I  Hear Voices

I Hear Voices

“Everybody abeg come down for inside the moto, it have spoil”

The bus conductor announced in a husky Yoruba accent, I couldn’t help but notice his pitch black lips and his blood shot eyes, and I could almost swear that I perceived weed each time he opened his mouth.

“Oya conductor, give us our moni” requested one of the passengers

“Wait nah, e duro, dem go do the moto now now!”

The conductor requested, and then pointed towards the driver to indicate that he had already identified the problem and was working on it.

“Where she wan go self” I thought to myself

I had just completed a not-too-promising visit to an uncle on Lagos Island. He managed to add to my depression but gave me some money for transport back home. I was really hoping to get back to my one room apartment and pretend as though I was hopeful that my Uncle would help me with a job soon. But here I was on the 3rd mainland bridge, surrounded by water and almost every car that came on the bridge was already packed full.

We were stranded, I was scared.

It wasn’t because of the large expanse of water, no, far from it. There was a voice in my head and it was louder than usual.

“End this your miserable life now, jump into the water”

I looked to one side of the bridge and I observed a lady just gazing into the water, she had a blank look on her face and pain was written all over her face. The wig on her head was looking so unkempt,

“She must be having it rough”, I thought to myself

“Maybe she self wan jump enter the water”   I wondered

Lately, thoughts of killing myself has been hanging around my mind. Sometimes it is so hard to hold myself from doing something harmful to myself.

I started hearing these voices about 5 years ago. I was a 300 level student or maybe it was before this time. But, I remember that I just started thinking and talking about death then I just went into long periods of depression. I didn’t even know why I was depressed but I could always hear voices in my head. I was angry, confused, frustrated and then I didn’t see a reason to stay alive. It was beginning to seem okay to just give up. I just began to lose interest in the things around; I just didn’t care any longer.

The voices got louder, there were sometimes I want the driver to drive fast hoping that we would all die. These days I find myself saying things like,

“you go kill me”

“I go die”

And I am certainly not talking about the popular comedian, I really was wishing for death.

“Am I possessed or just crazy?”

I find myself staying away from my friends, living in isolation from family and true friends and I always want to be alone. I try very hard to say a proper goodbye because the voice keeps telling me that it might be my last goodbye.

Sometimes I don’t know which one hurts more, anger or depression. The voices in my head get louder when I am depressed. I find myself drinking “ogogoro” in Iya Sule’s shop and hoping to drown my depression.

Most times I get home soaked in cheap alcohol but the voices allow me to sleep, most nights I pray I never wake up but I always wake up with a hangover. Gradually things have gone from bad to worse.

“I want to kill myself”, At least that would stop the voices permanently.

 

“Oya everybody, enter moto, dem  don do am”

The conductor announced.

I looked at the lady that had been looking into the water and I saw her smile, then laugh and I couldn’t help thinking that she was hearing the voices too.

***

Facts and Statistics

SUICIDE is a big issue in developed countries and there is an established pattern or warning signs. The warning signs that someone may be thinking about or planning to commit suicide include:

  • Always talking or thinking about death
  • Clinical depression — deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating — that gets worse
  • Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death such as driving fast or running red lights
  • Losing interest in things one used to care about
  • Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
  • Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
  • Saying things like “it would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
  • Sudden, unexpected switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
  • Talking about suicide or killing one’s self
  • Visiting or calling people to say goodbye

Be especially concerned if a person is exhibiting any of these warning signs and has attempted suicide in the past. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, between 20% and 50% of people who commit suicide have had a previous attempt.

 

 

 



49 thoughts on “I Hear Voices” by positive (@positive)

  1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

    This is good. I loved the details you gave in your narrative eg mama Sule’s ogogoro,the unkempt wig and the drver’s weed scented breathe. Kudos.

    1. Sunshine (@nicolebassey)

      Fantastic Feature Image though, Wow!

    2. thanks Jare sunshine, I appreciate your comment

  2. Good piece…

    1. Merci Beaucoup !

  3. I like reading em’ postscripts you put at the end of your stories…Well done positive…this one is to wishing we remain positive through life’s twirls n turns…$ß.

    1. Yes o, we really need to stay positive. Hope the story was close to compelling :D .

  4. Well done with the story. I didnt care for the P.S

    1. thanks @kaycee . the P.S ?

      1. The PS – as in the thing that appeared after the story. IT is typical Kaycee malyarn. Don’t worry.

  5. Oh my gosh! your story was good…but watch out for those tenses…I am ‘busy’ else i would have pointed them out

    1. I would most definitely take note of that ! ‘Busy’ can I assist with that ?

  6. Nice one really….

    1. @adeyinkacu i am really glad you enjoyed reading the story :D

  7. Point them out, that’s getting busy here lol
    Good job, but do look out for them o.

  8. You didn’t actually tell us how we can help them. But your post was helpful.

    Well done.

    1. @babyada I strongly believe that what and who you listen to helps; friends, companion et al. I would do some more research in this regard but the first step is to be able to identify these types of individuals.

  9. Thanks for taking time out to point out this very worrisome thing in our society. Music, companioinship and laughter does help. Also finding ways to help the person have a clearcut goal and vision in life does help as well.

    Thank you for this.

    1. @funpen I totally agree with you . @babyada @funpen pointed out some ways to assist people like that

  10. Nice story. To God be the glory.

    1. @ichadgreat, It good to know you enjoyed reading, do spread the word

  11. A very nice way to present a lecture. Thanks.

  12. I like this story @positive especially the details you gave and the progression.I don’t understand Yoruba but I assume that at the end the bus is repaired.Is there a resolution for the character though?
    It is very brave to speak about suicide and mental illness.There is a taboo about mental illnesses in a lot of societies.People associate them with weakness and usually shun people who are harboring signs of them.
    It is great that you are speaking about this subject.Great job!

    1. @jefsaraurmax thanks for making out time to drop a comment, I totally agree with you some people have total made the issue – UNSPEAKABLE and in actual fact we need to talk about stuff so we get solutions. :D

  13. Hmm. It makes for a good read and your postscript defines literature with a purpose in a whole new light. The picture is catchy but I had to wonder, why didn’t you use a black lady looking into the seas. It would be more catchy and in tone with the rest of your tale. Having said all these, I think there are some grey areas that need cleaning. Brace up!! Hee hee hee. Not touching on them all but here goes nothing:
    At the beginning, there’s this line, The conductor requested, and…
    Now, don’t really think there is a need for this part after the place where the conductor talks. That spells as telling more than showing. I think the line can simply go and it would portray your craft more towards the light of exactitude and good craftsmanship.
    ‘There was a voice in my head and it was louder than usual.’ The full stop might work better as a colon to complement the next lines that are coming from the head: “End this your miserable life…” So it would read: ‘There was a voice in my head and it was louder than usual: “End this your miserable life”
    ‘…she had a blank look on her face and pain was written all over her face’ might read better as ‘she had a blank look and pain was written all over her face [or maybe even features].’
    “Maybe she self wan jump enter the water” I wondered. No need for the ‘I wondered’

    The tense issues start at about the area of this line: ‘Lately, thoughts of killing myself has been hanging around my mind. Sometimes it is so hard to hold myself from doing something harmful to myself.’ Most of the areas after the ‘Lately’ part are in the continuous. My thought is that your aim is to try to blend a continuous event with what has happened in the past. If this is your aim, it has not come out clearly or well. You might want to consider either turning the whole story into present continuous or perfect past.
    About the last sentence, could you consider breaking it into two? Maybe: ‘I looked at the lady that had been looking into the water. I saw her smile, then laugh and I couldn’t help thinking that she was hearing the voices too’ or ‘I looked at the lady that had been looking into the water. I saw her smile, then laugh. I couldn’t help thinking that she was hearing the voices too.
    On the whole, well done on this P. Positive. It feels real. May better tidings keep coming your way. Cheers.

    1. @sueddie, you are indeed a don. I feel so glad that you pointed out all these area and I totally appreciate your suggestions. I will totally work on it . thanks :D

  14. @positive thanks for d heads up on this (again).

    In other societies, half d people who av commented would av called in d police or social welfare or psychiatrist or whatever….they would av picked dia fones and called.

    Glad you drew my attention to ds again.

    Nice work.

    Meanwhile, my good friend sueddie had mentioned d tense issues. I noticed dt too (by God i still fall into dt trap myself):-)

    1. @shaifamily thanks for the kind words and yes just like @seuddie pointed I would check those tenses. :D

  15. adams (@coshincozor)

    A good attempt but with many tense issues starting from: “Sometimes it is so hard to hold myself from doing something harmful to myself.” at a stage I was confused as to whether the story is in the past or present. I didn’t read the PS because I think it unnecessary, I believe any explanation there could be should be woven some how into the story to your audience think and reach conclusion. me think such “PS’ would demean the relevance of a literary work.

    1. adams (@coshincozor)

      Frankly speaking I have stolen a little idea from hear. I must say, I just learnt a new thing but don’t ask me what!

    2. @coshincozor thanks a million for you comment and trust me I am better for it :D

  16. no matter the challenge we must stay positive- nice presentation

    1. @mikeeffa you are spot on !:D

  17. @positive: Your portrayal of the suicide-prone characters was apt. I could feel the melancholy, the withdrawal from public life and the magnetism from one suicide-prone fellow to the other. I felt it was well thought out.

    The telling however could use some “smoothening’ , many of which the veteran editor @Sueddie pointed out.

    There were some straying punctuations , I’m not sure if a thought can be wrapped up in quotation mark , like you did throughout the narrative.

    “Where she wan go self” I thought to myself
    “End this your miserable life now, jump into the water”
    “She must be having it rough”, I thought to myself
    “Maybe she self wan jump enter the water” I wondered

    I really do not think these shouldn’t have been in quotation marks since they were merely thoughts and not spoken words.

    “The voices got louder, there were sometimes I want the driver to drive fast hoping that we would all die. ”
    – there is a tense mismatch here with (want) and the use of drive and driver in the same sentence , I think could be varied with the choice of words to create a better effect. Also this part could be broken into two sentences for clarity

    I’d say

    The voices got louder. Sometimes I wished the driver would just step on the accelerator and crash us into a tree, a wall or something….
    You catch???

    On the whole the story is good for me and the postscript is informative as well
    Well done!

    1. @midas you indeed have the midas touch, thanks for your suggestion sincerely it is highly appreciated :D

  18. I liked the postscript most, learnt a lot from that… thanks for the info.

    1. @shadiat thanks for making out time to read the note, I do appreciate you tell me how you feel about the postscript. :D

  19. Oh, at last am here swept by the waves of @Positive‘s ocean. It was really a worth-while decision. Good to find a carefully written piece, rendering a helping hand to individuals who find themselves in similar circumstances.

    Thumbs up Bro!

    1. @whizpoet I really do appreciate you making out time to read and drop a comment. You are the bomb ! thanks for your kind words :D

  20. Positive, you did a good job. I will not talk about tense arrangement in your work since the dons have already done that. But these points may help:

    Stick to a story and omit the intellectual stuff next time. If you want to write an article on suicide do it independently. I am not a fan of ‘preachy’ fiction.
    The babe looked too cool to tally with the image of a world-weary lady depicted in your story.

    Last line: may God help us to reach out and care for others. Your success has just begun.

    1. @ezeakwukwo your words are well spoken and received. :D

  21. I didn’t bother to read previous comments, but I expect issues such as tense and spelling errors have already been adequately addressed. Clearly there is much room for improvement, and there sure is promise for you.

  22. my belated reading did not reduce the greatness of the piece, I enjoyed it…………….

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