Recently I read of a young woman who took her life because she did not pass an exam. She, being a straight A student, couldn’t fathom that she could fail an exam. She was so depressed and so unable to deal with something she had not yet experienced in life, that she decided that the best way of coping with this situation was to take her own life. While there may have been other factors that could have contributed to the young lady’s decision to resort to this, it is sad that it happened and I am not going to judge her actions. However, if you have thoughts about ending it all because of something that just didn’t go as planned, please do think it over.

I too have contemplated suicide, and wrote a poem about the way that I felt at the time that I felt it. At the time when I wrote that specific poem, it was not the only time that I had considered committing suicide. I have thought about it many times as a young teenager, which was a byproduct of depression. I was very depressed growing up and I almost did take my life one night. On that night, everyone was already asleep and I, the only one awake decided it was time to say goodbye to this world. I remember walking into the kitchen, taking up the kitchen knife, and placing its sharp edge on my wrist over the sink. As I was about to sink the blade into my flesh, something held me back. I don’t know what it was but I just couldn’t do it and I put the knife down and went to bed.

My life was one where for me, it would seem nothing would go the way I wanted. Even though I was bright and got good grades and got great passes on my exams, I still couldn’t get a decent job. I remember seeing school mates of mine who did not do as well as I did but got really good jobs and I wondered what on earth was wrong with me. For years I would remain depressed and think about ending my life but every time I thought about it, I would remember my family and my friends. But most of all, I would remember my little cousins who really depended on me as they looked up to me as a source of fun, hope and inspiration, the only one who would listen to their tiny little thoughts and sit with them and watch their silly little shows and question them about it making them feel very important and knowledgeable about something that I didn’t know about. I also thought about my mother who really didn’t have anyone else to depend on and if I were to be stingy and just take my life, a life that she gave to me, then she would be alone.

Even though I was depressed, there still was that spiritual side that I tried desperately to hold onto in my times of utter despair. But prayer alone cannot help the truly depressed. You need someone to talk to, someone to tell you that what you are feeling is okay but also not to dwell on those situations that are making you feel way you are and try to make decisions that would make you feel better and be the support that you really need.

I realised that I became that person for many people and in a way it aided me to get out of my depressed state. What also helped was my writing. Writing was another way to channel how I felt and it made me feel better. But what I know would have helped the most is if I had someone who would have just listened to me without judging me, just listened to how I felt and then encouraged me and nurtured me to be better, to tell me that I am just as good as anyone else out there, that I was being too hard on myself when I really shouldn’t be.

If you feel like you want to leave this world prematurely, don’t do it. Really think it over. Think about someone close to you who you know would miss you the most and let that be your starting point. Write down how you feel. If you play an instrument, do that, create some new music, go for walks. I am telling you it will be hard at first. Trust me, I know but it can be done. You can live a wonderful, happy life by just focusing on you, having authentic pride for your successes and self compassion for your failures. But failure does not mean giving up, it just means that you didn’t know how to approach the problem the first time but now you know and can defeat it.

So if you have read my poem and you feel the same way as I did, think twice before you do anything. Know that there are others like you everywhere and just need someone to listen to them. I was that person to a couple of my friends who had failed suicide attempts (thank heavens) and after talking and listening to them afterwards realised that all they really wanted was someone to talk to, which was the same with me. If you can’t find that someone, just write to yourself and hopefully, you might feel better. It helped me and maybe it can help you as well if there is no one you can talk to or feel you can trust.