How are we doing today? I hope we’re all living strong, or at least trying to in the face of difficulties that seem like cannot be overcome.

5:30 am, about three months ago, I encountered what most people would call a panic attack. I couldn’t breathe, and it felt like a part of me was being ripped out of my chest. I had to be carried down from my bed by my roommates who were left in anxiety for about 15-20 minutes until I calmed down. When dawn broke, I called my parents to explain what had happened. I remember my mum saying “Don’t worry, you’ll be fine”. She didn’t tell me Omotola had left us then. I continued normal school life until a week after, a mutual friend of our families asked me about her. Naturally, I said she was fine because I had called the day before, and was told that she was doing okay, the doctors were still checking up on her, and that I should keep praying for her. You can imagine what a rude shock it was for me to hear that my elder sister, mentor and best friend had passed away, and that too, just few hours to my first ever examination as an undergraduate. To be honest, I have no idea of what I wrote in that paper, because it was done in tears. I was so heart broken, hurt and angry. Heart broken because I had lost my favourite person, hurt because everyone had to put on a facade for my sake, even after I knew the truth already, and I was angry at myself. Mama(Omotola) used to call me her guardian angel, and in our last conversation, she spoke casually about “killing pains”. At that point, I promised to pray for her, but it felt like I didn’t pray enough when I learnt of her passing. Coupled with some other happenings, I began to blame myself, and depression began to set in. I couldn’t relate well with friends, couldn’t eat or sleep, I couldn’t even pray. It felt like my life had taken a downward turn and spiralled down the drain.

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