It feels like a familiar ride. I’ve been on this ride a couple of times, and I know the sharp bends and turns like the back of my hand; it no longer phases me.

Unlike the “stages of grief,” this ride doesn’t come with stages; it’s a loop of relentless spinning and jumping out is a gamble. Will you land safely, or will the impact leave you bruised and yearning to return to the familiar spin? Better still, you could keep spinning around without summoning the courage to jump out.

                                             * * *


It comes with ease, being angry at yourself, you never give yourself the credit you deserve for your achievements, never see beyond your fault, sabotage everything you aim at consciously or unconsciously, be angry at the world, and be pessimistic about everything. You tell yourself it’s okay to be angry, which it is, but you eventually forget how to let go of its toxic grip.


Sadness is your pill; it’s your fix for an addiction because you cannot afford to be anything else out of fear that something, someone, or some event is going to come and wipe the smile away from your face if you try to be happy for yourself. You settle for staying sad because you tell yourself a lie that it is easier to be sad than happy, so you let it wash over you till the point where happiness becomes a chore.


You doubt everyone’s intentions; you think everyone is out to get you, harm you, and leave you with even more scars, so you guard your heart with layers of sarcasm, stoicism, and an unnecessary dose of humour. It’s your defense mechanism, a shield forged from fear of vulnerability; it’s your way of keeping everyone at arm’s length.


It’s vile and viscous; it’s almost like the flames of a blazing fire scorching everything in its way, especially you, the holder. You hold onto this feeling, clinging, too scared to let go because you know you’ve held on for too long, and now there’s nothing to hold on to because you’ve been burned to ashes; you’re hollow, a shell of your former self.

                                                      * * *

They tell you time heals, which is only half the truth; it’s almost cruel to hold back the rest. Time alone cannot heal. It’s the dedicated effort we pour into our wounds, the daily cleansing and care that allows scars to form – testaments to our strength and resilience. Time and efforts made are what mend a broken soul

With nothing but the remains of the person you once were and a lot of time, like a phoenix, you rise up from the ashes, not alone, of course, but with the help of people who remind you what it is to be happy, to laugh, and to let your smile reach your eyes to love and be loved.

It’s a vicious circle, —the transitioning from self-hatred to self-acceptance—but it’s the path to true growth, a chance to blossom into the person we were meant to be.

So, to the warrior battling within: I know self-forgiveness is hard, but trust me, let go of the burdens of past mistakes. They don’t define you. Open your heart, not with reckless abandon, but with cautious optimism. Most importantly, allow room for laughter and happiness. Let joy seep back into the cracks, for life is a constellation woven with stars and dark sky. Remember, hate is a heavy cloak that burdens only the wearer. Shed it and choose to love your

self instead. 

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Pencilmarks and Scribbles Magazine was founded in 2017 by Clara Jack to be a home for African writers, asking them to come as they are and giving them room for growth. The publication aims to give back to the Nigerian Literary scene for the things it has given us.