“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.”
Conversation with PR and publishing superstar Betty Irabor
“I remember sitting at the Psychiatric department of the Iranian hospital in Dubai waiting for my turn to see the specialist doctor.
I had gone past the stage of feeling shamed or stigmatised… Besides, no one knew me here, I was no one important…just another psychiatric patient.
“Betty Irabor… please proceed to ….” I knocked and entered the consulting room.
“Who prescribed all these medicines for you?” The doctor asked after seeing my collection of antidepressants. “You don’t need these; they are too many”… He sorted them and told me which to continue and which to dispose of immediately. (The truth was, while a few were based on doctors prescriptions, I was also self medicating)
At the end of my consultation I felt great…I understood a little more of the nature of my mental illness. I left the hospital with my head high and a bubbly spirit…But it wasn’t quite the happy ending I expected.
Depression persisted…I just could not find peace amidst the turmoil…Mental illness sucks big time.
I began to find peace when I realised how much learning and unlearning, I had to do. I was tired of the self-pity and this thing that was consuming my life… I did not only want my life back, I wanted to be an even better version…It was time to fix me.”
My journey with mental health.
“How did I go about it? I embarked on a journey of self-evaluation and self-discovery. I followed this action plan:
➡️ I made peace with my past and then forgave everyone including myself. “There’s no future without forgiveness – Desmond Tutu”
➡️ I began to learn new healthy habits starting with my thoughts process.
➡️ I embarked on a mind-set makeover (I had programmed my mind to see and believe the worst).
➡️ I stopped feeding my insecurities (I am fearfully and wonderfully made… The holy book).
➡️ I worked on “My toxic self-conversations” (Not today b**ch)
➡️ I learnt to accept that I am not infallible.
➡️ I confronted my “People-pleasing” tendencies.
➡️ Gratitude is like a joy pill…I learnt to be grateful for every small and big milestone.
➡️ I learnt to set boundaries and I embraced my perfect imperfections.
➡️ I kept my doctor’s appointment diligently and stopped self-medication.
➡️ I discovered my safe place and relished every moment of self-discovery.
➡️ I embraced a healthier lifestyle and stopped feeling guilty about being ill.
➡️ I started praying again, went back to church and hosted a successful fundraiser during a Church harvest event.
➡️ I shared my story and became an advocate for mental health awareness.
➡️ I became UNAPOLOGETICALLY BETTY
Who is Betty Irabor?
“I think this is a good time to formally RE-INTRODUCE myself.
➡️ I am BETTY IRABOR, I wear various hats and I turn 65 in March.
➡️ I am the Founder of one of Africa’s leading lifestyle magazines “GENEVIEVE” founded in 2003 at the age of 46.
➡️ I founded “THE PINKBALL FOUNDATION” in 2007. Through the foundation we donated a Mammogram Machine to LASUTH for early detection of breast cancer and offered interventions to women battling breast cancer.
➡️ I am the author of best-selling book “DUST TO DEW” which is an authentic, honest and deep portrayal of my battle with clinical depression and how I turned my wounds to wisdom.
➡️ IN 2018, I founded “MY BEAUTIFUL MIND NETWORK” in partnership with Tara Fela Durotoye series where I share my story with different audiences to encourage women especially to speak openly about their mental health.
➡️ I am the founder of “INTENTIONAL LIVING SERIES WITH BETTY” an initiative with a bold vision “To encourage women to live life more intentionally.
➡️ I am a Keynote Speaker who has been invited to join some global panels to speak on issues ranging from mental health, intentional living, authenticity and vulnerability.
➡️ I have spoken at many global organizations including; CITI BANK, GUINNESS, MICROSOFT, NESTLE, DEPUTY HIGH COMMISSION UK LAGOS, P&G, ACCESS BANK, UBA, and many others
➡️ I have been featured in many global and local media; The New York Times, BBC, CNBC, Elle SA Digital, Forbes woman “against all odds”, and many others. I was honoured by the “Business of fashion 500” alongside other phenomenal women like Meghan Markle and Celine Dion, as one of the people shaping the fashion industry. I was recently recognized by U.N MIPAD (Most Influential People of African Descent) as a member of the prestigious Hall of Fame for the creative sector worldwide.
Now you know me better.
➡️ I am available for speaking engagements, mentorship, brand partnership and strategic influencing.
Let’s talk! “
By Betty Irabor