It is has been a very traumatic recent years for just about every Nigerian.
Do I have to recap?
I think that because there is a semblance of normalcy where I live, there are days I use this to hide from what is the general Nigerian reality.
But even I can’t kid myself.
There might not have been an ISWAP, BOKOHARAM, FULANI HERDSMEN, BANDIT or KIDNAPPING incident in my area but at this point, no one is immune to the Nigerian situation.
A comedian made a skit. He was running at top speed shouting that he was running from LEKKI back to the MAINLAND. His reason was that every time he loaded 10,000 naira worth of electricity units, it would finish in 2 days.
Most people laughed.
But someone said “Guy this thing na everywhere”.
I can’t seem to find the comment but one of the PSQUARE twins commented that in his area; he was permanently on generators because the billing system is beyond ridiculous.
At some point with my husband we decided that we had to accept that the cost of electricity was what it was. And it would not stop us from using ACs. We would hustle to accommodate this. Because how will you work hard and come home and be afraid to use electrical appliances?
Nigeria is hitting us hard from every area imaginable.
A viral post was going round comparing the cost of things six years ago and right now.
In some instances, the jump is more than 300%.
We are looking for a secondary school for my son. The school I want is about 35minutes without traffic. But I am scared. Scared of taking my child where it could be a problem reaching him in an emergency. I am thinking of somewhere much closer to our house.
Every single day we are seeing death tolls from the North East in double digits. As if it isn’t enough, we are hearing things from the South East. I was speaking to an in-law in Owerri, she spoke of tales of gun battles; and that no one goes out after 7pm where she stays.
As if that is not enough, we are seeing first hand video recordings; of people who were kidnapped and released. Harrowing tales of human abattoirs and slavery.
Last week people in Lagos were experiencing traffic robbery.
There isn’t a day that goes by that we do not hear stories of insecurity.
My husband is usually the last person home. When he comes home, I sigh a sigh of relief before we sleep; then wake up to another day.
Nigeria is now unpredictably bloody for every Nigerian.
It feels like we are already at war but we are not ready to admit it.
Now I am not doing this recap to scare or depress anyone. Lord knows you do not need a recap on the issues that we are facing.
I just want to ask how you are coping?
I can’t be the only one grappling with bouts of hopelessness. In fact I wake up every day and ask God if my husband and I should find a plan B. Are we doing our kids a disservice by choosing to remain here?
How much worse will things get?
The worst part is that we have a government that keeps gaslighting us. They keep pretending that they are doing well. We all know that it is going to the toilet i.e this country. We can smell the shit around us.
You and I know that this country has been tougher than usual.
How are you coping?
Is your income able to stretch?
How are you mentally?
Are you able to sleep?
Are you suffering anxiety?
Does the same wave of helplessness and hopelessness engulf you once in a while?
Do you find yourself more aggressive; fighting your partner or neighbours or strangers simply because the battle within you is struggling to find expression?
I just want to tell you this Monday morning that you are not alone.
This thing you are feeling about Nigeria is being felt by millions all over.
We feel trepidation at what the future has ahead for us as a country.
We watch in alarm; as the bills climb higher each day.
We are forfeiting luxury more and more; and sticking to necessities.
If you are struggling to cope because of anxiety, log off once in a while. Tune out the news and build yourself and your courage. Don’t be refreshing feeds and reading broadcasts that say Armageddon is at hand.
If you are spiritual, meditate. Find time to connect with your faith. Do it constantly. Find solace in scriptures and the reassurances of God.
If you find yourself unable to shake off sadness or contemplating ending things, please talk to someone. See a doctor.
Deliberately pursue the things that make you happy. Music, movies, books etc. You need to escape sometimes.
I am generally a half full glass kind of girl.
I want to believe that we will survive this; that we will even thrive.
I believe in Nigeria.
I even love being Nigerian.
May our resilience see us through these rough times.