Back in Uni, I wrote a lot. A whole lot. On my phone, my books, textbooks. But most of my writings screamed loneliness. I grew up as an only child with my grandma so from the onset, I knew how to exist for and by myself. I learnt how to play with myself and ultimately I learnt how to keep emotions to myself. The generational gap between my grandma and I did not help matters, it was hard to express myself most times and if you didn’t know me well enough, I may appear timid to you.
So when depression hit me, it hit hard. By nature I’m very private and closed off so I mostly felt shame. I’d think to myself how I was having it great and still complaining while some people were somewhere under the bridge homeless and hungry and that would start a whole cycle of self detest. It started a cycle of hate that I still struggle with till date.
I hated that I wasn’t strong enough. I hated that I needed help to cope. I still hate it. Sometimes I wake up and don’t wanna take my meds because they are a reminder of the fact that I’m no longer whole and sometimes I’m just happy they are there because I maybe can’t go on without them.
So when it came to talking to people it was very hard for me. I could express that I wasn’t fine but why I wasn’t fine became a problem for me to express. Coupled with the fact that I hated feeling like a burden, I would sit instead and over analyse the many reasons why I shouldn’t be disturbing my friends with my burden.
The thing with depression I later came to learn is that it feeds on isolation. I always felt alone. I would be in gathering and feel like a outcast. Even though I had two other roommates I didn’t know how to broach the subject with them. How do I just tell them I was having suicidal thoughts and I’d acted on it? I’d also heard them talk about how people who committed suicide were stupid, so in my opinion talking to them was a no go area. So I bottled up my feelings until they could stay bottled up no more.
It’s easy as someone on the outside to laugh at how people commit suicide didn’t have something better to do or how stupid they are, I assure you they’re not. It takes a level of loneliness and self hate that one reaches where suicide seems like the only option.
Please do not wait for your friends to reach out. Friendship is not who calls who the most, it’s who’s there in times of need. If you think they’re struggling, they probably are.
We promise to help as God will enable us. There is light at the end of the tunnel!