So I'm about to speak on something that I actually struggle with. So if you've been reading my blog, you'll know that I've lived in both Nigeria and UK. So growing up, I spent part of my childhood in a boarding school in Nigeria (lol a story for another day). Anyways, I've gotten so used to handling things myself because we had to take care of ourselves and be independent.
My emotional weight was carried by myself. Although we had a "counsellor" in the school, if you know Nigeria, you'd know that the children didn't understand that a counsellor is there to help you mentally. So instead of learning to open up or express myself, I just learnt to carry my struggles and burdens myself.
I remember my first year in that boarding school, I'd never been in that type of environment before and my parents were in UK at the time. We couldn't really talk to our parents cause we didn't have phones and even if our parents appeared in school, we weren't allowed to approach them unless the school principal allowed us to see them.
Anyways, it had been a while since I'd seen or heard from my parents and I was different at the time (or so I thought) cause I had a British accent and I was called "Britico". So while the students could see their parents during the visiting days, I didn't get to see mine. Anyways, I was missing them so much, but I didn't tell anyone or share it with anyone, I was just silent about it and missing them. So one day we were in our biology class and I started thinking about how much I missed my parents. I was feeling so sad and I felt really alone at the time.
I remember that after class we all went to our general classroom and once I got to my desk, I just started crying. It was silent and I just really wanted to see my parents, I just kept thinking about how much I missed them. Suddenly, someone noticed and people started crying in the class because they were also missing their parents. I remember that when someone tried to tell me to stop crying, I literally ran out of the class bawling and screaming and people were so shocked.
But you know what I realised, I wasn't the only one missing my family, I wasn't the only one hurting, I wasn't the only one who understood how I felt. That experience brought me closer to some people because we shared an understanding. In the long run, I felt more at ease and they became sisters to me.
My point is, a problem shared, is a problem half unburdened. I won't say it's solved because you share it, but it becomes more bearable when you share it and eventually a solution can be created. There is something so dangerous about keeping hurt, pain and anger to yourself without expressing it or sharing it with someone (best option God).
It leaves you exhausted and broken, because at the end of the day, after overthinking, no solution is created. It's hard to see a different or brighter side to something when you've focussed on it and deeply thought of it in every way possible. It's very hard for a new revelation to appear because you've already thought about everything. But you know what? When you speak it out, when you share it, it triggers a shift.
Do you guys realise that some people don't even realise somethings until they say it out loud. Sometimes when you speak it out, something clicks, it could be that you realise that you'd made it bigger than it was or you could find a solution in speaking it out or even relief.
Some people are so afraid to speak things out because they fear that it'll make the problem more real. Except, just because you haven't said it out loud doesn't mean the problem isn't real, neither does it mean that the problem will disappear. When we stay quiet and keep our fears, problems and pain to ourselves, we imprison our minds in a maze of despair.
But once you say it out loud, once you share it with the right person, the ball in your chest relaxes a little bit. The funny thing is, the person you speak to may have a solution, or may be able to help or direct your thoughts to approach the issue in a different way. A problem shared distributes the weight of the problem.
There's something so beautiful about knowing that you're not alone. There's something freeing and comforting about knowing that you're not the only one who has experienced something, or who is going through something. There's something settling about expressing yourself. I know people who remain unhappy until they express themselves.
Look, no one is an Island. You can't handle everything yourself and no, you're not a burden. You're allowed to speak about your pain, you're allowed to let people know that you're struggling with something. You're allowed to share your problem and you're allowed to feel your emotions. Believe me, I understand what it means to think that you'll be a burden if you speak to someone. Sometimes I've even felt like no one wants to hear what I have to say, or even that I wouldn't be understood, but we need to stop judging people before even giving them a chance to show that they can handle it or that they even want to listen.
You'll never be happy in this world if you don't learn to share. Share your problems, share the reason you're so hurt, share the reason you're so upset. But also be aware that the same way you're supposed to share your hurt, is the same way you ought to share your joy. The people who will listen to your hurt will also listen your joy.
If you have a reason to be thankful share it. If you have a reason to laugh, share it. The thing about the girls in my boarding school then is the fact that when we laughed, we all laughed; and when we cried, you felt it in the atmosphere. We used to drum on the tables and doors while we sang different songs and laughed.
Who Can You Share With?
While I believe in sharing your problems, I believe we need to choose who we can share to wisely. It's not everyone that you share something important with that will handle it the right way, or that actually means well. So when sharing, share with someone you trust. Share with a confidant. If you can't share the reason for your tears or the reason for your laughter with your friends, are they really your friends?
If you feel like they will judge you, or look at you differently, are they really your people? Don't get me wrong, there are people who will call you out on your nonsense. These are the types of people you should share your problems with. This is because they will tell you the truth. But, again, it has to be someone that you trust , someone you know wishes you well, because those type of people will be truthful but will speak to you in love.
If you have a partner, share with them. If you have a pastor, share with him/her. If you have a therapist, share. If you have family, share with them Share with people that you know wish you well and people you know have wisdom. People you know will support you, people that you know love you and also people that you know have been through the same thing and have come out of it, or even people that are going through the same thing.
The one person I know I can always talk to is the Holy Spirit. I remember days when I just felt so sad and like I mentioned, I struggle with sharing when I'm hurting or sad. I would ask the Holy Spirit to help me and I'd express myself to Him. I remember crying one day while walking home and I started talking to the Holy Spirit, one second I was in tears and the next He told me that He was with me and suddenly I remembered I wasn't alone and I started smiling.
The fact that I didn't feel alone anymore carried a weight off my shoulder. I still struggle with sharing fears and worries with people. I'm not going to lie to you and say that I'm a complete open book when it comes to pain, fear and worries, but I can tell you that I've been working on it. What I've realised is that it helps to share. It helps to talk about what's on my mind. That's why therapy is valued in this age, because it makes a difference when you talk about it.
The one thing I can promise you is that when you share a problem with the Holy Spirit, the weight is lifted. He's a confidant, a friend, a helper and a corrector. So if you need help, He'll help you. If you need a listening ear, He's there to listen. If you're wrong, the Holy Spirit will let you know and if you need a hug and you let Him know, you'll get your hug.
So please let's learn to share our problems. Don't keep it all inside, don't suffer in silence. Open up and speak out. If you feel like you don't have anyone to talk to, please know that I'm here to listen. I may not have a solution, but I can assure you that I'll listen.
Once again, I love you and God loves you.