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Revisiting the Phenomenon of Suicide

By Adekoya Boladale

Growing up as a nine year old boy with a single parent is extremely challenging especially with all the frustrations our society offers. The thought of committing suicide had often crossed my mind, not once, not twice, and not even thrice! There was an occasion I had summoned courage to do the needful and put an end to what I perceived then as the cruel, unfair and pathetic storms of life.

I walked to the store room and drank the ‘poly-filler’ there but few minutes after that I started regretting my action. The world I had hated so much seems to be bringing a new definition to me. All of a sudden I came to admire life again, the thought of my family, the memories of the love and fun we share, images of our moments when we played and shared jokes flashed through my mind. Hot tears flowed down my cheeks and my body trembled in fear, the question on my mind was just one; what have I done?

Fortunately for me I survived, as what I drank was only yam flour stored in the chemical container as against the poison I thought I took. This is my story of luck but not that of many others who have had to end their promising, bright and fruitful life due to their inability to withstand the challenges and frustrations of life.

The act of taking one’s life referred to as ‘suicide’ has continued to take an astronomic projection in our society. The human-will which naturally gives us hope, faith and energy to continue fighting in times of tribulations is gradually depreciating. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) over 800,000 people around the world commit suicide yearly, a calculation which results to one person every forty seconds, there by taking the position of the second leading cause of death globally.

While the most common means of suicide according to the World health Organisation (WHO) are poisoning, hanging and firearms which the organization suggest should be checked by parents and guardians, the cause(s) of suicide is an important area that should be given utmost attention.

It may be difficult to say precisely why individuals take their lives but the most common elements are frustration, rejection, humiliation, soberness and rarely influence. These emotional forces are often very hard to counter, the thoughts of lost hopes, shattered dreams and vision are most times heavy and deep that it only takes a person in that exact shoe to understand the pains and agony.

Life in its natural state is cruel and brutish; to say otherwise will be untruthful. The scale of humanity is never equal and so is life. Those who work tirelessly continue to wallow in abject poverty while the few sit back and live in affluence. Many have worked diligently to move above the scale of social deficiency but always end up there. These and many more may lead to frustration and lost hope but one thing we all need to remember is that life is rarely about how well or how satisfied we become.

Beyond the affluence and pursuit of happiness we often forget that true fulfillment lies not in our ability to achieve all our goals but in our ability to help others achieve theirs. The utmost cause of living is not getting inner peace alone but creating an environment where friends, enemies and family members take refuge. Our needs are naturally insatiable as we keep moving from one goal to another after achieving them. To me this looks more like a psychologically designed game of selfishness programmed by our naturally selfish state of mind to preoccupy our minds with unending desires hence taking the mind off the duty of lending a helping hand to fellow beings. We have lost contentment in the little we have forgetting that there are others who desire to have two-third of what we currently posses but don’t. Frustration is a deep wound but never is it enough reason to put an end to our lives rather it should ignite the flames of selflessness and service to humanity as the only thing that makes Human more supreme than other beings is our ability to keep fighting even when there is nothing to fight for.

 I recently came across a news report about a course mate back then in the university who was jilted by his longtime girlfriend, he couldn’t handle the rejection hence committed suicide. His story is one of many others who have been victims of heartbreak and rejection by friends, family members and loved ones. To say this is not cruel is being deceptive, rejection is a hard nut to crack especially when it is about individuals we care about. However, we often allow this state of mind cloud the big picture as we fail to realize that every rejection is a call to mission.

Taking our life because we feel unwanted by others is nothing but a disservice to ourselves. Rejection is a task in which we need to prove ourselves, those who reject you have lost faith in your ability to triumph and it becomes a necessity to prove to them that you can move on without them. If they have lost hope in you or find you unworthy to have them then they don’t deserve you, as someone who truly loves and believes in you wouldn’t. No lover is worth losing your life over as what it only requires for them to move on and clock their arms around someone else is in space of months.

Being made a subject of ridicule is distasteful, embarrassing and shameful but getting humiliated is part of the crosses of life we must bear, rather than it being a cause of suicide we should move on and use it as a point of experience. We should allow it take its nature chapter in our book of life history; ‘the most embarrassing moment’. It is a phase of life we must pass through and when it comes, we are required to study it, understand it and learn from it.

Life is fun and interesting if we live each day as it comes, we should avoid worries and enjoy the company of others. Laughter is a good recipe and so is crying. It is normal we feel pain and when we do, we should cry, as this eases our burden but we should get over it and move on. Soberness limits our potentials. Laugh, play, share jokes.

Those who only see suicide as an exit door are weak, cruel, inconsiderate, selfish and self-centered. They are those who are too weak to face the reality of life hence chicken out, the strong ones stay and fight on. Committing suicide is putting pain and pressure on family and loved ones. If you truly love anyone or anything then you must stay alive!