How My Mental Illness Helped Me Find The Love Of My Life

Mental illness is something that has affected me throughout most of my life; it’s just that I never really knew what ‘normal’ was, so I didn’t know anything was wrong until I reached my twenties.

I’ve always been a high achiever, but I’m also a real perfectionist about things; anything from the way I look, to how I might perceive someone’s comments. I always tried to be the best; not because I wanted to be better than everyone else, but because I felt like I was never good enough.

Despite being the outgoing girl who was always full of smiles, and was friends with everyone, everything I did was plagued by the constant voice in my head which told me I just wasn’t good enough. And I was completely unable to talk about how I felt. I was scared to tell anyone throughout school, university and later work, in case I would be judged or my prospects hindered. But one Christmas Eve, in my mid-twenties, my mum realized she had to do something, and booked me an appointment with my General Practitioner.

By this time, I had everything any young woman my age could ask for; I had made a successful start to my career, acquired a collection of lovely shoes and handbags, fostered a fun loving group of friends and was always the life and soul of the party. But on the inside, I was willing myself not to be here anymore.

In true ‘me’ style, I turned up to the GP appointment with my makeup perfectly done, wearing a nice outfit and not a hair out of place, because I couldn’t face stepping outside the house without that protection. I was sent away with a prescription for the anti depressants of the moment, told there was a long waiting list for counseling, and was left with the feeling I would just have to continue plodding along.

I was terrified of admitting there was something wrong with me

But after a few months, I finally decided to make use of my private health care. So I gatheredĀ up the courage to put a call through, and was given an appointment two days later to go to the Priory to see a psychiatrist. There, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder and Mixed Depression and Anxiety, and was initially admitted as a day patient for two weeks.

mental illness

I was terrified of having to tell work why I wouldn’t be in, because it meant admitting there was something wrong with me. But they were very understanding, and off to the Priory I went.

I’ll admit, I was naive about it. I thought two weeks as a day patient would wave some kind of magic wand, and that I was going be ‘cured’. Well, it didn’t work like that, and after the initial two weeks I was taken in for a month as a residential patient for intensive treatment.

It was during this time that I met Tunde. At the Priory, you get given a timetable of sessions to go to, not dissimilar to school, and Tunde just happened to be in the same group therapy session as me. He was in the Priory as a day patient, recovering from depression, and so he only seemed to pop in and out occasionally.

mental illness

Eventually we became friendly with each other, and then one day….

….to be continued in the next post.


  1. The mental health issue is really something that needs to be given more attention in Nigeria. Many shy away from it. However, this is an interesting story!! I await the rest of it.