You never forget the day you almost kill yourself. The smells, the colours, the location, the words, the texts, the food you ate, the places you visited. It remains in your head, like the smell of burnt rice in a stuffy kitchen, with dishes piled in the sink and a scouring pad that desperately needs replacing.
I had told myself I’d write about this when I became rich, and I’d share it as a motivational post. Life has shown me that tomorrow isn’t guaranteed, and plus, what exactly are riches if not good health, a sane mind, the love of family and friends and hope? Here goes.
I almost killed myself on Wednesday, November 25th 2014. I was standing at the door of an overcrowded ‘Citi Hoppa’ bus speeding down Valley Road, and I felt the urge to jump. In retrospect, it’s crazy to think about offing yourself, but at that point I felt I didn’t have anything to live for. I was jobless, I felt unaccomplished, the girl I liked at that point didn’t like me and I felt t was because she felt I had nothing to offer (sounds like a silly reason, but approval when you’re depressed is life-changing). I had just attended the 10 year anniversary of our class finishing Primary School. EVERYONE at the event seemed to be doing better than me; in jobs, fresh from prestigious courses in school, in happy relationships, and they had that happiness that only content people have. I had neither of all those things, and things looked so bad at that point, I didn’t have hope that anything would improve.
Depression is a dark, lonely place. To live there is to live in a cramped house that is too hot during the day, and too cold during the night, with a duvet that’s too short and doesn’t cover your feet. It saps your energy such that you spend all your days in bed, and yet you can never get enough sleep. It makes you hate things that brought you joy, makes you push people away, makes you question your looks, your abilities, your existence. It is a bad place, a place that you leave and never want to ever come back to.
I remember the bus approached Integrity Centre, a green and yellow speeding contraption, and I looked out and imagined it would be the perfect cover up, that it’d look like I slipped and fell to my death. Then my best friend at the time said something about FIFA, and my grip on the metallic thing that you hold as you alight, firmed up. FIFA didn’t save my life, but the fact that I felt that I had someone who wanted to play a video game with me, (and to be honest, fear too, it takes a really brave person to go through with it), made me hold on, literally and figuratively. I remember that things were so bad, I was late to the reunion, because he had to find and send me money for me to go for the 10 year reunion.
I’ve learnt so much that I didn’t know when I was thinking of ending my life. I’ve learnt to never compare my life with other peoples’, that we all have our own paths, to be grateful for the ‘little’ things that we don’t even count as blessings; family, health, a roof over our heads, food in our stomach, a brain that can think of smart things, a good heart, a past we don’t have to run away from, and to always have friends you can talk to. I didn’t tell anyone what I was struggling with, and sometimes dealing with a lot of things when your state if mind is delicate in that it’s clouded by a lot of sadness, can make you fail to appreciate things.
I am happier. I live more freely. I don’t have millions, (yet) but I am content with what I have. I feel, and appreciate, the love of family. I have friends who deeply and truly care for me, and I care equally, if not more, for them. I didn’t know a lot of things then, and I’m glad I know now. I think the most important things I can do now, is to remind us to check on our friends, to always remind them that they can talk to us about anything and even if we can’t offer solutions, we’ll do all we can to help.
I remember I bought myself Timberlands a while back because I always wanted a pair, and because they made me happy. Getting them was a promise to myself that no matter what happens, I’ll always find a solution to whatever issue I’m facing. My shoes will grow old and I’ll discard of them, but my promise to myself still stands. I’ll also take this to let anyone reading this, I’m here for you should you ever want to talk about anything you feel is weighing you down, no matter how dumb it sounds in your head, or how embarrassed you are about it.
It’ll be four years this November, and I’m happy I’ll be around to remember why I should always count my blessings, no matter how ordinary they seem.