Reaching the Mind to Mend a Broken Heart

Nyadiena’s Story

December 28, 2022

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Akobo was my home for the past 30 years, where I took my first steps, shared childhood memories with my brother, and felt the warmth of my father's love. Unfortunately, war broke out, and home did not stay home. As a result of the war, I lost my brother. As the saying goes, "misery loves company," and after a while, my father, who was my world, died of a sudden illness. When the unfortunate war became unbearable, many of us were forced to flee what we had known our entire lives. With grief and confusion in my heart, I had no choice but to follow the path that was once a trade route between my home country of South Sudan and Ethiopia, but is now a migration route.

I sought refuge at the Pinyduo I camp's village 12 site. The tragedy I had to endure sapped everything from me to the point where I had stopped living and was only existing. I was brought to my knees, and there was nothing I could do. Nothing made sense any more. The sun was no longer warm, and food had lost its flavor. Even though I had a faint feeling that I needed to try to put my life back together, my broken heart did not know where to start. In fact, I wished it would all be over.

That is when I learned about Bethany's counseling services. I did not think counseling would help someone in my situation at first. But, since anything is better than nothing, I decided to give it a shot. I little by little began to open up and become interested in the counseling sessions as I attended them. I could gradually see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Throughout the process, I learned how to progressively deal with the numbness that had overtaken me and how to properly deal with grief. I started connecting with myself and my surroundings. I eventually began communicating with others who were in a similar situation to mine, and we began to support one another. My motto has now become "one day at a time," and I choose to live fully in the present moment. I had no idea that something as simple as breathing could help me keep myself grounded. I maintained my new outlook on life and continued to do more of what made me feel better.

Eventually, I began working on the maize garden , motivated by memories of my strong father and dear brother. I began going to the market to sell my maize produce, which enabled me to earn money and make new friends. My battle to recover from my loss, the effects of the war, and the trauma is far from over, but I believe I am on the right track. My advice to those who have had their lives turned upside down is to seek counseling and surround themselves with people who can support them .