THE JOURNEY TO SUICIDE

In Nigeria, we have become so judgmental to the point of even citing opinions on issues we haven't the slightest understanding of...



In Nigeria, we have become so judgmental to the point of even citing opinions on issues we haven't the slightest understanding of. Feminism, rape, marriage, sex, religion, terrorism, law, cultism, suicide and a host of other volatile topics making today's headlines. Suicide is the one I wish to talk about this time.

I came across a Facebook post sometime ago in which the author lambasted a certain individual who had made known his suicidal intentions to passers-by. According to the author, someone who truly intends to take their own life, ought not announce it. To the author, it translates as stupidity, unwillingness and every condemnable adjective you could think of. As much as I had wished to call the author a moron for such nasty sentiments, I was denied the access to comment on the original post due to Facebook's privacy policies, though I still shared my thoughts on the thread of the Facebook friend who shared it.

Now, here's the thing. Many of you are probably not aware that there are quite a number of websites and online fora where people who currently have suicidal tendencies, survivors of suicide attempts and people who have lost loved ones to suicide, all come together to help one another. They form support groups, and consequently recommend individuals to join and either participate actively or learn from people's experiences. In these groups, people share the various encounters they had with their deceased loved ones in the buildup to their death, while on some occasions, suicidal individuals tell how uneasy they find it adapting to the challenges of life. The group admins would later post obituaries of former group members who lost their fight to suicide and solicit for continuous support for embattled members.

These same groups also record success stories in form of testimonies from people who have managed to overcome their suicidal thoughts and approach life in an entirely different manner, though in rare cases, some of these survivors still resort to suicide as the pathway to eternal peace. What I find intriguing are the conflicting effects of these groups. On one hand, you come across stories that throw you into a fit of rapture and make you want to share them with everybody you know in order that they may never consider suicide as an option at any point in their lives, while on the other hand, some stories make you believe painless suicide is sometimes the answer to ending one's sorrows.

Furthermore, there are people who are always quick to adopt the line, "if you commit suicide, you will go to hell." Listen, you're nothing but a charlatan and a cold-blooded human if you still bear this line of reasoning. A judge gets to decide if a convict would either gain incarceration or freedom following an alleged crime, while God gets to judge if the deceased would make heaven or hell following suicide. If your pastors, priests and spiritual fathers are truly in line with God's (not just the bible) teachings, they would have told you that there comes a time when the same crime by two people, may get different judgments from God. You have an individual with a history of mental disorder commit suicide for no apparent reason, while a politician who was disgraced out of office after being found guilty of corruption commits suicide in order to absorb the shame and you still think their fate in the afterlife will be similar? You need to stop thinking like that.

I've once lost a cousin to suicide and the events that resulted in his death make me believe he would get a fair hearing from God. By God, I pray he does get it. Nobody got the memo from him, he made an unannounced decision and followed through on it. There are people who make  suicidal announcements and still actualize them after all forms of intervention fail. It's not synonymous with weakness, suicidal tendency is a complex phenomenon and the hysteria that accompanies it is perhaps what makes people do different things before committing suicide. One time I followed the story of a teenage Instagram user in the U.S who posted sequential events of his plans to take his own life. Following several bouts of assistance and admonition from friends, his last post was the picture of his outstretched hand with a wristwatch on it while standing on deck of a river in his community, with the words, "Time to see if my watch is really waterproof." Well, I suppose you know how he died.

People, before you wade opinions on different topics, be sure to reflect on how best to make reasonable contributions. If you find the topic obscure, listen and learn from knowledgeable people instead.

POSTSCRIPT:


In Nigeria, we have become so judgmental to the point of even citing opinions on issues we haven't the slightest understanding of. Feminism, rape, marriage, sex, religion, terrorism, law, cultism, suicide and a host of other volatile topics making today's headlines. Suicide is the one I wish to talk about this time.

I came across a Facebook post sometime ago in which the author lambasted a certain individual who had made known his suicidal intentions to passers-by. According to the author, someone who truly intends to take their own life, ought not announce it. To the author, it translates as stupidity, unwillingness and every condemnable adjective you could think of. As much as I had wished to call the author a moron for such nasty sentiments, I was denied the access to comment on the original post due to Facebook's privacy policies, though I still shared my thoughts on the thread of the Facebook friend who shared it.

Now, here's the thing. Many of you are probably not aware that there are quite a number of websites and online fora where people who currently have suicidal tendencies, survivors of suicide attempts and people who have lost loved ones to suicide, all come together to help one another. They form support groups, and consequently recommend individuals to join and either participate actively or learn from people's experiences. In these groups, people share the various encounters they had with their deceased loved ones in the buildup to their death, while on some occasions, suicidal individuals tell how uneasy they find it adapting to the challenges of life. The group admins would later post obituaries of former group members who lost their fight to suicide and solicit for continuous support for embattled members.

These same groups also record success stories in form of testimonies from people who have managed to overcome their suicidal thoughts and approach life in an entirely different manner, though in rare cases, some of these survivors still resort to suicide as the pathway to eternal peace. What I find intriguing are the conflicting effects of these groups. On one hand, you come across stories that throw you into a fit of rapture and make you want to share them with everybody you know in order that they may never consider suicide as an option at any point in their lives, while on the other hand, some stories make you believe painless suicide is sometimes the answer to ending one's sorrows.

Furthermore, there are people who are always quick to adopt the line, "if you commit suicide, you will go to hell." Listen, you're nothing but a charlatan and a cold-blooded human if you still bear this line of reasoning. A judge gets to decide if a convict would either gain incarceration or freedom following an alleged crime, while God gets to judge if the deceased would make heaven or hell following suicide. If your pastors, priests and spiritual fathers are truly in line with God's (not just the bible) teachings, they would have told you that there comes a time when the same crime by two people, may get different judgments from God. You have an individual with a history of mental disorder commit suicide for no apparent reason, while a politician who was disgraced out of office after being found guilty of corruption commits suicide in order to absorb the shame and you still think their fate in the afterlife will be similar? You need to stop thinking like that.

I've once lost a cousin to suicide and the events that resulted in his death make me believe he would get a fair hearing from God. By God, I pray he does get it. Nobody got the memo from him, he made an unannounced decision and followed through on it. There are people who make  suicidal announcements and still actualize them after all forms of intervention fail. It's not synonymous with weakness, suicidal tendency is a complex phenomenon and the hysteria that accompanies it is perhaps what makes people do different things before committing suicide. One time I followed the story of a teenage Instagram user in the U.S who posted sequential events of his plans to take his own life. Following several bouts of assistance and admonition from friends, his last post was the picture of his outstretched hand with a wristwatch on it while standing on deck of a river in his community, with the words, "Time to see if my watch is really waterproof." Well, I suppose you know how he died.

People, before you wade opinions on different topics, be sure to reflect on how best to make reasonable contributions. If you find the topic obscure, listen and learn from knowledgeable people instead.

POSTSCRIPT:

In you happen to be one with suicidal tendencies, please seek help. Run a Google search on online communities and support groups on suicide and see if you will find their intervention beneficial. Suicide might be your own answer to eternal peace, but there could be better answers, answers that I would not claim to know. Please seek help.

In you happen to be one with suicidal tendencies, please seek help. Run a Google search on online communities and support groups on suicide and see if you will find their intervention beneficial. Suicide might be your own answer to eternal peace, but there could be better answers, answers that I would not claim to know. Please seek help.

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