Of Suicide and Mental Health

Life is fickle. This is a phrase you’re probably hearing for the eonth time because it gets thrown around like every other word Kenyans think they fancy. Like normalize, toxic…cetera et cetera.

But life is indeed fickle. It’s the briefest of moments we spend with our loved ones before their lives are ripped away, on their own volition or not. And then we’re left with nothing.
The ache in our wounded souls would always be a constant reminder, that in the end we’re left infinitely and utterly alone.

Loosing a person you love to suicide remains perhaps the most illogical of death. An illness, an accident, any natural couse of death, you can explain or at least try to find some logic. Maybe It was fated. They fought the good fight and bowed at the last call. God or whoever you worship decided to call them home.

But there’s no closure in suicide. Only heart wrenching question after question. Pessimistic self evaluation. Doubts. And seething emotional turmoil. Did the deceased not think you were worthy enough of their company upon this life’s way? Couldn’t they find just one reason to live, even if that reason is you. How selfish could they be? Choosing death, all the while knowing the kind of emotional torture they would be plunging you into.

Perhaps if everyone was a politician, there would be no suicide cases. A politician lives with absolute certainty of tomorrow. Right now every politician is sure they will be there next year. “Come next elections I’m clinching that seat!” Such optimistic existence.
Unfortunately, politics is not airborne. And life battles are very real. Maybe, just maybe, not everyone is built to withstand the storms that buffet their brief lives. Not everyone can master enough grit, or have the right perspective to keep gripping at life’s tail.

But again, how selfish, narcissistic can we be to assume people, however much we may love them owes us their lives? Because we may live with them and not know their battles. We may laugh with them and not be able to fight with them. Looks can be deceiving. People out here aren’t as strong as they portray themselves to be.

I lost someone dear to suicide. And I keep telling myself he has known peace now, but even that, still doesn’t make me feel better. Yes, he was one of the kindest people I know. He was so kind he couldn’t hurt the proverbial fly, how he managed to fatally hurt himself is a question I would wish to ask his creator. He smiled often. And he had this thick guffaw laugh. He laughed like he knew why Baba wants Reggea to continue.

Today I want us to start talking more and openly about mental health. I want us to talk about depression and suicide but not in hushed voices. No. We need to start talking about these things as boldly as Baba talks about BBI.

And to you who is clouded and shrouded in uncertainty, I’ll say this, “it may never be perfect, but it will always get better. Breath. Reach out. Learn to seek joy simple things; the rising sun, a beautiful flower, waterfall, the moon. Keep fighting. Keep striving to find peace. And own it.”
And while at it, endeavour to make others happy. Because then, you will be happy yourself.

You matter.

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