EMERGING TRENDS

How to deal with suicide, one life at a time.

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By Ivy Aseka

Today marks 20 weeks. 5 months.
Ever since he died, I’ve become too aware of time. Losing people does that.
So today I won’t do the weepy thing. Instead, I’ll tell you some things I’ve learnt about losing someone to suicide and generally losing someone..

1. Perspective. This life is fickle. Do your best. Hug those you love. Tell them you love them. Show up for your people. So that when they go, on their own volition or not, you will never feel like you didn’t do all you could.

2. Giving love a chance again. It is possible. Especially for people who have been where I am. You’ll ask yourself, “Is it too soon?” “Is this a betrayal?” It doesn’t demean your loss. That can never change. But you can’t stop living because someone else has stopped. We owe only ourselves happy endings. Also, the dead don’t care about what the living do.

3. Therapy is important. I can’t stress this enough. You will need someone to hear you and understand you. Your family and friends mean well, but they are biased and often, don’t have perspective.Also, find a support group if you can. You’ll hear stories that will make you appreciate the worst story of your life.

4. Take your time. There are days you’ll feel like you’re drowning. Be kind to yourself. Sometimes all you’ll do is make your bed, and that’s enough. Time will pass, and the important days you looked forward to together will come, and you will weep. But that’s okay. Cry so that you can be free to feel other things.

5. There is no blueprint for grief. You feel how you feel and that’s alright. Strength is overrated. Tell me how you found air when grief was suffocating you. You don’t owe anyone a happy face or being okay.

6. Mental health is hectic. We all need to take a gaze internally and seek professional help when we feel we need to. Your friends are not your therapists. Neither are your partners.

7. You have more grit than you think. I’m very emotional and a closeted pessimist with the softest heart and here I am, breathing.

8. Protect your sanity at all costs. Those demanding jobs will be there. Friendships will be there. Those that have your back will always be there. Don’t stress yourself. It’s not a matter of life and death. Overlapping feelings is not healthy. So, choose your battles. Sadness doesn’t go well with anger and stress.

9. Let’s stop walking on eggshells. People are dying because of depression and other mental health issues. If we keep kanyagiaring, we’ll keep saying, “dust to dust”
Have those uncomfortable but necessary conversations.

10. Life is fluid. It really does get better. Aki it does. I swear it does. I cross my heart and hope to not die. It does. Believe me.

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NANCY OKUTAH
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