In January this year, I got so stressed and overwhelmed with work that I found myself in that pit of despair that I have been fighting to get out of for the last several months. If I am being honest, before this year, I had not been suicidal for a while. I was doing better, or so I thought. Sure, the tendrils of depression never quite let me go at any one time – after all, I do not know what a moment of pure joy feels like anymore – but by god, I had seen worse days and I was glad to be doing better in comparison. There was still that certainty that I would never make it to 40 because I would likely kill myself but a little bit of hope and optimism were starting to say “maybe that’s not quite true anymore.”
And then the stresses and emotional labour of the shitshow that was 2020 hit me all at once. My brain is ill-equipped to manage some things and wouldn’t you know it, the only solution it offered was death. Death by my own hand, to be specific. And let me tell you, it was looking quite good.
So, I thought to myself, I thought: “why not go to see a new therapist?” You see, my last therapist had ghosted me. I felt she was a great fit, over our zoom calls, and then suddenly, she was unreachable. Account inactive, phone number disconnected, even social media accounts shut down. I was rather bewildered as we’d had a scheduled session I had paid for in advance when she disappeared and… what the fuck? Therefore, understandably, by 2021 I had not seen a therapist in several months because what the fuck, you know?
Well, renewed suicidal ideation and self-harm were as good a reason as any to seek a new therapist and though I was wary – because I’d really had a bad run with Ugandan therapists – I thought it couldn’t possibly make me worse. Ah, the folly of the overconfident. This new therapist told me that if I truly wanted to kill myself, then it would be easy to take some poison, mix it in juice, drink, and then go to sleep. That because I hadn’t done this yet, then I was lying to myself about being depressed and suicidal. My brain said “she has a point, you know,” and so I fell further down the rabbit hole. I got myself some organophosphates, for my potted plants ‘wink, wink.’
Later that same month, my younger sister, bearing the brunt of the abusive relationship I and my siblings had all borne from our parents, asked if she could move in with me. She asked after talking to everyone else about it and getting their approval. I live in a house owned by my parents and she had a right to it as much as I did. However, I had long since learned that sharing my living space with anyone else was heavily detrimental to my mental stability. I was already living with my brother and that was its own can of worms, so to add another sibling was untenable. What did I do in this situation where there were no good options? I overreacted. I offered to pay rent for my sister elsewhere. She refused. So, I then decided that she could move in and I would move out, but I made it clear that I was not happy about this. My friends supported my decision. Everyone was happy about the situation as it was except for my parents who doubled down on the guilting.
We all folded like wet cardboard.
No one moved anywhere. My friends are heavily disappointed in me. My sister is still in an emotionally abusive home. And I, well I bear that guilt and it looks amazing on me. How much more selfish and pathetic can a person get, some might ask. Well, I exist to answer that question.
I now find myself seated here, the house situation forefront in my mind. Despite knowing that even if I had moved out, my siblings, with no income source, would have had no way to take care of themselves. Despite knowing that I am not the one who told my sister that if she moved out, she would never be welcomed back home and thus intimidated her into staying. My selfish brain is certain that this is all about me. That I, and I alone, am the cause of this catastrophe.
And so, I think about my organophosphates. That therapist was right, you know. They would take care of everything lickety split and if I don’t take them right now, if I don’t kill myself right now, then I am just an attention seeking twat and I deserve all the disdain I get. Those who love me are right to be disappointed in me. I have no redeeming qualities.
But I have a journey to make tomorrow. My brother comes back home tomorrow as well and if I were to take some long-acting poison such as this, I could find myself waking up in hospital with even more disappointment thrown my way. I cannot be the person who shatters my family with a suicide, only to fail at even that and have to live with the broken remains. No, if I am selfish then I will leave behind that disappointment and their vicious satisfaction to finally be rid of me, but I will leave regardless. I will leave.
I have a good plan, you see, and these pages, they will be written until one day they will come no more and I will hopefully, finally be free. At least then, whoever wants to move into the house can finally do so because then my room will be free.