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Are we dying to live?

Today, I decided enough is enough and I would end the pain.


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At first, I didn’t feel any different at all. Then looking at the blood gushing out of my body and my soul fading, all of sudden my heart begins to pound, anxiety sets in.


The difficult part is not dying, it's the trick your mind plays on you,  you start to think about the most awful thoughts imaginable. 


Your chain of thought then shifts to believing about all of your life decisions was a complete failure. A strange, deeply unpleasant feeling.


It felt like a dream, the last hour the light was dim at first, very fuzzy, that’s when I noticed my whole body had been numb and I was in a pool of blood.


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Looking back now, I have come to realised that it wasn’t death that I wanted. No, far be  it. I wanted out of poverty.


So, how could I consider myself “poor” when so many people have nothing to eat, nowhere to sleep and no chance to improve their situations?


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Poor people are lazy, stupid, immoral, shameless and incapable of making smart decisions. 

Poor people are losers; our country loves winners...


Most of all, we want to believe that poor people are always to blame for their poverty. 

Otherwise, we have to face the possibility that it could be due to our lack of compassion and our decision to put them at the bottom of the food chain.


Life is the survival of the fittest. THE STRONG ALWAYS WIN.


But, now I'm wise enough to believe that some people are poor because of sickness, unemployment, a lack of education, a lack of opportunity.


When you are poor, you don’t question, You just do it. I always played by the rules, but yet I found myself still stuck, I'm still poor.


Living in poverty is like being punched in the face over and over, on a daily basis.

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It’s pulling yourself out of a hole, only to fall over a cliff. Every step in the right direction is rewarded with a hearty push several steps back.


The changes to one’s mental health when living in poverty can be astonishing.


Anger becomes your only friend, angry at everything. 


I’m angry I am in this situation. I am angry I’m not good enough. I’m angry for being poor. I’m angry at Christians who preach wealth but ignoring the words of Christ. I’m angry at politicians who use people like me. I’m angry at a society that views me as a leech, as someone who deserves to be at the bottom.


What about hunger?

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The hunger is extraordinary. There is a constant gnawing in your stomach, an empty feeling that has taken up permanent residence. 


Even as you’re eating a meal, you feel the hunger. It never goes away because you don’t know when you’re going to eat again. You don’t know if your next meal will be something proper or if it’ll be half a plate.


Getting through setbacks, defeats, failures and roadblocks? What did I learn along the way?

The good news is, no matter your  setback, roadblock, or a defeat—you don’t have to raise your hand and surrender.


#1. Give Yourself Time

One of the very first things you want to do is give yourself time to process what happened.

Let your mind absorb what has happened and fully realise where you are, the consequence of your decision as they is no going back now. 

Yes, give yourself time to adjust, but don’t panic either as that’s not going to help the situation at all. In fact, it would likely hurt it more than anything because then you just might do something you regret.


#2. Make Peace with Yourself

Realize that the situation is what it is, accept it, and move on.

Imagine babies learning, the struggle they face but yet they keep trying. 

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Can you imagine what our world would look like if, as infants, we didn’t learn to accept our repeated failures—our constant falling down—and get back up anyway?


More importantly, is that how you want to live the rest of your life? Not doing all of the things you’re fully capable of doing because you simply gave up?


Of course not.

While you can’t change what’s been done, you can choose to deal with it…and you’ll move forward when you do.


#3. Regain Your Control

Regaining as much control over your situation as possible is necessary as it can help you avoid feeling helpless and hopeless. 


This means looking at what actions you can take to help you overcome whatever obstacle is in your way.


Think about the things you can do that are within your control and you’ll feel less out of control about the situation at hand.


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#4. Move Beyond the Negativity

That  negative feeling when you’re faced with a setback is completely “normal.” However, you need to move beyond the pain, the anger, misunderstanding as it's absolutely critical if you want to ultimately succeed.


If you have a positive attitude and constantly strive to give your best effort, eventually you will overcome your immediate problems and find you are ready for greater challenges.”


Acknowledging your negative thoughts is actually the first step,  admit that you’re feeling frustrated, sad, or angry so you can ultimately release these emotions and continue moving ahead.


(Our express sadness to Ahmadu Bello's death. If you are feeling suicidal, please take the necessary step to ask for help)


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