It’s 2:51am. The alarm rang by 2am. Five snoozes at a ten-minute interval and now we’re here.
I’m awake, finally, my eyes are not.
Blinking infrequently, my hands feel in the darkness for two things; the light switch, with my right and my glasses with my left. I find the switch first and brilliant white light floods the room easing my quest for the glasses which I slip on effortlessly, as the dancing images in the room still immediately.
Next, I pick my tablet, turn on my data and let the notifications flood my phone, producing undulating vibrations.
I am a 21st century teenager, caught in the craze of social media just like a million others around the world. On mornings like this, I do not try to fight my cravings. The energy will be productively used up when I begin reading in an hour’s time, I assure myself delusively.
Unlocking my tablet, I swipe down, the notification of a new story by Jude Idada jumps at me. Too juicy to pass up, I click on it.
As the app loads, my battery sings, reminding me to plug in. I climb down from my bunk, skim my room in a moment (nothing seems out of place) then I proceed to my reading table, where I plug in my tab.
Beneath my table is a mini fridge; the sight of which sets my stomach rumbling, in remembrance of the bar of chocolate left off from yesterday, a loaf of bread and plate of rice. Jude Idada’s story is up.
I’m too lazy to warm the rice; not at this time, so I bring out the plate of rice, pick a spoon from the rack and begin to eat whilst I dig the story.
I refresh the app, hoping to catch up on what happened in the hours I napped, then I see it.
Creepy. Scary. Dread fills my heart. I read it thrice, then head to his timeline. He’s a friend of friends, incredibly gifted. His words are enticing, so I read one post, scroll down to another, and another, and another…
Two hours later I’ve lost appetite for food and the books I had to read.
Never had I truly understood the menace called suicide as I did in that moment of reflective thinking.
And then the questions begin; the doubts arise, the accusations, the guilt, the fear, the grief and several overwhelming emotions…
What really is depression? What is suicide? And what does it take to be suicidal?
Depression is a mental health disorder characterised by persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life.
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one’s own death.
Depression symptoms likely won’t get better on their own — and they may get worse or lead to other problems if untreated. Depressed teenagers may be at risk of suicide, even if signs and symptoms don’t appear to be severe.
Isn’t it amazing that young creatives are suicide risk factors? Giving and giving, taking and taking… A little of everything makes a great writer, but what if, somehow we took a little too much. Who, then, is responsible for delivering us from our craze, and saving us from the darkness that seeks to consume?
Complications of suicide:
Alcohol and drug misuse
Family conflicts and relationship difficulties
Involvement with the juvenile justice system
Suicide attempts or suicide.
Suicide red flags:
Be alert for emotional changes, such as:
Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason.
Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters.
Feeling hopeless or empty.
Irritable or annoyed mood.
Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities.
Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends.
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
Fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism
Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance
Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
Watch for changes in behavior, such as:
Tiredness and loss of energy
Insomnia or sleeping too much
Changes in appetite — decreased appetite and weight loss, or increased cravings for food and weight gain
Use of alcohol or drugs
Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
Frequent complaints of unexplained body aches and headaches, which may include frequent visits to the school nurse
Poor school performance or frequent absences from school
Less attention to personal hygiene or appearance
Angry outbursts, disruptive or risky behavior, or other acting-out behaviors
Self-harm — for example, cutting, burning, or excessive piercing or tattooing
Making a suicide plan or a suicide attempt.
I believe all suicide notes read the same on critical examination. They’d go along the lines of: “Dear Xyz, I want to live, but not like this, and I realize sadly that there’s only one exit from the life present – death. As it won’t come sooner, I will meet it halfway.
Darkness is inevitable, for out of it comes light. We live each day by a conscious decision to let the light shine through. Do not be deceived, dear one, letting the light shine through on some days will take more than courage… It may cost your life.
So on days when you’re low on life, but desperately need it, I pray a prayer of goodwill, that you find a life, willing to share its life with you, a hand to guide you through your abyss, and the courage to face your fears, as surreal as they are.
And in the days to come, when you finally have climaxed to life, may you share your life, over and again, that in letting go you may find it when it matters most.
Life was meant to be lived after all.
Live, and let live!
Emem ye ifure. 💜
Cc: Your GJ. ✌️