Chiamaka’s Phone Call: The Challenge Of Depression And The Sadness Of Suicide

I woke up on that particular Saturday morning and I was writing an article on depression and suicide when Chiamaka Hazel Ikeokwu’s name displayed on my small black NOKIA phone. I was happy. I picked up my phone and it was nice speaking with her again after a very long time. She wanted to make sure I wasn’t trying to commit suicide after reading my Facebook post about committing suicide the following day. Chiamaka is one of those angels in human skin. I don’t like her: I love her. You can never see another Chiamaka in this generation. She is rare like that.

Now, back to the talk on depression. I think we sometimes misunderstand things. Those of us who always think we are intelligent are not as intelligent as we appear. That is why we always jump to conclusion about people. We think people who commit suicide are cowards. We think they are stupid. We think they don’t know what they are doing. We judge them for choosing to end their lives because they couldn’t think of anything else, because they have lost all hope.

It is not that those who committed suicide find joy in killing themselves. It is just that, to them, that is the best choice to make. They think it is better to end it all, for once. And they did it. We don’t have the same level of grace. We don’t have the same emotional strength. We don’t have the same upbringing. We come from different background and family. Our experiences and circumstances may look the same but they are not exactly the same.

We all live under the same sky but we are not all wired the same. The rain that falls on the sugarcane is the same rain that falls on the bitter leaf. What saves one person may kill another person. I have seen people who committed suicide because they were dumped by their lovers. I have seen those who committed suicide because they went bankrupt and there seemed to be no way out. They didn’t find joy in killing themselves. No. They just had to do it because they were tired of everything.

You can’t say because you went through depression and you didn’t kill yourself, that other people were foolish to have killed themselves. It is wrong. We react to things differently. I have gone through things in life that could have made me to kill myself. I don’t know why I chose to live. Perhaps because I was scared. Maybe I didn’t have a strong mind. And maybe I was afraid of dying. I think people who commit suicide are courageous. They are very courageous.

It is not so easy to die. That’s why I’m not dead yet. How could I close my eyes and just drink sniper? Jesus! I’m not strong enough to do that. Depression comes in different sizes and shapes. People are going through different things. Everyone needs a saviour. And when people can’t see anyone to save them, they usually save themselves through suicide. It is not good enough when someone commits suicide and you make fun of them or joke about it. It is pure stupidity.

Most people who committed suicide needed help. Some of them just need someone they can talk to. Some are lonely and they need someone to keep their company. Just like I said earlier, depression comes in different shapes and sizes. And some could be surprising. One person may be depressed because they have no money and no food. Another may be depressed because they are not loved or accepted. You may even discover that another person is depressed because of marital problems.

You see, everyone knows where the shoes pinches them. You can’t judge anyone until you have walked in their shoes. People can get depressed because they are sexually starved and they may choose to commit suicide. It could be funny to you but it is not funny to them. What you see as valueless may be valuable to another person. It is time for us as humans to be more connected to one another. It is time for us to know what the other person is going through and what they really need.

There is no harm in asking your neighbour if there is a way you can help them. You may be saving someone from suicide with your little kind gesture. Everyone has something they are passing through, no matter how little. We can put up a smiling face but the reality is that not all of us are truly happy. Everyone is fighting a secret battle. Everyone has a problem. Everyone lacks something that another person has. Don’t wait for people to come to you for help. Once in a while, ask people whether you can help them.

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