Author Archives: Dang

I Used to Be Homeless

I Used to Be Homeless—and Here’s What Everyone Gets Wrong About It

You’ve been misled by television and movies: Homeless people aren’t dangerous. Here’s the reality from a man who spent 20 years living on the streets.

Homeless doesn’t always mean living on the streets

I was homeless for the better part of 20 years and so I’ve lived a lot of places. Some of them are what you might think of as typical, like parks, beaches, overpasses, or shelters, but others might surprise you. When you’re homeless, your first priority is finding a safe place to sleep and sometimes that means you get creative. I’ve spent months living in an outdoor public bathroom, an airport, my car, a deserted cabin in the woods, and a storage locker (which felt so plush it didn’t really even feel like being homeless!). Perhaps the worst one was when I lived in a tractor-trailer; they accidentally locked me in for four days and I almost died.

Homeless doesn’t equal uneducated

When people think of a homeless person they don’t necessarily think of the guy who not only was a star high school athlete but also has a college degree—yet that’s exactly what I am. I have a Bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Miami. And I wasn’t the only one out there with similar credentials. There are plenty of extremely intelligent people who, for various life circumstances, end up homeless. And even the ones who may not have a formal education have to get smart in a different way if they want to survive.

There isn’t just one reason why someone ends up homeless

It might make you feel better to think that you can pinpoint the reason someone ended up homeless—say, drug abuse, mental illness, or criminal activities—because then you think that by avoiding those things you’re safe. In some respects that isn’t wrong and there are many homeless people who struggle with exactly those things. But the truth is that everyone makes bad decisions sometimes and whether or not your bad decisions end in homelessness has a lot to do with privilege and luck. Everyone is vulnerable. There but for the Grace of God go I… or you. P.S. Don’t forget the children, who are definitely not homeless through any fault of their own. You can help: Check out this woman who throws birthday parties for homeless kids.

Not all homeless people are jobless people

Thanks to the high cost of living and low wages, it’s possible for someone to have a job yet not be able to afford a house. At this point, though, you might be wondering why I ended up homeless for so long, even with an employable degree. There isn’t a simple answer to that (see my last point) but the job market was very tight when I graduated and I was overqualified for most minimum wage jobs. And I did struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. I got sober in 1991, however, and still experienced stints of homelessness after that.

ALSO SEE: How Writing Helped Me Overcome Stress and Become Happier

Some people are homeless by choice

The vast majority of homeless people are in that situation because they had no other choice but there are a few who would rather not be tied down to anything. My dad and stepmom kicked me out of the house when I was younger and at that time I decided that I preferred having the clouds for my roof instead of a plaster ceiling. Plus, I am very religious and Jesus was homeless so I figured if it was good enough for Him, it was good enough for me. That wasn’t always the case for me but there were times I preferred my freedom.

Homeless people are not going to kill you

Hollywood and TV shows give the homeless a bad rap, making them look like murderers and rapists, but the majority are simply trying to find food and shelter—just like you. You don’t need to be afraid of the average homeless person, you’re far more likely to be hurt by someone you know. In addition, a homeless person is more likely to be killed by a “normal” person than the other way around. There are some horrible people out there who get their kicks from abusing the homeless because they are easy targets.

There is a “homeless code”

If you learn one thing fast, it’s that no one is going to look out for you and so you learn to band together with other homeless people. We would do our best to help each other out, share tips, and stuff like that. Now there are even tent cities, homeless encampments, in some places. There’s also a healthy barter system where you can trade for things you need without money. I’m actually working on a book of tips for homeless people to help them survive on the streets—all the little things no one tells you but can make all the difference.

When you’re homeless one tiny mistake can quickly become a massive problem

When you have no safety net, the tiniest issue—an unexpected medical bill, an illness or injury, a lost wallet—quickly balloons into an emergency that can make you homeless, or if you’re already homeless, make your life infinitely worse. An example I like to share is when I was living in my car. One day it got towed for a parking violation and once you’re towed, you’re done. There are towing fees, impound fees, parking fees… before long you owe $2,000 on a $600 car. So now you don’t have a car or any of your stuff that was in it and you’re stuck sleeping out in the elements. Sleeping outside makes you get sick which leads to other problems… One tiny mistake can spiral into a life-ending problem.

Homelessness and poverty kills

I can’t tell you how many people I saw die from a lack of simple medical care. A cut, a broken bone, or an illness left untreated can become infected and deadly very quickly. Once, when I was being mugged, my attacker broke my jaw. I tried to manage but the pain was so immense I couldn’t eat or sleep. The ER did set my jaw, thankfully, or else I probably would have died from it. While you may think that hospitals are required to treat everyone, they discourage you from coming in for little things; when they do help, they don’t always do a complete job. They just want to help you enough to get you out of there, not to help you get better.

Dental problems are the worst problems

When you think of everything you need to be healthy, a dentist isn’t usually the first thing you think of. But your teeth are an essential part of survival. Unfortunately, when you’re homeless, simply taking good care of your teeth is tough, much less getting dental care like root canals or crowns. Between a steady diet of junk food and a lack of access to toothbrushes and floss, many homeless people have to deal constantly with rotting, painful teeth. And when your teeth hurt, everything is harder.

Looking homeless is often worse than actually being homeless

If you look (and smell) homeless, everyone automatically assumes the worst about you, and it becomes that much harder to find a job or an apartment or get medical care. Plus, police or security guards immediately see you as a problem or potential criminal. One of the best things I learned was to keep a cheap gallon jug and use an outdoor spigot to shower every few days. A bar of soap can last you months that way. Being clean can make the difference to being allowed to sit for a few hours nursing a coffee in a warm fast-food restaurant and getting kicked out as soon as you walk in.

Being homeless doesn’t have to be a life sentence

About five years ago, I decided I was done being homeless. I was able to start a side business that I could do online, from anywhere, helping people get on reality TV and game shows. (Fun fact: I won $50,000 on Wheel of Fortune and I’ve appeared on over 12 reality shows!) This money allowed me to start a new life. But I’m the exception to the rule. Escaping homelessness, once you’re trapped in the cycle, is incredibly difficult, and resources to help the homeless are terribly underfunded and under-served. If I’m being totally honest I still feel like I’m one mistake away from being out on the streets again and that’s terrifying.

How to help

People often ask me what they can do to help the homeless and I always say, “Just look around you!” When someone has so little, it doesn’t take much to help. You can start by not judging the homeless. Don’t say that they deserve to be in that situation—no human being deserves that. After that, donate to causes that support the homeless in your community, like local churches, job outreach programs, or other charities. If you’d donate to someone after a natural disaster, donate to a homeless person, they are living a natural disaster every single day. Next, here are some more random acts of kindness that can change someone’s life in an instant.

Source:Readers Digest

Domestic abuse is real

I am a victim of domestic violence and I strongly advise everyone going through this to leave

Domestic abuse is real, its horrible and it breaks you completely. I am a victim and I strongly advise everyone currently going through this to leave, please.

Mine started during courtship, from slaps to constant verbal abuse. I used to be sooo outgoing and extroverted, too happy, it was contagious. Suddenly, I began to feel inadequate, lost my self esteem and saw myself trying so hard to conform to what he thought I should be. I totally believed him and thought I was the problem. He would always make me feel he was trying to help me to be better, I believed him, he was and is still a pastor. I wish I had people to advice me then, I was just 22 and at that time in my life, I really wanted to serve God. He also told me God had spoken to him expressly that I was his wife and if I ever left, I should know I had gone outside the will of God.

Fast forward to after the wedding, the beatings became severe.

A man that would finish brutalising me this minute and kneel down to pray in tongues and cast out devils. I began to hate him, I began to question his Christianity. He wasn’t doing anything, my mum would continually send us money and foodstuffs to support us. I was there for him when he had nothing, oh well till I left, he still had nothing. As a corper then, my alawee was used for both of us. After service I got a job paying 80k. My mum used to pay my rent from home and send me foodstuffs regularly, so I used my salary for nothing, yet it was never enough, by the second week, i’m scouting for tfare for work. You guessed right, he was in control of my money. Yet, always screaming how unsubmissive I was.

ALSO SEE: What kind of mother says these words to her child? How can I keep forgiving such a person?

During pregnancy, he beat me up and I went back home. Later, our senior pastor stepped in and settled us. I went back. After delivery, he broke my back, till now I still have the sharp pain from that incident.  (I will be going to Igbobi for a scan soon.) One thing I realised about abuse is that it changes you. I became bitter, hateful and vengeful. When my mum came for omugwo, she bought my son a car, her first grand child. She dotes on her grand child so she couldn’t imagine him in a keke. My husband would drive the car to church in the morning because he had to be in church early, we would still end up taking keke.

I remember my son’s one year immunisation, 4 injections, kiddo was so cranky, no bus because of fuel scarcity, I trekked half way with him before getting a bus. I was just weeping because his father was up and about the town in an ac chilling car. Well, early this year he had started repeating threats to my life, always said he’d kill me and no one will know. He sent my mom out of his house that she paid rent for us without knowing. I lied to her to get money to cover his ass.

Due to the constant threats, i had to follow my mum when she came for treatments in our city. I left since earlier in the year and till now, he never called even to ask for the welfare of his son. Looking back, I was so hesitant to leave because of my son but I know now that it was the best option for my son so he doesn’t grow up to do same.

Honestly it hasn’t been easy. I’ve been slipping in and out of depression, added so much weight due to comfort eating. Some days I even feel I made a mistake leaving but I quickly reassure myself. I really feel the need to talk to someone, maybe it would help me heal. I have so much anger and bitterness but I need to be whole to raise my son properly. I don’t want him being vengeful or bitter. May God help everyone going through this to heal.

Written by anonymous for


My Mum Abandoned Me

What kind of mother says these words to her child? How can I keep forgiving such a person?

My mum dropped me with my paternal grandparents when I was about 1 year old because my dad wouldn’t marry her after getting her pregnant and the man that was willing to marry her gave her the condition that nobody must know that she had a child before. She jumped at the offer and made me her best kept secret. She never looked back until I was around 7 years (that was when I got to know who my mother was) and she subsequently visited once in a year during Christmas period to drop my Christmas dress even though we lived in the same town (Ibadan). I didn’t know where my mum lived, and I was not considered a part of her family, in fact, when her mum (my maternal grandma) passed on, I was not aware because she didn’t want me to attend the funeral.

She made it clear that I was not wanted, and I must not be seen around her. An incident happened when I was running my pre-degree program, I decided to write JAMB again, just in case I didn’t pass my pre-degree. I was in town looking for my JAMB center when I saw my mother, she gave me a ride to my exam center and we bade ourselves farewell, not knowing that one of her friend’s son who was my pre-degree classmate saw us together. After some months, the guy walked up to me and told me he saw me in Mrs blah’s car, and out of excitement of meeting someone that knows my mom, I told the guy she was my mother. When I told my mom that I met her family friend’s son, what came out of her mouth was “Hope you didn’t tell him I am your mother?” When I told her I did, she told me I should never have told him so. I was heartbroken.

Time for my graduation came, my mom’s headgear was the highest, she didn’t know how much I struggled to gain admission and how I survived in school, not a single visit from my mother all through my stay in school. By this time, I was angry, I didn’t want her to attend my graduation, but I was told to forgive, so I did but she made me regret the decision. Apparently, she still had beef for my dad and his people and she couldn’t hide it on that day, making a day that was supposed to be a day of joy for me a sad one.

Some months after my NYSC, God favoured me, I got full scholarship for my masters in Europe, then my  mom came with her manipulations and accusations, trying to turn my back against my dad’s family, telling me how my father’s family don’t like me, how I am not a good child for not sending money to her during my NYSC, how my life would have turned out better if she raised me by herself. Here is someone that didn’t contribute a dime to my upbringing, yet I still managed to achieve things by myself with the help of God, yet she had the guts to tell me my life didn’t turn out well enough. Foolish me, I didn’t see through her manipulations, she was the first person I sent money to when I got to Europe, because I wanted her love at all cost.

One will think that after all these years (I am 34 by the way), my mom will stop hiding me, no way! I remain the secret child she doesn’t want people to know. She will openly celebrate her other children’s birthday on Facebook, use their pictures as dp on WhatsApp but never did any of those for me. Yet, I loved her and forgave until the veil fell from my eyes last year. Ever since I finished my first degree, she always told me I can’t have a big wedding (not that she is going to sponsor my wedding o), I didn’t give it so much thought, even when I was relocating out of Nigeria 2 years ago, she insisted again that I must not come back home for my wedding, still I thought nothing of it until January last year that she came with the story again that a prophet gave her vision that I must not have a big wedding.

Then it dawned on me that she was saying all that because she still wants to keep hiding me from people. I realised how self-centered my mom is, she does not feel any remorse for abandoning me, yet, she doesn’t want me to enjoy my life to the fullest. She can’t openly celebrate me as her child, but she can come behind to accuse me of not giving her money. It was like the scale that was covering my eyes was suddenly dropped, I realised no matter how much I try, she will never accept and love me, so I am done trying.

She blames me because her husband talks to her anyhow, saying who would have married an ‘after one’ like her. I honestly don’t blame the man, who will have any regard for a woman who gladly gave up the child she carried in her womb for 9 months all because of a man? At any given time, she tells me she had the option of aborting my pregnancy, but she chose not to, hence, I deserve to celebrate her on Mother’s Day and give her my hard-earned money.

ALSO SEE: Negativity is incredibly harmful and contagious, shut it down before it takes root. Here Is How I Learnt To

I have forgiven her for abandoning me as a child, for the pains and struggles of growing up without a mother, using rags for my period when I attained puberty because nobody cared, working very hard everyday to please my grandma who was never satisfied no matter how much I tried just because she did me the favour of raising me when my mother dropped me, taking garri and sugar to school for lunch everyday while in secondary school, using salt and charcoal to brush my teeth because I couldn’t ask my grandma for toiletries.

Yes, I went through everything and more, yet I turned out well. What I am struggling with is forgiving her for her manipulations, the sense of entitlement, blaming me for her marital woes and belittling all my efforts at making something good out of my life. When she realised I don’t fall for her fake prophecy stories anymore, she told me I am headstrong, I am wise in my own eyes and she doesn’t blame me, she blames my faulty upbringing.

What kind of mother says those words to her child? How can I keep forgiving such a person? Even if I forgive, can I forget all the pains and struggles?

Written by anonymous for

How Writing Helps

How Writing Helped Me Overcome Stress and Become Happier

Two years ago, I had a nervous breakdown. Let me tell you how that happened.

I had just moved to New York. I’ve always been dreaming about making that big step. You know those people from small towns who make plans about moving to New York City and becoming successful? Yup, that was me.

I came from a small place where everyone knew everyone. The bonds were strong and friendships lasted forever. Suddenly, I launched myself in a completely different environment. If I had to think of a single word to describe it, this would be the one: crazy. I had to make huge efforts to build new friendships and relationships.

People here are living in a hurry. They don’t have time to grab a cup of coffee and have small talk with you. When you observe this crazy lifestyle, it looks like a complete mess. And I was part of it. The people I met were not interested in deep talks, and I couldn’t even find people to call friends. The neighbor next door had the silliest look of surprise on his face when I said a simple good evening.

I’m not judging. I knew this was how it was going to be. I found myself at a place I’d been envisioning for a very long time. I had the job I wanted, the apartment I could afford, and the life in New York City I was striving for. I wanted to be busy, ambitious, and prosperous.

I had everything I wanted, but I wasn’t happy. The job demanded huge responsibility. The office culture was based on “how are you today” and “could you please do this for me?” No contact, no communication. Just tasks I needed to complete and issues I was asked to solve.

You know those moments when you’re sitting alone, you’re tired of everything and you don’t know how you’ll wake up the following day? You don’t see the reason. You don’t see the point.

The Solution: Writing

After the nervous breakdown, which I’m still not ready to describe in detail, I tried calling the only person I could call anytime: my best friend back home. He was too busy at the moment, so he said: “just write me an email.

I started writing. That was the most liberating feeling I’ve ever experienced. It’s like you’re digging below the surface, trying to find the right words. When I read this email I wrote, I came down to the realisation I was looking for: I was running away from myself. It was about time I started working on personal growth.

I continued writing. When I read my old entries in Penzu today, I clearly see the moments when I struggled, and I can recognise the point of realisation and solution. It’s like the journal witnesses my growth. There’s one entry I particularly like reading from today’s perspective; the one when I wrote: “I saw an ad today. It’s a writing job. I think I might try this one.

The Tips: How to Keep a Journal the Right Way

If you’re not ready to share your thoughts and feelings with the world, just keep it private. In fact, I recommend you to keep it private, so you won’t be blocked by the expectation of feedback.

ALSO SEE: Life is too short to be too busy

  • Write every single day. How are you feeling today? That’s the main question to ask.
  • Don’t start with a plan on what to write. Just sit down and the words will flow. Maybe you’ll struggle with the first few entries, but keep doing it. It gets easier.
  • Be completely honest with yourself. You’re not trying to impress anyone. Instead of suppressing your thoughts and emotions, you’re laying them out in the open. They seem much less serious that way.
  • Review your daily entries from time to time. That’s how you’ll see the progress.

Give writing a chance! That’s the most honest recommendation I can give.


Will Power Tips

Life is too short to be too busy

“Slow down. Calm down. Don’t worry. Don’t hurry. Trust the process.” ~Alexandra Stoddard

 Heard in the offices across America…

“I’m so busy and have no time!”

“How is it almost 2019 already?!”

“I’ll sleep when I’m dead…”

We’re so focused on the next deadline, getting the next promotion, having the approval of our managers and peers alike that we push, push, push all the time.

Oh, how I can relate! I worked in corporate America commuting into NYC (two hours each way!) as the VP of marketing at a major media company. And I worked… a lot.

When I wasn’t at work, I was running around, checking things off my long to-do list, pretending to be Martha Stewart and always trying to accomplish the ‘next thing.’

I knew my sense of self-worth was way too wrapped up in how much I could check off my to-do list, and I’d do anything for the approval of my colleagues; but I didn’t know any other way. Even though I was getting a lot of things done and getting the recognition I craved, I wasn’t that happy. In fact, I was miserable.

Then tragedy struck—not once, but twice.

In 1998 my sister, Jenny, had a brain aneurysm and suddenly passed away. She was eighteen. It was a blow like nothing I’d ever experienced before. The day after her funeral, it felt like the energy and effort it took to brush my teeth was equivalent to running a marathon.

But somehow I got back in the saddle. I managed my grieving doing what I knew best: working and pleasing people. Getting on the train at 6am to commute into NYC and not getting home until close to 10pm was my everyday. My need to be Martha Stewart went into overdrive. Let’s just say Christmastime meant thousands (really, thousands!) of home-baked cookies. And no one was complaining about that!

Then it happened again.

In 2008, my brother Scott went into cardiac arrest while playing basketball and passed away. That phone call is something I’ll never be able to erase from my mind. He was thirty-three and getting married in a month. I was the one who lall the wedding plans. It was the hardest thing I’d ever done in my life.

I don’t need to tell you I was devastated. But I was also really annoyed. Really, I need to do this again?! And so while this really sucked (understatement!), since I had gone through this once before, I thought to myself this is an opportunity to do it differently.

I’ve always been super goal-oriented, but after Scott died, my only goal was to not have any goals. Kinda crazy, right? But my soul needed the time and opportunity to kind of wander aimlessly to heal. I realised I wanted to make my work more meaningful, to have the time to unwind and have more fun.

Slowly, I started to make sense of it all.

I came out the other side vowing to live my life to the fullest—something my sister and brother would never have the opportunity to do. That meant laughing, a lot, having some great adventures (Paris! Skydiving!), and doing something meaningful with my life.

The first thing I did was to leave work at a reasonable hour. I realised I was working those long hours because I felt like I had to put in the face time to climb the ranks. Can you relate? If I left while everyone else was still at their desks would they call me a slacker? I decided not to care.

I was naturally organised and productive, but now I really fine-tuned those skills so that I could get tons of solid work done during the day. When I walked out the door I was able to pretty much disconnect from the office. Not all the time, but most of the time.

I stopped baking all those cookies too.

Hiring a life coach helped me get to the bottom of what was really important to me (it’s being surrounded by beauty, doing things passionately, and laughing, a lot). While I still love to bake, these days you’re more likely to catch me at the bakery.

Life is too short to be too busy. I learned this the hard way.

You may be thinking, “I know, I know… I need to slow down and take stock of what’s really important to me, but not until I finish this next project.”

It’s so easy to take time for granted, it’s true we can’t make more of it, but it always seems to be there for us. Until it’s not.

So how can you start?

1. Get clear on where you are spending most of your time and more importantly, why.

You may be working many hours because you need the money, and that’s a valid point, but if you look a little deeper maybe the money is going to support a lifestyle that you really don’t want.

No doubt, this is the hard work, so be curious and investigate. This is about self discovery, not self punishment.

2. Start to dream about what you’d do if you had all the time in the world.

Get specific. What do those days look like? What’s so great about them? Why do they make you happy. Add visualisation, dreaming, and journaling so you can really see it.

3. Figure out how you can put more of your ideal day into your reality day starting now.

Can you leave the office earlier one or two nights a week? Sign up for a dancing class? Say no to a big project or committee? I used to start my week off with a fresh bouquet of flowers for my desk. It made a difference.

What I realised after I made it through the dark days and nights and came out from under the covers into the light is our tragedies are what bring us to places we’d never go on our own. Their gift is making our lives more meaningful and to emerge with more perspective.

But you don’t have to do through through this kind of tragedy to figure out how you really want to spend your time. You have a choice, right here, right now. Make it count.


Negativity is incredibly harmful

Negativity is incredibly harmful and contagious, shut it down before it takes root. Here Is How I Learnt To

I was in JSS 3 when the hostel matron asked me what I wanted to do with my life. She asked me this because I was going to be suspended for being friends with Bolanle who had stolen people’s money and lived a lavish lifestyle in school. I didn’t know Bolanle was a thief, I thought She was from a rich home. “What do you want to do with your life when you grow up? Ehn! I know you’re going to be a thief!” The matron breathed down my neck, her protruding tummy hitting me smack in the face. I stepped back! Matron wasn’t a tall person but she was formidable.

ALSO SEE: #Flashbackfriday My First Date in Secondary School, it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

She spoke with authority, wasn’t afraid of our parents and walked them out of the hostel if they so much as stepped two feet away from the dining hall. I was afraid of her but that day, fear was the last thing I felt, instead, I felt anger. ‘How dare she call me a thief!’ Because She spoke with so much authority, I feared her words may come true so I immediately rejected it, “I’m going to be a successful writer, I will not be a thief,”. I said. I didn’t stutter, I meant every word and I was angry she would even imply it or speak negatively towards my future. “What did you say? Speak up, I can’t hear you!” She barked at me, her eyes widened, her brows furrowed, arms akimbo, she dared me to repeat myself. “I will not become a thief,” I said, more assuredly, then looked up at her and said again, “I will become successful, I will not become a thief, I reject it in Jesus’ Name”.

The matron was breathing hard and I could swear she wanted to beat me to a pulp. Instead, she called for my sister and informed her I had been suspended. When I resumed from suspension, till the matron left, she never spoke negative about my life anymore. She would call other students ‘stupid, good for nothing, blockhead, never-do-well child’ but she never addressed me as anything but my name till she left the job. So I learnt early, to lay down the rules of how I’d like to be addressed.

To shut down QUICKLY anyone who comes at me with strong negative words because they mean it. I’ve learnt that when you tell people in the most assertive way how to treat or speak to you, they either fall in line or they feel offended and back off! Whatever they do, YOUR WIN!

biggest fear

What is your biggest fear?

…a reader asked me. Instead of writing a quick response, I took the time to reflect, not without some fear.

First I dumped. I wrote down a list of my fears.

1- To suffer from terminal illness

2- To fail in love

3- To lose my mother

4- To produce unoriginal work

5- To have no friends

6- To have a boring life

READ MORE: How Doing Less Can Help You Have More of What Matters

7- To live through war / conflict again

8- To mess up hypothetical children

9- To lose my physical strength

10- To get old, and risk not being attractive

Second, I inquired. What is at the bottom of each fear?

For every fear I asked what about it that is scary?

1- To suffer from terminal illness > being with the pain

2- To fail in love > being with the loss

3- To lose my mother > being with the pain and the loss

4- To produce unoriginal work > being with the pain of rejection

5- To have no friends > being with the shame and the loss

6- To have a boring life > being with the pain

7- To live through war / conflict again > being with the pain and the loss

8- To mess up hypothetical children > being with the regret and the shame

9- To lose my physical strength > being with the pain and the loss

10- To get old, and risk not being attractive > being with the pain and the loss

Third, I analyzed. What is the common theme?


I am afraid of myself

My biggest fear is being alone with extremely difficult feelings: pain, loss, shame, regret

My biggest fear is abandoning myself when I need me the most

My biggest fear is me

I let it sink in. What do I do about it?

Remind myself when I am in fear, that I might have my back more than I think I will, if things go wrong.

Strengthen the relationship with self, by spending more time alone, without distractions.

Increase my capacity to tolerate difficult feelings, through therapy work, and connecting with the body.

And in that, my friends, I hope to continue living with less fear of myself, and more love for myself.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”?—?Marianne Williamson


How I Stopped Feeling Guilty About Doing What’s Best for Me

How I Stopped Feeling Guilty About Doing What’s Best for Me

I remember one night, after an exhausting day at work, I joyfully looked forward to a relaxing evening. As I drove home, all I could think of was taking a hot bath, brewing a fragrant herbal tea, and putting on my favorite fluffy pajamas. Under the dimmed light of my reading lamp, snug in a warm bed, I got lost in the world of mystery and imagination that made my soul come alive.

Just a few minutes into my reading session, I received a text from him, demanding me to “get ready in ten because we’re going out, and you don’t have a choice.”

At first, I ignored the message and went back to my reading, since he’d made plans earlier that week to see his friends. Then he called but I didn’t pick up. Finally, after several attempts to reach me, he came rushing to my apartment, banging on the front door.

I pretended to be asleep and didn’t answer. The truth is that I was frightened and reluctant to open the door given his usual aggressive behavior.

I didn’t want to confront him because I knew he wouldn’t understand. I felt mentally and physically drained for having to constantly explain myself and for letting him manipulate me yet again. I was fed up with having to come up with believable reasons why I needed time for myself, and I was sick and tired of constantly changing my plans for him.

But as he left, I started to feel horrible. I felt guilty about avoiding the situation and for not being able to stand up to him. What made me feel even guiltier was that I’d finally done what I was afraid to do for so long. I’d listened to my inner guidance and done what was best for me.

READ HERE: You Should Always Take Care Of Yourself First — A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

Still, instead of going back to reading and enjoying my evening ritual, I opened up a one-pound bar of chocolate and slowly devoured the massive amount of fat and sugar in a matter of minutes. Instantly, I got back into my “happy” mood, thinking life was good again. But then, as the guilt of eating so much sugar slowly sank in, I found myself back at square one, feeling even worse.

This happened over a decade ago, when I struggled with a full-blown sugar addiction. To compensate for my inability to say no, being a perfectionist, and staying in a toxic relationship, I’d eat sugar. A lot of it. I was so drawn to sweets and chocolate that I couldn’t go a day without eating at least a whole bar. It was part of my daily routine and something I considered normal.

Sugar was the answer to all my hardships. It was my biggest excuse for staying where I was and not doing anything about my life.

Unsurprisingly, I struggled with self-blame, feeling that I was deeply flawed because I was an introvert. In childhood, I was ashamed of being regularly humiliated by my math teacher in front of the whole class and continuously bullied by some of my classmates and older students. Later on, the same guilt haunted me in similar ways, but as I grew older, it became a part of me, almost like a sickness.

After that day, I decided to end the toxic relationship that made me doubt my worth and scarred me emotionally for years. I finally found the courage to confront the person who’d used blaming, shaming, and threatening to cover up all of his wrongdoings.

Throughout our whole relationship, I apologized every time he hurt me because I felt guilty for making him feel bad. I tried so hard to be the perfect girl who never made mistakes, never spoke her mind, and never messed up. I found myself agreeing with everything while my conscience screamed the opposite. For so long, I tried to fix what was broken. I felt hurt, lonely, and betrayed.

The truth is that I believed I was responsible for what he felt. For his actions. For how he saw me. I was afraid of being judged, so I diminished my value to make him feel comfortable. And I was slowly losing myself.

I became an obsessive perfectionist, paralyzed by the fear of not being good enough. Everything I did had to be absolutely perfect. But no matter how hard I tried, it was never enough to meet his expectations.

Now, I know that the guilt I felt that night was the reaction I’d gotten accustomed to, my place of comfort that told me I was safe. But no matter how guilty I felt for doing what I felt was right for me, I gained invaluable courage to start making a change.

It took a great deal of work, patience, and understanding, as well as learning through growth and change, to know what I wanted out of a relationship and how I wanted to be treated.

I started with forgiveness. I forgave myself for not listening to my intuition and for treating my body and mind badly. Knowing that I cannot change the past and that I do not actually want to go back there, I became mindful of the mistakes I’d made and learned invaluable lessons.

When I became honest with myself about what I wanted, I began to take care of myself, preserving my health, nourishing my body, and nurturing my soul. I made my priorities clear and realised what was important to me. I started eating healthy and exercising regularly.

Finding the courage to put an end to my unhealthy relationship inspired me to take action and do something about my serious sugar addiction, which was slowly but surely destroying my health. I signed up for a wellness course that I’d been telling myself I would enroll in for months. Just reaching this place was a huge success for me, at the time.

I remember the moment I got there, I freaked out, unable to catch my breath. All I wanted to do was leave and never return. I thought I wasn’t ready to give up sugar, since it was keeping me safe and comfortable. All I could think of was getting one more bite of my favorite chocolate while promising myself, “I’m quitting tomorrow.”

After days of crying in agony and successfully completing the workshop, I decided to continue without sugar for the whole month. I promised myself that I would let go of the one thing that was making me happy momentarily but holding me back in so many areas of my life.

And that’s when something incredible happened. I noticed that the more I held off sugar, the more I pushed myself to pursue other things. I started waking up early and meditating. I began making better food choices and training for long-distance running. Postponing the immediate gratification and choosing not to eat what was actually hurting me, made me a much happier, more productive person.

I became completely aware that my vice provided a powerful short-term relief, but in reality, it was forming a vicious cycle that was leaving me feeling vulnerable, empty, and regretful.

After I’d forgiven myself, I forgave others. No matter how hard it was, I found the strength to forgive anyone who’d harmed me and asked for forgiveness of everyone I had unknowingly or deliberately wronged in the past.

Forgiving someone means that you are letting go of bitterness and resentment toward that person. It doesn’t mean that you need to contact them or continue having them in your life. Not at all. They don’t even have to know, but in your heart, you know that you have no sourness left, only love and acceptance.

And finally, I accepted myself for who I am and for having my own needs. I went back to reading daily and taking courses and certifications to better myself and improve my skills. I started trusting my innate needs and desires because I finally realised that it’s up to me to decide how I spend my time and how much alone time I need.

As introverts, we feel guilty for not talking enough, for not going out as often as we think we should, and for avoiding social situations because we need time alone. We often end up in toxic relationships because we give, we love, we care about other people’s feelings, and we don’t want to hurt anyone.

But our alone time is so vital to our well-being that if we don’t listen to our needs we end up feeling frustration, resentment, and the inevitable fatigue that goes with them.

Living life according to your own needs doesn’t make you a selfish person. It’s perfectly okay to spend time away from others, to fulfil your need to read, write, create, and explore. It’s okay to want to be alone and to enjoy it. It’s okay to do whatever you need to do to feel fulfilled, balanced, and connected to yourself.

Never feel guilty for doing what’s best for you or for prioritising what you value in life. Never feel guilty for being honest about how you feel, and never apologise for being you.

my mother defines resilience

To me, my mother defines resilience. She had such strong faith and was a very giving person.

When I was a young girl and something difficult happened, I would look to my mother for comfort and guidance. She was always there for me, helping me work through the issue or helping me gain perspective. No matter what, my mom had a positive outlook and she taught me to value the wonderful moments in life—and how to persevere in difficult times.

At the time, I had no knowledge of the difficulties, hardships, and losses she had endured. Growing up during the Great Depression, my mom lost two sisters in their childhood, suffered from tuberculosis, and supported her youngest sister through a car accident that left her a paraplegic at age nineteen.

To me, my mother defines resilience. She had such strong faith and was a very giving and positive person. Our house was like a central hub for family and friends; no one ever left hungry or without feeling a bit better than they did when they arrived.

As a child, one thing my mother would often say to me was, “this too shall pass.” At first, I found this annoying. What I was dealing with seemed like the most important and difficult thing ever! How would it ever be okay again? How would it get better? As I matured, I realized she was right. Life moves on and we all have a choice to move forward or back. She always chose moving forward.

My biggest personal challenge was losing my parents. My dad passed away two short years after my mother. They were so important to me and influential in all aspects of my life—from my belief that I could do anything I wanted professionally, to how to raise our children. They were my go-to people: the people I wanted to talk to no matter what had happened, what mistakes I made, or what joy I was feeling. Their absence was painful and more challenging than I had ever imagined. The dynamic at our holiday dinners was markedly different. For years, I hated Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. They weren’t a phone call away when I needed advice or wanted to share something special. It was a real sense of loss—something you can’t understand until you are living it.

Thinking about my mom’s advice that “this too shall pass” gave me the strength to carry on and live life day-by-day, moment-by-moment. Like so many others who have faced the loss of family and friends, time does help mend our heavy hearts, but it is resilience that allows us to continue to move forward.

“This too shall pass,” doesn’t mean that the problem, feelings or situation will magically disappear. Rather, it can lead to a very reflective thought process that helps you find inner strength to address the challenge at hand or simply continue to put one foot in front of the other.

So as you face obstacles and challenges, as we all do, I hope my mother’s advice will help you choose to move forward, find solutions and make the best of what life has to offer.


Age-Shaming is wrong

Are you struggling with procrastination? Here is what to do

Do you always delay the tasks you have to do until the last minute? If your answers were yes then you are a definitely a procrastinator. Procrastination won’t only make you feel guilty, lower your self esteem but it will halt your progress in life completely until you find that everyone around you reached what they wanted while you are still in your place.

Dealing with procrastination

Dealing with procrastination requires a deep understanding of its underlying causes. Excuses like “I am not in the mood to start” or “I will begin tomorrow” are not by any means the cause of procrastination but they are just decoys that the person uses in order to make himself feel better when he doesn’t do what he has to do. In the following lines I will try to make the root causes of procrastination more clear so that you can deal with them.

  • Perceived difficulty: Both Procrastinators and non procrastinators think that some tasks are difficult, boring or stressful but the only difference between both is that non procrastinators start immediately then discover that the fears they had were unreal while procrastinators keep visualising the difficulty of the task without daring to approach it.
  • The sense of security : Procrastinators tend to mistakenly think that they are secure and that they will be able to do the task on time thus they have a false sense of security. While a few of them manage to complete the task in the last few minutes most of them fail to do so and only end up feeling guilty.
  • Waiting for ever: Procrastinators think that non procrastinators start working when they feel like it and so they wait for the right mood before starting but unfortunately this right mood never comes. One of the big differences between non procrastinators and procrastinators is that the first group start working even if they were feeling horrible while the other group keep waiting forever for their moods to change and usually their moods never change.
  • Fear of failure or avoiding the task: Underlying procrastination might lie fear of failure. Procrastinators might not start a task because they fear that they won’t be able to do it successfully, that others will know that they can’t complete it or that their sense of self worth might decrease when they fail to do it.

ALSO READ: 5 Problems that Are Unique to High Achievers

Overcoming procrastination can only be done by doing the following:

  • Stop waiting for the right mood: Understanding that the good mood you are waiting for will never come is crucial to getting over the habit of procrastination. Life isn’t easy and you won’t always be feeling happy. Depend on your mood to get things done and you will only become productive when you feel like it
  • Stop waiting for the right time: There is nothing called the right time to do a certain thing for the right time is now. People who keep waiting for the so called right time end up wasting time and not getting anything done.
  • Fears grow when you avoid them: Understanding that the fears you have will grow as you wait more can help you stop procrastinating. Some people think that by avoiding the unpleasant tasks they are actually making themselves feel good but the truth is that those bad emotions get stronger then visit them again
  • Understand the consequences: Knowing that depression will definitely visit you if you didn’t stop procrastinating might motivate you to move. As the time passes and you find yourself not making any progress you will certainly become depressed.
  • Productive people just do it: Productive people don’t wait for a right mood or a right time to do something but instead they just do the things they have to do even when they don’t feel like it.
  • Deal with the underlying psychological causes:Procrastination has many different psychological causes such as fear of failure, low self esteem and self regulation issues. To end procrastination you must end the root causes as well else the problem is very less likely to be solved.


Will Power Tips

How Doing Less Can Help You Have More of What Matters

I appreciate the innate power of narrowing our focus because for a large chunk of my life, I lived another way.

I worked long days. I kept a to-do list that got longer and longer. I covered the workload of ‘team’ members, either too lazy or incapable of doing their own work, and I definitely started earlier and stayed later.

I woke up in the middle of the night thinking about the next deadline. I lived in urgent mode, a constant state of reaction. Caffeine helped fuel this state. Like a 100m sprinter waiting for the gun to go, I’d anticipate and be waiting for the next bang. And then, as you may have guessed, I suffered something of a burn out!

I was exhausted, both physically and mentally. Not just tired but spent. Externally, I projected a sense of calm and being in control, but underneath I had been paddling too hard for too long. I needed to reset. I was on a path that definitely did not feel like my path.

I knew there must be a better way. I knew this had become my life but couldn’t be my life. I wanted something different. More than that, I needed something different to thrive. So I took action.

What followed was a paring down period. A commitment to simplifying my life and my approach to my work.

I cut my to-do lists into pieces. Instead of trying to get everything done at once, I focused simply and purely on one or two main tasks a day. Once I got those done, I then gave myself permission to move on. I batched repeat tasks (phone calls, meetings, email, etc.) but refused to be imprisoned by inboxes any longer. I really started to purpose my days. I focused on less but ironically got more done.

I was so committed and determined to make this new path, and the associated changes, stick that I went all in. Normally habit changing ‘experts’ recommend making small changes over time to let new habits ingrain. While this is sound advice on the surface, I knew I needed more immediate change. I had tried the other way and it had led me here. Here (at the time) was not where I wanted to be. I didn’t want to live my life constantly burnt out and stuck in reactive mode.

READ MORE: You Should Always Take Care Of Yourself First — A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

So I continued down the rabbit hole of simplifying my commitments.

I learned and used the power of “no.” I coached, mentored, and supported team members but stopped short of doing their work and thinking for them. I learned that doing the right things (and sometimes the tough things) up front, can mean other tasks no longer need doing at all. I realized someone else’s urgent doesn’t always make it my urgent.

I embraced the power of 80/20 thinking and realized not everything needs doing. That means I concentrated on who and what means the most to me—the 20 percent of my life that provides 80 percent of the value—and let other demands on my time go.

I got the white space back in my days and no longer felt I needed to rush from this to that. I got time back, I got energy back, I got my life back.

And a funny thing happened in tandem. More so than ever before, other people started to notice that I was someone who got things done. Words like “organized,” “focused” and “takes his responsibilities seriously” regularly appeared in feedback.

I became known for meeting deadlines with minimal fuss, someone who was trusted to prioritize my own workload and the workload of others.

I became known as someone who could navigate complex projects and environments, focusing effort on where it matters most.

Emboldened, I began to double down on my approach. I became self-employed and started using these skills to help organisations achieve their goals. I enjoyed my work more, and my rewards for that work increased. My freedom and flexibility in my work increased. I now had much more say in how I worked, my time and labours no longer completely at the mercy of others.

My health, mindset, and outlook all improved. I got ‘me’ back.

That was nearly ten years ago. If I can do it, I’m sure you can do it. Your journey will be your own, of course, but if you’ve hit the point where commitments are crowding in on you, and your time no longer feels like your time, it is time to pause and reset.

Words will not do justice to how tough this process can be, depending on your circumstances. However, I promise you something, the effort will be worth it. If you do this, you’ll never want to look back.


Problems of High Achievers

5 Problems that Are Unique to High Achievers

High achievement doesn’t make people immune to depression, marital problems, parenting issues, stress or any of the other reasons people pursue psychotherapy. But, in addition to those common problems that often lead people to get professional help, there are some issues that are a bit more unique to people who reach high levels of achievement. Here are the five most common reasons highly successful people seek therapy:

1. Imposter Syndrome

Although imposter syndrome doesn’t appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the persistent feeling of not being good enough can be just as problematic as a diagnose condition. Despite proven competence and expertise, imposter syndrome causes people to feel like a complete fraud. Rather than feel pride in their achievements, successful people may attribute their success to luck or temporary effort, rather than inherent ability.

People with imposter syndrome often present to a therapist’s office with a separate issue–perhaps anxiety or depression. They usually don’t want to acknowledge their underlying feelings of inadequacy, even to a therapist. The issue tends to emerge after a few therapy sessions, and successful treatment brings the person’s thinking in-line with the facts about her achievement so she can feel more authentic.

2. The Hidden Reason Behind Their Drive

Successful people are driven. They usually work harder, persevere longer, and bounce back from adversity faster than others. While some people are just natural go-getters, drive sometimes stems from hurt and pain. High achievement may temporarily mask a person’s heartache, but the anguish lurks just beneath the surface.

For example, a child who was told by his parents that he’ll “never amount to anything,” may make his sole purpose in life to prove his parents wrong. Or someone who experienced a painful divorce may decide that success is the best form of revenge. Therapy can help people discover how to heal their past wounds so they can be even more effective as they move forward.

3. Fear of Losing Everything

The more a person gains, the more he has to lose. The fear of losing everything can cause some successful people to become paralysed by fear. They worry that they’re just one decision away from ruining everything they’ve worked so hard to gain and they often struggle to allow themselves to take a break.

ALSO SEE: You Should Always Take Care Of Yourself First — A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

Therapy can help successful people recognise that their net worth isn’t tied to their self-worth. This can help them recognise that even if they fail, they’ll still be okay. Treatment can also teach healthy ways to cope with anxiety and offer strategies for calming the constant self-doubt.

4. It’s Lonely At the Top

High achievement may ostracise successful people from family members and friends. Physical distance can also contribute to loneliness when high achievers relocate for new job opportunities. Additionally, successful people are often placed in high-level management positions where it may be inappropriate to befriend their subordinates, leaving them with fewer opportunities to socialise at work.

Treatment to address feelings of alienation may involve helping people identify and live according to their values. A person who values friends and family may recognise that she’s been placing too much emphasis on work, for example. Therapy may also encourage finding ways to replace professional networking with casual opportunities to form genuine friendships.

5. Guilt that Stems from Success

Quite often, the first thing a successful person says when entering my therapy office is, “I probably shouldn’t be here. There are people with a lot bigger problems who need your time more than I do.” While there’s a common notion that successful people feel entitled, many of them also feel guilty. They may question whether they deserve a new car, or they may feel guilty about going away on a vacation.

Therapy often focuses on helping people shift their core beliefs so they can stop feeling unworthy of their accomplishments. Treatment may also involve helping people recognise how their success affords them an opportunity to have a bigger impact on the world.


Take Care Of Yourself

You Should Always Take Care Of Yourself First — A Lesson I Learned The Hard Way

In March 2012, when I was 21, I collapsed at home. I had a lingering cold for a few weeks but thought nothing of it, continued working, going out and travelling. The cold turned out to be a virus that was attacking my immune system and left me hospitalised. It took one month of treatment in the hospital and another three months of visits to a rehab hospital to relearn how to walk, hold a fork, tie my shoelaces and do all the other everyday activities that we take for granted.

I made a full recovery, but during what was a pretty scary time, I realised the importance of taking care of the number one person in your life: yourself. It’s time we all stop feeling guilty for being a little selfish and here’s why:


Before I was hospitalised, I was running myself into the ground, working long hours at my first full-time job. I had just graduated from university and wanted to progress my career quickly. I was also taking on freelance work, unpaid internships, going to the gym and maintaining a social life. Sound familiar? We all do it. We push ourselves to the breaking point, too afraid to say no in case we let someone down or miss out on a great opportunity.

But learning to say no won’t just give you some breathing space — it will also allow you to focus on doing what you really like and do it well. Running yourself into the ground because you don’t want to let anyone down will help no one.


Pride is a relatively useless emotion. I’d only been in hospital for a few days when I realised I really needed to go to the bathroom. There was no one around except for my boyfriend so I tried to hold on as long as I could, but there was no way in hell I was using a bedpan. So, my boyfriend pushed me in a wheelchair to the bathroom and helped me onto the toilet.

I have never been more embarrassed in my life, but after five minutes, I had forgotten all about it and so had he. Think about how many times you didn’t ask for help just because you felt like you should be able to do it on your own, or you didn’t want to bother someone by asking. We’re always happy to help when someone asks us, but when it comes to the other way around, for some reason, we freeze up and try to do everything on our own. Sometimes, you just need to put your pride aside and admit you need help.


After losing almost a year of my life to illness, I felt angry, sad, frustrated and a whole range of other less-than-positive emotions. Given this self-pity party, I couldn’t see the silver lining: the chance to press pause and re-evaluate. My life felt like it was at a standstill because I had to give up everything: work, gym, a social life.

But when I stopped to think about it, the reality was that I actually hated my full-time job and it left me hardly any time to do the freelance work that I did enjoy. Going to the gym often left me exhausted and all those internships meant I didn’t have any spare time to see my friends. Luckily, you don’t have to go through a serious illness to press pause.

You can do it right now. Think about your life — the parts you like and the parts you don’t. Then, plan what steps to take to make it better. No excuses. Life is short, so find what makes you happy and do it. Right now.


When something big (and bad) happens, you realise everything that you had been stressing over wasn’t a big deal. Before I fell ill, I worried about everything: what people thought of me, whether I said the wrong thing, what I was going to wear and whether my stomach was flat enough. I didn’t realise how stressed out I was until I had to focus on only one thing: recovering.

All the other stuff suddenly seemed so insignificant and I’m much more happy and relaxed as a result. Complaining about your job, family, friends and wardrobe is fine every now and again – we all need to vent — but it requires a bit of perspective. Think about what’s important in the scheme of things. You have enough problems about which to worry, so prioritise; worry about the big stuff and don’t sweat the small stuff.


How badly does it affect a son when h

How badly does it affect a son when his father abandons him?

Men speak openly with each other about their relationship with their fathers, good or bad and how it affected them. Men who had a missing, toxic or inadequate relationship openly express grief about the loss. They speak unbidden or with the slightest suggestion. This includes big, burly, gruff, Hell’s Angels types.

We appear to have an archetypal expectation of having a mother and a father who will love us unconditionally and mentor us in living life. When this does not happen or happens imperfectly, we are instinctively offended and experience existential trauma.

Boys AND girls need fathers! Males instinctively need and respond to hierarchical organisations. Males need mentoring and feedback from other males. They need to hear “Good job”, “You can do it”, “I am proud of you, son”.

A son can be abandoned by a father literally, not being there at all, by dying, or by ignoring the son. If the father criticises and ridicules the son, it is crippling, shames and angers the son.

The current commentary that “Men are not needed” is harmful to society and to boys, men. Single parent, mother led families NEED to find male mentoring for their sons! The child participating in sports is one way. For a boy who is intellectually gifted, male tutors in his areas of strength.

ALSO READ: It took me this long to realise he was only using me. He did not love me.

Any boy or man who has been abandoned by his father needs to be allowed opportunity to openly express his grief and feelings of loss and anger about the experience. He will naturally repress the feelings, however the loss will underlie EVERYTHING in his life and can result in passive/aggressive anger, anxiety, acting out and an inordinate need to “prove himself”.

One Saturday morning I was in the local auto parts store, a very male place. A father was there with his 12 year old son. With his hand on the son’s shoulder he introduced the son to the counterman saying “I am very proud of him”. The smile of pure existential joy and happiness on the boy’s face was unforgettable.

This is what boys and men need. Depriving them of it is a fundamental sin.


Getting Dumped Before My Wedding

It took me this long to realise he was only using me. He did not love me.

I want to share my story because I am trying to heal a day at a time. Sometime I laugh at my stupidity and the dumb decisions I made and it is very disgusting to me myself not to talk about others so here we go. Let me add quietly some of my friends and family follow and they won’t believe that this mess is happening to me.

I was always the Standoffish girl who would never date anyone beneath me or just didn’t want a relationship at all because I don’t have patience for men. Fast forward to after law school, my mom applied for US visa luckily for me I was granted and she paid for my ticket as a gift for finishing law school and being called to the bar. While I was planning to come to the USA, my mom introduced a guy to me and I told her I was not interested but I later got talking to him.

He was slow and not my type so I was not into him, cut the long story short we started dating (even though I didn’t like him). I came to the US and we met face to face, still didn’t fall over heels but I just continued with him. Then we found out that he was just an high school graduate so my mom was against us getting married but by then he had disvirgined me so I told my mom by force by fire na him I must marry. We didn’t talk for 2 months, I had people beg her that ‘na this guy I go marry’ and she said whatever I see for the marriage na my problem be that and I told her I will cope with it.


We got married and I moved to the US, it was hell from the start cos according to him my mum didn’t like him because he was not educated( so why marry me), I disgust him and he would beat me at the slightest chance he gets. He talks to his girlfriends in my presence and I got ignored by him but I knew I must swallow whatever I got.

A year into the marriage and nothing to show. Pressure from both families began, I was dead alive, frustrated, depressed and tired. We decided to run tests to be sure we are okay. It turned out my husband has zero not low zero sperm The doctor said sperm donor is our only option. My husband refused ( his excuse was someone in future would come forward to claim the kids) I told him a million times that the donors are anonymous- we don’t know them, they don’t know us but he refused. I was living like a shadow of myself then came Mr handsome and sweet.  I thought my life was finally in the right place not knowing I was in a deep shit.

Now I started cheating , he was my kind- educated, smart, intelligent, tall, good looking, sweet, fun loving and we can gist for hours nonstop. 3 months into it, we started having sex, I loved it cos he was my 2nd and he was good. I was in love oh, and we saw each other every day at work so it was just so perfect. I did anything he wanted, he wanted money every time and I gave him $500/$600 for whatever and I didn’t question him.  I wanted him happy so that things will be fine with us. He made sure I cooked for him , Nigerian food because his American wife was black American.  Few months into the relationship, I got pregnant and he wanted me to take it out, I wondered why because I thought we were fine. Bros get wife and children for Naija.  This is trouble, did I say i was still married to my husband at this time. So I told bros I was not taking it out, I gave the baby to my husband and he was happy.

ALSO SEE: Don’t Let Promotion Anxiety Derail Your Career

Myself and bros still dey date oh, this is where I tell you I was dump/ stupid . After all the ill treatment I got from him, we continued and 6 months after my baby was born, I got pregnant again. I got the insult/ curse of my life. iImmediately, I went to abort the baby because  I loved bros and would do anything he wanted. I was his sex slave and my money was his money, anything that would make him happy I did. I wanted to keep him by force.

My baby was 8months, I got pregnant again and this time I told him to go fuck himself and that I was keeping this. It was hell and I had to tell my mom, she almost killed me…  she took knife and wanted to kill me. So now I have 2 kids but my husband thought they were his by miracle.
Guilt was killing day after day that I had to tell my husband and he almost killed me too ( I wonder why I am not dead because every body wanted me dead). He didn’t believe it because I was the good wife and you would never think of me as a cheat.

Bros was still in the picture at that time, he knew I loved him and would take him back anytime.

Now to the  present, I am divorced, living with my mom with 2 kids and I have to work hard. Bros was still collecting my money as always and just last month I open eye after almost 4years that this guy just dey use me. Even when I tell him I don’t have,he does not care and I had to find it one way or the other. He wants to keep collecting but never wants to be in my kids’ life.
I am at the place where I know I fucked up amd I take responsibility for my mistakes but I have to live for these kids, I can’t afford not to. It is so hard but I must keep moving. I hope God has mercy and forgive me cos that’s all I need now, his grace and mercy.

It seems like a film to me too but this is my mess and I have to keep moving.

Written by anonymous for

How I Got My Groove Back

After 4 Years, My Hustle Has Finally Paid Off

I will say my life is a product of my dreams and somehow God has helped me bring it into fruition.

I am the first child from the family of four , my mum was a primary school teacher but she’s retired now , my Dad a trader and his business never really did well but my mum found a way to support me and my younger sister and made sure we went to the university , but sadly I graduated with a third class and became really devastated and felt like a failure, I became unusually reserved and withdrew into my shell..

I have lived all my life in the east, Anambra state  to be precise, lived and schooled there. But as a child I always fantasised about living in a fancy city and travel the world .

I was never in sync with my environment as I always felt out of place . I always borrowed a copy of hint magazine from a class mate and would head straight to the last page to read the adventure stories of the prostitutes on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, That was how I started building fantasies about living in Lagos .

I have friend who lived in Lagos from my uni days . They talked me into coming to Lagos for my IT , my mum did not buy it , but I pushed and came. Luckily, an in-law took me in and found me a place at an hospital as I was studying microbiology in school.

I was posted to Ogun state for Nysc , but because school was always on strike. I always came back .. No one knew about my class of degree except for my mum and sister , I never included that on my cv as well. So I spent hours applying for a job hoping I would get one that wouldn’t consider my degree and luckily I found one where they didn’t bother about my degree.

I was employed as a personal assistant to the MD with a salary of 45k. (that was in 2010.) I took it happily and went from surulere to Lekki every morning and wasn’t paid till very 3rd week in a new month . I worked and worked and worked, in short the only thing left for me to do was to wash my MD”s pants.  I got two other jobs while I was working there and they were willing to pay me 25 to 30 k more but this woman deceived me and I turned down the offer.

A year later I got frustrated and resigned . At that time my sister had joined me here in Lagos . 2 months after I resigned , we were thrown out by a relative who was harboring us , we scrapped all our savings and found a self contained .. not a proper stand alone house. This one was attached to the fence of the building and we always scooped water out whenever it rained , and at some point, the roof started leaking . We never told our parents before we rented the house because our two year rent could pay our parents three bedroom flats’ rent for two years and moreso, they didn’t have that money I assured my sister that before the rent elapsed in two years that something must give.

We moved and three months later, she found a job . But I couldn’t find any .. months later I also found a locum  job at an oil gas clinic which I was paid daily. After one year it stopped and I started staying at home again. Everyday, I put in at least 5-7 applications , but I couldn’t find anything . The pay was either miserable , or the location was quite far. So I decided to start something and the only thing that came to my mind was food.

I had catered for a few friends’ party while in school, I convinced my sister and a few of my cousins to speak to their colleagues about me bringing them lunch daily. It worked. So every morning I will cook and dash down to Lekki and vi before 11am and sell to them . After three long months I became worn out and stopped.

It was so so stressful, I started staying at home again whilst figuring out what next to do . And then I ran into an old friend one day, we got talking and I opened up and told him everything and shared my struggles as well. He promised to look out for opportunities for me though he doesn’t know how as he is a professional, an Engineer who worked with an oil and gas .Three months later, he called to say his company staff club house was looking for a Chef , he knew I could cook but since I had no certificate to back it up, he doubted that I stand a chance .

Two months later he called again to say they were looking for a food item supplier and asked if I could do it , I told him I could try, He gave me someone’s contact , I called and booked an appointment and I was asked to bring a quote along. On getting there I got an LPO that same day and commenced supply the next day.

One LPO was going to cost at least 600k and I was to supply twice a week. And get paid every 2 weeks . I called everyone I know to raise some money to add to what I already have saved . And every Tuesday I would go to various food market in this city sourcing and buying all various food items as seen in their PO

I watched my earnings grow tremendously , sometimes I could have more than two orders in a week , they were always throwing parties. I was always on my phone waiting for their emails. I wasn’t afraid to get my hands dirty , I was on the move . The business didn’t allow me to dress nicely as I always wandered the length and breadth of various markets in this Lagos

A year later I went to a catering school and after four months of learning , I disengaged all the other vendors who supplied me small chops, asun and a few other snacks . I got people to assist me in making them and supplied them as well and my earnings skyrocketed even more. Gradually I started getting more catering jobs .


I was very disciplined with money from day one ,  I saved and saved and saved some more and bought a car to aid with my supplies, my sister and I moved to a more comfortable apartment and we began to help my two younger ones through school and also support my parents who are retired.

Last year I expanded the catering part a bit more ,  Rented an office space which is like a mini restaurant in surulere and started a catering rental business as well.

This arm of the business is not there yet , but I am hopeful it will soon.

In January  this year , we catered for a friends  wedding of 600 guest and It was the happiest day of my life. I was all smiles that day . It was the biggest I have done .

I am off to Dubai next month to officially train as a chef at the institute of culinary arts . This venture is costing an arm and a leg , but it’s part of my goals this year to invest in myself.

I hope to branch into culinary training when I return not necessarily for money but to inspire and help other young people who are willing to work hard , empower themselves and endure hard times.

As I have noticed a lot of young people are not willing to get their hands dirty , they are looking for honorable jobs and decent/ classy jobs that will pay them well. But sadly ,not all of us will get that opportunity and all of our stories to success can never be the same.

My hustle has no shame right now as long as I make money , I really don’t care who sees me . And least I forget to add, I have been able to get massive support from friends and family who have seen how hard I have pushed  and determined succeed , so I will say that if you looking to start something and your waiting for someone to give you money to start ,  you are wasting your time , start with the little you have , push with what you have and I can tell you people will come through and all the help you need will show up easily .

Oh how could i forget my wanderlust life , you see I am not big on clothes , jewellery, hair , shoes , make up and all. Travel has always been my reward for all my hard work . I love to travel , have done 11 countries in 5 years .inshort  enh! if I didn’t have a family to support, I probably would be bag-packing round the world  .

It’s been four amazing years on this hustle and I am not slowing down soon.

Above all I will  like to ascribe all the glory to the almighty God , and yes the place of prayer can never be neglected . God has showed up for me many times , I am always on the road , I have never been hit by a car nor hit anyone , never been  attacked by robbers seeing I carry lots of money around most of the times.

And yes I have been depressed a few times , considered suicide as well . Now a workaholic, single and searching.

Written by anonymous for

Diamond in The Rough

Diamond in The Rough: The Inspiring Story of A Paper Recycler

Diamond in The Rough: The Inspiring Story of A Paper Recycler

“My name is Babatunde Peter. I am a graduate of Osun state polytechnic. I worked with skye bank for 2 years as a contract staff before I was asked to leave

I got another job and was being paid N45,000. I was not happy but what choice did I have? One year later, a friend introduced me to paper business. He told me if I am willing to work hard I will make millions. First of all it looked like a dirty and stressful job, but 45k a month was not helping me at all

I resigned and went fully into the paper business with N5,000. I buy papers and sell to recycling factories. I wake up in the morning and go to printing press, banks and industries to ask for waste papers. I make friends with the lower staff so I can get cheaper price

Gradually I started making contacts. Indians started depositing N2-3million in my account to get papers for them to recycle. The least I have made in a long time is N300,000 a month (after all my expenses)

It is not an easy job but people see how hard I work and they have started trusting me with their money. Now I use other people’s money to make money. Things are getting better, I am saving, maybe one day, I’ll have my own paper recycling factory” – Babatunde Peter

My First Date in Secondary School

#Flashbackfriday My First Date in Secondary School, it wasn’t what I thought it would be.

Ding! Ding! Ding! I heard the loud tintinnabulation of the bell and immediately jumped from my seat as I ran to the kiosk like all other students who wanted to beat the queue. I had skipped breakfast, my stomach rumbled all morning. On my way, I heard the familiar words, “BREAK TIMEEEEE!” bellowed by the time prefect. Every single time I heard it, I wondered if he didn’t love his job, as the time prefect because even though his voice was thick and loud, he also sounded bored and angry. Well, if I had to lift that heavy bell every day, I would be angry too.

There was only one kiosk available in the whole school to purchase snacks and soda, I was just in S.S.1 so I didn’t have the automatic privilege to send juniors to do the dirty work. So, I had to get to the kiosk quicker than anyone else. Even so, Mama Risi, who was the sole owner of the kiosk never respected rules. You could be the first person on the queue but if she didn’t like you, you would be the last to get served; the term, ‘first come, first served’ didn’t apply to her. For this reason, I had learned from junior class, to never piss off Mama Risi.

Someday, I must tell you about her.

When I got to the Kiosk, there were about 6 people who had beat me to it, I was still on time so I waited for my turn. Unfortunately, I saw the ‘IT’ boys in school bounce slowly towards the kiosk: Taiwo, Akeem, Hassan and Sola were all fine boys who didn’t have to bully you outrightly to get their way, one way or the other, they always got what they wanted. These boys were the most handsome, stylish and popular boys in school. They were friends with Mr Akindele, the most feared teacher, they stood at the back of the assembly, joining us but not joining us. They were school fathers to the cutest juniors, boyfriends to all and to no one. It was Tope that hung out with them today, and the next day, it was Chioma. You could never tell who was dating them for real. The best part, they were day students.

As they made their way to the side of the kiosk for special treatment from Mama Risi, I immediately accepted my fate, that my 6th position on the line had further been relegated because the IT boys would buy snacks and drinks for their friends, girlfriends, school sons and daughters.

ALSO READ: #ThrowbackThursday Mauritius Travel Diary Day 3: Hammam Bath Is Naked Bath

But then, I got the shock of my life: I saw Hassan, the finest of them all directly walk towards me, 100% holding my gaze, I had no doubt I was his destination. When he got to me, he smiled and moved to stand right behind me, his voice was like a soft cool breeze behind my ear, “What do you want me to buy for you?” I knew the voice, I had heard it many times, but it was never ever directed at me.

Hassan was a tall Arab looking handsome boy with the most curly hair, his skin was the right mixture of chocolate and cream, his lashes were so long and full, they almost succeeded in shielding his beautiful eyes. He was always neat and his shorts touched his knee and fitted perfectly. Also, his white shirt was never ever rumpled and he always wore socks.

My friends and I judged the IT boys and pretended to hate them. We were in the school choir, school daughters to the head boy so we were not the IT girls but we were also not nerds. The prettiest girl in my group was Biola, she knew it and walked it. Anytime we talked about the IT boys, she would often mention that Hassan liked her, she could tell from the way he looked at her. We didn’t believe her and we were quick to let her know. because ain’t nobody laying claim to anybody.

“Ehn, tell me now, what do you want?” Hassan asked again, his voice sweetly gliding me out of my shock mode.
“Huh?” I looked around, wondering if it was really me.

“I want to buy beef roll and a drink” I said, almost whispering. ‘What is happeningggg?’ I asked my inner self.

“Okay. Oya step out of the queue” Hassan didn’t wait for me to answer, he took my hand and pulled me along with him to the big boys’ shade. Our school was covered with huge trees that protected us from the sun. The tree closest to the right side of the kiosk was reserved for the big boys.

I looked behind me, I saw my crew – who weren’t there seconds ago – looking on in shock, wondering what was happening. My mind was blank and all I wanted was an explanation. I sat by the shade and waited till Hassan brought my beef roll and soft drink. Then, he sat beside me. “I bought you chin chin too but I’ll keep it for you so you can eat it after school,” Said Hassan.

“Okay” I nodded like a sheep being led on without a choice.

“What are you eating at the hostel this afternoon?” He asked me.

“Eba and vegetable soup” I immediately responded. I hated hostel food.

“Okay, I’ll rush home now and ask them to make rice for me and I’ll bring it back, then you and I can eat together after school before you go back to the hostel.”

WHAT?! I immediately wondered if this meant we were boyfriend and girlfriend. But I kept the thought to myself.

I agreed and when I could, I rushed to my crew and stood tall in front of them, arms akimbo, smiling foolishly, waiting for them to ask me, the new addition to the IT team, what was going on. Biola spoke first and fast, “what was all that about? So you and that boy are now friends? you want to start rolling with those bad boys now abi?”

I heard it clearly, jealousy was loud in her tone. So I addressed them, my crew of 5, “Hassan has asked me to stay back to have lunch with him o. So you people should tell my sister and the matron that I stayed back for extra lessons with the maths teacher”. Anu, who was the most cooperative of the bunch nodded and said: “but you must promise to tell us everything when you get back o.”

After school hours, I waited in my class, because Hassan had come twice, making me promise to wait for him in my class. He didn’t waste time to join me and I looked on impressively as he served us in different plates with such meticulousness, I knew it could only be love.

“Hay God! I know I promised never to date anyone till I get to Uni, but I take my promise back, Hassan and I are already married.” This was me turning my back on God, who made the Arab and I.

We began to eat and after some quiet minutes, Hassan said to me, “Amongst your friends, I know you’re the leader of the pack, that’s why I’m talking to you now.” I didn’t think I was the leader of the pack, I was friends with my crew because we all had our own minds but if Hassan said so, then it is so. He continued, “that’s why I want you to help me talk to Biola, I really like her……..” I became automatically deaf. I continued to chew the forbidden rice but it now felt like sand in my mouth. I was in shock but I masked it well. So instead of plucking out Hassan’s lashes one by one, turning them into a thin rope and strangling him with it, I nodded and promised to deliver his message.

Maybe someday, I’ll tell you how I delivered the message.


Business Anxiety Tips

Don’t Let Promotion Anxiety Derail Your Career

Many of us dream about the moment when we get that longed-for promotion. Imagine that it’s yours: a great step up the career ladder, huge responsibility, a bigger team and a whopping pay rise. It all happens so quickly: your predecessor gives you a fast handover, you meet your new team and peers, and your boss sets your objectives for the year. After a whirlwind few days, you walk into your new corner office (if you are really lucky), sit behind your new desk and savour your success.

But what happens next? For anyone who has been in this situation, the answer is not straightforward. Because from this moment on, whatever happens is your responsibility. You are the boss. You have to take the difficult decisions, make the judgment calls and perhaps even define your own role. And there will be the massive unspoken expectation — from your team, your peers, and your boss — that you will know exactly what to do.

A few unshakeably confident executives launch straight into action, but for most new leaders, this is a moment of unspeakable anxiety and uncertainty. Ironically, the greatest triumph of their careers is also defined by loneliness. And for some, that can be psychologically very disturbing.

Take Antony, 35, newly promoted to the board after his stellar success as marketing director of a FTSE 250 company. He had risen inexorably through the ranks and was tipped by the chairman to be the next CEO. After a busy few days, he was due to attend his first main board meeting. As he walked towards the boardroom, he felt a peculiar sense of detachment from the scene around him. He was aware of familiar faces greeting and congratulating him, but for some reason, he couldn’t hear what they were saying — it was as if a glass window was separating him from them. He was watching them speak but couldn’t hear the words they were saying

Ten minutes later, as they sat around the table, he began to feel dizzy. His heart was pounding and he broke into a sweat. Then he became aware that the room had fallen silent and that everyone was looking at him. The chairman stared intently at him and repeated a question. Suddenly overwhelmed by anxiety, he rose up, pushed away his chair and dashed to the door. Only when he felt the cool air on his face outside the building did he feel the sense of panic subside.

Back in the boardroom, the chairman asked what had just happened. The Antony they’d known until this point — a talented leader with a strong track record, a winning personality, and a cool head in a crisis — had just bolted from the room after being asked a simple factual question. This is not what they had expected on his first day as a board member.

A day or so later, Antony felt able to explain what had happened to a colleague. While he’d felt very confident at the outset, as he approached the boardroom he began to panic, sensing that everyone expected that he knew what to do, what to say and what to expect. Fearing that he wouldn’t be able to control the panic, he left the room as quickly as he could. He tried to figure out why he had acted that way. Later that day it clicked. The last time he had felt such panic was after the death of his father 15 years before: he had not known what to do then, but he had been confronted with a similar same sense of expectation from his family. Suppressing his own grief, he had acted then as though he knew what to do, although inside he was panicking.

It was clear that his new role had provoked a similar degree of anxiety that had stirred up deep and unresolved feelings from his past. Fortunately, Antony recovered his equanimity and was successful in his new role. Yet some executives fall victim to an overwhelming anxiety that derails them at exactly the moment when their careers should be soaring.

So what can be done? From my conversations with leaders in this situation and from my own experience, I suggest you consider some of the following questions:

  • Where is your support? Do you have a strong ally, mentor or coach to lean on during the first few months of your new role?
  • What is your plan for the first few months?
  • What are your priorities for your new role? What do you need to achieve in the first week, month, or quarter? Are your priorities focused on tasks, targets, people, structure, culture, mood or vision?
  • What kind of personal impression do you want to make from the outset? What are your values and what is your leadership style?
  • What is in your control and what is outside your control? How will you reconcile yourself with these?
  • What kind of balance do you need to strike between observing, listening and questioning and communicating, making decisions and taking action?
  • Whom do you need to influence most? Boss, stakeholders, team or peers? And what kind of network do you have?
  • Do you really understand the culture and politics of the organisation? If not, how can you find out and who will guide you?
  • Who will give you honest and constructive feedback about your performance and help you understand others’ perceptions of you?
  • How much time will you set aside for yourself to gain perspective, and develop your strategy and vision?
  • What is your contribution across the organisation?
  • How can you support your peers, your boss and other teams to achieve their objectives?

These are my thoughts on this subject — as always, I welcome your ideas and contributions. Have you ever found yourself in an anxiety-inducing situation similar to the one described above? If so, what did you do? And what would you recommend others do in the face of such circumstances?

Source: HBR.ORG