In 1998, I almost killed myself. I was just fifteen and already, depression had taken over my life. I can’t even remember how I got there. But I remembered that evening. I got home from school, found a bunch of pills where my mom kept some, and just swallowed them all. There were up to twenty or more pills, so it took batches. When I was done, I went to sleep, hoping to be dead soon. But I woke up hours later, alive and still breathing.
I have suffered from depression all my life. When I was pregnant with my son, it was the most difficult part of my adult existence. Apart from being physically ill throughout the pregnancy, my mind was also in a dark place. If it wasn’t for the baby I was carrying, I didn’t know what I would have done to myself. I would tell myself that the day I give birth to him, I’ll end my life. I had gotten to the point that I even wanted a painful death because I felt I deserved it. I remember lying on the floor of my living room on many days, not eating, not bathing, not writing, just staring at the white wall. My husband would come home and meet me that way. Sometimes, I would cry all through the night and he would be forced to stay awake with me. I stopped communicating and just lived through each day like a zombie. There was an evening I saw him praying in the bathroom with tears in his eyes, yet none of that moved me. I had gone into a place nobody could reach. I believed there was God but I was certain he hated me and wanted me to die.
But somehow I overcame all of that. I don’t know how; God just lifted me out of it. My husband was also my redeeming grace. Since then, I haven’t had one serious episode of depression.
Why am I telling you this story?
I have a friend. A younger friend, who is going through a lot. I can’t start listing out her problems. If you are friends with her on Facebook, you will find her posts shocking and sad. Ikem has been through hell, faced abuse, faced neglect from her father, faced deprivation and all manner of calamity. Now, she has to watch her mom struggle with her health and to pay hospital bills she cannot afford. Yet she is only a student. Even her school tuition is sometimes funded by good friends on Facebook.
Ikem is suffering from depression. The type I had when I wanted to kill myself. She is tired of all her struggles, tired of life. She has even given up on God too. But the beautiful thing is that in this dark moment when she says to God, I am done with you, God says to her I have not even begun with you.
Ikem needs our help. Friends on Facebook have been gracious enough to throw in helping hands. I have also done the little I can. But I need you to please, help out. I don’t want to lose her. I can’t imagine what she’s going through right now.
Please, read this update from her:
What’s on my mind?
The concept of God. I have stopped going to church. This is not because I don’t believe in God but…
That was the post that scared us all and we came rushing. I know you have your own problems. Or you may have planned some charity work this Christmas as I always do. I’m not asking you to do too much (but if you can, hey no problem). I am asking that you just do the little you can. To Ikem, it would mean a lot. Her mother’s foot is to be amputated. The woman is all she’s got. Please, help this blessed child who has lost faith in her God. I told her that people responding to her cry for help is God helping her. We hope she gets out of this and never have to face it again.
So, kindly reach out to her. I’ve never asked you to do this before because I am quite careful with these things but I assure you, Ikem and her problems are real. Bless her this Christmas, fam.
Here are her account details:
Ibe Ikem Immaculate Ugomma
Account no 3098290456
God bless you!