I haven’t thought seriously of suicide for about 9 years. I did about a month ago; all the way to a sure proof way to get it over with. The tipping point was the death of a child I knew only by association. And I am careful to just be there for people without being a sponge to their grief, but it is impossible for life to not be sucked out of you when you throw a handful of soil down the grave where a child of two years is laid to rest. It is impossible.
And yet it still felt strange for that to have been the tipping point. Other deaths of people closer to me, have made me angry and somewhat depressed but never to the point of suicide. Thinking back now, I realize that 2016 held a special air about it because it had so much riding on it. It took me talking to a close friend before I realized that more than making it a year of possibilities where I was free to pursue things I couldn’t previously do, 2016 was my last shot really. Things had to change for the better or I was done.
And during the time of the kid’s burial, I was at a point where many things I’d planned had fallen apart and I was feeling somewhat defeated already. Add young dreams cut short so soon and I confronted myself with the question, why bother? Life had tempted me long enough into this dreamer then kept curtailing my efforts at every turn. And no matter that I slept more than ten hours each day, I would still feel tired and spend my waking hours sighing; losing myself in spontaneous dazes and sudden bursts of intense crying. Why try at all? I asked myself. Why try anymore?
Loved ones have never been a concrete reason really. My reasons to live are bigger than people’s feelings; I always insist. If anything, it would have been a perfect time to go because my niece, whose feelings I cannot dismiss as easily as those of the adults around me, is still too young to actually be scarred by my absence…I hoped.
And yet, no matter how tired I felt, I was sure, Not Now. I wasn’t hopeful things will turn out better or anything. I was just sure that it was not yet time.
Regardless of that certainty, I went as far as finding a suicide method I felt most comfortable with before I stepped back and experienced a weird sense of calm. And in that breath I knew I needed some movement and a change of scenery very soon.
A family function came in time for this and even though it was set to last a couple of days, I knew I needed more than a week away from Nairobi. Sure the bustle of the city is exhilarating but too long in, and it narrowed my perceptions and made me forget some of the things that truly matter.
Week two away from Nairobi and suicide is now very far from my mind. Neither is 2016 the year of my final shot anymore. I find myself too angry at the nature of life to not try shifting it in some way before I go.
Besides, if I die right now, my family will probably give me a religious burial and that thought annoys me so much that when the time comes, I think I’ll clearly specify how I want to be sent off then follow it up with a bunch of haunting threats.