I became a father at the age of 21 and it was early into fatherhood that I slipped into darkness. I wanted to prove to family and friends that I’m a responsible young man. That I know how to take care of my new family, that I am capable of providing financial and emotional support. The objective was to showcase my independence but this novice young father should’ve received adequate emotional support from family, preferably male relatives.
Going back to my childhood, I wasn’t taught how to be a man. The only thing I understood from my childhood about what a man’s role is, they are breadwinners. They are there to offer financial support and to be the head of the house. Now fast forward to me becoming a father and this is all I knew. My day of reckoning lies ahead.
I’ve always displayed good maturity level and responsibilities, because of this I’m always praised. As a young adult receiving these praises made me arrogant, felt smarter than most and I wasn’t humble. So I get why family and friends would leave me to get on with it. I’ve proved myself to be responsible but I wasn’t ready for what was to come. I experienced downfalls which I’ve struggled to overcome.
When things started to go wrong, there was no one I felt comfortable enough in confiding. Couldn’t do it with my dad, couldn’t do it with friends who aren’t fathers, didn’t want to speak too much about my stress to friends who are fathers. I was shutting myself in, I couldn’t breakdown because crying is a sign of weakness and I’m a man.
Eventually I felt like I was left in the lurch and then I realised that I’m slipping into darkness. I was so deep in to the point where I no longer wanted help because I embraced it, I found solace in darkness. My new habitat. I became a shadow of my former self and people forgot the previous me and rather saw the current me as being antisocial.
I placed myself inside these four walls and that became my solitary confinement. Nothing but darkness, it was hard to think straight let alone be rational. I couldn’t juggle my depression, education, relationship and fatherhood. It was chaotic, for someone who claims to be responsible and mature, I couldn’t solve all of my problems. I had writer’s block, I couldn’t write up any solution.
Alas, there I was living in the dark and for me to maintain this dark lifestyle, I had to ensure that these four walls have no cracks. Because these four walls kept the light out, and my conscience has always been the light inside of me. I was suicidal but I feared death so I couldn’t go through with it. But the more I stayed in the dark, the stronger the urge to kill myself. Why do I fear death? Because this gift of life is heaven to me. Although I’m going through a lot, I somewhat appreciated life.
Part 2.. ⏳
Copyright © Jeadi N’Silu, 2021