To remain broken isn’t mandatory…

Hello. My name is Moïse Mensah, @instamensah on Instagram, I’m a Frenchman, college student of 25 and I’m sending you my life story. It’s a story of survival, resilience and resurgence from hell to bliss:

As the youngest of a blended family of ten, I had the joy to live a decent life with my two older siblings. However, I went through many hardships in life : from an infant condemned to die early due to a disease which left me in intensive care for the first year of infancy, I defied the odds and survived eventually. From here, my parents thought I was somebody special. And maybe they were right. When I was 2, I learned how to read and write. At 6, I knew all the capitals of the world and had English skills. My teachers got me to do psychological tests : it revealed a 132 IQ and ADHD. I grew up as a spunky, quick-witted kid but I was very hot-tempered and brash. In the meantime, I developed anger issues which got me in trouble. I was awfully violent with my peers despite an apparent light-heartedness. To other people and my teachers, friends and family, I was the kid who stood out for all types of reasons. To be always looked down and to be taunted constantly stemmed anger issues and it formed in me a capacity to fight quickly.

I’ve been described as intelligent beyond my years but a volcano ready to erupt at any time. This personality followed me through my life and it was hard to be in therapy as a teen. Yet, I still lived a happy boyhood but I was taunted because I was fat. From fat I went to skinny at 14 but still the taunts continued but I always managed to defend myself. Fast forward to high school, I was a happy go lucky guy, very popular and surrounded by a lot of friends. But some people were downright mean to me and disrespectful and it was unbearable. Through high school, a tragic family event destroyed my sanity : at 18, in 2009, my mother got run over by a speeding car which left her hemiplegic. From here, my life unraveled : I was still managing to keep a happy face but I was completely Broken. I became a pretender. I acted carefree and fun-loving but I was crying a lot. I spent a lot of sleepless nights wondering why. I began to be moody, brooding, angry and angsty. I was depressed and I spent most of my freshman year of college clashing with my father, dealing with my friends leaving town for college, stress at home, my mother’s health and crying. I even went to hospital for a week under antidepressants. To add insult to injury, my grades slid and I began to party a lot, hook up and drink heavily. I was a hot mess.

Fast forward to the summer 2012, after another bunch of family tragedies, I decided to end my life and I attempted suicide by reenacting my mother’s ordeal, jumping in front of a car. I failed and the car avoided me just in the nick of time. I realized that all the things around me : my hometown, the people, my parents…I needed to get away before going out of my mind. So I left my hometown for Paris. Nearly five years since that, I’m about to graduate cum laude, majoring in both French Literature and Media Studies, I lived alone in Switzerland, am about to enroll in journalism school for my Master’s degree, I mended my relationships with my family and friends and I now enjoy a blissful life away from everything that broke me into pieces. I made peace with my past, made peace with myself and I turned the page. My father recently told me how PROUD he is of me given how far I came. My siblings are also supportive and my friends, after I admitted suffering from depression at a time, gave me a lot of love and support. It took me nearly ending my days and leaving everything I’ve ever known to finally feel good about myself and the world. I’m now feeling very grateful to be a brother, friend, son, uncle and cousin. I’m feeling so good to live in a beautiful city and still surrounded by great friends. Life is really beautiful and I learned that no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s always temporary. It’s a test you ought to pass and everything that fell to pieces will eventually fall into place. Time will heal all the pain. And even though it’s natural to be brooding at times, to remain broken isn’t mandatory. I allow myself to be fully aware of my mental state, I allow my brain to have a break. I stopped therapy because I have the best remedies around me : my friends and family. Because I’m living a life I never would and because all the things that used to make me cry myself to sleep made me stand tall, strong and fierce. I’m stronger thanks to my past. I’m a fighter thanks to my survival. I’m a survivor because no matter the diseases, the angst, the depression the jibes, the harm, the sexual assault, the anger, the abuse, the blood, sweat and tears I’ve been the victim of, I’m still kicking ass in everything I do. A lot of people who were hating on me for no reason, I earned their respect. And all of those who thought it was over for me are seeing me maturing, growing and shining, and they want to be a part of the process. I don’t know where I’ll be next but I made it through until now and forever I’ll be standing strong.

Thank you for reading. Hoping you’ll be touched by it. Yours respectfully.

Moïse Mensah

Thank you so much for sharing your story.  You said something profound when you stated that you learned that “no matter what you’re going through in life, it’s always temporary”. Sometimes when we are in the midst of our issues we have a hard time seeing outside our current situation and circumstances…. but just like with rain, the storms can’t last forever.  Thank you for the reminder.  We are so glad to see how well you are doing.  Keep going strong! – Kate

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