Suicide is not an option. Press on!
February 20, 2019
I understand that there are tragic things that happen in life and certainly times when laughter would be inappropriate, but there are many things that we let make us sad and depressed when it would be better if we laughed more. Life isn’t meant to be reasoned, it’s meant to be lived, not reasoned, and not discussed. Trying to figure out why things didn’t work has you frazzled, completely out of steam, frustrated, depressed and suicidal. Every great person today had the not-too-good moments. Before their success, they experienced epic failure. But their resilience and tenacity got them to the mountain-top. Had they given up and committed suicide, their names wouldn’t have been etched in the bowels of history. There will be mistakes, there will even be failures, but how thrilling to know that there will also be lessons. Renew your efforts with the inexorable pertinacity of a child. I have found that both good and bad times are truly good and that each has greater value if we manage them well. Find the good in every bad and use it to your advantage.
“There are no hopeless situations. There are only men who have grown hopeless about them.” Clare Booth Luce. Nothing is entirely bad; your thinking makes it so. If anyone ever told you how unfair life was, you would choose not to be born. Oprah Winfrey opines there’s no such thing as failure. What we refer to as failure is only redirection. And I couldn’t agree more. There is always light in the darkness. It is your responsibility to find it. It is not easy, and if I ever told you it were, I lied. Forgive me. But you can get through that crippling situation. I have been through the fires of perdition and returned unscathed. Today, I make bold to say that I am wiser and stronger than I ever imagined. No crisis ever leaves me the same. If anyone told me I would be here encouraging people to get out of their beds and walk, I wouldn’t believe it. But here I am doing it. How great is this God! You see, sometimes God allows a Goliath in our lives so that we can discover the David in us. It’s tight but it’s right. He never promised a calm voyage, but He did promise a safe landing. “The pain that you have been feeling is nothing compared to the joy that’s coming.” Roman 8:18. When life brings you to your knees, you are in a perfect position to pray. When you are in agreement with God, He can cause the winds of favor to shift in your direction.
Over the last few weeks, I have read the stories of people who are depressed and what actually plunged them into depression. Here are a few points I gathered…
- Dwelling on our mistakes: Stop dwelling, friend. Other people are already doing that for you. The only reason we dwell on our mistakes is because we care too much about other people’s opinion. For as long as their opinions do not pay your bills, you have no business worrying and causing yourself a splitting headache. Today’s news is tomorrow’s fish and chips paper. So, let them talk. Move on! Throw dirt on your past; cremate it. Rather than dwelling and beating yourself up, ask yourself, “what’s the lesson in this season?” No one is perfect. Allow yourself to be human. Why cry over spilt milk when you can buy another? Stop reliving your past and begin to see all the doors that are wide open for you. You have just this one life. Get up and win.
- Social media addiction: Instagram is far from being authentic. It’s a highly distorted perception of people’s lives. Don’t compare your life to the highlight reels of people. You really do not know how much they are hurting. People only want you to see the angle they want you to see. The sooner you understand that everyone is struggling in one way or another, the sooner you’d appreciate yourself. We all have blemishes. “Don’t be fooled by the façade of a celebrity. It’s not always what it’s cracked up to be. Many broken people are household names.” Angela Kenyatta. There is more to life than show-offs on the media. No one is better than you and you aren’t better than anyone. You are you. So, do you. Be satisfied and happy with you.
- Unhealthy competition: There shouldn’t be any competition where there is no comparison. It is you versus you not you versus anyone else. There is just one you and you are unique. The only person you should struggle to be better than is the person you were yesterday. Nothing is as exhausting and frustrating as struggling to meet up with the joneses. Travel at you own pace. Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid of standing still. Be proud of how far you’ve come. Pat yourself on the back. Applaud yourself. You are doing great.
- Following toxic pages on social media: Un-follow any page on Instagram that makes you feel less-than-stellar. If the stories you digest on a daily basis leave a sour taste in your mouth, then it’s time to click the unfollow and block buttons. The pages you follow should build you, not break you. There are motivational and religious pages that would help unearth your potentials. Those pages would help you get out of your feeling and into some healing. Liberate yourself from the shackles of toxicity and start leading your best life.
- Pursuing unattainable goals: People get depressed when their unrealistic goals aren’t achieved. People who disengage from seemingly impossible goals are mentally healthier than those who stay entrapped. Set realistic goals. Do one thing every day that will get you closer to achieving your goals. Do not muddle things. Little by little, a little becomes a lot. Large numbers aren’t reached unless small numbers are realized. You don’t just jump out of a hole. It’s a process. Appreciate the process. Continue to hone your skills and great things will happen.
- Approval addiction: Growing up, I suffered approval addiction. My heart fluttered like a rising phoenix each moment someone validated me for some reason. I struggled to be liked by everyone. If I didn’t get a compliment, I imagined something was wrong with me, and immediately turned blue. The key to my happiness was literally in the pockets of random people. You don’t want to imagine how miserable I was. One day, after days of mental torture, I drew a line in the sand and said, ‘enough is enough. I’ll no longer be moved by people’s opinions.’ And that indeed revolutionized my life. Listen, you do not need to be liked by everyone. It’s increasingly frustrating and depressing striving to be validated by everyone. Understand that not everyone would like you and that’s okay. Do you for you. If you live for people’s approval, you’ll die from their rejection.
- Self loathing: “Change how you look, if you do not like how you look” has always been my surmise. Sitting in a corner and brooding, whenever you open your social media page and are greeted by catchy pictures of a size six model, would plunge you into depression faster than you realize. Why are you worried over the result you didn’t get from the work you didn’t do? Everything you want is readily available if you’d work for them. Register at the gym and train for the body you desire. Some years ago, I had flabby arms and never felt comfortable brandishing them. If I wasn’t in a long sleeve shirt, I was wrapping my arms up in a massive shawl. I felt completely off whenever I hung out with my skinny friends who never failed to flaunt their toned arms. I was only a decision away from getting the kind of body I wanted. I finally made that decision. Now, I love myself so much that I fear it might even be a sin. You too can do same. Work on yourself. Decide to love yourself and stop looking to someone to give you what only you can give to you. You are adequate. You are enough. Love yourself and the world will love you right back.
Do you know anyone who is currently depressed and suicidal?
Empathize with those going through hard times because you’ll want that same empathy one day. Don’t try to invalidate their problems by turning into a competition for who is feeling worse. It makes the person feel like you are minimizing their pain and not really empathetic. Give them a shoulder to cry on. Be patient with them. Let them know that you truly care. Depression can make a person feel as if they are worthless and the worst thing you can do is to confirm this feeling for them that no one cares. Don’t blame them. Let them know that it isn’t their fault. Sometimes, they lash out in anger, but don’t let that deter you. It’s nothing to do with you. They are usually angry with themselves. Let them know it is their condition you are frustrated with, not them. They’ll be alright. All they need is time to heal.
Someone truly cares…
Yes, someone truly cares. But, first, you have to honestly look at your problems and admit that you have problems you are unable to cope with. When you are unwilling to face your problems, they’ll sooner than later become a demonic monster that controls your life. There are kind people out there; people who give without expecting anything in return. No matter how strong you think you are, you need a shoulder to lean on. You can’t handle depression by yourself. You need to have a go-to person. I am a very strong woman and a lot of people look up to me, but sometimes I break down and need urgent repairs. That doesn’t make me less of a strong woman. Pressure bursts pipes. When a towing van breaks down it goes for repairs too. So, do not beat yourself up. Staying bottled up is a pathway to destruction. Shout! Scream! Yell! There is a listening ear somewhere. There is an adage which says, “Na the pikin wey lift him hands na him him mama go carry.” (It’s only a child who lifts his hands the mother would carry.)Remember how the blind man screamed for help when he heard Jesus was in his city? No matter how His disciples tried to shut him up, he screamed even louder. And was his sight restored? Of course! Don’t resort to drugs and alcohol. They are only temporary therapeutic band aids. Don’t hurry to social media to reel out the reasons you’d rather die than stay alive. There insensitive comments would help you commit suicide quickly. In fact, you are the cause of your problems if you always run to social whenever you have a problem. Find new hobbies and learn to live again. Life can and will certainly get better. You’re not alone. There’re so many people going through hard times and people who care about you. It seems like a bad life, sometimes, but living is worth it. Seek help. Speak to a friend, family member, church members, priests and pastors. Ask God for direction, today. He’s waiting on you. Please don’t take your life. There is only one opportunity and it’s oh-so-heartbreaking to waste it ending this life. Your crisis is temporary, but death is not. This too shall pass!
Did you know that someone is desperately in need of the life you desperately want to end? Did you also know that someone is currently winning in the same situation you have just given up on? Think this through; then, get out of your bed and win. I’m cheering you on! You are not weak. You are not worthless. You are brave. You are courageous. You are valued. Please, stay strong and press on. Suicide is not an option. The misfortunes of today are those to laugh about tomorrow. Uh, you might as well start laughing now because you’ve already won the battle.