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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.
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Today’s story was sent in by one of our readers @Seyi_Omotoso
This is her story.
The ‘Beneath the Smile’ Project.
I have a lot of things hidden behind my pretty smile (at least people tell me I have a pretty smile, but who doesn’t?). I’m just going to share the least serious of them because it gives me the greatest fear for my future.
I was a pretty healthy child, I hardly fell sick, except for malaria which is peculiar to people with AA. I was never admitted in the hospital and I have never had any cause to take drip even up till now. But then, when I was in jss2, I started having this eye-ache, it was terrible. It was just my left eye but it would affect d left side of my whole face, a serious migraine just on my left temple, the left side of my tooth would start aching me, the saliva coming from the left side of my cheek would be different (more like draw soup) and I would feel sick in the stomach. It makes my whole body, weak.
When this ‘eye ache’ comes, I’m usually useless, I can’t get myself to do anything except sleep because the pain weakens my whole system and my eyes are usually very sensitive to light, so I just wear my sleeping mask, draw my curtains, switch off the light and sleep. I told my parents the first time it happened, my mom gave me some drugs and the pain left the next day or so. It didn’t end there, it kept coming back, not always.
Sometimes once a year, sometimes twice or thrice or four times in a year. I didn’t know the cause. I could see properly. I was even convinced I had very sharp eyes cos I could read tiny prints even from afar.
One day when I was in ss2, the pain came back again and my dad took me to the hospital, our doctor told him to take me to the general hospital to see an optician. I just slept at the back of the car throughout the drive. On getting there, I explained to the doctor, he was obviously confused and he was like I stress my eyes too much and that I’ll need to start using glasses. In my head I was like ‘What does glasses have to do with eye pain, eye drops would have even been better’
Anyhow I did the test and I couldn’t see the smaller letters because the ‘eye-ache’ makes my eyes misty, so the doctor was convinced that glasses was the solution. Of course, I wasn’t convinced that glasses was the solution to the ‘eye ache’ so I didn’t wear it regularly plus I was very shy in secondary school and It was weird explaining to people, that I wasn’t long or short-sighted, but that the glasses was for ‘eye ache’.
I got into the university and the pain kept coming back, not always but when it comes, it stays for like 2-4 days and I usually don’t like telling people ’cause there’s always this strange look on their faces like ‘wetin be that?’ So I just sleep it off. My roommates and friends will be like ‘why have you been stabbing classes to sleep’, ‘you sleep too much’, ‘what’s your problem’. I just smile cos it’s very hard to explain. It was only one of my friends that I could explain to and she really understood. God bless her soul.
Being in a God-varsity increased my faith and my spirituality. In my 200l, I threw my glasses away with faith ( I wasn’t even wearing it regularly). And for a while, almost 2 years, the pain did not come back and in 3 different programs I attended, God confirmed my healing through the Preacher. Once the pastor asked everybody that had any issue with their left eye to come out, I came out, he prayed for us and told us that God said we have been healed, two other times, the word came in form of prophesies that there’s someone who gets this pain in her left eye, that she has been healed. I was so happy and excited. Within those 2 years that the ‘eye ache’ left, d pain will try to come back, but I just rebuke it and say ‘I have been healed, I command you ‘eye ache’ to leave’ and it disappears immediately. I was really happy and I told all my friends that God has healed me of eye pain, I would tell them of how I threw my glasses away and the pain never came back. It was such a thing of joy for me and it increased my faith and trust in God.
But one day, in my final year, the pain came back. I said the normal prayer, the pain did not leave, I was so scared cause I thought I did something wrong, I was confused. How could God take back his healing? What could have gone wrong? Were the prophesies from three different men of God fake? What did I do wrong? I couldn’t lay my finger on anything that could have gone wrong. I forced myself not to blame God or question him. A lot of other more serious issues came up in my final year and a big gap was left in my spiritual life that has not been totally filled up till now.
Right now I’m serving my ‘blessed country’ and the ‘eye ache came back yesterday. It was still there today and I had to take permission from my principal to come back home, I couldn’t even tell him what was wrong with me, I was just like ‘I’m not feeling too good’. The worst part of this ache is that the cause is unknown. My mom uses glasses, but she has never had the eye ache. None of my parents or grandparents have ever experienced such, so I’m sure it’s not hereditary. My first visit to the doctor plus ‘my healing’ has discouraged me from seeking further medical help and my parents still think I’ve been totally healed ’cause I didn’t tell them when the pain came back. I’ve checked online for help, but all I’ve seen are big grammars that are not related to what I’m experiencing.
I’m smiling now, because the pain is going down gradually, I hope it doesn’t come back again at least for some months. But my greatest fear about this ‘eye ache’ is that one day the left side of my body will get paralyzed. I know it sounds unreasonable, but it’s like there’s something wrong with the left side of my body and sometimes I get this pain in my left knees. What’s most scary about all of this is that there is no hope for me if this happens, because if God could not heal me totally (I know God has the power to heal me, and he did, but for some reason, it came back) then, there’s no hope for me anymore. I have kind of lost hope of being healed again, and anytime I remember that I was once healed, it makes me depressed because I’ve never seen in my bible that God healed someone and the person got sick again, so why is my case different? I just pray the left side of my body doesn’t get paralyzed one day and that my children don’t have the silly ‘eye aches’.
Hopefully, the pain has gone for now,at least till the next few months. I just need an explanation. I have checked my life, I’m pretty sure, I didn’t do anything that would make God angry and take away his healing from me. I need to know why it was taken away. I have not lost my faith in God, I still believe in Him, but our relationship is not the same, I hardly read my bible and pray regularly, not only because of the healing that was taken away, but also some other bigger things I’ve been through.
I can’t seem to get any explanation for this, but in the mean time, while the ‘eye ache’ is gone, all I can do is smile and forget all my fear of paralysis and fear of transferring this ‘disease’ to my children.
• • •
Don’t just read, say a prayer.
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N.B. The project goes on with Wednesday’s ’His Story, VIII’ by @The_Basco
You can still send in your own true stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
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