By Chijika Ngonga
The alarming reports in suicide cases in recent days have compelled me to write about the topic today.
I hope my story speaks to someone.
This may come as a shock to many because I have kept it a secret till now.
As many people know, I was involved in a bus accident in 2016 which resulted in me losing my right arm. At the time, I was going through a divorce. I had three very young children to raise, and I was trying very hard to find my feet and put my life together with a decor business.
These two events, being divorced and becoming an amputee, were more than unsettling. My emotions were all over the place. I felt as though I had been slapped in the face. Life seemed so unfair. I was vulnerable, hopeless, lost and – as far as I was concerned – “finished”. I mean, what else could knock me down more than a divorce and then an unexpected amputation, right?
My loving family and friends were always there, helping and caring for me. But even in the midst of this unconditional love and support, there were times I would dread nights because then I really felt alone. The humiliation of the divorce left me feeling like a failure. I was mocked and ridiculed, and even heard comments such as “alifilwa ichupo,” literally meaning “a failed marriage”.
And now I was suddenly differently abled. Mwe Lesa, sure.
I also heard of people that said:
“Iye nomba balemana nokuba elo ninshi nefyupo fyalipwa, bakabwekelefye pantu chabapwila” (now that she’s divorced and disabled, it’s all over for her).
My life had seemingly crashed. I asked God why He allowed me to live amid the humiliation. Why didn’t He just let me die, I would ask myself.
I entertained thoughts of suicide for some time. Guys, these ‘voices’ seem real. They will tell you why suicide is the best option.
To everyone else, I seemed okay. I was jovial. But inside, I was secretly harboring suicidal thoughts.
But even in those moments when I was alone and hearing those voices, I’m glad the Holy Spirit kept ministering to me, encouraging me to find purpose in all that was going on around me. It wasn’t easy. It never is. But I’m glad I didn’t give in to those destructive thoughts of suicide.
Guys, life happens to all of us. Life can never be rehearsed. What matters is how one responds to the difficult and challenging circumstances that every human being faces. You are not alone. Help is available if you seek it. Open up, speak to someone you trust, feed your mind with positive thoughts and affirmations. Be mindful of what goes into your subconscious. Read the Bible. The Good Book will encourage you and connect you to the One Who never fails and Who will see you through any challenge that you face.
The world needs you. Your family, where you are irreplaceable, needs you. Hang in there and look to God until in His own time He calls you home.
Before you act on suicidal thoughts, think of the grief your passing would cause, and the pain and heartbreak you would leave behind. Our lives are not our own. We have people looking up to us that we live for.
Sometimes it’s good to help others in order to help oneself. For me, my trying moments gave birth to my establishing Samaritan Hope Givers – a charity that helps orphans and people with physical challenges – and to writing the award-winning “Soaring on a wing” book.
Through such ventures, I rediscovered my purpose. Beloved, life is worth living. Live it to the full.