Depression according to google is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. It is quite sad that in this part of the world, depression is taken mildly seriously. In fact, most people would tell you to look up to the heavens as that is where the answer lay. I am not writing this article to condemn spirituality but to also shed more light on the physical effects involved.
Personally, I never thought in my wildest dreams that I would know what depression was like in a human being; more specifically a Nigerian. We were born hustlers and made to believe that every problem had a solution no matter how silly that sounded. The question that was left unanswered when I heard or watched depression or suicidal cases was “How could anyone be depressed? There is so much to live for”. I just couldn’t understand it and I concluded and labelled it “Western disease” which I was obviously immune to.
2017 was my year so I had claimed and latched on to unfortunately 2017 turned out to be that year I would have a turnaround in my thought process. I had always labelled myself as a vigorous and deep thinker with a mind that had a mind of its own. I could think without thinking. Everything that I had tagged important with my eye went through a thorough thinking process in my brains work space. Despite all of my conscious and unconscious thinking, I was and still am a jovial person. Smiling wasn’t far away from my lips as I possessed something I called “a natural high”
The downside of this personality I possessed was that no one knew when sadness creeped in or dejection or loneliness or anything of that sort because I was always happy. Even in my unhappiness, I had it all put together. Unconsciously I had made people believe that I lived a perfect life with issues that I could handle, relationships with no problems, jobs with no traction; just enough for me to pull myself through and for others to conclude that I lived an enviable life.
The breakup in 2017 hurt me deeply; pierced deep within my heart and penetrated my soul but I was put together. For some reason, I couldn’t breakdown. I had read a lot of motivational verses and quotes saying that “if it doesn’t kill you it would make you stronger” and so I believed I would be just that. Stronger.
What I failed to realize was that my strength was built on a weak foundation that was readying itself to give way any moment. Then it got worse. My heart broke into uncountable pieces with every word they said. They meaning my parents. How come no was on my side? How do they think it is all my fault? How come they are not seeing the pain through my eyes? How come? Then I called him – Him meaning my ex – crying and telling him that everyone was against me. Honestly what did I expect him to say? He told me that no one was against me and told me to stop crying. Really? He too was taking sides with everyone else. And I just felt even worse with the call.
It was like Inception – the movie. The seed had been planted without my permission and approval. Just right there in the center of my thinking faculty. And then it started to germinate rapidly without my consent. Daily, I found my real-self drowning in a dark pool of my thoughts and portraying a different version of me to the outside world. That’s what they wanted to see anyway. To everyone I was fine so no one bothered to ask me “Are you ok?” genuinely.
I was fine. Honestly I was. The other version of me was anyway and the real-me was drowning inwardly screaming for help everyday but no one could hear. Did I show any symptoms? I don’t think I did. Well the version of me didn’t anyway but if someone had asked maybe then they would have seen it.
Then came the thoughts. The thoughts of leaving the earth for the people that mattered. My parents. My ex. They could have it. What did they need me for anyway? They would be better off without me. And I was ok with it. I knew I wasn’t at rock bottom yet but I was close. Yet my mind did not fight back these thoughts.
The pain continued with every one thinking I was fine with what was going on. Maybe I should have spoken out. I tried. But it was my fake self that was speaking not me. I wanted to speak but I couldn’t. I tried but my mind told me that no one would understand. I made myself believe that no one would understand so I shut up and kept it within. Why should they know anyway? They all hate me
I was a walking hypocrite just waiting for the earth to recall me back to the ground. I had made myself believe that he was shallow together with my parents hence their unwillingness to see through my eyes. What about my hurt? What about my pain? Why aren’t you talking about how I feel? How it broke me to a thousand pieces? These questions screamed all through my inner mind but not through my lips as they were sealed. Not once did they ask “Are you ok?”
Then I hit rock bottom. The real-me had reached the bottom of my pool of thoughts. I was safe where I was. No drama. No voices. Just myself. Peace engulfed the version of me from within while I made myself ready for bed. Then I thought “It would be perfect if died in my sleep; if I did not wake up” and I smiled knowing that that was the least painful way to die; to leave the earth for the people who want it. I was done. I did not want it anymore. I had found peace from rock bottom and I was ready to join my real-self down below.
I did not drink any poison or eat anything I wasn’t supposed to eat. I just felt the thought was enough for the earth to purge me away from its arms. Then I slept. Unfortunately and fortunately for me, I awoke the next morning upset and angry. I cried that morning because I was so angry. Why did you not take me away? Why?
Then my phone rang. My friend was checking up on me as par “Good morning” checkup things. In the midst of my anger and burst of emotions, I told him everything. At first he thought I was completely out of my mind then he realized that my mind was completely out of its mind. OMG she had lost it completely, he must have thought.
From then he started talking to me every day till I decided to meet up with a therapist. It was then he saw the pain in my eyes. Why did you not talk to me, he asked me. I couldn’t reply. What was I going to say?
Afterwards, I started to feel better. I felt my pool of unwanted thoughts flush out of my mind and my real-self replace my hypocritical self. I felt one again. Not completely, but I was getting there. I decided to write more in my personal journal. No more bottling in. If I do not want to talk about it then I would write about it.
Now I look at myself in the mirror and ask myself “Why did you want to die anyway?”
I am grateful for the breath of life and you should be grateful too. There is always a way out of any situation no matter how little or bad it sounds. Life is definitely worth living. I remember telling my ex that I wanted to kill myself; I am very sure he thought I was joking. I do not blame him or my parents, they just did not know.
What is my point? I am alive and if you know me I am pretty sure you would think this is some fictional story I made up in my head. Unfortunately it is real. Again I am alive. I made it through; so can you. Recalibrate your mind and surround yourself with people that would listen to you or a trusted third party. Just so you know, that they might not agree with you, but they would listen to you