Tuesday, 10th of April 2018, I walked into the neuro-psychiatric hospital popularly known as Yaba Left and asked for a psychiatric evaluation.
“Why?” I was asked.
I was going to lie and say I needed it for a job I was applying for, but I walked into the hospital because I was tired of lying to myself. So I simply said the truth, “I’m tired of living”. Surprisingly, I didn’t get the reaction I was hoping for. No one looked at me scornfully or distasteful. I was simply asked why I was tired of living and it lead to one hour session with a psychiatric doctor.
Nearly one month later, on a fateful morning, I swallowed a mixture of drugs in the hopes of ending it all, again. To many people I knew and that knew me, this came as a shock to them. I remember someone saying “But you’re Dami. The always smiling Dami. How?” I honestly didn’t know how to answer this question because I’ve been fighting my demons for a very long time.
Most people thought it was selfish of me to only think of myself including that one doctor who shall not be named. I’ve gotten to a point in therapy where I can agree that it was selfish but it wasn’t what I needed to hear in that moment.
A lot of love poured in to the point where I felt overwhelmed. But there were these two people who couldn’t believe I, as a born and bred Nigerian, could get depressed.
it was at that point it hit me that, this ideology was the reason why I fell so deep into depression. Before I walked into the hospital to start my journey to recovery, I had tried to end it five times. I swallowed a variety of pills thrice, inhaled gas once and attempted to starve myself to literal death on another occasion each time hiding these failed attempts under the cloud of Malaria. All these time I was repressing my emotions and trying my best to be this version that everyone seemed to love. I started to depend heavily on praises and what people thought about me.
My relationship with my family wasn’t in a great place and it became the triggering factor for my last cry of help. But sitting in the back seat of the car as we drove away from the hospital after my last attempt to end it, I realized I was now broken; but try as I might I couldn’t find the tears. It felt like my body had known it all these while, it just needed my mind to click – and click it did.
The thing with scaring people around you who love you is that everyone suddenly has a say on the way forward. I guess it stems from the fact that they find it hard to believe I was going through all these right under their noses. I didn’t change, sure I was definitely underweight but I still smiled and had an opinion. Sure more than a few people felt the need to invade my privacy but I understood them. One thing I couldn’t deal with was all the attention that was now on me. I became a priority in my friend’s lives, I became a priority in my friend’s parent’s lives and I became a priority in my church. I couldn’t sit in the dark and wallow anymore the light was on me, hands were outstretched and the decision to accept help or not had to be made.
I’d like to say it was an easy decision but it wasn’t. I still had suicidal thoughts, I still tried to end it one more time but ultimately in the end I accepted help and I’m starting MY JOURNEY OUT OF DEPRESSION.
I hope my story, however small and minute as it may be, will help someone.
This is my diary as I wade through the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful days.
We promise to help as God will enable us. There is light at the end of the tunnel!