nine months and all I did was lock myself up in my bedroom with curtains drawn, constantly crying and sleeping.

In early 2016, I decided to go back to work but it was such a huge struggle since I was not fully recovered. I decided to quit my job and start a business which only lasted one and a half years and I had to close it down. I could not bear the pain of the two losses and this pushed me to the brink of almost taking my life.

One lonely night as I was planning my suicide, I thought about the pain I had been through and realized that God would not take me through all that for nothing. That was in October 2018 when I decided I shall use my pain to help others. Through my pain, I have come to discover my purpose and my hope is that one day through my work of sharing my story, creating awareness using social media platforms i.e. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, giving talks at different forums and giving peer to peer counseling we will eventually have a stigma free society.