The sacrificial time of the year thus known as Lent and the ‘most awesome Bank Holiday weekend ever’ otherwise referred to as Easter seems to be an epoch when one is forced into giving up a vice or a guilty pleasure such as scarfing down 100 grams of dark chocolate every evening or downing half a bottle of red wine after a long day ‘working in the salt mines’.
Alternatively, it could be viewed as a time where one makes a positive addition to a repertoire of semi-formed goals like a brisk 30-minute walk in the park situated opposite the comfortable confines of one’s domicile.
To some members of society, Easter is considered to be an era of change, when an individual strives to transform themselves into a better version of their former self; an ideal that can occassionally be so far removed from current reality that failure to reach these standards set by oneself wouldn’t be so devastating. For example, if you don’t end up trudging through the rain, snow, scorching sun, hail or sleet to your local Fitness First or Virgin Active umpteen hours a week to get Jessica Biel’s shapely butt or the sculpted abs of Joe Manganiello.
Despite one’s unique interpretation of Easter, the main message of the time is this – there is a reconciliation of souls to a higher purpose and a shedding of the old for the new. Hopefully, my next story is able to explain exactly what I mean.
Liberation Within Confinement
Easter Monday 2014 was Hell on Earth (Just. Keep. Reading). In one instant, life as I knew it was erased in the blink of an eye. At 1.30pm, on the streets of Lagos, I was the one and only victim of a road traffic accident that completely altered my reality. The excruciating pain, the devastation and the feeling of helplessness that engulfed my entire being arising from the inability to panic because I knew each stolen moment that went by lying on the pavement and out of the safe hands of a qualified medical professional were moments that I could not afford to waste.
After five days within the Nigerian health system, subjected to nights of terror in poorly-lit, over-crowded, mosquito-ridden hospital rooms and unfortunate run-ins with unscrupulous administrators trying to squeeze hard-earned Naira from my grief-stricken family, I was flown out in an air ambulance to undergo a five-hour surgery in a North West London-based hospital.
To my dismay, the prognosis given was a complete spinal cord injury that in ‘doctor-speak’ meant a lifetime of paralysis.
From Heartbreak Hotel to SunShine Inn
How can I possibly convey in words the crippling fear and agony that I felt hearing this news? To me, Easter was now synonymous with dread, doom and uncertainty, but after nearly a year filled with hours of intense physiotherapy, another seven and half hours spent under the surgical knife and countless tears shed, Easter 2015 means something entirely different. I have emerged from the crysallis, ready to experience what life still has to offer. I seemed to have experienced revelations of a supernatural love that transcends time and space, offering an alternative perspective to my diagnosis – using it as an opportunity to show that an affliction can translate to freedom from the old and a step towards a nuanced, indescribable place of peace and joy.
This year, Easter is a period where I have conquered the physical confinements of paralysis and can look forward to a transformatative journey that will end in total restoration and healing.
To end on a high note, no matter what the looking-glass is; be it religious or secular, try and see this time as a resurrection and salvation in the most basic sense. Utter words of positive affirmation to oneself and others around you. Be A New You.
Happy Easter everyone and may the days be ever in your favour.