I have been here before; on different days, but definitely at this same spot. Everything is familiar; the whispers are so loud in my head that I want to jump out of my skin. My mind is at war with me. I wish my mind and I could make amends and become friends but my thoughts won’t bend. My thoughts won’t stop haunting me, not even when I have others around. Someone is shouting in my head and I can’t turn them off. I want it to stop. I need it to stop, but I am here alone. All by myself battling with these feelings, feelings I am yet to understand. Feelings I can’t explain. Feelings that no one told me existed. It’s hard; sometimes it’s good, but most days I want to view the world from the bottom of a pool with the water rushing into my nose. I am at an all time low, stuck in this rugged terrain. My legs shake from anxiety and my eyes are puffy and tinted red from all the tears I’ve had to shed. Depression has a grip on me.
The pain radiates from my insides out unto everyone around me, driving them as mad as I am. You ask, “Are you okay?” I am not okay! Can’t you see that? Or do I have to cut my wrists for you to tell?? Are you still asking that as if we didn’t grow up under the same hardship? Ooh wait, you had it better. You didn’t have to see them kill anyone. You’ve never had a sandpaper hand forced between your thighs. But, are you okay?
I feel helpless, hopeless and insecure. But oh, I am not to say that. I am not to talk about my feelings and deepest fears. That makes me weak; that makes me less of an African man. I am supposed to be strong and fearless. I am supposed to mask the pain. I can’t talk about the demons I wrestle with at night, the arrows pointing in my veins nor the voices telling me to end it all. I can’t talk about the scars from all the trauma. The trauma I was born into, not the ones I walked into. 14 years; my first 14yrs and all I knew was unrest and uncertainty. I am not weak, nor a Zogo, I am sick. I have a condition. A condition family and friends cannot understand. “How can you be depressed? Your life is perfect. You have it all: love, money, friendship, and Jesus. How can you be depressed?” They don’t understand the difference between physical wellness and mental wellness. They don’t know my thoughts, emotions nor my psychological state. Don’t put me in a box so that I can fit into society’s definition of wellness. Don’t ignore my pains. Help me feel better, help me pursue mental health.
Authored by Jaylee Sarsih
Featured picture by Pixhere