Abdulbasit Abubakar Adamu who is popularly known as AB Wordsmith is a writer, storyteller and journalist living in Kaduna, Nigeria. He is currently a Mentor and the Social Media Director for Poetic Wednesdays; an online literary movement aimed at improving literary activities in Nigeria.
When I recently posted on World Poetry Day that I just recently understood how to fully utilise the use of poems as tools for therapy, I got a lot of ohhhs and ahhs; raised eyebrows, unprecedented stares and weird glances. How is it that I would have been writing for almost a decade and I haven’t written any way to purge out my emotions, feelings or a particular state of mind I wanted to put on a paper. The consistent answers have been, “I don’t know”. And I truly don’t. But is it then in any way possible that a person has for a very long time been numb to sadness. Like the life is just lived with no particular consistency to a reoccurring sadness? The sadness doesn’t actually come at its usual form but just as a fleeting discomfort. A sinking shadow of emotions that come and go and never stay long enough for you to understand them or feel them or even attach a designation to them. So I started to ask myself what really happened that has got me to start taking poetry as a therapy journey, purging out my emotions on paper and pen and look at it the paper like it was my mirror, reflecting my feelings, my actions, my mistakes, my fears, my triumphs, my doings and misdoings. I am yet to find a definite answer. But I have seen clues, notes, pointer and arrows that point to the fact that a lot has been happening in my life that has been bringing about a transformation; finding love, meeting people, heartbreaks, crisis, choices, deuces, lost, aches, desires, wants, growths and disappointments. I started to understand that as a human, some day, emotions start to cripple in and settle with you. No matter how you like to live alone or you decide to, you are never really alone, you have consistent companions whether called upon or not; anxiety, happiness and joy and all of their far cousins. So before you know it, your body has become a refugee camp, an extended family of explosive feelings, emotions and sadness. This critical period has gotten me sad and afraid severally. I had to at one time stop myself from watching the news at some times to run away from what I fear, an outcome that will wipe us all out of the surface of this earth. Yesterday, fear held me so close, so tight I was literally looking for breath, for air, for a little life. I panicked so much and at one point I was just so sure I was not going to make it to the next day, I wrote a will and dropped it on my TV stand. I prayed and slept listening to Sheikh Mishari Al-Afasy and when I woke up this morning, I was shocked I was still alive. Very shocked even. I was just so sure I should be dead. But then I took it as Allah giving me more time to live, to be better, to strive and strive to be the best I can be and I am willing to do that. In this period, I understood what it feels like to be sad, to be angry, to be vexed and to be so afraid. It is now a language I have become very acquainted with. And I am willing to speak it more often as I can say I am becoming fluent in the language of sadness. I will speak more because as they say “one of the ways to conquer a people is to understand their language” so my way of fighting sadness is to be fluent in the language.