Opinions Mon, 11 Sep 2017

When we can't fix what's broken

I get into the shower routinely but today I stopped to wonder - "What if I stopped the running water in the bath tub and let my head sink for just 20 minutes?" No, maybe that's too uncomfortable ; I will choke on the water and drown to death. "Death. Isn't that what you want?" I was not sure of many things but at this moment I was sure that I just wanted to disappear but I couldn't do that without dying.   There was this aura of sadness that I couldn't explain. At first I thought it would go away just like anything else but it was like a tide - it kept rising and falling only that this time it did not subside like I thought it would.   Should I try out what I saw on television instead? Slitting my wrist is not such a bad idea at least Frank from House of Cards taught how to do it right by slitting vertically and not horizontally but there is pain in that one too.   Or should I go to the garage, switch on mum's engine and allow the odorless carbon monoxide to take over me? It would be like I died in my sleep - peaceful. No one will even notice unless someone wants to use the car which is unlikely at this time. If you feel like you are not in the right place or this is not the right diary you are reading, well sorry to disappoint but it is. This is still Eric.   I used to be on top of my game despite the fact that I have ADHD but now I think life is getting the better of me coupled with the fact that I have been in some bad relationships that left me wrecked (that's an issue for another day).   Bottom line is - I feel unworthy, unloved and uncared for. I feel like if I were to disappear nothing will change anyway and people would go on with their lives as usual. I feel that I am sometimes being a burden on society and some of the people around me when I can't control myself due to my condition so I sometimes embarrass them.    No one notices that everyday I cry for help. When I say I need someone to talk to people just brush it aside or sometimes forget I even said anything. They say "hard guys" don't cry but I believe everyone has their breaking point and this is mine. Maybe this is the end of the road for me because I have tried everything - from motivational songs, videos to speeches.   Those things are even beginning to sound alike and sometimes they are so plastic that I can even predict the next thing that's going to be said.   Before I was diagnosed with depression, I was in denial at first. One of the few people I am privileged to call 'friend' would look into my eyes and ask me whether I was alright and I would look straight into hers and answer in the affirmative even though I was dying inside.   I did not tell her because I was afraid she might not relate to how I feel. I didn't also want her to leave like my girlfriend (Edem) left when I disclosed that I felt I had started showing signs of depression.   One day when I felt no one was watching, I went behind the classroom to sit on the lover's bench. I cried the whole time while making a quick google search on signs and symptoms of depression. It was like I had a checklist in my mind and I would uncheck everything mentally just to convince myself that there was nothing wrong win me.   As I was so engrossed in this exercise, I felt a warm tap on my shoulder. Our eyes met and she smiled at me. I pretended I wasn't doing anything but the tears in my eyes gave me away. She said it was okay if I needed a moment and that I should cry if I need to.For the first time in my life, a girl had told me that expression my emotions as a boy in that manner was okay; it made me feel more comfortable with her automatically.   That was when she told me her story - she was raped at  ten while returning from an errand. She told me about how badly it had affected her and for about 3 years, she was silent and went into a state of repression (unconsciously living like it did not happen).   Till she had a trigger when her boyfriend tried to be intimate with her and all the events that night started to unfold. Her boyfriend did not understand what was going on at first but later got help for her by contacting a psychologist who took her through counseling.   She has been on antidepressants for a long time and she confessed that occasionally, she has some depressing episodes but they aren't as terrible as the first.She told me that in her case, her boyfriend was both her trigger and her savior . Then she gave me a long hug and asked whether I wanted to talk about what was bothering me.   I have never poured my heart out to someone like that before ( I didn't want to tell my mum because I felt she had too much to deal with). Cutting the long story short, this girl put me in contact with her psychologist and that was what saved me that day. I don't know what I would have done to myself. Dialogue is very important to people who are depressed.   I applaud the people who are able to catch the early signs and offer a listening ear to anyone in that situation because sometimes that could be their saving grace. In such times, it is the little things like a hug, a smile or a word of encouragement that veers the person off that path of doom that's lurking.   Even though no one can be certain that everything would be okay, there is one thing I am sure of ; having anxiety is one thing. Having depression is another. But having both at the same time is like a storm raving inside of you that can't be kept still.

Columnist: Naa Adzoa Adzeley Boi-Dsane