Business Leader, Entrepreneur, Husband, Father, Son, and Innovator, I am world-wide in my career. Hello, my name is Christopher Augustine, and I would like to tell you #MyStory.
Since I was a child, I have realized that I see things differently and always wanted to push the boundaries not for the satisfaction itself, but to create a positive impact on my classroom, my workplace, my home, and my life. Whenever I do something, I want it to have a significant impact and change lives for the better.
How did I come to be this way? I was diagnosed with an incurable brain disease called Trigeminal Neuralgia when I was 22 years old, almost 11 years ago. In some respects, trigeminal neuralgia (TN), or tic douloureux, is the most excruciating pain ever known to mankind. There may be some discomfort around the mouth, nose, and eye, but it typically affects the lower face and jaw. The trigeminal nerve is irritated when the pain feels intense, stabbing and electric-like. Its branches travel to the cheeks, forehead, and jaw. Usually, it affects only one side of the face. It can be triggered by something as small and mundane as brushing your teeth or eating. Even if attacks begin mild and short, trigeminal neuralgia can continue to worsen if left untreated.
Those two years were extremely painful for me, as I was prescribed with every form of medication – Tegretol cr 600l, neurontin 300 mg and Epilim cr 500, among others. I experienced a complete collapse of my world. My friends deserted me, I stopped being happy, I didn’t smile for so long…I felt like my life was caving into a dark pit. I couldn’t wash my face, brush my teeth, or even eat a hot meal. My TEST was about to begin! My oh my, did I get tested.
I remember very clearly one day looking in the mirror and saying,
Is that you?
Is it even worth living?
Why are you here?
What is your WHY?
That night I took my meds, over and over again….I tried to kill myself, to end it all, all the pain, all the suffering, this massive burden that I had become to my family. During my state of limbo, I felt my soul depart from my body and wander the room. What happened that night shaped me into the person I am today. During a pivotal moment in my life, I changed forever. Most of my memory during that time in my life has been a blur, as it was one of the most traumatic things that i have experienced. The events that night are hard to recall. After waking up in the morning, I told my mother, “Mum, I can’t live like this anymore.” So I went to Durban, here in South Africa, and underwent a brain operation. I was given a 50/50 chance of survival.
The operation was a complete success thanks to God’s grace. Suddenly, I could smile, laugh, brush my teeth, and eat without experiencing excruciating pain. In the aftermath of my recuperation, I sensed this FIRE.
I knew I was destined for greatness. A year later I launched FYIonline, reached 40 million monthly views in 6 months, and appeared on Forbes, CNBC Africa, Cliff Central, and SABC 3/Mela simultaneously helping fashion designers in Africa gain visibility and reach more buyers and clients…and this was just the beginning.
Every day, I feel this flame burning within me. I have come so close to death that nothing scares me anymore. I’m up for any challenge, and I make sure to be the best I can be at all times. I have grown to a level of selflessness from this entire experience, and all I want to do is help, impact, and bless others. As a 33-year-old, I am really grateful for everything God has done for me. There are numerous businesses I own in Africa and I am blessed to have friends such as Mizinga Melu. I appreciate this opportunity to share my story.
I hope it will inspire everyone that reads it. Now, what’s your story?