Instead of a poem today, I want to share my story, my journey to self-love, I love myself now and that’s not a secret.
I never used to think about how I looked, I was okay as best as I could be, till four years ago.
I developed a tiny boil kind of mark on my face, being the clumsy person I am, I thought it must have been from my Kitchen accidents, I have quite a record in little accidents here and there, so I never gave it much thought. A week later, I had more than 25 boil-like things on my face, neck and back.
They hurt like burns and sure looked like burns too, I didn’t think much on the scars because one, I panicked and a couple of Google Searches later I was sure I had skin cancer,(Never again playing Doctor on Google).
A Doctor’s trip later, I was diagnosed with an allergic reaction to a Cold Medicine I was using.
It was only after leaving the Doctor’s that I realised the depth of the reaction, I had boil like burns all over my face and arms, How was I gonna go out?
My Mama let me rest for 2 days as I prepped myself into leaving the safety of my home, my own siblings were disgusted by the marks, my little brother afraid of me and moreover, I hated how I looked.
With the little Courage I had, I put on a face veil (Niqaab), and boarded the bus to school. Prepping myself I removed it upon reaching School Grounds.
Many friends failed me that time, I felt the stares, saw the pointing fingers and heard the rumours.
Apparently, I was in a gang fight and got acid thrown on me (Cases had been heard of this occurring), I was cooking and spilt oil on myself, (My clumsiness was popular), I had bleached myself and possibly earned a spot on Blotched! (Face bleaching and backfires are popular everywhere).
Most thought it best to come up with their own theories. A close friend, was the first to approach me and ask me what had happened, after the rumours spinning everywhere, I was happy to tell her.
I lost many friends and got stares as I passed by, It was weirdly fascinating for people as much as it was painful for me. I got a teacher who “felt pitiful to everybody who saw me” I was a scene from a horror movie to her, and one who “hoped I did not come out home looking like that,”. To say I was feeling down is an understatement.
I struggled with pretending those words didn’t hurt, I got many more, but from those I least expected.
Two weeks later, with the burns still up and raging, a trip to another Derma proved that I had a skin condition called Bullous Pemphigoid or a relative of it.
Due to the heavy dosages of steroids, I gained weight hard and fast, pairing the scars with extra weight.
Then crushing me were the fat comments, I couldn’t fit into my jeans, nor my dresses. I had chipmunk cheeks and gained more in a month than people gain in a year.
A ‘Counsellor’ called me out in class telling me “to go easy on the food, I was fat”
Reclusive and quiet I became from the Bubbly Cheery me that I once was.
Family picked on my weight, Aunties gave me tips on how to lose fat fast, everyone compared me to my sister, and to my previous self.
I started starving myself, I stopped eating at home and skipped meals in school. I continued having meds on an empty tummy, just making sure I had enough not to feel faint. When forced to it I would chuck it down the first washroom I came across.
Instead of losing weight, I gained more and more.
I realised one day, that words will never affect me so long as I do not let them.
Slowly by slowly, I accepted myself, and my scars and my body.
I was scarred and broken, but I was also me.
I fell in love with myself as long as I knew, I would never let words hurt me and define me.
I let out most negativity in my life, stopped responding to fat jokes and cut out those dragging me down.
With the help of My Lord, I learned to love me, myself and I.
Dhubba (Large Beast) became a nick name and less of an insult.
I grew the courage to stop wearing heavy make up as a cover up when I left home.
Don’t just love my smile, love me, my scars, my flaws.
Contrary to what people say, I believe my scars and my past define me, without them I don’t have a story to tell, I lose myself and who I am.
They remind me of what I have passed through and what I have gone through, I am stronger than what I struggled with, I fought and I won, scarred but I won.
They shaped me to who I am today, all the little imperfections that make me imperfectly perfect.
To all those quick to judge someone on their appearances, Bless your little hearts if you think your judgements reflect another’s story, your thinking defines you, you as a person and as a human, next time don’t voice your opinions when they are totally unasked for, Kindly do keep the negativity to yourself, you do not know me, nor do you know my story.
Yes, I currently am a fat happy person, with scars on me, but I am who I am and I love me.
Next time I want extra potatoes, I will have extra potatoes with extra cheese.
I myself define me.
I choose to either live in negativity or positive vibes.
I choose my own path
I alone am responsible for my happiness.
I will not, never again, give somebody the power to bring me down.
For I love myself and I took a pledge.
When I stumble and fall
When I stammer and stop
When I get tired of reaching out
When I lose more than just myself
And I lose some more
And I feel so helpless
And so tired
Exhausted from it all
Bow down and pray
Seek His guidance
Ask Him for patience
Have Patience, Dear Heart
Be Calm, Dear Heart
It only needs tearing down, before it becomes stronger
Verily after hardship there is ease
After trouble comes better times
Be patient, Dear Heart
When I’m about to give up
Remind me of the good days
Remind me of the happy times
Let me remember the beauty of life
The blessings I still have.
When I tear down, patch me up
When I fall, get me back up
When I frown, make me smile
Remind me, Dear Heart.
And be patient.
In facing whatever hardships you are going through remember to be patient, bow down your head and pray, pray till it gets better and when it does, pray some more.
Like a stabbing pain
A heartless move
A painful encounter
A dead memory
When you don’t matter anymore
A blow direct to the heart
A never ending nightmare for the mind
A killing jab
When you don’t matter anymore
I’d have dealt with being ignored
But the look in your eyes,
I don’t matter anymore.
On an empty stomach
Holding a dying baby,
No doctors in sight
I shall Vote
As my brother falls in battle
And my cows to their deaths
And as my crops dry up
No worries, I shall vote.
As hunger and famine plague me
And the rivers dry up
Water, but a passing memory
I shall Vote.
I shall vote for one,
Who cares about me and my children
Me and my needs
Me, the common Mwananchi
For I shall Vote.
For one honest and true
Just and wise
Humane and a true leader
I shall Vote hungry, thirsty and sick
But nevertheless, I shall vote.