Thanks for waiting. In case you missed the preview, find it here, so you know what to expect. If you are not sure what Beneath the Smile is about, please check the preview out.
The project aims at looking beyond the smiles of the next person, to see what’s really beneath, what’s really going on? How people really need help and won’t bother saying anything about it but would rather cover it up with a façade of strength, with a smile.
It’s time to look beneath the smile and lend a helping hand. People are going through real things, these are their stories.
We hope that you’d be kind enough to leave a comment. Your feedback is important to us.
Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers@TheSilentMaeve. This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
I feel it’s a little short, but please let me know what you think. I’ve never published anything on a blog before so all this is kind of new to me. Please be kind?
“Why are you so rude?!”
“You never smile!”
“You’re just a snob.”
“You will never amount to anything in this life”
If you can think it, I’ve probably been told it. People use words without knowing their true, direct effect. I’ve never had thick skin. I have not the heart to form one. It hurts more because mere words have the power to reduce me to nothing. To break my resolve. To shatter my dreams.
“You can never be a home-maker..”
I created a sanctuary to hide my pain.
The shell worked effectively enough, but heck it wasn’t bullet proof. I battled a lot with my thoughts and stayed deep in my mind for periods on end. I’d sit and stare into thin air whilst waging a war of unspeakable evil in my head. I lost countless times. With each loss, there came that inevitable choking attack of depression. The kind that knocked you off your feet and left you gasping for air on the cold hard floor whilst questioning life. You begin to imagine things that should never have crossed your mind in the first place.
What if I died?
Would anyone even cry?
“Oh, Nigerians don’t think about killing themselves.. we’re way too tough for that..”
Oh yes they do. They cover it all up perfectly for fear of more pain and ridicule. Who wants to tell the world that their brother/son/husband committed suicide? Chinua Achebe once captured the thought of a man obviously outweighed by the tribulations of his world who decided to finish it once and for all.
I have thought of ending it several times. I have imagined it in a total of fourteen different mental pictures including exsanguination and self-induced asphyxia. How many times has that razor gleamed in my right hand? I do not want to think about it anymore.
Yes. I won’t do that because it’s over now. I’d found my peace in a place where I least expected it.
I became born again.
Are you laughing?
I hope not.
It was my salvation I never saw. When random people would randomly open their bibles and read out random passages. I shut them out because they were just adding to the noise in my head. The voices were several octaves high already, anymore and I’d have exploded on my feet. Nothing I ever did seemed right, so who were these strangers and what did they think they knew about my life? Get lost.
But they didn’t.
They stayed. God stayed.
I started out slowly, reading the word and trying to understand and whatnot. I got those little devotional books that had tiny inspirational quotes on the side. I prayed. For the first time in my entire life, I prayed and tears rolled down my anguished, tired face. They were hot and salty, but they felt absolutely wonderful. I’d never felt anything more exhilarating. I don’t know if I ever will.
There’s probably a million other people who are going through or have gone through something similar. I’m not an ambassador. I’m not a preacher. Sometimes I slip and do things the wrong way. But I just want to deliver one, simple message:
There is a God..
..and He truly listens.
“But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercies in the morning: for thou hast been my defense and refuge in the day of my trouble.”
I am Adanna.
• • •
THANKS FOR READING.
A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
N.B. The project goes on with ‘His Story, I’ by @FrankUgo_
You can still send in your own true stories to email@example.com
You can subscribe to the blog (at the right column to follow the project, if you are viewing with your mobile, just scroll to the end of this page to subscribe)