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When is Suicide the only option?


Suicide is never the only option. No matter how dark, no matter how bleak, no matter how far, no matter how frustrating, no matter how much it seems that the future will never be good; Suicide will never ever be the only option.

In our part of the world, suicide is rarely discussed; but unfortunately, in today`s world, news of people committing suicide is a regular occurrence. One may conclude that the lack of adequate information in Nigeria is why we don`t have large numbers of reported suicide cases. We hear more about this kind of news on TV and read about it in newspapers and on social media. This is mainly because technology helps carry news far and fast.

My experience with suicide is one I want to share with you today. Have I ever contemplated suicide? No. Has the thought of suicide come to my mind? Yes. Let me take you back to how this came to be. In my 100 level, the Nigerian University Commission announced that my school was being dis- accredited and this meant that all courses were no longer valid. I was frustrated and confused like every other student. So, I decided to leave my friends for a while and go on a walk. I was walking down one of the streets in Anthony Village, just a random street, I was lost in my thoughts; what now? What was the way forward, after 2 years of JAMB struggle and my father declining an admission in UNILAG to study Actuarial Science, I felt I was right back to where I started. I was so deep into my thoughts, that I must have wandered onto the road. The next thing I heard was a loud honk behind me. “Get out of the way young lady,” said a very upset Lagos Driver. As I came back into my consciousness, I found myself back on the side-walk. I was so afraid the car was going to hit me. When I was able to calm myself, I  took several deep breaths and gathered my thoughts together. Then and there, I knew for me, suicide will never be an option. To this day I thank God that episode has not repeated itself.

So after almost 20 years, why is this coming back to me? It all came flooding back when I was having a conversation with a dear friend, and we discussed the struggle with suicidal thoughts.

My friend mentioned that he was having dark thoughts and dark moments, and things were just not going the way he expected. Sometimes last year, as he was driving on 3rd Mainland Bridge, a thought came to him that driving straight into the lagoon would end the hurt, struggle, and pain. But the thought of his family, his children, and people that love him came to mind, and he decided that he would keep fighting this battle knowing that the future will be bright. Today, he is on a better path, and things are gradually falling in place.

We sat down and had a long conversation about this thing called suicide and how it can creep up on people, even people that we see as strong and courageous.

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. When the thoughts drag you in, suck you in, you lose focus on how good the past was, how the future is just around the corner. The thoughts drag you down and make you lose focus of the door handle, the door that opens to the light. You forget that all you have to do is stretch further. The thoughts keep you in your present state that is difficult and dark, forgetting that it is only a phase and It will pass but if only we could find strength, close our eyes and reach a little further, grab hold of the doorknob and pull it down, open the door and behold the light.

During the dark thoughts of suicide, one must remember one’s loved ones. You must remember that nothing is permanent in this world; so nothing bad lasts forever, and nothing good also lasts forever. The obstacles are part of the journey and we must look out for them, we must remember that this is something that can creep up on anyone and distract you from your focus. Suicide also hurts those we love the most, years after a loved one commits suicide, the family left behind finds it difficult to heal as there is usually no closure for them.

If anybody is going through this process, I will advise that you reach out to someone that you love or talk to a professional that can help you. Please know that you are not alone and you can reach Lagos State Suicide helpline on – 08058820777 and 0903000074

Remember, suicide is never the only option.

I will like to know what you think on this subject matter, please read, share, and drop your comments.

Also look out for all my previous write-ups on on different life issues.

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Opinion Piece by Ejemai Olayemi, Ph.D.

This Post Has 21 Comments

  1. Siju

    Greatly pieced together Dr. Suicide should never be on the table as an option no matter how terrible the situation is. I know when we go through issues of life, it can be very challenging and difficult to hope and think straight. I always say to myself when the heat feels hottest, its an indication rain is around the corner and where else can you go when you hit rock bottom, only UP!

  2. Olufunmilade Adetogun

    Believe me this lines ‘one must remember one’s loved ones. You must remember that nothing is permanent in this world; so nothing bad lasts forever, and nothing good also lasts forever’ are what snap me out when I find myself wandering in the valley.
    Truly suicide is never an option.
    Also we must learn to communicate always, although this must be with the right people.

  3. Amodu Eyigebe

    Very profound and enlightening. Please keep it up.

  4. Olokun Adetinuke

    Yemi well done,this is a very good write up. You don’t seize to amaze me friend,you’re such a blessing to the people around you. More Greece to your elbow and may God continue to increase your wisdom.

  5. Nkeiruka Chimere

    Olayemi dear, this is an amazing writeup, wooow I remember Delsu, to share this you are brave. A man who lives in my neighborhood had usual misunderstanding with his wife, and the next minute he came in with an empty container of snipper and told wife hope you are satisfied and he died a painful death, guess no body blamed his wife.
    Me self, the same thing hit me and I couldn’t feed my children like I should, like my life has come to an end, the thought of asking from another to feed sometimes!! I just thought to end it by taking over dose of avomine, but then reasoning returned back and I said isn’t it because of this children I want to kill my self? Soo foolish who would take care of them when am gone, they will now suffer like never Before a lot of people are near sucide but I pray it’s aborted, it’s a painful exit
    Warm regards dear

  6. You’ve always been a source of Motivation and Inspiration Ma’am, a Muse in Short. And here I am, inspired again by the Craftness of your Pen
    I actually had this Suicidal thought last year when my admission was Nullified but the thought of the Pushes from home and having to come out better kept me in shape,moving.And when I thought I was down on funds,you surfaced and billed my fare from Ilorin back to Lagos
    You’ve been working Miracles you even don’t know yourself…. Keep at it Ma’am. We are Inspired

  7. Ola Sobo

    Very insightful and beautiful read!
    I always look forward to booksbyemo

  8. Evelyn Quadri

    This is timely. A follow up write up on teen suicide issues might be useful. The little I have heard is alarming…

      1. Wuraola

        Great job.This is a beautiful piece. God bless you dear

      2. Yemisi ogunsugba

        Wow,this is a very compassionate word,yemi the are going places. The sky is not your limit.

  9. Olubiyi Peter

    Madam, kudos for the write up. I share as well in your thought on suicide. Most importantly to add, whoever commits suicide will land in hell fire- a place and situation worse than the one that the fellow might want to escape from.

  10. Ifeoma Orhoro

    Beautiful piece. Well captured.

    1. Lekan Olapade

      Hmmmm! A lovely piece. The word ‘suicide’ struck me like a blow, I woke up from my unconsciousness to imagine why one commits such an action. I was dazed and relieved with your write up. Thank you Dr. Olayemi Ejemai.

  11. razak kazeem


    1. Ola Sobo

      Very insightful and beautiful read!
      I always look forward to booksbyemo

  12. Tola

    This stood out for me: “Suicide is a permanent solution to a TEMPORARY problem”. With suicide, there is no turning back! It is really not an option.
    Thank you for this!

    1. Ola Sobo

      Insightful read.
      I always look forward to reading booksbyemo

  13. Ejemai Oluwaseun


  14. Oge Ezeogu

    So well detailed.
    Alot of people with no age restrictions should read this piece.
    Keep at it Olayemi Ejemai. Great job

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