My name is Nyaruai Gitonga. I will be 30 in February and I live in Nairobi Kenya.
I have been rather morbid all my life, I’ve been fascinated by death more so curious on what the feeling just before one leaves this world is like. I took it as a legitimate curiosity which allowed me to explain away my suicide ideations I’ve had all my life.
Things started getting difficult when I was in high school and had my first depressive episode where I nearly flunked out. If it wasn’t for my headmistress at the time who allowed me to take the entire school term off and let me study for my final exams I would have failed my O-levels no doubt. My first depressive episode in high school kick-started my downward spiral that came to a head this year.
My A-levels were difficult but I managed to get through them after which I got my first job at the age of 17 in a local media house. After my 18th birthday for some reason, I knew I would not live to see my 21st birthday and I was relieved to say the truth. I didn’t know what would happen and suicide never crossed my mind at that time but every cell in body knew that I would not live to see that day.
Coincidence or not I was involved in a car accident that landed me in the morgue 8months before my 21st birthday, well of course I did not stay there seeing as I’m writing this story. Story goes I coughed and was wheeled back to the world of the living. Friends and family don’t know this but when I woke up from my month-long coma I was convinced that I was dead. I could tell that I was in hospital and once I got off the strong medication I started realising that I was not only dead but I was in HELL. It was the only rational explanation that made sense at the time that I would be in such crazy physical pain and having to fight for a life I did not want hell I never wanted. It’s only after I went home and three months passed by and I accepted I wasn’t dead, I was still in hell nonetheless. People have this scary images of fire and monsters when they think about hell but for me hell is being alive with my illness.
I had very severe injuries 50% brain damage and full body paralysis to which I’m still recovering from. The road to recovery was a long and difficult one but I pushed through it and got my life together.
Over the years I have sadly lost a few friends to suicide and I always wondered how they felt, what they were thinking before and during suicide. I remember telling my mum about a schoolmate who had taken their lives and she was so empathetic and saying how sad it was that the family could not help.
After my 28th birthday that all too familiar feeling that I would not live to see my 30th birthday returned and suicide had not crossed my mind at the time either. I was not only relived this time around I was excited yes excited that I would finally be able to rest and not live in the unbearable pain that is my life. In March of 2018 when the voices in my head were screaming so hard I couldn’t hear myself think, I was living moment by moment, the act of being alive and having to breathe, eat, sleep etc. was literally hurting me, it is at that point that suicide crossed my mind.
I fought the thoughts for nearly a month but the more I resisted the louder the voices got, the more it hurt and the thoughts of self-harm would consume my mind all day every day. In my last ditch hopes of getting help I asked my parents to be hospitalised because I knew something very terrible was going to happen. At that point I still did not think I would actually kill myself I thought it was just my mind messing with me.
Sadly my cries for help went unheard and on the 24th of March 2018 I had no more fight left in me and I finally gave in to the thoughts in my mind. That is the moment when killing myself made total and absolute sense. The voices in my head went quiet for the first time in my life and I experienced peace, colour returned to my life and I had the most peaceful and restful sleep of my life.
The plan was to do the deed the following day, I woke up all giddy knowing that I was finally going to find peace. I was to buy my suicide paraphernalia in the afternoon but I couldn’t wait I left the house at 11am. In the taxi I was scared the taxi driver would figure out my plan, when purchasing the items I was scared the tellers would figure my plan out, when buying my last earthy treat I was scared the sellers would figure out my intentions, when I got home I did not speak to anyone because I feared someone would figure it out and try and stop me. At that point I was not trying to be saved by anyone.
Everything was all set, all I had to do was wait for nightfall and do the deed and be done with world. At around 7pm for reasons unbeknownst to me the need and or the urge to take my own life was suddenly no longer there. To say the truth I was angry, I was angry that I had to continue living through the pain, I am still angry and disappointed but there is nothing I can do about not now except heal myself the best way I know how and live my best life!