He had sneaked inside his grandmother’s room that Sunday, found her pills, took them and shoved them down his throat. As his grandmother was busy praying for him at church, Themba slowly collapsed on her bed and dozed off. 

It came as no surprise to the rest of the family, the only surprising thing however was that Themba survived.

 “Luckily he didn’t induce enough dosage of the pills that would have been fatal,” the Indian doctor told them. Nozi, the granny, had rejoiced in thanking the Lord for saving the life of her grandson. But still she blamed herself for being so careless in leaving her high-blood pills that Themba had to find them.  

From them on, the twenty two year old was the priority of the family. The signs had been there before his suicide attempt: withdrawal from his friends, even his family; spending too much time in his room listening to those sad rap songs (lil peep and Juice Wrld, XXXTENTACION); his face always with a frown even on moments where it’s suppose to be the happiest. Like last year when grandma Nozi used her pension money to buy him a new cell phone on his twenty first birthday, he just said, not smiling, took the phone and went to disappear in his room. He didn’t even eat the cake. 

The doctors told the family not to put pressure on Themba, try their best to support him because study and research has shown that people who tried to end their lives have a higher chance of trying again. And who knows, Themba might use a rope since the pills didn’t work. Or worse, grandma Nozi might arrive from her stokvel meeting one day and find him slumped on the couch with a bleeding wrist. God, she knew that sight might prevent her old from beating again, and by the time Themba’s uncle, Jobe knocks off from work he’ll come home to find two dead bodies in the living room. More like the dead room. 

From onwards Themba was put on psychiatrist and therapist care, provided by the SADAG. He was prescribed antidepressants and sleeping pills that were to be held by his uncle Jobe and taken under his unblinking supervision. Because you never know…

Tell us: what are your coping mechanism when you are feeling sad or having a bad day?