Plethora of Melancholies

If I could brainstorm on what triggers my depression, I wouldn’t know where to start. As a child, I would listen to sad songs because that was what would relate to me the most. But at that time, I didn’t realize that they were actually sad songs. It was my uncle who pointed it out.

Depression has no switch. It is always on; a recurrent feeling that consumes and strips you of all the happiness that you have. Its onset is your downfall. It sets in like a malignant tumor. Anxiety, its best friend, accompanies it every step of the way. Insomnia is just a side plate to the main course. Happiness is a fleeting feeling but depression is here to stay. Just like corruption in Kenya, it is consistent.

There are days I sit and imagine how life would be without this kind of sadness; a constant reminder of how difficult life on earth is, no matter what angle you view it from. I wish for the days before Matiang’i then at least I would have a cheat sheet for this unbearable life. Sulking day in, day out. Mama asks why I can’t pretend just for a minute that I am happy. She worries about how society will view me. They could say that there is something wrong with her child, that she is not normal. You have to be accepted by society so as to survive, she says.

If she only knew how hard I tried. To put all this behind, to fake a smile when I am filled to the brim with hopelessness and pensiveness, to wake up and do something constructive when all I want is to sleep and escape from the thoughts in my head. Staying awake is painful to my soul. An acquaintance once told me that I always seem preoccupied. The truth is I am in fact preoccupied; with the demons in my head telling me breathing is not worth it.

I had hope in love. Praying that it will heal me. Then it dawned on me that it was a mere placebo feeling. What is love in this generation? Neither my neighbor nor I could explain it even if we tried. Love is for the birds as far as I am concerned. Someone once asked me what makes me happy. I answered, He makes me happy. But then again, he holds the key to unlocking the door to my sorrows. He is the white man with the gun and I am the native African with the iron spear.

Abigail Sibi (21)

Student of Law