“What are you even thinking of? You have a place to sleep, you have food to eat, you have clothes to wear, you don’t even have kids you’re taking care of…” I think those words are one of the most nauseating words many Nigerian adults say often, but, forget that! There are so many people around us experiencing depression and mental illness in so many different ways.
I recently came across the suicide note of a very charming young writer and it was quite disturbing. Going through his timeline, I realized that he always gave hints of his big day. Time after time after time, sometimes with very subtle words, sometimes with very translucent words, he always hinted on what he was about to do. Then finally, when it dawned on him that he really wanted to leave, he killed himself…
Checking up on people can be very difficult especially when we have so much going on in our lives and so little time to be there for people. Sometimes it’s just the amount of people we’re expected to keep up with, you know, loads and loads of them. Other times we’re victims of loneliness, it seems nobody is really there for us, it seems there’s nobody to talk to and in that cascade of loneliness we drown ourselves in isolation and we do the most harm to our mental health – we cut ourselves, we cry ourselves to sleep, we intentionally listen to depressive music – and it’s really so hard to come out of it.
Despite our many signs on whatever social media platform, nobody really understands. We are instead seen as weird, obnoxious, sad, despite the many friends we’re surrounded with, it feels so difficult to open up, maybe because we do not have the words to use to describe our state of mind, maybe because we feel they wouldn’t understand, maybe because we don’t want to be seen as weak, or too emotional. When we reach our climax, nothing anybody says matters, no words make us feel better – or maybe for a while, until we slowly forget those encouraging words – and then, in that climax, we feel our only mode of resolution is death, where we can finally feel peace. In the midst of tears and loneliness and in a bid to know peace, we take our lives.
Depression is a big issue, suicide is a big trend. Although it may be difficult, learn to check up on people, make them understand that they can talk to you. If you have an issue, learn to be vocal about it.
Sometimes signs are hard to see, other times they are hard to miss. For Emeka, it kinda was a little hard to miss.
So when next someone crosses your mind, please check up on them.