The Day I Asked for Death

Depression is a big thing, It affects so many people around the world. It’s like a dark figure with a chokehold on you, invading your mind and body. It makes you feel worthless, it drains you. It makes you reluctant, it makes you doubt.

I hope to bring more awareness to mental issues throughout my writing journey! Anyway, depression affected me strongly and still does to this day. However, at one point it got so overwhelming that I tried to pray to God to take me away.

By the time you finish reading this, I hope you’ll take time to observe the people around you and reach out to those who are struggling. If you’re the one struggling, I’m here for you & I hope you overcome this feeling.

What is depression?

Let me just leave out any big grammar definitions and put the dictionary away. My definition of depression, is an intense feeling of bleakness. It is when you feel numb, when you question why you exist and why you are going through what you’re going through. It’s a heavy feeling on your heart, and especially your mind (in my case, anyway). I’ve been depressed at many points, and I remember one particular point at which it got so intense.

I was about 11/12, and life already felt bleak. I had just moved from Nigeria to a whole other country, and everything was so new. No, it wasn’t that the infrastructure was bad because it was amazing! It was just the whole re-adjusting – new weather, new environment, and of course – new school. I was enrolled in primary school then, and I felt like such an outcast.

I’m an incredibly quiet person, very shy & quite socially awkward. Now I’ve advanced way more than before, but back then I found it so hard to talk to people. I was so tightly squeezed into my shell that it was hard for me to come out. All the other kids were such extroverts, plus they’d all known each other for years before I’d landed! I was enrolled into ‘year 6’ which is like primary 5 or something. Some of these people had been friends since about kindergarten level, and were all locals. Of course I felt like an outcast.

Another thing was that I and my siblings were basically the only black kids in the school. There were different people from different countries but no Africans AT ALL. I didn’t even realise how important it was to have other Africans around. Though I made friends with my classmates, the girls mostly, It was one of the loneliest periods of my life.

‘Ugly Duckling’

I had the lowest self confidence level ever. I did not believe anything good about myself. I looked in the mirror and hated what I saw. I hated my face which felt like that of a horse. I hated my big lips, my eyes, my nose. All around me were white people and so I felt I was the odd one out, sticking out like a sore thumb. By sticking out, I felt ugly. The girls were so gorgeous with their different coloured eyes, white/sometimes tanned skin, different coloured hair and their awesome lifestyles. I had crushes but my crushes of course were into the other girls. It was really pathetic. I had my friends tell me I was beautiful but I refused to believe it.

Home Was Not Home

At home, things were also chaotic. I felt out of place both at school and at home. I had nobody to talk to, nobody to help me out. My mum was out working, my siblings were 6 and 7 years younger, respectively. Of course they would adjust easily, they were still very little. I felt like I was the only one facing all these problems. There were so many issues occurring at once, it was all so overwhelming.

I hated seeing other people sad and liked comforting them, but had nobody to do that to me. I began to confide in my aunty, but that could only help so much, considering she was in Nigeria. I spent most of my time in my room (still do), deep in my thoughts. I was basically a hermit.

depression quotes
Just goes to show that even those who comfort others, have their own battles they’re fighting. Look out for one another.

The Solution

The funny thing is, I think depression really brings out my creativity. I retire into my mind to envision a better life for myself. That was what I did then, however the solution I came up with was quite ridiculous. I started having this idea that I could die and reincarnate into a new life with a completely different family. The new family would have me being the last born, not the oldest like in my current life.

We would also be extremely wealthy and live in one of the posh homes in Fremantle (Fremantle was a seaside city, so it was quite gorgeous) and everything would be perfect. I’d be given attention and whatnot. I kept thinking of this so much, I started believing strongly it would happen.

So what did I do? I prayed. I prayed to God to just take me away one night and put me in a completely different body and life. I believed I would be able to escape all my problems. Lol! I even told my siblings I would be leaving them for a new family and they believed me too. We all anticipated it.

quotes on depression

I prayed hard the night before the date I was to be ‘taken away’, and then I went to sleep with my mind at ease. Everything was going to change.

You can only imagine my disappointment the next day when I woke up in the same bed, same life, same people around me. I felt like reality had slapped me hard. I remember that day, my siblings came back from school and were like ‘you haven’t gone to the new family yet?” (I’m actually so ridiculous)

Thinking about it is funny now, but honestly I was so down back then. I wish I could go back in time and give myself a hug. I needed support, I needed people I could really relate with. The people at school were so awesome and supportive – from the teachers who I loved, to the students. However, at that time it was like though there were things we could talk of, we were worlds apart.

Anyway, I’m still here, writing about this experience instead of being on a yacht somewhere with my ‘alternate family’. Oh well! When you find yourself in a new environment or new phase of life, things can get a bit complicated. This is especially the case when you have to start all over again.

quotes on depression

Reach out, don’t get strangled by the silence! When you feel down, when it feels hard to even continue breathing, please try and be strong. No condition is permanent. I hope that in whatever is plaguing you, you are able to see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Even more, I hope that you are not facing the struggle alone. God is there, and he’ll also provide people to help you reach that light.

lauryn hill quotes

The journey from absolute feelings of ‘worthlessness’ to where I am today, was not a short one! This is just a tid-bit, but I’ll continue sharing along the way.

P.S All text posts & quotes in this post were made by me. Feel free to use them, but also a credit would be nice! xo

Have you ever felt extremely down? How did you overcome that feeling?


8 thoughts on “The Day I Asked for Death”

  1. I am glad you shared your story. See, it’s funny how presently the noise about depression is so loud yet no one seems to be listening. Maybe we listen (sometimes) but we have refused to pay enough attention. I really hope this touches someone today.
    Thank you

  2. Wonderful post Amaka. Thanks for being brave to share your story. I’ve once prayed to die too just my mind wasn’t as creative as yours to Imagine reincarnation.

    Depression is an Issue getting more real by the day in Nigeria and our Nigerian parents and society needs orientation and respect for psychology. God help us

    1. God help us indeed. You know me, I wanted to die but then not really die. I basically wanted to continue living, just not in the same body!
      What an imagination indeed.

      I hope you’re far, far away from that place that made you pray to die now. Depression has really taken it’s toll oh, especially with the financial hardship that has affected many.

      Once again, always appreciate your comments! I read your story the other day on the Kalahari Review, very moving.

  3. Hey Amaka! This just spoke to my heart. I’m so proud of you and your courage to share your story. Honestly people don’t understand the extent to which a life can be affected by an offset in emotions or ways of thinking. I believe conditions that cannot be seen are more serious than even physical conditioning that are easily diagnosed. As a child and later into my teens, I battled a lot of extreme anxiety and depression a lot of times for multiple reasons. Each time I thought I wouldn’t make it to the other end of the tunnel, but my God’s grace I always did. And that has helped me have so much conviction that nothing in this world we would go through is permanent. Thank you! Xoxoxo ???

  4. You’re welcome Joan! Always appreciate having you drop by! Thank you for also sharing a part of your experience. This heavy feeling must never be allowed to linger.

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