Happiness is not something you propose for the future its something you design for the present.

Our world  can be cold, bitter and cruel . On the flip side it can be sunny, hearty and hail. Regardless of what life throws you, life is what you make it! This may sound cliche to some and rhetoric to others but for every single success story there are grey areas, bumpy stretches and moments that may not be clear.

The ability to transcend through challenges is ours through the power of  the mind. Micheal  Oluchi Mary is doing just that as a survivor of Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM). AVM  is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels connecting arteries and veins, which disrupts normal blood flow and oxygen circulation.

Mary is the reigning Queen of positive vibes in Nigeria, West Africa. She is a Mass Communication student of Lagos state Polytechnic who has just gotten married to the love of her life. She has dubbed herself The Minister of Happiness. This has brought her international recognition and a host of social media followers, In September she was featured on The BBC Pidigin Service.

Mary is based in Lagos and she enjoys sharing her story to give hope to other people going through different challenges. She can easily beat you to a dance-off challenge anywhere and everywhere. She is addicted to looking for the good in every situation. When you have a chance, stop by her Instagram page for some comic relief . She said ‘I love to have fun and I joke a lot ‘

What I see as living a purposeful life is finding that which you are good at and then you keep pushing to be better at it.

Purposeful people are nearly always very intentional, Mary says that from a tender age she had always see herself on Television, entertaining people and cracking jokes. Interestingly this charted her way through her life’s challenges, battling AVM and self-hate and in turn she became a beacon for hope and inspiration for people in her community and the world. Today she is not very far from her dream of becoming a news reporter and or broadcaster, she oozes confidence and it’s not hard to see that she was born for the camera.

The illness that changed her life is very rare , the pain left her immobilized and moody. She lost friends, was mocked and stigmatized but  instead of moaning in self-pity and doubt she took strides to learn resilience and patience.

She says ‘In my  very low moments  when things became difficult for myself and family, I felt like a burden, I felt cursed, I attempted suicide because I was tired and wanted the whole problem to stop. Taking care of my self has not been easy because I had to relearn a lot of things, due to the fact that I was not left handed so now that my right arm is gone I had to adjust to the new status.

Good friends and family have been guiding me through it all, I am so blessed to have them supporting me. My desire is to be at peace with myself and others , I strive to create a balance of love, enjoy the beauty of life.

In my darkest times I cried it all out to God. I believe that He reduced my problems  and that renewed my faith. Nowadays I try to read the word of God often, it comforts me.  I am now working on adjusting to my new life as an amputee.

Some people say that I am an hyper-active person, I say I am overflowing with happiness and joy.

I play too much!

Maybe this attitude is what helped me overcome my sorrow and recover from tragedy,  as I was always quick to imagine others going through worst situations. It gave me an attitude of gratitude!

Mary has considered a prosthetic arm before, the costs and rehabilitation makes that a goal, for now she is on a mission to inspire others.

This illness has given me a platform to encourage and motivate other people, when I started sharing my story online it gave me a voice. I was able to get hope, encouragement and support from people that I had never met. Slowly I began helping others in turning their lemons into lemonade. Life is truly a gift!

Written by: arianadiaries

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