Depression, Suicide and drug abuse, has robbed the world of young-old, talented and unique individuals that are needed for the greater good of the world today. This post, will express my experiences and thoughts.
Before we discuss depression, a very sensitive and interesting subject, let me start by giving my own story. Grab your cup of tea or whatever you may wish to drink and lets talk candidly. This is one of those posts that you need to read with your feelings outside the door. This year has had an interesting turn of events and the one that strikes me the most, is the rate at which young and old people are dying to suicide, depression and drug overdose.
About two years ago, I walked down the path of depression.
I mention this for you to know that I completely understand and empathize with the underlying aspects of depression from experience and not hearsay. A tough and painful experience. If you must know. So I totally get it!
What I refuse to accept is you going through a difficult time only for you to end up killing yourself or being a slave to murderous substances. Speaking of which, I have also contemplated suicide once since I was born, making it the second mistake I regret after insulting God.
My experience with depression and suicidal thoughts
2015 remains my worst yet best year and I remember it like it was yesterday. I had gone back to my country Kenya, from Sweden, to do my internship. As a young diplomat at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and international Trade.
An opportunity I got solely by God’s grace. I was very excited because if you have been reading my other articles especially my get to know me post-20 facts about me you know what ambitions I had with my studies in International Relations and International Law.
In the meantime, prior to heading back home, I was in a long distance relationship that was about three years old. So I was very happy that, not only was I going to gain experience that would contribute to my Bachelor’s credits but also spend time with someone I couldn’t see on a daily basis.
Upon arrival to Kenya, the reception was great. I found my friends and my ex-boyfriend waiting for me at the airport with flowers before my dad came to pick me up. In my heart I knew the future was going to be bright. However, interesting things happened instead.
Out of all the people that had applied for the internship, I was the only one who had missing documents. By this I mean, my application file with everything necessary went missing from the beginning to the end but the thing is:
“No weapon formed against me shall ever prosper and every tongue that condemns me I will condemn”Isaiah 54:17
I went to the main office to ask if they had found my documents and they told me they couldn’t trace it and in fact they thought they might have not received it. Which didn’t make sense because my proffessor and I drafted the application letter together and sent it to the necessary office. We even got a confirmation e-mail.
On top of that, my ex-boyfriend did the hand deliveries and follow ups. God, my ex and I knew, we sent the application and they received it. Otherwise, no document meant, no internship. Just so you know.
I then went to a different office but before explaining, I have to mention that my dad was very happy that I got an internship opportunity that he decided to treat me with shopping. For outfits that I would use during my internship. So on this day I went to look for my documents looking very sharp, clean and like I am ready for diplomacy.
One thing about Africa that you have to know and is the very reason why the continent is rich yet so poor, some of them.. SOME.. are ignorant, backward thinking, envious, witch doctor consulting and insecure people. They never want to see anyone progressing, doing better than them, looking good or advancing beyond expectations. You could be the first person in a backward thinking community to learn how to read and instead of people celebrating you, be inspired or have hope restored that you could help them too with the knowledge gained, they will do their very best to dim your progress by all means necessary.Based on keen observation and experience
Anyway, there was a lady in that office at the time who first of all ignored me when I asked her questions after sizing me up and down. When she chose to speak, she was very condescending and dismissive.
Already, I was anxious and overwhelmed that I might have travelled all the way from Sweden to pursue an extra course for nothing which meant missing out on credit scores. I left that office and started crying with my heart beating very fast. My ex was actually there with me consoling and assuring me that everything was going to be ok.
That evening, I got home very sad. My dad and I are connected in a very unique way that he can actually sense when I am unhappy. So he came home and I started crying even more. He asked what the problem was and I told him my documents had disappeared so I wasn’t able to start my internship. On top of that, I was not treated well at the reception. In fact they kept me waiting for more than four hours. I forgot to mention that part.
Nevertheless, no weapon formed against me will ever prosper and God’s promises are always “Ye and Amen”. My dad was like “that is not something to cry about.” With his high ranking connections, he made one phone call and the next day I began my internship. Glory to God. Not only that, the ambassador that I was working under, favored me throughout the experience as if I were his daughter.
The Beginning of the beginning…
So now I had my internship and then there was the relationship that was not distant anymore. Long story short, when I was about to head back to school to finalize my education, a life altering incident happened. One evening we went out and it was on Christmas eve or so. I don’t remember all the details correctly though I remember what led to my pain, depression and suicidal thoughts.
I went out with someone that didn’t have good intentions with me. Firstly, I had never slept out from home but this particular night, something strange happened. The person I was with and I, had agreed that we will not leave the place without eachother.
So we went to a joint and got some drinks. In fact this person had a crew that they brought without consulting. So my ex and our team had to cater for them. Back when I was about the party life, I never understood people that go to clubs to leech on others. We bought them drinks and shortly after they disappeared.
Before disappearing, this person we were supposed to go back home with ON TIME, changes completely and infact encourages my ex to take me home with him. I remember my ex being very mad because the idea was to have decent fun and go back home.
So the person disappeared anyway and I couldn’t return home without the person. Neither could I go home with my ex. First of all his mum was around. It would be extremely disrespectful to spend the night at their home with his mum around. I wasn’t in for giving the wrong impression.
So, I spent the night at my ex’ cousin’s house and could barely sleep trying to reach someone that wasn’t picking my calls and if the person did, they would keep saying they are on the way.
Before I knew it, it was already morning and I had a lot of explaining to do. As if that’s not trouble enough, this person showed up past midday and all along we had been out and out of reach.
Many hours later, the person showed up and we headed home to find my dad very serious and pissed. What I want to say is that I was never given a chance to explain myself. Consequently, I was kicked out from home. I actually thought my dad was joking but he was very serious when he said, “I don’t care where you are going to go but you need to leave this house”.
There was more to it but this is all you need to know. So I put everything in bin bags, because I couldn’t access the suitcases, and I left home. I aksed one of my friends to pick me up and I left with them.
By this time, my internship had come to an end and it was time to jet back to Sweden to complete my studies. That’s when the road to depression and suicidal thoughts began. The only thing I had between my flight and I was my bags and one thousand swedish krona which I got from my ex. I had loaned him some. This sum of money in Sweden, is nothing but chicken-change.
Upon arriving back, I didn’t realize I was supposed to pick up my suitcases at Schiphol Airport and transfer them to my flight to Stockholm. So I got to Stockholm and boarded another flight to Malmö expecting my suitcases which were to no avail. That’s when I learned (after I was already in Malmö) that I had to switch. So I wrote to the airport, they traced my luggage and eventually I went back to pick them up. Just like that, the little money I had was gone.
Meanwhile, I was staying with a friend who was staying with a landlord. Her landlord, kicked me out of the place before I could figure out where I was going. Keep in mind no money, it’s my last year in university as in last semester and no place to stay but one thing I love about God is that, He is very loving, caring and true to His word. Even when we don’t deserve it. Otherwise, another promise I knew at heart amidst the sudden trauma was:
When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of opression, you will not be burned up, the flames will not consume you.Isaiah 43: 2
My friend helped me to look for apartments which are very hard to find in Sweden but by God’s grace it wasn’t difficult for me. We found a room by a Swedish lady and I wasn’t looking for anything fancy. I just needed to unpack and start thinking about my thesis.
At this point, the relationship with my ex was on egg shells. I considered him my bestfriend and I knew anyone could walk out on me except him but that is not what happened. Everything was crumbling down fast and rough. We broke up and it hurt me in such a way that I promised myself that will be the last break up I will ever experience.
The Rainbow In The Storm
I got to my new place by the way with nothing but my bags. The money was gone remember? I told my prospective landlord who I was, where I am from and that I needed a place to stay although I had no money for the rent and had no idea where it would come from. However, as soon as I settle in, I will pay my rent. At this point I had nothing to lose so I didn’t have time to beat around the bush.
To my surprise she said yes to me and I was shocked. One month in of writing my thesis and worrying where my rent will come from and next meal, I was losing faith and hope. I had sent so many job applications with no answer. I’d just got dumped. I was kicked out from home and my thesis had a deadline. All the odds seemed to be against me.
I went to my landlord and told her I don’t see myself keeping the promise and you will be very shocked to know: She asked me to focus on my thesis and forego the rent. When I am done, I can focus on rent. She also said “I will not let you sleep in the streets”. She believed in me, even though she didn’t know who I was.
Quite frankly, I dont think I will ever forget this woman. Her name, Nina. To this day I am still convinced she is my guardian angel from God. After that discussion, I went back to my room and cried not because of sadness but because of the kindness a total stranger showed me.
She gave me exactly what I needed and that inspired me to do my best so that I don’t disappoint her. As for food, without asking, a friend volunteered to do shopping for me because she knew I was jobless and the shopping was enough for several months. She did the shopping not once but thrice and more.
As much as I had support from the unexpected, my spirit was completely crushed and that’s how I got into depression.
Depressed at the fact that I lost control. That’s what most depression is all about. Keyword: MOST. Being frustrated that things are getting out of hand beyond control and there is nothing you can do about it. Also refusing to surrender and resisting defensively to a problem that might actually turn out to make you better, reveal your purpose and help you find yourself. Lack of trust towards the process of your journey so to speak.Whenever you get in to a state of worry and panic, the cortisol levels of your brain go high and in turn affect your behavior. That is how I would describe depression. An imbalance of brain hormones caused by unexpected events leading to fear and trauma.
Anyway, as they say, every dark cloud has its silver lining. My thesis got submitted. I got referred to someone who gave me a job opportunity. I got over the break up. At least, I could eat and pay my rent. I went from zero money to some sort of income. I even advanced further and got in to the sales and marketing industry where if you land a good company, the world is your oyster.
There, I made decent money that my faith got restored. I could buy some clothes, shoes, make up and all of that girlie shebang. In fact out of joy, I decided, it was time to renew my faith and stay grounded. I made me a project where I would dedicatedly work on myself to protect myself from future hazards as seen above and one thing I knew for sure was that, in a foreign country, I only got God. Who in His mysterious ways, leads me to people who lead me to where I am supposed to be. So it would be smart to draw even closer and establish a relationship.
Things Fall Apart-So that something new can come together…
As soon as I made this decision, thinking it would be all rasperries and chocolates AGAIN things started falling apart.
I challenge you as the reader, to observe your life very carefully and note when you experience the most difficulties. It is usually the time when a shift is happening in your life. When you need to advance to the next level or right after you make a decision to change for the beter.
Suddenly, you could make a decision to lose weight and all of a sudden have weird cravings which lead to over eating and perhaps food addiction. Just to give you a rough example. You probably have heard “New level, new devil”.
Out of the frying pan, into the fire
Suddenly, I lost my other job and had to settle for several jobs which I hated every single part of but had to do it anyway.
One day during winter time, I was coming from work and it was about -5 degrees. Trekking home (because I couldn’t afford a bus card), with no gloves (because I couldn’t afford them) which led to a frost bite. As a result, my hands were so painful that I walked home crying.
I don’t know how but I also forgot all that God had done for me to get me this far and I was mad at Him.
That day, I got home, shut the door and cried bitterly. The frost bite was too painful. I reached out for my journal and I tore out the page with my goals and began tearing them in to small pieces while insulting God. Asking Him how He could let me suffer like this when I had just rededicated myself to Him. I opened the window from my room as I continued to cry and I was going to jump. From the fourth floor.
Just as I lifted my right foot, I got an unexpected phone call which was very interesting.
It was from someone I had randomly met when I was working with sales and I was targetting him to be my customer. We bonded over the fact that he was from my country.
That day, he apparently called to check up on me and see how I was doing. He was quick to note that I had been crying and suddenly began to encourage me. He gave me very good advice from nowhere that brought me back to my senses and immediately I realized I had made a very dangerous mistake to insult God. I repented.
It’s a mistake I will not repeat again and thinking about it makes me want to cry. I regret it to this day, because nobody has ever treated me with so much love, favor, grace and kindness like God has. In the middle of terrifying hardships even while I insulted Him, He was and has been very true to His words.
Before, I only had selfrighteous religious people shoving ideas about God in my head until He introduced Himself to me through the very chaos that I thought I wouldn’t survive.
That’s my story about my encounter with depression and suicide. Hopefully, by now you believe me when I tell you that I get it. I get depression and the whole shebang. I really do.
The Wake Up Call
Now to what I wanted to say to each and everyone of you. This year has seen very many unexpected deaths and what sparks my interest the most, is the high rate of young people as well as those that we would consider successful. For example, Avicii, Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade to suicide. Mac Miller the other day among others to drug overdose.
Everyone today is in the hustle and bustle of trying to make a name for themselves. We have social media where everyone is beautiful, happy and wealthy. Young people are forfeiting the dexterity of their youth to measure up to something that barely exists.
For example, you go on Facebook or Instagram and you see someone looking good maybe from clothes they have been given for free to advertise or a socialite who has to do the unthinkable things to look as they do and you try to compete against that, in jeopardy of your well-being and true potential.
Instead of looking at the mirror to challenge the image we see to be better, we compare ourselves to the delusions of these world.
Limiting ourselves to things that don’t exist or matter. We are allowing ourselves to be swallowed by a society driven by temporary waves, fads and fake funks.
If money, wealth, style and whatever you’re chasing was that important, then some people would still be among us today. However, even the wealthiest of them all is unable to put up with the pressures of this world.
What my encounter with depression and suicide taught me is the magic embedded in surrender, trust, faith in God and acknowledgement to the fact that I suck and need help. Not from people but from God.
His grace is made perfect in our weaknesses and He encourages us to go to Him as we are. That to me is surrender. Thief, Prostitute, Adulterer, Slanderer etc… COME AS YOU ARE. Jesus said. What is the point of pretending to be perfect when we can barely survive? What do we have to lose by submitting to grace that is offered freely with no judgement? Why are you so resistant to the very person that has all the solutions to your problems?
The world today
We are living in a society where we would much rather give drugs that kill us in a matter of seconds a chance, lead a fake life in pursuit of delusions rather than truly be ourselves. Resort to hazardous coping mechanisms to feel good rather than seek true joy.
Now it is considered normal for babies to have babies, brother to kill brother, parents to abandon children, leaders to abuse power, nation to be against fellow nation, white to be against black and vice versa.
Everyone is in a hurry with no empathy, love, kindness or consciousness in pursuit of things that don’t really matter. We have failed to truly love and nowadays the very things that should be the essence of our beings are nothing but mere Instagram quotes and fake funks on other social media platforms.
My heart breaks when we lose young people, when we destroy each other, when I look at the rising statistics of suicide, murder, drug abuse, divorce and hate among the greatest divide. When I stand on a planet that I know is dying and can be saved by ONLY God who we refuse to acknowledge. When women fill their instagram with empowering quotes and act like wild animals contrary to what they preach, my heart breaks.
For how long are we going to create hell and entertain it on a planet that was destined to be heaven?
All these people who killed themselves or died due to drug overdose was because they had nobody to turn to. Everyone is busy being a busy body. Neither do they know God who they probably resent due to the misrepresentations that lead to further lack of knowledge or just by mere ignorance.
The reason I didn’t kill myself when I wanted to, the reason a total stranger called me, was because I was under grace. Grace will protect you as promised even when you think you don’t deserve it. The very same God I was questioning and insulting while having selective amnesia, was the same God that prompted the person that called me that day to stop me from giving up on Him. Why resent the very essence of our being? Where is the shame in associating with the reason you breathe?
I have come to learn my body is not my own. It is a vessel for a mission with a purpose. For me to decide to kill myself, is to commit murder. For me to give up on a God that has been faithful even when I don’t ask for it, is selfish and inconsiderate. How do you as a person feel when people don’t believe in you? Or under rate you? Or act like you don’t exist?
Let us turn back to God as we are. With our flaws and all. Invite Him into our lives and tell Him we surrender. We need Him, His grace, His redirection, and for Him to come back and be in our midst.
Just like Martin Luther King, I have a dream. I have a dream that we are all going to be who we were intended to be. Loving Human beings, pursuing purposes that bring God glory driven by Kindness, Moral Integrity, Uprightness and Solidarity.
Empathise with the family members of those who are killing themselves. Those who are struggling and are ashamed to share their struggles because we are all busy pretending. Those that are seeking truth but cannot find it because the ones who are supposed to demonstrate truth are busy up their horses acting self righteous and forgetting their past.
Raise our consciousness
Let’s pray for each other and acknowledge God. He is the gap to every single problem that we have today. All that is required of us is to have faith and leave the rest to Him.
One thing about God is that, the nearer you draw to Him, the better you become as a person, towards people and the world. The less worries you have. The more peace and true joy you acquire, the more empathy and love you have, the safer you will be. It is time for change and the time is now.
Be the change you want to see in the world and extend a hand without expectations to a soul that is drowning deep in to the delusions of this world. United we stand, divided we fall. Last but not least… God will reveal Himself when you seek Him. Without judgment or condemnation.
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14
When we know God, we will know Good for there is no Good without God.
Otherwise, if we decide in unity and love, to overcome the challenges we face today: This too, shall pass.
One day or day one. It’s all up to you.
If Jesus is your foundation, you WILL be able to withstand the storm
Think about it and thank you for reading.
By the way, back to my story, my dad and I ever since, reconciled and made up after sometime. In my opinion, him kicking me out from home out of anger was the best gift he has ever given me.
So again, if the devil had anything to do with this? Guess who took the trophy home yet again? Through the ONE working inside of me? By Faith through faith?
What meant to harm me turned out to work for my good. I don’t speak boldly about God because I “heard”…… NO. I know and have experienced what He can do. When you’re deep in the gutter with a snap of the fingers.
The best gift and favor you will ever grant yourself, is to put all your trust in God and allow Him to take charge of your life. I have never been disappointed.
More than anything, let’s be genuinely there for one another. Each one of us is fighting a battle, seen or unseen, that you know nothing about.
Together, we will overcome depression and any other obstacles. Through the power of God working inside of each one of us.
Have a great day!