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I am guessing you clicked on this post to find out exactly why I need prayers because as a family, friend, well-wisher or stranger you might actually want to say a quick prayer for me. It might also be your curiosity or the “I need to see what this is about” spirit in you that drove you here, trust me if we were to switch roles, I would belong to the latter category. To those who belong to the former category, I appreciate your response to this post but before you begin to drop your well-meaning prayers, I gotta tell you something quick….”Don’t sweat it yet”! This isn’t a call for prayers!

As a preacher’s kid, I am not a stranger to these three words “I need prayers”. I grew up watching people come in and out of our house with one burden, trouble or issue to tell daddy to pray about. You would agree with me that even in churches today, we hear announcements such as “Those who need special prayers should please wait behind to see the pastor”. While this is not a post about whether I believe in special prayers or not, I always found that announcement rather amusing.

I am very familiar with the art of praying, in fact I enjoy praying so much that I could go on for hours. The first church group I joined as a believer was the “prayer network”. Let’s just say this network groomed me into a “praying girl” and taught me the importance of praying for others. However, not once did it cross my mind that I could ever be in a position where I would “need” prayers. Don’t get me wrong, my life is built around prayer but I never thought that one day, “my survival would solely depend on prayers”.

In the past few weeks, I have had to struggle daily to survive till the next day. I have heard people tell me “you need prayers” at random times. I honestly cannot count how many times someone told me “you need a lot of prayers at this time”. Yes work has been intense and life has been moving at a really fast pace, I try to catch my breath but it doesn’t seem like there is enough air to catch. In between trying to transition into a new role at work, working on personal development projects and still attend to everything else that life throws at me, it’s been tough to keep a balance.

As one who has had to privately deal with mental health illness in the past, I find that I pay quality attention to my mental and emotional well-being. However, this has not been the case in a little while. For so long, I kept thinking “this too shall pass”, but what I didn’t realize early enough was that I became negligent of how I feel. This quickly became a heap full of emotions unattended to.

But how do I really feel? Ungrateful, most times. I never wanted to do this, you know, talk about how difficult it has been adjusting to this new role at work, I mean, “I got a promotion”. Many would be excited and celebrate but I have cried more than I have laughed about this. The other night, I decided to switch things up by just counting my blessings rather than being sad but a few counts into the process, I broke down in tears and screamed “God, you never told me life would get this hard”. People say, “In everything, give thanks”, it’s what we have been told but what people forget to tell you is that sometimes “Life would hit hard and in those times, it’s okay to say how you feel”. Trust me, it’s not lack of faith, it’s just plain honesty and honesty itself is therapeutic

If you have been following me on whatsApp or Instagram, this post would probably come to you as a surprise. The truth? My life right now is probably one that someone out there wishes for.

I have a good job with a new role that opens me up to great opportunities… My bills are paid… I am surrounded by the most amazing family and friends… I can afford more than basics… I am doing well with my savings and investments… I am on an incredible hair journey… It’s the end of the year and I am alive and healthy…. etc

I’m guessing we all know now not to judge a book by its cover!

So why am I unhappy? I can’t even seem to get myself to do the things that I love like read a book! I seem to have given so much of myself to people this year that I failed to refuel. Now I am plain tired! Tired of chatting, calling or talking to people that I otherwise enjoyed speaking to, I just want to be left alone most times.

The other day when I was speaking to a friend and she told me she was unusually excited about the Christmas season, I asked her “Why? Why are you excited?” I asked. I honestly couldn’t wrap my head around why anyone was excited because nothing seems to excite me. I am a walking shadow of myself. It took me going through a terrible ordeal in the last 48 hours to get me to admit that “I am struggling and I need help”.

Okay, so let’s just call this what it is….”Depression!” Phew, there you go!

Depression! It’s a word a lot of us don’t like to be associated with and the most popular misconception about depression is that it only hits when people suffer some form of loss or heartache. I have wondered how I will be perceived after putting this information out, I have feared and still fear that people would look at me like I’m “damaged goods”. It’s not my first rodeo but I honestly thought that it was a thing of the past. The thought of “failing myself” by getting back to this place where I thought was “water under the bridge” even hurts more. It just shows that we must constantly be in touch with our mental and emotional well being and not forget the concept of “self-care”.

While I have listened to so many people who told me that I need prayers to adjust to my new role at work, I also think that I need more than prayers. So far, finding the strength to wake up each day and just keep moving has been because of prayers; prayers not from me but from family and friends because I can’t even seem to find the words these days. I guess we all “need” prayers after all.

So, my decision moving forward is that I will be taking a short break off work soon, I will start practicing “self-care” right away so I apologize in advance if I go MIA on any of my friends or well-wishers, I might not be able to respond to messages or calls as I ought to but I promise you all that I am going to beat this.

So stay tuned for updates about my recovery. I hope to be back in time for the New Year.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me and for allowing me to speak my truth. I hope this post encourages someone out there to take better care of themselves this festive period. Don’t get it twisted, people get depressed a lot during this season. So please check on your friends, neighbors and family especially this season.

I wish you all a great celebration ahead.

And please feel free to like, comment or share with others if you wish, thank you.

Till next time on the “Small Town Girl” blog…

Peace and Love,

Sophia Zoe