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Toluwanimi Adeduro – “Mentally Aware”

“How are you doing, Shalewa?” she asked.

‘Tired and drained. Exhausted even.’ 

That’s really what I want to say. 

But why bother when I can already guess your reply, 

“You’d be fine.” 

“You should be more grateful for what you have.”

“Everything would be fine, eventually.”

Any of those. 

And if I’m lucky enough, there’d be the dreaded look of pity in your eyes. 


In truth, I can’t blame you. 

How do I explain how out of control I feel, some of the time. All of the time?

How I absolutely resent myself for things I really know are out of my control.

How do I justify my unconscious withdrawal at random times?

How do I defend the tears that come with no logical reason?

And my need for consistent reassurance?

How about my pathetic fear for the unknown, how do I express that to you? 

I’m miserable, I know that. 

I just don’t want you to know how much.


And that’s not even all.

How do I tell you about my numerous insecurities and constant self-loathing? 

How do I explain this bitterness towards everyone for not noticing how unhappy I am?

I know I shouldn’t give you the duty of attempting to fix a broken soul. 

So I’d set that aside.

How about these voices in my head? How do I tell you about those?

All I want is silence. Some sort of peace.


“Very fine, thank you”, this is the reply I finally go with. 

Might even go the extra mile and put in my rehearsed smile. 

I am fine.

If not now, hopefully soon.


Photo by Zoya Loonohod on Unsplash

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