IBK’s JOURNAL (Entry 27)

IBK’s JOURNAL (Entry 27)

June 30

I won’t say I’m depressed. I’ve seen depression… It’s not pretty. Depressed people can’t function. I’m functioning pretty alright. But I’ve got something. Something that feels like it’s diffused under my skin and concentrated in my chest. It’s been like this for the past week or two. Sometimes it feels like panic but I know I have been unhappy and when I’m not happy, I feel like I’ve got an aura of smoke.

I fear writing about the things that are making me unhappy because I would start to cry and I worry that I wouldn’t know how to stop. I’ve taken to picturing myself stuffing negative emotions in a dark cupboard along a long lightless corridor and locking the door.

There’s a long expressway in front of my office. Sometimes I cross the road to buy roast corn from a woman with crooked teeth (imagining her trying to eat the corn causes me some bemusement). Sometimes, as a trailer comes flying down the road, I’m like, “That’s one way to die.” But I never really seriously consider it. It’s like an echo of a thought that really isn’t mine. It just pops into my head.

Sometimes when the something under my skin feels like it’s threatening to break that barrier, my mind flickers to an image of me twisting a fork or knife in the crook of my elbow or at least running it down my arm, softly at first, then building up pressure. But I quell it really fast. I have never self-harmed. But I have been on the brink of it on more than one occasion.

I tell myself thinking about it is not the same thing as doing it. So I don’t really have a problem. Just like the times I told myself thinking about suicide wasn’t the same thing as doing it – that is, until I tried.

The day had started out normal. I was about to leave for lectures when I received a call from mum. I assumed she wanted to do the weekly prayer thing. It was a Monday. She did pray for me but she ended the call saying she had a dream where family members were saying I was a wonderful son, if not for that “thing”. Now that I think about it, she’s never called me gay or any of the words for it directly. It’s always been “that thing” or “your problem”.

I let her talk, then cut the call, quelled the panic I felt bubbling inside me and went for lectures. I thought I was fine. Until two days later when I went drinking with a couple of friends.

It wasn’t bad. I felt light as a feather as the alcohol coursed through my system. We were walking down the university streets and I was being loud as fuck while attempting to twerk. Then we reached the gates and my friend went to use the ATM while the other one stayed back.

And I started talking. The conversation is hazy now. All I know is I felt this overwhelming sense of hopelessness and worthlessness as the call from my mum seemed to break free from its burial mound and I started to cry right there on the road. I was a good son. I was not a bad person. But none of that seemed to matter to the person I loved the most because I liked men.

My friend tried to comfort me. I tried to steel myself. That was when the image of a bottle of whiskey on my desk and beside it a bottle of sniper popped into my head. I hurriedly shrugged my friend off, saying I was fine and needed to get home. Next thing I know, I was home and mixing the two fluids together. And I took a swig.

Thankfully the taste of it seemed to do something to my brain. And what I was trying to do seemed clear. So I went to the bathroom and stuck a finger down my throat to throw up, which wasn’t difficult because I had a stomach full of beer.

As I vomited, my friends came rushing into my room. And I was a mass of tears as they tried to comfort me.

Whenever I remember my behaviour that night, the recollection comes with mortification, but I am grateful for it. It showed me that my mental space is important and negative vibes have a way of latching on and growing roots and producing fruit when you least expect it. It’s made me realise the importance of standing up to my mum when she speaks and not sparing her because sparing her does not spare me. It made my resolve stronger to distance myself from home where every now and then, I’m subjected to passive aggressiveness. Where every good deed I do is tarred by something that isn’t wrong.

I’m hoping the dark shadows will go away soon.

Written by IBK

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6 Comments

  1. Santa Diaba
    July 01, 06:56 Reply

    Wow. I felt this. Suicide ideation is something that I’ve struggled with for years. I’ve never actually attempted anything but I did have a bottle of sleeping pills I kept beside my bed for years.
    Just stay strong and try to be positive. You’re amazing and you are loved ❤️

  2. Tobee
    July 01, 13:35 Reply

    Hey, I recognise this feeling and it is on the spectrum of depression. Yes, when one is severely depressed, they may be unable to function. But it can start out as mild depression and gradually morph into something more severe. If you are having thougts of suicide/self-harm, it is good to speak to someone – a counsellor or psychologist or psychiatrist. If you want to speak to an LGBT-friendly mental health professional, I am happy to link you up.

    In the main time, try to avoid things that make you feel worse, try to continue with your regular activities (if you can), do some exercise regularly. Watch out for yourself too – if you feel worse within the next 1 or 2 weeks, please see someone.

    Take care, K.

  3. Kritzmoritz
    July 01, 15:01 Reply

    You must understand that the “dark shadows ” will always be there. Largely because of the environment you find yourself. What is important is never to embrace it or make a companion of it. And it is not by aggression that it would be achieved but by dwelling on yourself, being happy and realizing that not all problems is really about “your problem”. When you learn to take a higher view of life, you will recognize the Dark Shadows when it stirs and you will know when to switch the light on (with positive energy) and drive the darkness away. Good luck.

  4. Francis
    July 03, 10:46 Reply

    Wow. The hustle to keep negative people and thoughts out continues. Thanks for this reminder man

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