A man posted on his public Facebook status that he was going to kill himself. 90℅ of his friends liked the status, 5% reacted with laughs, as it was of course quite hilarious. A further 4% reacted with love and an odd 1% reacted with sad then the comments began pouring in torrents.
His 1000 plus friends trolled, cajoled and bullied him. The experts among them noted that those who actually kill themselves do not say it in public, a further group of experts told him off to his face on that social media wall of his that he is a chronic attention seeker merely looking for likes and sympathy, a manipulative cry baby who needed to grow up and stop walking in baby diapers.
The religious chaps in his circle told him that Jesus had paid it all, he only needed to trust in him, in fact they summarized it all in three words of encouragement to him, “it is well, ” never mind that none of them even bothered to find out what was actually wrong with him or the thing that was eating him up. The motivational speakers among his mutual friends bombarded him with stale copied quotes from memes, books, and sermons they had read or heard. They told him, “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger.”
Then the strangers and public opinion experts’ knowledgeable in all things joined the thread. They laughed, booed, mocked and cheered him to go ahead and do it. Some offered him the best ropes and the strongest poison brands if he needed any, others, on the other hand, offered him YouTube videos and tutorials on 1000 ways to die, the avid readers shared with him expert books on how to kill yourself painlessly. It was a joke to them.
12 hours later they woke up to the news that he was no more. Condolences came from all quarters, his silent friends suddenly found their voices, the cyberbullies became the most concerned, and they were the most sympathetic in the comments section. An MPESA pay-bill account was formed to contribute money for a good send-off of a great friend and icon. Candlelit vigils were held, streets closed and matches in his honor held daily.
People poured tributes from all over the world, conversations about suicide with him as the case study went viral. I just woke up from that dream and realized friendship is overrated, sometimes all those you have called your bosom friends are Mike Sonkos who will expose your nakedness for all and sundry to see when you are completely down and helpless therefore don’t sweat the small stuff. Live your life, care for those who do and forget those who don’t, take a walk through a dark tunnel, when you come out on the other side to see the light, you will be clear on who your friends were, don’t be sorry if you found none, that is life. Funerals too are overrated so don’t worry much about yours. The crowd will come through when you cross that line so why not just live and let live?
Mental health discussions need to be taken out of the closet and brought to the public table. It is a high time the society began talking about suicide openly and not as a taboo or a shameful topic that would rather be handled like a hot potato.
David Kamimo best known with the pen name Camistare is a Kenyan born writer, poet, recording and performing artist. Camistare is also a versatile live performer, founder, and leader of Vow the Band and an art enthusiast. He is a painter who uses words to create pictures, impressions, and lasting images. He writes on a variety of topics with a bias to stories of human interest. You can read more of his work on his page The Musings Of a Mad Man http://camistarespoken.blogspot.com