“You look like a ghost”. 

These were the first words my roommate said to me after she woke me up from what I had hoped would be my last sleep.

Don’t judge me for attempting suicide, you don’t understand, you weren’t there when my life began to crumble bit by bit, you weren’t there when I cried so hard I was worried about not having enough tears to cry another day. You weren’t there when the ache was so much, that I couldn’t even bring myself to cry, no matter how hard I tried. I would try my best to defend myself, though.

My life began to go dark after Amaka stopped being friends with me. And God… were we close. We used to get drunk together and do foolish things, like knock on our neighbors’ doors and run away before they could answer them. Then we would laugh till our stomachs hurt, at our foolishness. We used to blast hearty songs like doja cat’s Pay Day and yelled along, indifferent to the welfare of our neighbors. Amaka was by my side, hailing me, as I winced when my first shot of alcohol, Captain Jack, slithered down my throat. I stayed in the bathrooms of the hotels we stayed in for the night after partying; pretending to be interested in my phone as I listened to her mindlessly making out with another guy. We lived what I thought was a life together.

However, the life we lived didn’t matter to Amaka. After two years of foolish and reckless friendship, she dropped me cold. Her parting gift to me was the lies she spread about me, telling people I used her to enjoy myself. I didn’t even dignify the lie with my telling of the truth when the people she told came to tell me. I confronted her instead and she denied it. Coward.

I’m a strong woman though. So like a black hole, after this star collapsed, I sucked everything in. The pain, the anger, the disappointment. As I said, I’m a strong woman.

Also, it’s easier to live through pain when there’s another person to be codependent on. So, after Amaka left, I focused on the love of my life, Deji, whom I called témi, and that’s how it was, Deji was mine. When he made me happy he was mine, when he beat me, he was still mine. Now, please don’t be like one of those people, and ask me why I didn’t leave the relationship after the first time he made my eyes swollen, because haven’t you been following my story? Deji was the love of my life! The only tether to my sanity. How could I have left him? He was témi after all. Mine. When I think of my time with him, I liken it to the gnash and Olivia’s song, ”I love you, I hate you”. And maybe, in some masochistic way, I reveled in his attention.

It was cut short too because something about me, it must have been me, became repulsive to Deji. After over a year of our…relationship, he left. Told me it was over and didn’t bother with a reason. There was no apology for all the times his hands met my body to hurt me. There was no apology for the times I stared at the ceiling, with my hands longing for a consoling squeeze from his absent palms, as the doctor removed another cell that could have become life in me. He just packed his clothes, whatever he felt for me, and left my apartment, and my life. And just like that, the black hole increased and swallowed more pain, more anger, more dejection. I tried to cry, but I couldn’t. Instead, I saw myself talking to my bed, and when I laughed, I recognized it from somewhere, from a mad woman’s mouth.

Like I said in the beginning, I’m a strong woman, so strong I was able to Google search ”the easiest way to kill yourself”. But Google wanted me to live, so it directed me to articles about living and hotlines to call.

“No, I want to die”

So I reluctantly went back to the memories of Amaka and me. I remember I once followed her to a dealer’s place and I heard the guy tell her to not take more than 400mg of Tramadol. I collected his number that day because Amaka asked me to. She said he was too important not to have his number saved elsewhere, and I was the most convenient backup. So, I called the dealer, got over 500 mg of tramadol from him (told him it’s for myself and Amaka), bought sleeping pills from different pharmacies, and got Captain Jack, I and Amaka’s favorite gin. I put on Leon Bridge’s River and as I was swallowing all the pills, I noticed that tears were finally falling on my cheeks, I smiled. With River still on, I pushed everything down to my stomach with the gin. I remember collapsing onto my bed, seeing nothing, and thinking ”the black hole finally gets to explode”



Iwas told I was unconscious for three days after I opened my eyes to see the O.R.L fan attached to the asbestos ceiling I thought I’d never set my eyes on again. The second day after I tried to kill myself, my housemate knocked on my door, to ask if I wanted anything from the market, I didn’t answer, and when she came back and still didn’t get a reply from me, she became alarmed and called for help. That’s how they saved my body. But pumping my stomach didn’t save my soul.

My housemate and I were never close, we only shared rent, and helped each other buy pepper, tomatoes, and provisions. However, after she brought me back home, she prepared rice and ata dindin for me. The aroma of the sauce drifted to me and it made me break down in tears. It was a clear reminder that I lived, and I didn’t know what to do with the reminder. So I cried. I cried for the girl I became. My housemate heard my sobs and she told me:

”I’m not even going to pretend that we are close or any of that. And I’m not against suicide either, but If you kill yourself with unresolved issues, you would become a ghost, and that’s no peace”. 

She went on to say that she understands that therapy is expensive, and she understands if I wouldn’t like to talk to anyone.

“Do you know you can be your therapist?” She asked.

I nodded no because it was the first time I heard of self-therapy. Self-therapy is counseling yourself, just as the name suggests, and the method is inexpensive.

i. Materials

All you need is a jotter, pen, phone, and internet connection.

ii. Method

You just have to Google what you are feeling or going through. I understand if this is hard for you, we don’t always have words with which to qualify our pain, but you have to think of the closest words that express what you are going through. In my case, it was anxiety, trauma, and suicide.

iii. Application

Then you Google search, ”Best Books for [insert the words that express what you are going through]. Several books will pop out. Take your time, scroll through, choose the three books that speak to you the most, and get them. In my case, the books were:

  • Unwinding Anxiety by Judson Brewer.
  • It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini.
  • What happened to you? by Bruce D Perry and Oprah Winfrey
  • Declutter Your Mind by S. J Scott, and Barrie Davenport.


iv. Self-therapy.

Now that you have your books. Read them carefully and with diligence.

I channeled all the emotions, all the pain, and all the heartache into the books I got. As I read them I took notes and some of them had exercises for the readers to work on.

There’s a part in What Happened To You? that stuck with me, and made me feel at peace for the first time, after so long.

”Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different. But we cannot move forward if we’re still holding on to the pain of that past”.

Upon reading the lines, I cried my heart out because I realized that I was still bitter and didn’t want to forgive the people who had hurt me. But above that, I wanted peace. Even if I decide to try to take my life again, I would rather not end up a ghost (yes I believe in ghosts, don’t laugh at me). So there in my bare room, I forgave everyone that ever hurt or disappointed me. I forgave my parents for not caring enough about me, for not becoming worried when I didn’t reach out to them for weeks. I forgave my so-called friends for not noticing that I was gone for three days. Likewise, I forgave my classmates for not noticing that I lost my usual candor, for not noticing my life became akin to the state of a room after nepa takes light at night. I do not blame them though.

I willed forgiveness for Amaka for not reciprocating my friendship with her. I forgave Deji for how he scared me and left without looking back in remorse. I forgave my housemate, for not noticing how still I had gotten. But above all, I forgave myself. I forgave myself for letting me get to the point where nothing could hold me back from the edge. I forgave myself for being a fool for love. I forgave myself for not loving myself enough to choose my peace of mind.

I forgive you too for letting me down.