Most of the things I write about or have written about just happen to be one of the things I have gone through in life.

I have gone through depression thrice and so far I have only told one person and that was recently. What triggered my first depression? I had no idea I was depressed, I didn’t even know what depression was I thought it was a “WHITE PEOPLE” sickness and there was no way a strong African girl like me could ever be depressed.

I had written an exam and my name suddenly disappeared from the list, this happened twice already so I felt I was cursed it broke me completely and called my mum for several minutes I couldn’t say a word I kept crying and wailing. My mother was scared, she always said I was the strongest person she knew and she had never seen me cry in my adult life, later on she told me she thought I was going to kill myself that day because I cried with so much pain she had to send my brother who traveled over ten hours to come get me.

Do you find it strange that it is those we have perceived to be happy who are always depressed or suicidal? In Africa very few people do not even know what depression is, they pass it off as mood swings saying it will pass before you know it they become a shadow of themselves. Most of our psychologists in Africa are out of jobs, no one can afford a therapist or they mostly see them as quacks and a waste of their time.

The second time I was depressed was worse and this time I had friends all around me and yet no one noticed. It turned me to a drunk who’s only joy was getting “HIGH” I didn’t know what triggered this I just knew I wasn’t happy, inside me I was dead but strangely I always seemed to make others happy. I lost a lot of weight; I wouldn’t get out of bed unless I was going to get alcohol and for a time my education suffered but yet no one notice or rather I wouldn’t talk to anyone about it because I was very good at hiding my feelings and not trusting anyone.

I toyed with killing myself for a while; it seemed perfect I said no one would miss me, would they even notice I wasn’t alive anymore? Would my absence mean anything to them? Only if I could watch while I was dead to see how many people would miss me while I was gone! The only reason I didn’t go through with it was because my fear of “HELLFIRE” was very real.

I have heard people say Black Africans are the strongest people on earth and Africa is one of the strongest continents in the world with very deep roots, they say we are immune to suicide and whenever a black man commits suicide he is seen as a weakling who’s balls weren’t strong enough, do you see this as the truth? I used to; until I got depressed and saw I wasn’t as strong as I had made myself believe I was just like every other person on earth with red blood running through my veins.

Have you heard this saying “the saddest people tend to laugh the most”? sadly this is very true, for a while I refused to believe this I said oh I am just a jolly fellow who loved to laugh, people with little to give always tend to want to give more because they know what it means not to have, I laughed a lot because I had no joy in my life and was always trying to fill it with laughter that never got to my soul.

My third depression was recent and I am currently getting over it, I do not want to talk about this so as not to jinx my healing process but for a few weeks now someone has made me genuinely happy and finally I have come to see that this world needs someone like me, I have a lot to offer and I have planned to be happy for the remainder of my days here on earth.

Are you depressed? Do you think no one would miss you when you’re gone? You think life is better without you in it? You feel no one really loves you? Please have a rethink because once you’re dead it’s over and you wouldn’t have the chance to have the answers to you questions. Always be positive, it worked for me learn to love yourself and you would find you need not depend on anyone for happiness. Learn to talk to people about your problems it helps, so the pressure doesn’t weigh you down, finally you are not alone in this world never for one moment think you are, there are so many people who love you and if for once you think there’s no one try and love yourself it’s the greatest gift one can give to oneself.

This piece is dedicated to Robin Williams (1951-2014) Kurt Cobain (1967-1994) motivational speaker, founder of the #DarkSkinRedLipProject and creator of the blog “ForBrownGirls” Karyn Washington , and to other countless, nameless, faceless victims out there you’re surely missed and your lives meant a great deal to us.

Ever feel like talking you can get in touch with me

WhatsApp: +2349050661610


Isabella Ibeji