I was feeding my 2-year old daughter Zomi when my husband suddenly walked into the house with a confused face. I didn’t have to look at him twice to realize that something was terribly wrong.
He bent down to look at the child before tapping my shoulder slightly in a move to call my attention. I meekly turned to face him and unwillingly releasing a distant “hello” from a jumbled mind full of thoughts.
Just then, a young soft-faced lady jumped in unannounced. Her pointed breasts were the first to enter the house. She was dressed in a mini-skirt that exposed her voluminous brown thighs that threatened to burst out and enjoy untamed freedom. A man followed afterward with 3 huge bags and left as soon as he was given some money. All these events passed so fast it was as if I was watching something outside of my own realm.
Then, my husband sheepishly said,” Stella, this is my other wife Monica.”
I froze. I was petrified. I was confused. I was lost albeit momentarily.
When I came back to reality, the lady was carelessly walking to the direction of the kitchen as if she knew the house quite well. My husband’s eyes followed her palpitating heavy behind. He grinned. It was a hideous smile.
I had been working and living in Rwanda for 2 years but I always visited monthly for at least 3 days. When my company failed to renew my contract, I came home. However, I didn’t manage to get a job, so I became a housewife. By then, we had 3 children. When financial constraints hit us, I sold all my shares and my car.
After a few months of staying with my husband, I realized that he was evasive and very secretive. He changed his phone number often giving some dubious reasons. When he finally brought his mistress home, it perfectly explained his change of behavior towards me and the children. Having been raised in an orphanage in Buru Buru estate phase 2, I had no extended family to go to…I had no money. No savings. I felt trapped in life.
The next few days were perhaps the worst period of my life. As soon as the lady settled, my husband’s attention to me and the kids greatly reduced. They often closed themselves in the master bedroom and giggled throughout the night. I started having trouble sleeping. I would spent the whole night thinking of how to escape from the situation and help my children get a better life. I still loved my husband but he had provoked me in the worst way possible. I was jealous. I was sad. My feelings were overwhelming me.
When the neighbors poked their noses into our affairs, it is as if they drove a burning knife into a wound; in my heart. I withdrew myself from any form of social meetings. My children remained my only friends.
I had long lost my appetite for food but I would always struggle to prepare meals for my children.
Betrayal stings. It takes a toll on the mind and body. At times, my breathing would get impaired. The family doctor cautioned that I was slowly drifting into depression. I smiled and brushed her off. I admitted that I was going through challenges in life, but I refused to accept that I would be depressed. When she insisted, I walked away angrily.
Just after 3 days, my husband walked into the children’s bedroom where I had moved to and informed me that I had 2 months to vacate his house. Monica was expecting a child in a few months. Apparently, they needed more space! I simply nodded in acceptance and immediately started to think of ways to commit suicide.
I decided on poison as a favorite way of ending my bitter life. I suddenly became a little happy especially when the suicidal thoughts lingered in my mind. I set the date. I would drink the notorious “Rat and Rat” on the 28th of October 2018 at 9:00 pm. I wrote 6 letters; 3 for my children, for Monica, for my husband and another for the world, to be read during my burial ceremony if at all my husband would afford me one.
When the clock hit 9:00 pm, I held the poison in my hand and was ready to drink when Zomi, my last-born daughter walked into the room. She simply said, “Mummy, I need more milk.” Then, she walked back to the kitchen. I changed my mind. I was not going to die. I walked to the sitting room and pulled the drawer where we kept a G-4 pistol and loaded it. I walked to my husband’s bedroom and found him on the bed making Monica’s hair. I cocked the gun and raised it.
Recovering from depression requires action, but taking action when you’re depressed is hard. In fact, just thinking about the things you should do to feel better, like going for a walk or spending time with friends, can be exhausting.
It’s the Catch-22 of depression recovery: The things that help the most are the things that are the most difficult to do. There’s a difference, however, between something that’s difficult and something that’s impossible.
Tip 1: Get Support
Getting the support you need during depression is everything. On your own, it can be difficult to put things in perspective and have the energy to beat depression.
Depression feeds on loneliness and isolation, the first step out of it is to reach out. You may feel ashamed, too exhausted to talk, or guilty for neglecting the relationship.
Remind yourself that this is the depression talking. Reaching out is not a sign of weakness, on the contrary, it takes all the strength you can muster to seek help.
Tip 2: Beat Negative Thinking
Depression puts a negative spin on everything, including the way you see yourself, the situations you encounter, and your expectations for the future.
But you can’t break out of this pessimistic mind frame by “just thinking positive.’
The trick is not just to get rid of the negative thoughts, but also to have balanced thoughts. Think outside yourself.
Do not blame yourself. And don’t ask yourself why always you. Allow yourself to be less perfect; many depressed people are perfectionist holding unto themselves crazy high standards.
Understand that you are human and the first step to being perfect is being good; so be good to yourself.
Tip 3: Beat Procrastination
The symptoms of depression, such as fatigue and difficulty concentrating, make procrastination tempting.
But putting things off fuels depression. It can lead to increased guilt, worry, and stress. Don’t say you will talk to someone tomorrow, talk to them today. Pick up the phone. Call her. Call him. Do the job today. Just don’t burden yourself.
TIP 4: Talk Therapy
Talking is a way of letting off the build up tension within. Talk therapy has been scientifically proven as a possible treatment method for lowering risk of suicide.
There are different forms of talk therapy. One of them is Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which is used for people who are habouring suicidal thoughts.
Above all, it teaches you how to talk to yourself and work through stressful life events and emotions. It goes along way in helping someone who has suicidal thoughts replace the nagitivy with positive vibes.
TIP 5: Seek Medication
If all else fails, one may require to seek medication as a way of lowering the risk. Medication is then prescribed that can lower symptoms that are caused by mental or physical conditions.
Some of the medications that maybe prescribed are:
c) antipsychotic medications