You are nothing beyond your thoughts, so before you let that darkness, sweet, silent and peaceful as it seems to be, close in; ask yourself this – is this the death of a maybe, only-slightly-possible future or is it a suicide because you lost the dream just before it came true?
“The second time death knocked on my door, I asked it to come in.” (Excerpt from “I, The Grind”, due whenever I can get myself to complete it)
When is a death a suicide? When I was sixteen, I tried to take my life three times, maybe it’s a testament to the greater will of God that all three attempts failed, maybe I subconsciously clung to the life I so despised, maybe I just sucked at suicide, in which case my backup business idea (suicides R us) isn’t ever really going to take off.
During the American Great Depression, the suicide rates skyrocketed, and the same has been true for each point in the history of a culture or a people where the future held less promise, be it economical, political or otherwise, than the past.
So, you’re a Nigerian in the 21st Century, living in our great nation, you have spent the last seven years in the university because the number of strikes and labor actions don’t always equal instant betterment for those most vulnerable, or maybe you have joined the silent millions who dropped out and sought a life of steadfast application of self, as opposed to job-searching in hopes that a locally-earned degree will one day mean as much as those gained by others who could afford better education beyond the nations shores… wait, I digress.
The question is; when you eventually discover that your significant but as yet unattainable (before God, but mostly her father and relatives, due to your current financial status) other has moved on to greener, less ‘sufferhead’ pastures, and the eighteenth company which told you to await word from them excitedly, after viewing your CV, has decided yet again to go with the prettier, smoother talking, more foreign-trained candidates; or maybe it’s something that seems less earth-shattering, and then there you are, seated in the loudest bar you can find in a neighborhood where everyone knows your name (cc cheers, the TV show, we miss you) listening to the laughter of others, and suddenly realizing that your parents will not miss you as much as you thought they really would, I mean… think of it; your younger brother/sister is a lot more successful than you and can certainly handle the family in your absence..
The pills in the breast pocket of your shirt, the one beneath the jacket you have worn for the last twenty-two months without a backup option, starts to feel like the best thing you have ever owned. I mean, it’s a ticket to a place without, pain or question. Just swallow and there you go; puffy white clouds and angels with harps floating around your head, or if your demons are the really bad sort – hopefully silence.
But (and that’s one of the most powerful words created right there) there’s something you’re forgetting; there is always something else down the road. The parents who are getting a divorce and strange religion, and the opinion that your teenage self can deal with the cost of living solo are NOT ample reason to relinquish the hold on existence that earned. Whatever the case is, understand this; darkness breaks! Be brave, tenacious, driven, unique, conforming, be anything you have to be to see the sun rise tomorrow, and the invisible, but real hope it brings as it does. You are nothing beyond your own thoughts, so before you let that darkness, sweet, silent and peaceful as it seems to be, close in; ask yourself this – is this the death of a maybe, only-slightly-possible future or is it a suicide because you lost the dream just before it came true?
Hope springs eternal. Survive, aspire, and succeed. But first, survive.
Andre Blaze Henshaw was born to an Efik father and an Igbo mother in 1983. He grew up in Calabar, Cross Rivers State & Port Harcourt City, Rivers State. In 2002 he began to work as an OAP on Rhythm 93.7fm PH and took up a job with Nigezie in August 2008, months after resigning from his previous job on radio. In 2012, he resigned from Nigezie, after clocking a decade in Nigeria’s private electronic media sector, and is currently the host of the first season of Nigeria’s Got Talent, as well as the content director and moderator of Afrinolly’s Short Film and Documentary Competition across the African continent. In his private life, Andre Blaze is an amateur photographer, an aficionado of varied music genres, a combat sportsman and an eclectic hobbyist.
30 Days 30 Voices series is an opportunity for young Nigerians to share their stories and experiences with other young Nigerians, within our borders and beyond, to inspire and motivate them.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.