Yesterday, the memories flooded me. The sadness in my heart was heavy, but for some reason it didn’t weigh me down. I later realized that I wasn’t weighed down because I was thankful. Thankful to be here.
At various times in my life, the thought of ending it all was heavy. I thought I could never see through the darkness in my soul.
At 17, I finally did something. I had been lying down in my room that day, when I got up, went round the house with a large cup. I remember mixing in the bleach, scouring powder, and something else (I can’t remember). I felt it wasn’t enough, when my eyes caught the kerosene keg, and into the cup it went. I used a spoon to mix it up and I remember wondering briefly why the kerosene wasn’t mixing in well.
Then I drank it up.
And went back to my room to lie down. I can’t say at what point I passed out, but I woke up to a lot of noise and prayers and I turn and see my father staring at me, from a distance with tears running down his eyes. It was at that moment I knew… I’d never want to hurt him ever again. Later, I learnt, He had been crying begging God to take him instead.
The pain in my father’s eyes that day, has never left me…However, I have had these thoughts still at various times after that incidence. I realized; I can never do this on my own. So, I begged God, ‘Please help me know when to ask for help, please God’.
Pain is subjective.
Pain is experienced differently.
Pain, especially for ‘bubbly, happy-to-be-here, positive vibes, everyone’s support, strong’ people like us, is sometimes never seen. And yes…we are strong… and we do not know when we have crossed our own pain threshold and it plummets from there.
And for us, failure is when we are seen as weak. Sometimes, we do not think anyone will understand. We do not think anyone will resonate. So we stay quiet.
Is there anything you can do? Yes! Be Kind. Listen more. At all times. To everyone.
Is there anything I can do? Yes! I can INTENTIONALLY ask for help.
Some months ago, I told my very close friend, “I am losing my mind. It is a familiar feeling. I have had high functioning depression before. I am losing my mind’ And she goes, “Haba, Chinasa, not you na. Don’t worry, you will snap out of it.’ I didn’t say anything else.
A month later, I told another close friend I was afraid, I would do something to myself. I tried to explain the darkness I felt and even though I knew she didn’t understand me, she listened and her and her husband literally babysat me. I only went to the bathroom and back to the bedroom. They didn’t say much, but they were present. Annoyingly but thankfully so.
It is not easy to ask for help, but asking for help has saved me since I was 17 years old. I can only say… I am thankful, I am still here.
May His light continue to hover over us in our darkest, very dark moments.