My personal two years of chronic depression and suicidal thoughts
By: Dr Emmanuel Boahen
All days come from one day, so do all suicidal thoughts stem from products of acute depression, anxiety, unmet expectations and unfulfilled hopes.
The realities of the inner battle of the mind in the being of Man is more fierce and forceful.
When one is on an external battlefield, it is easy to get help because people might fortunately see and come to your rescue, but when one is battling oneself, who will deliver?
Various factors culminated to my years of intense depression and anxiety which lead to many suicidal attempts of which I write.
Firstly, all thoughts of suicide comes in a progressive form or in volumes. It started with me paying attention to the the gradual images that were forming in me as a result of the deep challenges I found myself in and the presumed hopelessness it seemed. The diverse voices and tones of “Kill yourself Kwaku” came to me gradually till it reached a pitch where it was louder than my own thoughts. I could hardly even taste food or smell water so I developed the habit of eating in larger quantities so that at least I could recapture the taste and scent of food.
Nevertheless, the quantum eating never increased my size because growth isn’t only determined by what you eat, but also by what is eating you up. Death, had been eating all the fabric of my being and the dark clouds of depression had taken over my soul.
I run many HIV/AIDS tests which were also part of the suggestive thoughts that pummeled me because almost every sickness my mind could concieve, I had it. Malaria and flu was the commonest. Upon several times testing negative, I was then assured deep within me why I should kill myself because life meant nothing but a mere charade and an alloy of hopelessly homeless ventures and apothecary .
I’d several thoughts coming to mind as a means to hasten myself to the path of death as a failed pilgrim. Requiem and dirges were my favorite tunes.
The commonest thoughts that kept lambasting me were to hang myself as usual with a rope and die. It became so loud that I didn’t want to bath alone again (I was homeless, sleeping in church at that time so we used the church washroom). To avoid the embarrassment of always having to wait for bathing mates, I’d to cut my sponge short so that it will not look suicidal to me.
The next object was cut your veins, bleed and die. Because of this, I also stopped using cooking utensils, forget about cooking. Buying food outside was the sweetest.
Third, was the pushing and a pressing force that always beat me so hard to throw myself under an oncoming articulated truck and be crushed to Pieces.
My God. ????????
What will be my end?
A life that lost its purpose? Taking my own life because of the dark past and nebulous future? Am I alone? Who stands with me?
LET US SMOKE WEED
I was deeply alone and lonely.
I started again on that ancient path I’d quit; drugs. I started taking drugs in larger quantities and that even worsened it. People on marijuana or other herbs or drugs will tell you, there’s a constant fear they always live with.
Before you criticize me, try to understand my struggles. Many are going through this in even higher degrees.
On countless occasions, I went totally blank and forgot everything. I could walk about and feel so empty that I’d to stand and wait for my soul which I felt was far behind me to walk closely and enter my body. ????O yes. I felt it enter me, and I became so moody. Sometimes, I’d to do a vigorous activity to become conscious of my soul: my real self.
Things That open the Door
Music and the Media are the main causes.
You’ll have your own reservations about what I’m about to share, but the brain picks up what it sees and hears around. I discovered with time that there were a particular genre of songs and movies with morbid, bloody and suicidal messages that made life and this wicked act seem easy. In my gracious, heaven helped recovery process, I soon started doing away with them. I have no television, and hardly watch movies. I hardly look at the lecherous and deceptive game on Facebook which speaks of helping to find the murderer. What do you think they are doing? A mere game? No. They’re quick death pills for your soul.
I wasn’t a fan of hip life and Hip Hop but I saw the strong message of violence and ego that it projected. Immediately, I arrested the demon in me.
MONKEYS ON MY SHOULDERS
Depression is a dark atmosphere and ever increasing whisperings. These are demons which capitalise on our own thoughts and blow it out of proportion. I saw it with time and started aggressively speaking against it and refusing their place in my life.
WHO DO WE SPEAK TO, WHO IS LISTENING?
What we laugh and cry about determines our character and that’s how the world will see us. We Africans stupidly laugh at tragedy, and overstress comedy. Nothing seems serious to us. I knew deep within me (I don’t say there are no listening ears in my world) should I tell them this is what I’m going through, they’ll laugh. They’ll mock, if not in your presence, in your absence I can assure you. So I kept my own battles to myself and developed a new strategy for my healing and reversals. I started looking at myself in the mirror and picking up my favorite pictures which once were images I saw of myself as my obituary. I started speaking to myself and hearing myself, loving God and loving myself.
I could look at myself intently and gaze for hours and asking myself questions. Reprogramming my mind and dealing with all the heap and accumulated negative energies.
THE ROLE OF MEDITATION
I needed a balance in my system since the mind is to the soul what the brain is to the body. Dawn meditation and heavy breathing became my personal lifestyle. Yes, in the course of meditation, I did sometimes encounter that fear and thoughts in images and sounds but I’d been through healings and recovery to know that they were mere shadows and illusions, yet I wouldn’t give it an inch in my life again.
Exercising regularly too became my best friend. I went for long jogs and faced oncoming trucks. As the trucks faced me, I’d little or no fear or oppressors anthem in my mind. I kept telling myself that I can’t die.
I kept a check also of my diet and read extensively about it. I took that cheap Chinese ginseng toffee in larger quantities. It’s a strong healing agent for the stressful mind. People would sometimes tell me they didn’t like the smell. I ignored them, and left their company.
NO MORE TIME FOR VACUUM
Nature abhors vacuum so does the brain abhor silence. I started to reclaim my old path of rigorous, forceful, deep thinking and writing. That releases my soul, it makes me ejaculate in my brains and feel so good about myself Irrespective of how controversial others may see the topic, I’ll write.
I reduced also my religious involvement but increased my love for the Lord and sought His peace daily in everything I did. Mental heat was a signal to me that the intended action was out of will or place.
I faced lots of criticism for my adjustments, but who cares? In the same way I didn’t care when death kept knocking on my door, I also didn’t care when life was growing in abundance in me.
People even criticized deeply my loud way of laughing.???? Hmmmm. The more I obeyed them to reduced my volume, the more I faced fears within, so I cursed the fears and increased the volume.
Friends, you’ll have every room to criticize the dying, or even judge and show them the place and the address of hell, but my question to you is, have you honestly been there and present with them? Do you only show them love when their bodies are shuttered and denuded on the floor or stiffened by the ropes?
Family, before you take your life, take it easy, speak finally to a matured ear, and see a reason to live. There’s hope for everyone, someone out there loves you. They do, just open up and find them.
Listen to spirit filled and inspirational songs, try and sing along.
Let’s end Suicides today. Smile to a friend, get closer.
God bless you.