I Survived

Sean Kingston in his song “Beautiful Girls” sang a line, “all these beautiful girls, they only wanna do you dirt; they’ll have you suicidal, suicidal when they say it’s over….”

Adults and kids sang along, oblivious to what they were singing, myself included. It is only when it hit closer to home than l could ever imagine that l understood what it truly meant to be suicidal.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, suicide is “the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally.”

For me, it had been a gradual build-up of situations and circumstances that led me to that dark and messy place. A place where an impulsive moment could not have been reversed if it was not the grace of God.

I am able to speak freely on the topic because l was once there. Truth be told, l should have been dead because, unlike others who end at thinking of suicide, l attempted it by downing tablets l found in my relative’s medicine box one morning. I did not think of leaving a note behind. l just wanted to die and that is all that mattered at the time.

I writhed in pain the whole day as l waited to die but death never came. Those around me thought l had a tummy bug. Little did they know. Up to this day, it has been my secret. Although l talk about suicide, l do not mention that l am a survivor and do not know why l do that. 

One of the most painful cases of suicide l have come across is a 12-year-old who hanged themselves after collecting their academic results and discovering that they had not done well. How does a child know how to tie a knot so strong and know how to choose a spot? It boggles my mind.

Some believe suicide is contagious so discussing it is abominable. That ought to change because mental health is as real as any other health issue. I conducted a survey and concluded that 40 percent of the 10 ladies l spoke to from my contacts have had suicidal thoughts at some point because everyone is fragile to a certain extent. It went on to affirm that a lot of us suffer from mental problems to varying degrees.

Is there a cure? Is there healing for the brokenness and emptiness one faces at that brink of collapse? Whilst l do not have the answers to those questions, as a person who came from that place, one portion of Scripture that has insulated me from falling back into that dreadful place is 2 Corinthians 4:8-9:

“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (ESV). So now whenever my thoughts want to imprison me, I speak that scripture over and over until l feel lifted.

Millions are happy and bubbly on the surface but harbour pain in their souls. They smile despite their inner turmoil. Many spirits are empty and tired.

If you are one of the above mentioned and you feel like giving up, please inhale and exhale and take a moment to think of the mess you would leave behind, the heartache and unimaginable torture loved ones would go through.

I speak because l survived and know full well what it is to stand at the cliff just ready to jump.

I’m glad l did not die. I am glad I survived.

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