The Burden of Mental Health Illness
I grew knowing my mother was depressed. At a time in 1984 she was hospitalized in the private hospital in my home town – Iyah Gbede. She was critically ill so we went to visit her. My cousin came with his father’s car, a white Peugeot 504 salon car. He wanted giving us a ride home but I declined because I felt the car would summersault while reversing (please don’t laugh).
Mummy was an introvert so you could not tell when she was battling depression except when she comes down with physical illness. She could change body temperature within seconds. She was frail but strong in heart and marrying an extrovert husband, a man of the people didn’t help matter.
On this occasion, I will never forget her pain which she did not express. She had a brother which goes by the name Ofusori I cannot remember the other names but he left home many years residing in Lagos. He neither called nor visited. History had it that his wife had issue giving birth early, so he visited home while they later found remedy for this problem.
After about 20years or more, he wrote my mother a letter, expressing his desire to visit home. He also mentioned that he would want his last child to start his secondary education in the village. Mother’s joy knew no bound. She was so excited so much that she gladly shared it with relatives that her lost brother was planning to return home.
Suddenly, the unexpected happened! The little lad that was to resume school in the village died. The day my mother heard the news, something died in her. She was confused. Till her death, my mother did not talk much about the incident but her mental health was not the best it should be.
She tried to be strong until the day she could not be strong any longer. She kicked the bucket. The burden of mental illness is most felt by the carrier, just like the shoe that pinches. Speak out and receive support. In case you are in similar condition, call or text 08174846431.
It is always good to share, but most times people are not comfortable for fear of judgment or ridicule.
Speaking out may not be easy especially for an introvert but can be learn just like we learn maths.
Most times the thought of not wanting to disturb others causes us to keep mute but there’s always a caring hearts and ear to share with that will not judge or grow weary with our vocabularies or arrangements of words and phrases…..
We must learn to locate such people and speak out
A problem share is half solve, may God continue to grant her eternal rest.
Talking about the bottled up challenge or emotion always helps defuse the ticking time bomb of depression.
Update about my long lost Uncle in the story:
My sister had a seamstress that sews for her since 2017. Yesterday, she came around to her house. In the course of discussion, she disclosed her origin but confessed not knowing her relatives. My sister enquired further till she found they’re both cousins.
I spoke with her today. Her father died 16 years ago. I am glad I found my maternal family member again.
Thank you all for reading and for your contributions.