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Ibukunoluwa Ajayi: Finding Strength In Adversity

During that same hospitalization, I was in bed and my mum had gone to speak to her friend’s help, who wanted to run away. My mum was across the street from the hospital and I felt the urge to vomit. The bell button to call the nurse’s attention was on the wall, far away from my bed. I had to either vomit on my bed and sit in it until someone found me, or get up and walk to the bell, carrying the drip stand with the cannula in my leg. I made the tough choice and walked to the bell. Remember I was weak. The choice to walk to the bell came from the strength I had gained previously.

Ibukun Ajayi

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The idea for this article came a few weeks ago. I was sitting at my balcony and I wanted to go into the house. To do that, I had to carry my laptop, wrapper, the stool I sat on, and the bottle of water I was drinking. There was no one to help me because I was home alone on sick leave. I didn’t want to make the trip into the house twice, so I found a way to carry it all. While walking into the sitting room with everything, the thought “Strength in Weakness” came to my mind. Years and years of having to help myself while in the hospital or stuck at home had prepared and strengthened me for days when I had no one around to help me.

The title sounds impractical, right? It seems unlikely that you can find strength and resolve when faced with life’s issues, when they come in numbers. At that moment, when you’re swimming in crisis, you probably want to give up. Your thoughts center on the question, why me?

Growing up to learn that I had sickle cell, and then having to live with it as my reality, was very difficult for me. Not only did I have this life-threatening disease, but it additionally meant that I was at risk for loads of other illnesses. I had to manage my health, school, peer pressure, self-esteem, and a host of other things. It was a lot for a young girl to handle.

I remember a time I had to be in the hospital. The doctors needed to set a line through my vein, using a cannula so I would receive fluids and blood, because my blood level was low. The doctors and nurses couldn’t find any vein to use in my arms; this was a regular occurrence whenever I fell ill. But in this case, time wasn’t on my side, so they had to look at other parts of my body they could find a vein to use.

They found one on the foot of my right leg and asked to use it, but I wasn’t in agreement at all. The options were that I either let them use my leg to save my life, or the illness deteriorated. I knew I didn’t have a choice. But it was hard to find the strength to let the doctors put a cannula on my leg; if you know what a cannula is, you’d understand my reluctance. The nurses and my uncles that were present had to restrain me so that the doctor could use the vein in my leg. I cried and screamed throughout the whole ordeal, but after it was over, I knew I had unlocked another level of strength.

You know how when you play mobile phone games like Temple Run and Candy Crush, and you need to survive one level of difficulty before you can advance to the next level? That’s how it is when you face an issue or a mountain of issues and you come out with a greater level of strength.

During that same hospitalization, I was in bed and my mum had gone to speak to her friend’s help, who wanted to run away. My mum was across the street from the hospital and I felt the urge to vomit. The bell button to call the nurse’s attention was on the wall, far away from my bed. I had to either vomit on my bed and sit in it until someone found me, or get up and walk to the bell, carrying the drip stand with the cannula in my leg. I made the tough choice and walked to the bell. Remember I was weak. The choice to walk to the bell came from the strength I had gained previously.

We celebrate Easter soon, thanks to a man who found strength in the face of adversity to do the impossible. His strength in time of weakness gives us strength today to carry on. They say God never sends us that which he hasn’t equipped us to handle. So whenever you’re faced with loads of problems and you feel like a drowning man, remember the former and find the strength within you to overcome.

At the moment, I am juggling work, my health, an MBA program, personal commitments, and a host of other things; trust me it hasn’t been easy. Here are a few tips that have helped me:

Tackle one problem at a time
Don’t take on too much at once, it will only compound the situation. Instead, tackle the issues as they come, and don’t focus on what ifs. I read somewhere that anxiety is literally just conspiracy theories about yourself.

Come up for air
When it all seems too much, take a break. Distract yourself by doing something fun that’ll take your mind off the problems at hand.

Ask for help
Enlist the help of those around you. It’s okay to be tired sometimes. There’s nothing wrong in asking for help. It doesn’t mean you are weak. Rather, there’s strength in admitting that you need help.

Always remember that every adversity unlocks a new level of strength inside you.

Happy Easter!

Ibukunoluwa Imabong-abasi Ajayi is a Content Developer, Writer, Model, and Motivational speaker. She studied Business Administration at the University of Lagos but has always loved writing. A lover of movies, music, and great conversations. Follow her on Instagram @theimabong and She can be reached for talks and commentary at [email protected]"

6 Comments

  1. didi

    April 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    God bless you, what a wonder woman you are.

    2
  2. Tolu

    April 19, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    I’d like to add one thing. If all fails, go through the pain. There will be an end to it, and you will come out stronger. Sometimes we prolong our suffering because we try to avoid it. Sometimes there is no other way.

    1
  3. Bisi

    April 19, 2019 at 7:38 pm

    Beautiful story well said dear, God never give us more than what we can handle. When you stop looking at what you can’t do but rather, you struggle to get it done all by yourself you are EMPOWER.

    1
  4. Tessy

    April 19, 2019 at 8:37 pm

    There is a saying that “Though times don’t last but though people do” May the Lord stair you a miracle that is greater than your needs and will last past your time of want. Your article indeed in a blessing and you have been a source of strength.

    1
  5. Mayowa

    April 19, 2019 at 10:50 pm

    I get so overwhelmed when there’s so much I need to do and give up, forgetting that I can take it a step at a time. Thanks for the reminder!

    1
  6. Linda

    April 20, 2019 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks for these sincere ,encouraging and wise words. Cheers to more strength!

    1

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