I wanted to talk about it, I wanted to scream , I wanted to yell. I wanted to shout about it, but damn all I could do was whisper “I am ok”
When I was 14 , I almost became a teenage suicide statistic but then I turned to my pen and paper. That’s where I got my liberation and I became free.
I was in a bad space and I was in boarding school. I had almost the whole block talking vile things about me. I wanted to talk to my parents but they were only loving me the best way they could.
I had cried myself to sleep the previous night. My eyes were swollen and waking up to face the other mean kids was a nightmare. I put my brave face on avoiding any kind of interaction.
During lunchtime I went to the dining hall as usual, but food was simply the last thing on my mind. Since it was compulsory to go to the dining hall, I just had to sit at the table as others indulged.
Once lunch was over, I went back to class and as I walked past a number of fellow students I didn’t need a magnifying glass to know they were talking about me. I could feel my eyes getting hot and I knew the water works were going to start.
As I settled in class I just thought I was tired and I couldn’t take it anymore. I had these other pills that I had from my last visit to the doctor. I opened all the packs I had ,took a couple and drank some water. That was the last I remember the next thing I woke up in hospital.
Even after I was out of hospital, I never went to therapy but it really could have helped. My family didn’t even get to talk about it hence I had this idea that I can go through anything alone. But after a chat with a good friend I realised talking to someone who is willing to listen does help. It might be a stranger or someone close just talk about it.
American singer, Stacy Barthe says “Some of the things I am talking about are very taboo and swept under the rug.As far as suicide, depression, alcoholism and stuff like that. Our community does not believe in therapy, they believe in dealing with it.
I have lost two people to suicide but it is still one of the least talked about subjects in my society ie African society. It comes with superstitions that it was an evil spirit, the clothes of the deceased might even be buried with them for fear the spirit is contagious.
But how is that really dealing with the problem? Some people would tell me that there was no therapy or psychologists in the African society back in the day. But therapy could even mean regular chats with someone you trust and can open up to. This then prevents certain thoughts that come when you are all alone in your dark space.
I know many people claim that people who commit suicide are cowards. I just think that they are people who would have thought that they really could not go on and didn’t have those pillars for support as they grew weary.
Some say that suicide is a betrayal to those who love you, but it really is never about the next person but more of you. Some suicides are a result of betrayal from loved ones. One just felt they couldn’t go on. People in our society are so judgemental and will probably say “ndozvaanga zviurayire izvozvo”.
I remember when I lost a friend to suicide, and someone said to me “I can’t believe you were crying for someone who took their own life”. I mean wait ,so because she/he took her own life mourning is unheard of.
I wish we would be more accommodating and know we are different people.When Kenyan Olympic gold medallist Samuel Wanjiru commited suicide in 2011, the comments on social media were shocking but only potrayed how the African society handles suicide.
Some posted comments like ”suicide is for losers, real men brave the odds” and ”suicide is a shortcut to hell”.The World Health Organization says on average three thousand people commit suicide everyday around the world, which amounts to 1 million deaths every year. A majority of these deaths are of people between 15-44 years of age.
Mental health disorders (particularly depression and substance abuse) are associated with a majority of suicide cases.However, suicide results from many complex sociocultural factors and is more likely to occur during periods of socioeconomic, family and individual crisis e.g. loss of a loved one, unemployment, sexual orientation among others.
Hence the need to also create mental health awareness. I wish people would create a safe environment where one can open up and realise that suicide is real and we ought to talk about it and find ways to prevent it and in the case that it happens be in a position to talk about it and console the bereaved.
No situation is ever too bad or worth taking your life over. It might be a series of gloomy days but the sun will surely shine. Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse, suicide eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better. You are not alone so never go through stuff alone.Talk about it.
Whenever you feel you have just had it and the storm of life seems to be swallowing you up, here’s what you ought to do. Place your hand on your heart, the beat you feel, that’s purpose. You are alive for a reason don’t forget that. Also just be kind out there you don’t know the demons the next person is fighting.