Dealing With My Messiah complex, and a Farewell to a Friend

Messiah Complex – (also known as the Savior Complex) is a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief that he or she is destined to become a savior.

For a long time, I’ve had a fascination with broken people.

Addicts, sick people, the depressed, the confused, the abused, the oppressed, the depressed, the alienated, those who struggle with a sense of self worth, those who struggle with thoughts of condemnation. If you check my browsing history, you would think I have suffered from every considerable mental illness and addiction you can imagine.

In case you’re wondering why, here’s the science behind it (yeah I also Googled extensively what it means to suffer from a messiah complex. See the pattern?):

The messiah complex is a psychological construct which makes a person feel the need to save other people. This person has a strong tendency to seek people who desperately need help and to assist them, often sacrificing their own needs for these people.

On the surface, it looks and sounds noble.

The do-gooder with a heart of gold, saving the world one person at a time, one problem at a time. A modern day superhero, saving folks for no reward whatsoever, many times not even a thank you.

The problem with this habit is:

1. You will get taken for granted, alot.
I dont even want to go into this too much. I’ve had people call me, ask for a favour, and practically yell at me about an hour later just because I was running a little late delivering on the favour.
Shame and pain will not allow me to dig up some more extreme situations I’ve experienced.

2. Secondly, its not really noble.
It’s not. You’re not really doing it because you are that altruistic (at least I wasn’t). I just wanted to be a nice person. I wanted to be useful. So, I end up giving and giving until it hurts, and if it doesn’t hurt it feels like I’m not doing enough.

Today, I can say that people with this Messiah complex are also broken people.

We really are.

Nobody is created to solve the problem of every single person they run into. Even worse, nobody can handle the guilt that comes from not being able to solve everyone’s problems.

I have realised this for a while now. And I have been gradually working up the courage to turn down requests. Man, you don’t know how much of an addict you are till you start trying to break a habit.

It has been uncomfortable saying no. Sometimes, the strongest urge to overcome is calling the person back afterwards to apologise and render the help requested.

I know, I know

But mentally, I have burned that bridge.

I am not the solution to anyone’s problem.

And I am not a messiah.

The world has had one already.

It doesn’t need another

[Curtain call]


Warning: Sad news (and feels) ahead

People react differently to the news of a celebrity passing. Personally, I’ve only been emotional twice.

First time, it was Michael Jackson. And I was with the second biggest MJ fan I know – my dad.

I remember that Thursday afternoon in 2009 like it was yesterday. I was visiting my dad in the hospital where he was admitted. I remember the news coming in on the TV and we both sat silently for almost 20 minutes afterwards. There were no words, just the occasional sighing and shuffling of feet.

The second time was on Friday when I heard about Chester’s death.

The news of Chester Bennington’s passing hit me hard.

I was surprised at how emotional the news made me. I haven’t listened to Linkin Park in years and I wouldn’t call myself their biggest fan.

Maybe it was the fact that depression claimed another one. Maybe it was my “fanboyism” seeping out after many years. But I fell silent for a while and the guy occupied my thoughts.

Linkin Park got me through my undergrad days. As a kid growing up feeling like an alien everyday – misunderstood, ignored, occasionally depressed, angry, wanting to fight, wanting to break something – Chester’s voice always brought me relatable words. Soothing words.

Anyone who loved/s Linkin Park will always have a soft spot for that voice (just as fans of Evanescence will always have a soft spot for Amy Lee).

I still remember the long walks I took with my trusty old Discman (remember those?) and I would load it with my songs from all their albums – My December, In the End, Krwlng, Breaking the Habit, Somewhere I Belong.

But my favorite was always P5hng me Awy.

This song.


There are too many things that rock about this song, Chester’s voice tops the list. Also, the fact that the jam starts with a very simple tune/beat and then a new intrument/sound is added every 18 seconds all the way till the end….

This was/is my jam.

Thanks for the memories Chester!


Photo Credit: Film Jackets

How I learned not to overwork (the hard way)

Time to ‘fess up.

I’ve been running on autopilot for a while, working my ass off, sleeping little and eating like a junkie.

Working for 3 different startups eventually takes a toll on you, even if you’re Ibukun Taiwo (good genes be damned).

And so, on Wednesday night, my body called for a strike effective immediately. Headaches turned to fever, turned to vomiting, turned to loss of appetite. I practically did not want to be in my body and my body showed me the feeling was mutual.

Everything job-related took a halt. And I burdened my innocent family with nursing me back to health. Honestly, I just wanted to get better so I could get back to working. But God had other plans.

Relegated to a bed all day for 3 days,  I got the chance to “think about my life”. And I obviously wasn’t heading the way I wanted. My addiction to work wasn’t doing wonders for my health obviously, nor for my relationships especially with God. So right there on the bed, I started making adjustments, canceling appointments, engagements etc. Found the time to connect with a few people over the weekend, went for a retreat, taught a bible study.

I’m grateful for pitstops like these, even though it doesn’t have to be something life threatening to get you to pause.

Work can be invigorating and empowering but ultimately it rings hollow. Even if it is something you “love to do”.

Next time, when you need to channel some energy into something, don’t let work be your first refuge.