Final Notes

One.

This is how it begins. In this note, You are nine years old. It is night and there is a lot of darkness. You are on your bed sleeping. Your mind is empty. This is at the beginning of things before the mind developed a mind of its own. This is at an early stage. In this note, You are nine years old. And then the wind blows from the Sahara and camps in our compound. And it comes to your room and finds its way into your nostrils. And into your lungs. And You breathe it in. And You begin to gasp for breath. So here You am, nine years old, gasping for breath, your mouth wide open and your hands on your chest. You are gasping and You are gasping and then You are in the car and You are in the hospital and then there is a mask on your face and something like fresh air rushes into your lungs. And You can feel it. And there is a relief. And all of a sudden, You are whole. Your mother is sitting on the chair at the end of the corner, your eyes red and watery, your face a mournful one. 

The doctor speaks in codes. Asks your mother if she knew. My mother does not say yes or no, but she says a lot of words. The doctor does not wait. They (because You cannot remember if the doctor was male or female) confirm your mother’s worst fears. And then they give her some pink tablets. The words ‘salbutamol Ventolin’ will stick with you forever because that was the first time You would be hearing those words and they have become so important You cannot tell the story of your life without mentioning them.

Two.

In this one, You are much older. You are that odd boy in primary school who cannot play football because how can you play football when you cannot run and how can you run when you will lose your breath in five seconds? So You fail at football. And the few times You tried, You ended up in the doctor’s room or just embarrassing yourself and being a disgrace to your team.

You will remember the time in Primary 5 during the inter-house sports when You are representing Red House. You had already won the high jump with your long legs so they decided to put you in for the relay race. You were to run the last lap and use your long legs to win. And then You remember how your other teammates had tried their best and when the baton got to you, you were second. You took it and ran fast. You sped past the first person and soon, Red House was taking the lead. And few seconds to the finish line, You lost your breath and begin to gasp, and then You drop to your knees right there with the finishing line before you. And the second person ran past You, and the third, and the third. And so you come last. And You will never forget that day, and how everyone easily forgot how You brought home the trophy for the high jump. All they remembered was the relay race You did not win.

Three.

You are much older in this one too. In this one, You are the odd student who is always wearing masks to class in JS 3. Imagine somebody wearing masks back in 2011 when masks were not even a thing yet. And You had to because they had moved us from the good classroom of JS 2 to the uncompleted one of JS 3. They had not floored the class. Whenever they swept, that meant breathing in dust and breaking down. And so You begin to wear masks to class. And then your mother had to come to school to ask your class teacher, Mr. Adeyemo, to remove your name from the sweeping rooster. And then You became that ‘special boy’ who did not sweep and would be annoying to the other guys.

A memory comes to mind: you shivering in the class on a cold day and refusing to step out of the classroom and Akin trying to get you to step out because he was convinced that the sun would warm you. Such innocent acts of kindness are hard to forget.

Four

As you grow older, you begin to understand the nature of your problem and you take precautions and run away from your triggers. Like how you did not do labor throughout your senior secondary school until you became the labor prefect. And then you had no idea what they did at labor ground. Thank God for Jemil and Gbagi Omoghene – how would you have controlled those guys?

And then you leave that zone and enter the university and things are just the same. There are fewer crises here. You run away from them, like praying out in the cold around 3 am, like running from your hostel to Mainbowl because you did not want to be late, like attending classes in crowded places – which was everywhere in your university. And you survive university with like only seven attacks, one taking you to the hospital because all you did to breathe failed and you needed the machine.

Five

And so when, two days before Christmas, you wake up, write a three thousand words blogpost about your past lover in one hour, a blog post which will be the beginning of your undoing, and which you will never publish. But you do not know then so you send it to Favour to edit and then you sleep. And then around 7 pm, you begin to breathe very fast, extremely fast, you think, oh it is happening again. These lungs are failing. And because it’s been a long time, you are unprepared. So you step out of your room and you make to go to your friend who can help. Only, you do not go to your friend. You end up on the way to JP Clark’s city. And then you are walking from house to house, looking for what is not lost. And these people are calling and messaging and trying to get to Michael Inioluwa Oladele but this other guy has taken over. And so you are subdued for three hours while this other guy roams around. And finally, around 9 pm, you ask someone around you where you are and they mention the place. By then, you are on the call with Favour and she hears your voice. And says, “Oh, Ini. I read your blog post.” And you do not know what the hell that means but you know she is talking and you are asking her to come and pick you and at the same time you are waiting for Samuel, and you are sending pictures to Drop. And then Israel calls and you remember briefly and you ask, “Guy, kilonsele? What am I doing here?” But he does not get it too. And then you are crying and then the calls are coming in and you are getting so scared you can’t pick any of them and then Favour is on the phone. and you are asking where she is and why she has not come to pick you and she is calling you “Ini” over and over again and you don’t get it. And then your savior shows up in the distance, and she has to introduce herself to you because you may not remember. But you remember this one because there is so much connection. And you remember and you run to hug her and cry on her shoulders and you are asking her what is going on over and over again.

My God, how did we get here?

You are in this car that takes you to this room that you do not remember. And so you are talking to the twins on phone and you sound so lost because you are lost and they are trying to find you but you are buried deep beneath three thousand words of emotions that they cannot dig you out so fast. And the twins are sounding confused on the phone and so confusion meets confusion. Welcome to reality.

And then your savior says she is going to leave now and that you should sleep and that she promises she will be back here by 6 am. You nod and watch her go and leave you with this strange guy with blonde hair. And then you go to the bed to sleep. And the strange guy with blonde hair begins to play a song on the speaker and it is a song you will never be able to forget now. The lyrics are so simple, so basic, so heavenly:

Echoes in rain

Drifting in waves

Long journey home

Never too late

Black as a crow

Night comes again

Everything flows

Here comes another new day

Alleluia, alle-alle alleluia

Six

When you wake up, you remember the guy with the blonde hair. You remember the room. It takes you 90 minutes of sleep to come back to life. And then you sit up. And your friends are on video call asking to talk to you, all laughing and shouting happily. But you cannot look at their faces. Because you are ashamed. Because what the hell just happened for the past four hours? What the hell was that?

Seven

The first doctor tells you a story about how the mind works and he asks if you are married. You smile and say no. And he tells your mum to step outside and ask if you have a girlfriend. You tell him no but that there is someone you love. And the stars are shining. And then he asks more questions and more questions and writes things done and then he prescribes some medicine for you.

Eight

I often think antidepressants make you happy, like wildly happy and you can’t feel any sadness at all. But I have realized that they actually make you numb. You just don’t feel anything. You don’t feel sad. You don’t feel happy. You don’t feel love. You are just there, living life away without a sense of wonder. Or fear. Or care. You don’t give a single damn.

Nine.

The second doctor is a specialist. He also does not know what is wrong so he writes a diagnosis on his paper and adds a question mark. No one knows what it is but there are speculations and maybes. And when you see that this is not ending anytime soon, you decide to take the advice of the first doctor. The one who asks, “Are you a social media influencer or something?”

And so you choose peace. And you choose self-care. And you agree with him that you need to sacrifice some things, like maybe love, like maybe blogging, because sharing your deepest thoughts may be a trigger. And you try to find a way around it. Maybe you won’t share personal stuff. Maybe you will close the blog and start a newsletter. Maybe you’ll hand over the blog to Nwani while you’re away or something. But then, all that is not choosing yourself. All that is not self-care. You are still running away from sanity.

Ten

You return to the world gradually. You decide to write the final blog post before you leave. And then you remember those who left and never returned. Like how you were in 100 level then and were following a lot of blogs. Like Lively Twist, until she packs her things one day and leaves. And then you find solace in Ifenihinlola, thinking he would never leave you. and then he too leaves, without leaving a notice. And you miss him. You miss him so much you wish he would just come back and blog again.

And then you begin to read Emmanuel Faith and Michael Emmanuel. And you are happy. These two brothers writing their hearts again. Oh, what joy. And then life happens and they too leave. And then you meet the Twin and you think, this one will never leave me. And then she leaves too, only to come once in a blue moon to say hello and leave again. And then there’s Dunni, who left without looking back. And then Lewa

And then you damn it and open your own blog and promise to never leave, to never spend years building a house, and then when you finally bring in guests, you decide to walk away. And you begin in 2016, renting space on mikeinioluwa.wordpress.com.

And then in 2019, you decide to buy your own house and bring in the readers. And you get michaelinioluwa.com. And you bring everyone in and they come and sip wine with you. And it is all sweet. And you get a pet frog. And everyone loves him. 

And then one morning around 5 am, you are chatting with Kemi and you tell her you might close down the blog. And she says why? And you say you think it’s time. But she tells you not to close it, tells you the beautiful things your blog is doing to people. And you rethink it.

And then you tell Drop you want to stop blogging too. And she tells you not to. And you think, I am not going to.

But two days to Christmas, you write a blog post and suddenly you can’t find yourself again. And when you wake up, you know: it’s time.

Eleven.

I sometimes wonder what happens to all those who left and never returned. Was this what happened? Did they just get tired of sharing their thought? Or did something shitty happen to them that threatened to break them and they just had to leave? What happened to you? Did you break? Did you get busy? Did life happen? Please tell me.

Twelve.

For you. This is not the jacuzzi we dreamed about. But I am trying to delete the past two months from my head without deleting the good part but it is not working. I guess that’s not how the ‘format’ button works. And these meds…these meds got me feeling nothing. Absolutely nothing. And I fear it will remain like this for long. And even if it does not, when I return, I will not want to remember the past two months. The trauma has latched itself on to something that could have been. Those two months are now Horcruxes. 

Here is how Passenger puts it:

Lover, oh my lover

I know I’m not easy to understand

Cover, darling take cover

For I am the sandstorm

And you are the sand

Last night is painful in hindsight

Like a drunk in a bar fight

Ashamed and alone

You’re like a fox in the headlights

Running out through the dark night

Silent as stone

Lover, oh my lover

I’ve never been easy to understand

Cover, darling take cover

For I am the sandstorm

And you are the sand

Well lover, oh my lover

I know I’m not easy to understand

Cover, my darling take cover

For I am the sandstorm

And you are the sand

I don’t know what the future holds. But I don’t have a lot of hope right now. I am just trying to survive without losing my head.

Thirteen.

Thank you everyone. 

Thank you Lewa, because I can never forget how much care you have shown me so far. However this ends, thank you. 

Thank you Israel and Samuel and Della and Daniel and Tosin for being the best of friends, because shit could have happened that night without you guys. 

Thank you Moyo for saying, “I’m sorry you had to go through all that.”

Thank you Flower for saying, when I said, “We always knew this was coming.” for saying, “But not this bad…not this bad.”

Thank you Favour for understanding. 

Thank you Emmanuel Faith for understanding, as always.

Thank you Twins. You, for being confused and asking this one to come and talk to her friend o. And you, for coming out the next morning to see me at Oduduwa Foyer and talk to me about things. How that we are not odd. We are not strange. How that science connects the dots. How that this is the price we have to pay. . 

Thank you Drop. Thank you for being here.

This is where it ends guys. I have really loved doing this, blogging, coming every other day to share my thoughts. From the days of no comments, to the days of too many comments I could not even reply. From the days of just people I knew commenting, to the days of people I didn’t even know commenting. From the days of no follower, to about a thousand. I have loved every bit of this. This is where I close the stage and they draw the curtains. Maybe I will return here in a few years to come. But I know that it cannot be this year. This is the last blog post you will find here in 2021. I am going to keep the blog site up for those who love to dwell on memories. But no posts. I will share less of my personal life this year.

I am everywhere else but here from now on. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn.

Send me a mail at mikeinioluwa@gmail.com

Send me a message on WhatsApp here +2347037147081. I don’t often dwell there but I’ll see you.

I love you and I want to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts in the comments. When did you start reading this blog? What is your favorite post of all? How do you feel? If you’ve never commented before, now is the time to.

I have written this with all my love. Goodbye (for now?)

Picture: Unsplash.

55 thoughts on “Final Notes

  1. I’m so sorry you had to go through all of those, Inioluwa.
    But I want to say a big THANK YOU for sharing YOU on the sheets of this blog post.
    Your posts have really helped me in my writing journey and it’s been a safe haven for me whenever I want to read cool, real pieces.
    My best part of this blog are the non fiction pieces and the Adventure series “into the wild.” I love them all.
    Thank you and even though you might not return here, I hope that you keep staying fine and keep choosing peace no matter what.
    Thank you once again and I love you too.

  2. Thank you so much Michael for sharing this part of you with the world. I will miss this. Keep doing YOU the best and the safest way you can.

  3. Thank you for sharing you with us, Michael.
    You’ve been so much more to me than you could possibly see or admit.

    You’ve communicated with me, encouraged me and I’ve given me hope without even knowing it.

    Please love you every step of the way.

  4. Thank you for sharing you with us, Michael.
    You’ve been so much more to me than you could possibly see or admit.

    You’ve communicated with me, encouraged me and have given me hope without even knowing it.

    Please love you every step of the way.

  5. I tried to get distracted reading this but I couldn’t deal. You’re strong so you went through all these, came out as fire and chose yourself first— understanding that you cannot care for others when you haven’t cared for yourself. You deserve peace, joy and love with all the good things in life. Here, you have it.🕊

  6. Tears filled my eyes as I was reading the story.
    You are a strong being
    Stay fine, take care of yourself and have peace!

  7. I really don’t know what to say, Michael. I’m sorry you had to go through all those and I’m glad you came out choosing yourself.

    Thank you for all your blog posts, Michael. Thank you for pouring yourself out while you did, and thank you for choosing peace when you had to choose.

    I’ve cried while reading your posts, I’ve laughed while reading them too. I’ve related to your posts and I’ve had to try to understand some. Thank you for the blog, Michael.

    Please, take care of yourself Michael.
    Choose peace always.
    🕊️

  8. Thank You, Micheal.

    Only been here in a short while but you inspire me.
    My favorite is the 21 laws of feminism, prior to when I read it I had zero to none knowledge about feminism.

    Thank You for choosing peace.

  9. The bad me wants to get angry at you for leaving but good will always win. So, have a sweet and splendid journey ahead. I wish you well.

  10. Was a read worthwhile. Thank you so much Michael for all your posts. I’m sorry you had to go through all this. Just be fine

  11. Thanks Michael, I have watched and listened in silence. Now, all I can say is SALEM. I hope it makes meaning to you as it does to me in the direst of times.

  12. Thank you for sharing this Micheal.

    Thank you for reminding us to always choose ourselves first.
    Thank you for choosing peace. You deserve it. You deserve Joy and genuine happiness,.

    I’m very sorry you went through all of these, and I want to remind you that you’re strong, you’re so strong, Michael . The one and only Oriade I know.

    Oh!, I’ll miss your writings, you write so well! You’re one amazing writer.

    You’re deeply loved.
    Cheers to serenity❤

  13. Inioluwa. I’m so sorry, so sorry. I wish I could somehow wrap you in a hug and cocoon you from all of this, but I can’t and I’m sorry. I’m glad you’re stepping away, if it’s what you need to survive right now.

    Thank you for sharing yourself with us, for sharing this space with us. We met around this time last year across this space, remember? That blog post “In The End, There Were Girls and Many Sorrows” will always be a personal favourite. Thank you Inioluwa ❤️. I hope that light embraces you, and you have peace.

  14. Wow! I can’t imagine what it took for you to do this but all I can say is, such strength and boldness.

    I would miss your blog post. I really can’t remember when I started to read it, but I know when I started, I got glued to it and went back to read everyone I had missed.

    Thanks for this.

  15. Wowww, what else can I say than; thank you for touching lives with your blog posts. It’s a great decision you’ve made to choose peace. Keep winning. You’ve won already.

  16. This took courage, Inioluwa.
    I can never forget the words I read in this blog and how I felt reading it.
    I love you, keep choosing peace ✨

  17. I got to know about your blog within a short time frame and I must say it’s been really impactful and helpful. Thanks for always sharing and pouring out on this space.
    Really sorry you went through all this.
    Keep being strong and loyal.
    Wish you well.

  18. I asked you why you wanted to stop blogging before I came to read this up and now, all I can say is, you’ve done what’s best for you. Thank you for everything Michael. “There were girls and many sorrows” would continue to be my best blog post from you cos of how deep I could resonate with it. I sincerely hope you come back someday and I hope you get all the happiness in this world cos you deserve it. I also hope you find peace, joy and true love. Thank you for sharing everything with us here. You’re valued and you’re loved.

  19. I have this lump In my throat and I can barely swallow. I don’t know what to say. ORIADE FOREVER🕊️ (I said it wakanda style)

  20. Ini ❤️
    I find these words by Robert Frost apt:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference.
    (I hope we find peace on all the paths we choose… keep writing though, however you choose to, you’re brilliant!)

  21. I’m here for the first time and I’ve been hooked. I’ve never read anything as real, thank you! I’m glad you chose yourself.

  22. This will be my first time reading your post. Thank you for being strong and sharing bits of you. I wish you peace and love on this journey they’re embarking on✨✨

  23. I shed more than a tear or two while reading this. I’m so sorry you had to go through all that. Who would have known that you had such struggles all this while? But I’m really glad you had people looking out for you in your corner.

    Thank you for the good this blog has done. It gave me room to share some of the darkest moments of my life. And I found peace while doing that. I also enjoyed reading your beautifully crafted stories about everything and nothing.
    I totally understand the need for you to do this. And i hope you find peace and get better too.
    You’re strong. You’ll always be.
    Thank you Daddy Pepe

  24. Wow! Just wow!!!
    It was double effort for me not to get so teary while reading through.
    Michael, you are resilient. And I am happy you chose peace and self care ultimately.

    Your blog has to be one my bests, I always always enjoy reading through. I got to know about your blog last year, so I haven’t read so many of them; the “Relationship and Love” series is one of those I followed and I had many lessons to learn from.

    Thank you, Michael! I will definitely miss your posts here. And I hope that you perhaps return someday. Most importantly, that you are happy and at peace, always! ❤

  25. Michael, I really don’t know what comment to leave here. I’d start by reminding you just how strong you are and how your stories and poems has inspired me to write.

    It’s sad you had to go through all of those and still come back like nothing happened. It’s sad you had to go through all of those at a very young age.

    I am happy you choose peace. Be good now, be good always.

    Godspeed.

  26. Hey Mike, thank you for being strong for you and us, thank you for showing us how normal we are.

    I can only say PEACE, PEACE and PEACE.
    We love you and wish you a beautiful life.

  27. Hi Oriade,
    My first time here and I really can’t find the right words to describe it here.
    Thank you for sharing your story.
    Thank you for choosing you at this time.
    Embrace peace, every bit of it.
    You, Inioluwa Michael are the real deal.

  28. This broke me for you, I know that I cannot truly understand how it all went, but it just shows what an amazing person you are. I am sorry you had to go through all that, thank God you had friends. And thank you for taking time out for yourself

  29. It’s the strength for me too and sorry you had to go through all of that.

    This is the second time, I am reading from you, the first was an open letter to OL and I enjoyed reading through.

    I wish you rest, peace and all the very best.

  30. Michael, thank you for writing this!!
    Whichever part you’re taking from hence, I’m rest assured that you’d be fine.

    You have amazing friends who’d ensure that and never leave your sight. Take care💕

  31. Dear Inioluwa, thank you for being strong. Thank you for allowing us come into your world and giving us the privilege to see things from a different side.
    Thank you for choosing yourself, for choosing peace.
    May true friends never leave your side.

  32. Oríadé,
    Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts and experiences all this while,
    I must say Oríadé is a strong man,
    Do take care of yourself and Pepe,

    Ufuoma,
    Àlàáfíà

  33. I opened my browser this morning, and had the most touching few minutes of my life. The only reason I didn’t tear up is because I’m not alone. I do not even know who on my status shared the link to the blog but I’m just really impressed. Quite painful I didn’t get to know about the site until this farewell post. But really, guy, whoever you are, my heart reaches out to you. I admire and envy your gift and strength. Stay sane guy! I love you already.🌚🌚

  34. Wow..! Inioluwa

    Speechless I thought I would be
    But reasons crept into my mind
    The YOU shows the definition of hope
    As much as I appreciate the hope I cultivated, this YOU tells me i can hope more than I do

    Your goodbye here seems to welcome me back
    I indeed will have to steal from your creative torch to lighten my script.

    I have absolute trust in the future, because I trust the eyes of the future being you are. Whose eyelashes bat off the dust of history & pupils that pierce through writings.

    PEACE BE STILL!

  35. This is heartbreaking (not the part of you leaving but the story itself) I wish you good and the best of God in life.
    Know that even if you decide to come back, we’ll always be here to welcome you.
    Take care

  36. To think I was wondering where you’ve been in the past weeks. I started reading your blog mid last year and each article has been insightful. Thank you for sharing as much as you did of yourself. Even this final notes (or not) has a lot of lessons. The question “how are you” now has to go beyond the customary lines. Take care of yourself. Light on your path!

  37. We choose some things, but at some point, they stop choosing us. And when that happens, we have to leave.

    At least you had the decency to say goodbye, that was a lot more than a lot of us could afford, and that is beautiful. Power and life to you, Michael, you’re doing amazing❤

  38. Micheal, (I decided to remove the senior in front just this one time, feels weird tho) I started reading your blog when I needed a safe haven, it showed me you were human after all and I wasn’t in this all alone.
    And you did teach me a lot of things and I’m so sorry you have to go through all that,
    I love you Micheal.
    Thank you for this blog
    Thank you.
    Thank you Micheal.
    💖 💡.

  39. Thank you Michael for creating this space and sharing a part of you that no one knows. You could have decided to leave the space without any notice however you have honored your readers by sharing this decision with us. It is a hard decision that has left me speechless however, choosing self peace is paramount. I really do wish you well in your newly found resolution. Love and Light from here. Peace!

  40. What a way to say good bye Michael, I’m sorry you have to go through all that. Thanks for impacting lives, thanks for choosing peace. I so much love the “into the wild” series, thank you so much, you’re loved.

  41. There is the good side of us that we show to the world, and they love us for it. There is the not-so-good side that is revealed to our closest kin and dearest friends, and they love us despite it. And then there is the core part of ourselves that only we know- and would keep learning to know as we live; the part that shows the rough edges, and true beauty of being human.
    Thank you, Michael, for showing us all of these parts in your writings. Your decision here is highly respected. It is most courageous, most beautiful, and of course this space would be sorely missed. Stay blessed.❤️

  42. Wow! This is a lot.
    I’ve only read one of your post before and I plan on going through the rest right now.

    I’m so sorry you had to go through all this Michael… The fact that you were still able to share with us on this space proves that you’re strong indeed.

    Remain strong Michael!
    You’ll pull through this.

  43. Omoooooo
    Thank you Ini for all the years of sharing bits of your life with us. I pray that you find peace and happiness. I love you, Ini. You are such an amazing writer. Looking forward to more of your writings.

    PS: I owe you a hug the next time that we see.

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