Psychosis !!!

Basssssssseyyyyyy! 

I shouted with all the terror I could afford to put in my voice, and it must have had the desired effect, because Bassey quickly locked his door. But I was thinking “not too fast, you are not getting away”, so after a short run and a flying kick, Bassey’s door came crashing down and I faced him……. 

Few months earlier 

I had just graduated from university of Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria and I had to do my National Youth Service Corps, incidentally I was posted to Imo State, Eastern Nigeria. My university lifestyle was mostly an unserious one, I had dabbled into drugs and had very bad grades and finally in my fifth year (I was doing a four year course, Chemistry) I was admitted in the Federal NeuroPsychiayric Hospital, yaba Lagos and was diagnosed with a mental illness that I never really paid attention to because I really didn’t believe there was something wrong with me. That was the year 2011, around March , till May. I stayed for 2 months. I graduated in 2012 and now fast forward to 2013 when I started my service to the fatherland, I had stopped using my meds because they had a bad side effect in that I could not always think and I slept most of the time plus my body just shakes sometimes. I didn’t like these side effects so I dumped the meds, my rationale was that I didn’t do drugs anymore so I didn’t need the meds. 

How wrong I was! 

So Bassey was a fellow Corper and he was my neighbour, we shared the bath and kitchen but had different rooms. Oh my he was one of a kind. He was always quick to tell me that he was a frat boy and tell me stories of how he and his frat members always beat up lecturers in school and other things and I think he did and said all these in a bid to scare me and sometimes he liked to always act bossy and tried to tell me what to do. But I’m not that easy a nut to crack myself, so I just always dismissed his threats. But slowly he was starting to get on my nerves and I remember vividly the first time I would give him a warning. Being that we were both serving with the police headquarters there In owerri, we had been given the rooms we were in and there was a police hospital just near our apartments where we usually watch soccer matches and that year was the year that Nigeria won the African Cup of Nations. We had gone there to watch a match but unfortunately it wasn’t shown and we had to go back to the apartments. On our way he was just a few paces ahead of me and by the time I got to the back door to the kitchen we usually used as entrance, Bassey had locked the door from inside, thereafter he and his girlfriend (can’t quite remember her name) went to have a shower while I was kept waiting outside. After taking his time he came and opened the door and there and there I had warned him, I told him I didn’t want to fight. 

All this time I had stopped using my meds for more than four months and the symptoms had started to come back, I remember vividly planning an escape route in case someone came to kill me, in this case the most probable person was Bassey and his group of frat boys that came occasionally to the apartment, I was already having persecutory delusions, and then I also fancied myself a detective, I thought I was a secret agent on a secret mission, I can’t fully explain the feeling and it’s hard to get, but after my first psychotic episode that got me hospitalized in 2011 I had already made up my mind that nothing this world offered will ever frighten me anymore, so in my mind Bassey and his cronies wanted to kill me but I was not scared, I was just anxious about how this was going to play out. So this fateful day I have my girlfriend and her friend with me in my room and then Bassey and his frat boys were just outside my window, and I must have been hallucinating because all I heard from the voices outside my window was “let’s kill him, na him dey inside house ba”? “Mey we end am”, now the only problem I saw with this event were the two girls in my room and how they were going to go unscathed and I’m sure by this time they must have been alarmed at my behaviour but none of them said anything. Should I say Luck came my way because it suddenly became very cloudy and  a storm was imminent so the guys outside my window quickly went away and Bassey was left alone. My thought at that time was I needed to act, how dare this guy come to my window with his mates and threaten me to kill me? 

So I went outside and shouted his name with all the terror I could afford to put in my voice and I’m sure it felt like the storm too. 

After breaking down his door I pounded the living daylight out of this guy, his girlfriend came to his rescue and bit me in the back and for the first time in my life, I raised a hand against a woman, I had decked her a backhand slap, and before long other corpers came and separated us. 

God! 

I could easily have had a dead body on my neck just because I stopped using my meds. And I noticed a trend, when I’m going through my psychotic episodes my anger is always directed at people whom I seem to be at loggerheads with at the time, but they I’m sure will be wondering what they did wrong to warrant all this anger. The experience of psychosis is always so intense for me that……. 

……Anyway Bassey reported me to the police and I was asked to tell the story, which I did according to how he had been looking for my trouble and all, before long my parents were called and they came to my rescue, but before they came I still did somethings that I find very hard even now to say, because they cause me such embarrassment when I remember it. 

Naturally I was taken back to the hospital where I was able to recuperate and start my life over. This Illness is so powerful and intense sometimes I don’t know what to make of it, but I won’t give up, I’ll continue to try and get better and part of that is finally knowing that it’s Schizophrenia that’s disturbing me, I only discovered that after my recent psychotic episode this year 2017. And part of this getting well is me coming public with it, in order that I will constantly remind myself to always use my meds and tell people not to use drugs anymore. 

You don’t always know what you have until you lose it. I would kill right now for good mental health!!!! 

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In the other side of sanity!!!!! 

I’ve been on a trip to hell and back!!! And I must tell you that It’s really not nice in hell. The trip I made there, I must say, is solely my fault. You see, I have schizophrenia and for a long time now I’ve always tried to run from it, never owning it, always believing nothing is wrong with me, in short, trying to cheat life! But life told me “no, you had your chance to change your ways but you didn’t, now deal with the consequences “, and I have no option but to oblige. If you have followed me on this very bumpy ride of writings and experiences, you might have noticed one or two places where I mentioned smoking weed, yes weed, and that’s what caused my schizophrenia! 

I’ve been living with this condition since 2010 when I was first diagnosed with it, although my experiences in a rehabilitation center in my country Nigeria popularly called yaba left put enough fear in me to quit smoking and beating addiction almost effortlessly, it wasn’t until this year 2017 that I knew that it’s schizophrenia I’m dealing with because I never really owned it, yes I knew I had a mental condition and knew it was smoking that caused it and was always quick to use myself as an example when I see some of my friends still smoking but secretly I believed there was really nothing wrong with me and that’s the reason I always tried to get off my meds but it only ends in disasters. I’ve had three episodes in all since I’ve been diagnosed and I’ve been lucky so far not to do so much damage but the people who have crossed my path at these times are not going to forget me that easily. Damage!! In that state, I feel like the voice of God is talking to me directly and everybody is out to get me, that everybody is out to snuff me out of this world. And I remember the first time it happened, my God, I was terrified to my balls and even the slightest things like mosquitoes and rats frightened me almost to death, and there was the voices and sounds I heard, hallucinations, of a great beast just outside my window. Never had I been so scared in my life, but naturally after that fear was no more in my dictionary. I’m no longer scared of anything in my life,  okay maybe the fear of not making heaven, but I work on myself daily to see that I reach the luminous heights someday, but I digress, this fearlessness that I now had made me look extra formidable in my episodes and I’m sure that I’ve scared a lot of people shitless. My last episode was just a few months back, around August of this year. I had stopped using my meds again because I wanted to see if I was fine without them but apparently not. Maybe some other time I’ll take you through the intricate details of my thought process in these times but just know that it is usually embarrassing for me when I’m back to normal and it also has a comic relief to it. I laugh at myself and just say to myself “Dammy you mad man”. I should also add that this last episode I went through cost me a whole lot, I cannot even begin to mention it but the only thanks I offer to the Almighty Father is that I came out of it unscathed and in one piece. Whew! Thank God! 

I’m now going to dedidicate my life to see that people are more enlightened I these matters of smoking weed and what it actually does to you, though I’ve long since realized that people usually don’t learn from another man’s mistakes but from their own personal mistakes and experiences, but I’ll still give it a try. 

My name is Damilola Agboola and I’m owning it, I am living with schizophrenia and I’ll do what it takes in my own little way to help out people in need to beat addiction like I did and maybe I’ll leave the world a better place in my own little  way. 

So help me God! 

The Worst! 

This is a confession!!! I know that I’ve not always been a good kid, and for that I accept my fault, and pray that when someday I also begin to have kids, they won’t give me as much trouble as I gave my own parents. This story I want to share is what I consider to be the worst thing I’ve done in this my short earth life. Let’s rewind back a few years to 2009 when I was in university, oh yes, I kinda fell headlong into bad habits and wrong company when I was in uni, and I remember, on such a day when I was indulging in one my bad habits, this one namely gambling, With video games (PES 2009 was the thing back then), Saturday morning it was, and I was in the middle of winning this game when my phone rang. It was my mum, the call was not more than two minutes, but it bore disaster, of an accident, a ghastly one in which my dad was involved. For personals reasons I won’t give you the details of this accident, let it suffice for you to know that it was really a life threatening one, and all I could ask my mum was “how did it happen?why did he…. “. It was a blow! My dad was in the hospital, he had lost a lot of blood, and was hanging for dear life, and here I was, I was sad, and I locked myself in my room, my friends all tried to console me but I couldn’t be consoled, I couldn’t eat. Nothing.

But there was something interesting. That night there was a party, and one of my friends was supposed to receive an award, seeing as it was a departmental party, and I remember he was supposed to receive the award for “rockerfella”,lol. So they were all dressing up and getting ready to go, all the while they we’re telling me to cheer up and come with them, they can’t leave me alone in the house, they said. It was hard for me, how can I dress up and go to a party while my dad lay in the hospital almost dying? I fought it but at long last I yielded to their persistence, but that’s just an excuse, I really wanted to go to that party, we had anticipated it for weeks. All the stunting we we’re going to pull and all the swag and all the…. You know how it goes, my squad were my squad, and although they were bad for business, they were the people I called friends. So I finally got my ass up and we went partying.

Yeah we all went with our friend to get his award on stage, we took pictures, stunting, and eventually the after party took full grind, I still had that guilty feeling but I finally threw caution to the wind and went with the flow, I rocked ass, and rocked more ass. And eventually we left that party and we were enroute another party when the unexpected happened. We were suddenly stopped by the popos and they told us that we were suspects in a robbery that just happened a few minutes back, we tried to explain ourselves as student just coming from the departmental dinner, and  that we were on our way to another party, all to no avail, even when we had shown our ID cards. We argued and begged but nothing happened. And we finally had to keep shut for fear of being beaten, when the DPO, a giant of a man, punched some smart mouthed student and the poor boy was rolling on the ground from the impact of the punch.

We were rounded up and taken to the station, Area F,  and locked up. Mind you this was around 3 am on Sunday morning. And it suddenly hit me. This was punishment for my wrongdoing, stupid kid, your dad is in the hospital almost dying and you’re here rocking ass. I had never been so sure of anything in my life, I divined a Higher hand in this. I knew, I was sure, it was punishment for my thoughtlessness! And I remember telling my friends that this thing, was a result of my carelessness, and they as cohorts were equally guilty. I don’t know if they believed me or not, but I prayed for forgiveness. This was one of the signs and experiences that warned me time and again to turn back and change my ways. But I hardly listened.

I had a test on Monday and I had planned to visit my school books after the party so I don’t go into the test empty headed. But guess what, we were released on Sunday evening after some of our other friends had come to the rescue to bail us. We paid maga money to the popos. But it’s  all good, I thank God it was not more than that. Naturally I failed the test on Monday, seeing as I had no time whatsoever after my release to read anything. My girlfriend at the time had tried to get in touch with me but to no avail. When I narrated the events to her she was appalled. She asked me what I would have done if my dad had died, would I still have gone partying?  I had never felt so bad in my life but I knew she was right. I resolved to live a better life. But I  knew, I knew  the events of my capture by the popos was punishment for my misdeeds, that much I was sure of.

Thank God for his mercies!

Erm, mugu!!! 

Lol, once a girl told me, Dammy you are very gullible! Whew, at that time I was hurt but then as life went by I realised that I was truly a gullible person. Okay maybe there’s a valid reason why I’m that gullible, but from my deductions, I’ve been able to conclude that it’s because I’m  a honest person, and I trust people easily. I mean, why should I have any reason to lie to you? I just give the best of me to the people around me, there’s no other way I can be, and it’s because I know better. And in the same manner I don’t usually expect people to lie to me, I don’t think that someone is lying to me, but alas, I err, for people tend to take advantage of the fact that I’m honest and I usually have to learn lessons that I could have avoided, but looking at the big picture, it’s an advantage because I’m all but wiser after each of my gullible mistakes. After such relations with people like that I just keep my distance and wish them well, forgiveness is hard but I practice it often and I feel lighter after I remove their offences from my heart. “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”. I’m still gullible I won’t deny, as I can’t really contemplate the reason people just use outright deception in relation with their fellow human ! Well I guess we all have our faults…  But on the other hand, I think it’s  just because I’m  a bit stubborn, most often than not I can sense a deception because actions speak louder than words, but I’m usually just thinking, is this person really doing this? I know when I should put a stop to somethings but I’ll also admit my weakness here, I can’t confront people, I’d rather just take things as they come, and then see the consequences through. 

I’ve also gotten to the point where my heart is now elastic, it can’t break anymore. So what do I do? I just try to be the change that I want people to be. It doesn’t come easy but I try. I try. 

So help me God! 

Fear! 

Fear is in the world today, very much at that! And if you don’t protect yourself you’ll be affected by it. People are in perpetual fear of things, be it the unknown, which includes life after death, death itself, witchcraft, enemies, religious opponents, terrorism, and the list goes on! Fear is a very bad vibe and if you have fear, then bad things will come to you because you attract it. There’s a saying that the lizard can only come in if there’s a crack in the wall. Think of the wall as your protection and the lizard as your enemy, if you therefore have a crack in your wall then there’s bound to be an infiltration by the enemy. It’s the same with fear, it leaves a crack in the natural protection that surrounds you, allowing the bad currents penetrate and get to you. You should know that the fearless man has an advantage in all situations. Because being courageous affords you some good protection against ill currents that flow in the world today. I’ve also come to know that the thought of death scares people a lot, but at the same time death is the only thing every human being knows without a doubt that will come to him someday, so why fear death? Since you know that you’ll die someday (it’s just the natural process of discarding your physical body, because the spirit in you lives on), you should embrace it, and also come to terms that this death might come to you in many different ways! It could be an auto crash or plane crash, you could be hit by a stray bullet or die of an illness, be poisoned by your enemy or drown if you’re in a boat that capsizes. And the list goes on. You could also die peacefully in your sleep and have a seamless transition into the next plane of existence, I think most people want this kind of death, but you don’t get it if you don’t merit it. You should concern yourself more with the knowledge of Life and the purpose and you’ll lose the fear you have. You should also know that any fear that you have at all signifies that you have no faith in God at all. For if you have any atom of faith then you’ll live your life in the tranquil confidence that no harm shall befall you, because God protects His own! 

Lose your fear! Or more like, have faith in God! 

The way you dress…..

…..is the way you’ll be addressed. I’m sure almost everyone must have heard something of this saying before. The way you dress! I implore you not to take this lightly because it usually determines a lot of things, one of which is first impressions, and as you might know, first impressions last longer!  I was born to a humble background and my childhood was sunny and I played extremely much as a kid (well, this came with the price of many a ass – whooping, almost on a daily basis, mostly by my mom). We didn’t have much but we were a middle class family. I was opportuned to go to very good schools where I got a lot of exposure and was surrounded with the rich and wealthy, and I used to wonder why some people were brought to school and picked up with nice cars at the time (peugeot was the thing at the time), while I would ride the public transport home or walk most of the time because I had spent my transport money. Anyway at an early age I deciphered that some people had money and some didn’t and I was also able to discover that you were treated in some type of way if you didn’t have money. This lesson became more pronounced when I got into high school. My, it was terrible. You could get into trouble with some other kids and they’d be released, for obvious reasons, while you get the brunt of the punishment. The worst was when we’d come back from holidays and all your friends would be discussing how they had janded for their holidays, while you went to village to visit grandma. Lol. 

Being that I was stubborn and didn’t like to be treated in that “type of way” I got into a considerable amount of trouble. …. and that’s when I decided to start defending myself. I started to dress up. Yes, it’s an art to learn because it speaks volumes about you. Mind you if I had my way I’d be in casual clothes all the time and have flipflops on my feet at all times. But the world don’t roll with you that way! We live in the age of the materialist and materialism, which means people judge you based on what they see! And I took advantage of that. You see I’m good at dressing up to an extent, and because of this people give me my little respect, which is what I always wanted anyway, because you won’t catch me disrespecting anyone unless they give me reason to. Why would you not respect your fellow man?? Why would you disrespect someone because they don’t have material stuff?? Sad!!