FRANQUE: YOU KNOW I’M NO GOOD

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On Sunday, I heard of a woman who committed suicide, and this was after she had attempted it twice before. Quite a number of us were quick to judge and cast aspersions; people who knew nothing about her, who did not even know her name or what her reason(s) might be.

Then, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London home on the 23rd of July 2011. Again people were quick to judge; people who did not know her, had never heard her name, did not know what she did for a living, did not even know where in the world she was from or how to properly spell her name!

In June an unassuming, christian husband was alleged to have murdered his wife in the most gruesome way. This was broadcast on BB and facebook. People called for his head on a platter; people called for his head to be examined – people called for his head. A lot of us crossed ourselves, waved our hands over our heads and snapped our fingers in that way so common to us. “God forbid” we said. “Not my portion,” we declared.

Four days ago a young friend of mine sent me something he had written and I knew I had to share it. I  thought about editing it, but decided to share it as I received it.

 

Why are you alive???

That is τhε question I ask myself every minute of everyday. When I am at home watching TV, or laughing with friends.

 

Why don’t you just end your life???

That is τhε question I ask myself whenever someone close to me gets angry or worked up over something I see as a minor issue.

 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I ain’t one of those gothic peeps, that love anything dark and evil, neither am I bipolar, but just sitting down here after another long day of living, just has my mind walking.

 

I will be turning 18 soon, and I can’t help but ask myself, “Why τhε fuck aint you dead already??”

 

I ain’t τhε holiest person in τhε world, I might not drink, smoke, or party a lot, but I lie (like 10 every half hour), I love girls (but I am a committed and loving boyfriend still, and I love my GF, but there is still something about girls that fascinates me, and makes me flirt freely with as much as possible). Also, from time to time, I steal, even if it aint major, I do it. I definitely don’t read my bible and I don’t pray except when my mom calls for family devotion.

 

Those are just τhε things I can remember at this moment, but I am still alive. A few Sundays ago, a couple who happened to be pastors or workers in τhε RCCG got drowned in τhε flood, and I am thinking to myself, “Why τhε fuck wasn’t that me??”

 

This article ain’t another article telling you about how great GOD is. No, it is not, because I know there are over a million articles out there telling you that, but this article is just to make you answer some basic questions,

1) Why are you alive?

2) Why don’t you just end your life?

3) Why τhε fuck aint you dead already?

 And whenever you see an obituary,

4) Why wasn’t that me?

 If you have answers to those questions, definitely write them as comments below, but if you don’t, like me, just say this “Thank GOD/ALLAH”.

 

My initial reaction was shock at the anger and confusion jumping at me off my screen!

After he told me the ‘back story’ to this, I had a better understanding of his point of view.

Last month an old school mate of mine came over for a few games of Pro Evolution Soccer, and as I walked him to the bus stop, he told me a tale that reached deep to the heart of me.

He had been seeing this girl off and on for as long as I can remember. He practically raised and groomed her, and set her on her two feet. They would fight and break up, and see other people, but then they would find their way back to each other like a bad habit.

About three months ago he lost his job. Not deterred by that temporary set back, he continued his hustling. For some reason, everything he touched seemed to disintegrate to nothingness, any venture he pursued crumbled to dust. Still he soldiered on. Once when he was strapped for cash and he asked his girlfriend, she gave him conditions! This, more than anything else, crushed him. He descended into depression, walked down a mental gangplank to a place of darkness. It was then he decided to end it all.

He had everything planned out; he was going to go the acid route. He would invite her over, feed it to her and then consume it too; just end it all for both of them.

In his reasoning, there was really no point staying alive and putting his aging parents through the ordeal of his capture, trial, jail time, visits and eventual execution.

In what we would consider ‘Nollywood’ fashion, two days before he was to carry out this deed, he received a mail from a company in the US. He had chased down this particular rabbit hole what seemed like aeons ago and had all but forgotten about it.

With renewed hope, he focused on living, putting everything else behind him, but never forgetting how close he came to doing something he would have considered so totally alien to his nature. He almost succumbed to what he calls ‘the sin of Judas’ – despair.

 

A few months ago, I personally went through my equivalent of ‘the wire’.  Slowly but very certainly I was heading towards a meltdown.

As a unit my family rallied round me; encouraging, advicing and praying with and for me. I had that going for me, and then I had hope going for me too.

I suffered partial insomnia, blinding headaches and heart palpitations. The love and support of these people helped me bear it all stoically.

It was at this time I met Christina. First it was twitter and then BB. When she mentioned a getaway I said yes without considering that this was somone I barely knew, someone I had never met.

I told Big Mama, my oldest sister, about it and she said ok that I did need a time away from all of it.

I went to Erin-Ijesa, Osun state for two days and there, under the rolling waters of the second level of the sevel-level Olu-mirin waterfalls, in that tranquil environment unspoiled by man, with only the sound of water cascading down those rocks and into the hollow at my feet, I felt the weight shift and then roll off my heart. I went under those waters with shoulders slightly bowed by the weight of a decision I had to make, I came out shoulders pulled back by resolve; my mind made up.

It has not been easy following it through, but at least there is the calmness that comes from knowing whatever I did, I was doing my way. And then there is the comfort and strength that comes from knowing that I have a family who, in every sense of it, have got my back.

 

“Hey young blood, iHav read ur article again in a bid to make it into an article, and there are a few things iWant to share with you.

1st: u r not alone in issues of depression. Neither are u alone when it comes to lies, n doing wrong. Whyl that doesn’t make them alryt, it means suicide – contemplation or attempt isn’t d way 4ward.

Like you pointed out, after a lot of stock taking, we should learn to be thankful.

Nothing praying can’t fix. Not the “give me, give me” brand of prayer, just a conversation with a higher power u implicitly believe in.

Just like u would with a friend.”

 

These were the words I sent to my young friend, the words that came to mind.

 

Why be quick to sit in judgement when we have neither walked in the person’s shoes, nor have striven to be there for them?

Why point fingers and say “Thank God I am not like such and such,” when we have neither showed up for them, nor stood by them?

Why call them weak and snivelling when we have never really been tasked by life to be strong? Not tested in the way(s) that they have?

Why frown or cackle when deep inside we know we are no better, and just hope that since that terrible thing has happened to them, it would satisfy the fates and the fates will leave us be?

 

As for the question of why we are alive, let me just say that I strongly believe it is because of the love of God. So you ask: What about that other person? Again, I believe that we are loved by God uniquely, not equally. Plus who truly knows the heart of God? The plans that He set for us even before he formed us?

PS: When someone has pushed the self-destruct button, sometimes we cannot do much to save them from themselves, yet we cannot give up on them just as we tell them not to give up on themselves; you do not throw a whole life away just because it’s banged up.

PPS: This post was inspired by ‘Sorey, my youngest known family member on 360nobs.

Young blood, God loves you.

Franque

Franque

“Franque is in aviation, which by the way is not his job, just a lifestyle. If he ever kept a diary it would read like his articles will. Unfortunately he doesn’t. Scratch that. He didn’t.AIRtiquette is a walk in his shoes. Since regular isn’t in his vocabulary, brace yourself for a bit of airwalking!” Follow @franque_521 on twitter.

40 comments

  1. Hmmmm….y am I alive? I think this all the time, however I always think thankfully cos I kinda like being alive…I’ve also never believed in judging people for the way they react to situations cos I’ve never walked in their shoes…all I can say is, make the most of d hand u are dealt, hope for a better day n be thankful for today

  2. U said it yourself we do not know God’s heart. When I feel like I’m at my lowest, the thought that crosses my mind is, “I’m at the lowest I can be. There’s nowhere left to go but up” and I rise. When i think of taking my life, and ending MY misery, I think off the other people I would cause so much more misery. My parent, my siblings, my entire family and. My close friends. It would be selfish 4 me to end MY life and make other people sad. God/Allah is our strength. Thanks for this post Franque.

  3. My friends cousin committed suicide a coupla wks back. It wsnt easy to decipher cuz she was a 26yr old cutie who hd evrything goin 4 her- or so it seemd. I really havnt found an answer as to why I’m alive, cuz I seem to b goin thru tryin times all year round. but I know no matter how hard iv got it, I’ll REACH OUT! God wil give us the grace to realise that no matter how bad life gets, living is a gift, we shldnt throw it back in His face

  4. Sumtymz I wonder d same thing.. Y am I still alive? I fink however d fact dt despite my shortcomings nd inadequacies, I still walk d surface ov d earth fills me wid renewed hope dt derz a reason HE’s keeping me here. And lyk d good book says “to him that is joined to d living, derz hope”. Nice one Franque!

  5. I do judge. I will not deny that. It is always my first reaction before I even think about it. My first question is always a why. Its always my first step towards judging. But then, I usually retract. Maybe long afterwards when I’ve thought it out through. Which I always recognise as medicine after death.
    I guess the fates have been merciful and have never really thrown in much to test my strength.
    Why I am alive, I will never know. But I Thank God.

  6. This chorus off Kurt Carr’s ‘I almost let go’ is all I’ve got to say:
    “So I’m here today because God kept me.
    I’m alive today, only because of His
    grace.
    Oh, He Kept me, God Kept me, He kept
    me, So I wouldn’t let go”

  7. 1.I’m alive because God kept me
    2.I can’t end my life because I don’t have the power to.
    3.I’m not dead yet because I’m yet to fulfill purpose
    4.I’m not in the Obituary cos it aint my time.

    I never judge people by their mistakes or when they are at a low point cos you never know what it’s like to be them.
    Suicide has found it way into my thoughts a lot of times in the last few years but I had never given it much thought,maybe because I grew up believing those who committed suicide went to hell fire and I’ve always tried to live my life in a way that would make me heaven worthy o:) also, I believe whatever I’m going through is for a very good reason that I can’t fathom but God who keeps me,knows and he has made me strong enough to persevere(I always tell myself ‘you’re stronger than you think’)and I pray for a happy ending!

  8. Mornin family. How are we this Wednesday mornin? Personally, iHave never contemplated suicide, just really rash things – iLove my life way too much!
    @ Young J: yes!!!
    @ Kay: Thankful is the way to be;
    @ Basooh: sometyms when lyf wants to happen, it doesn’t do so on a schedule. It picks ANYtym;
    @ MzSwitz: U r welkom, in the words of Tupac: that’s just the way it is o;
    @ gbemi: here’s a *beeg hug* from me. God will always give strength, all we gotta do is pick ourselves up and reach;
    @ Miss_P: Then there’s always the Good Book. Always, because His words r true;
    @ Mo’: We all do judge. iAm sure someone’s read ur comment n gone “Thank God iAm not judging lyk da Mo geh”, what’s important is that we retract n consider motives n offer up prayewrs for our family goin thru hard tym;
    @ ifeOluwa: My sister can’t listen to “Awesome Wonder” becos of me :D. Words – written, spoken or sung have a way of holding us up;
    @ MaBiJo: then there’s conviction. Amen!
    @ Everyone_else: Thanx for participatin last week, so the winner is: AIRtiquette – with a touch of relationSHEEP and yes @ Lorlah 2 posts this week. Invariably, everyone that played won! U r the best, all of u!!

  9. It’s all God’s doing that I’m alive today and I’m so thankful to Him for that. Nice writing as always,Franque.

  10. Deep, thought provoking. Your response to Young Blood was exactly what I was thinking.

    I will say this about suicide though, I think it is a VERY selfish act. By definition, it is a person deciding of his or her own accord that life is not worth living – a lot of “me”s and “I”s in that decision. The person is often so absorbed with their issues that they fail to see the effect that such a drastic decision will have on their loved ones. SELFISH! “My family will be better of without me.” Really? Have you tried asking THEM? Perhaps I’m being a bit harsh because I have lost and felt the pain of loss; heaven knows I’d run mad if it turns out it was self-inflicted.

    Anyway, depression is an ailment, one that skews your perspective and I believe that one of the strongest anti-suicides (aside from God) is family (or loved ones). If you think of the insurmountable pain your departure will bring upon them and you still deem it fit to take your life then…

    Anyway, make I no write epistle for your kini. Great write-up as usual.

  11. Hmmmm very thought provoking. I try not to judge others because I have been depressed before, I have thought the best way was suicide (although my attempt was silly in every sense of the word). I have experienced setbacks that have shaken my very core. I’m still alive because I know and God knows I have so much more to give. I have a purpose, and taking the ‘numb’ way out is not an option because I know I can get through. Only by the grace of God though. Those were thought provoking question, why them, why not me. I believe God gives challenges to us according to what we can bear. There’s so much more to say, but your 18 year old friend is wise. I hope in some of the responses to your article, and the article itself, give him and any other person wondering, some answers.

  12. Well written Frank. Been here once or twice, caused a big scene on blogger when I wrote about it too. I am convinced my mum thinks I will if I get one more bad news in my life. But like you rightly said but for the love, mercy and grace of God.
    I’m glad your friend came to you, that’s the first step. Young man rest assure that God’s got big plans for you and the devil will not cut them short in Jesus name. Like Frank said just talk to him like you would your best friends, when u can’t speak, write it down, when words fail you just groan to him, he hears and sees all.
    If you have the opportunity to speak to a professional please do so. Otherwise make sure you have a friend or a mentor you can speak to. It is well with you, you will live to declare the glory of the Lord.

  13. my first thot was am here for a higher purpose,then it occured to me,so did others that passed away,my answer is its just God’s mercy that has kept me here and am so thankfull to him,living is not a right,its a gift.And yes av always been quick to judge only in the suicide area,i still think its wrong,there is always anoda way out. Very thot provoking Franque.

  14. Your old school mate’s story is a classic example of how soon people tend to forget those who have been there for them and helped in one way or the other. Terms and Conditions kwa? That is the biggest bite of the fingers that fed her, in fact she chopped it right off. Na God save her say the boy was saved from “the sin of Judas” by the “Nollywood Moment”-not to say that it woulda been right.
    It is amazing how a lotta people in our country think that depression is a “white-man sickness”. It’s a dark, cold and lonely place to be and can drive the sanest person off d edge of reason. When the suicide story of the young lady broke, it was sad to say the least and a couple of my pals and I had a few heated arguments about the rash and mean things they said about her. Don’t get it twisted,am not and never will be in support of suicide’ cos like M.E said it’s a SELFISH act-leaving your friends and family with all the unanswered questions,pain and guilt no be am.CHAI !!!
    It is human to judge and be quick to apportion but if we sometimes take a moment to give it a thought, we’d say a quick prayer to God for his grace and mercies over us.
    iFor now haven’t fully discovered why am alive but I sure know I aint about ending it anytime soon. I have family and friends who love me-though they rarely ever say it and in some cases, show it. Moreover, i haven’t given birth to those lovely brown-eyed set of identical twins I’ve always wanted. 🙂

  15. Franque,

    Thanks for this

    Very inspiring.

    After hearing the story of the young lady who committed suicide I cried. I don’t know her neither have I seen her before. But I felt so horrible. I felt like she must have lost all hope and there was no one she could talk to or share that pain with. I am not trying to make myself look holy; no far from it.

    However, I made up my mind not to be quick to judge anyone or neglect anyone around me. No matter how hard it may seem to reach out to someone.

    Sometimes we humans are so high up on our horses (not that half of us have anything to be proud of) that we feel showing a little concern/feeling/human emotion is beneath us.

    Pointing fingers (Amy had it coming, she’s a druggy) and making horrible (Yes horrible and mean) comments when someone dies. What happened to compassion?

    Please don’t ever think you know it all and can handle it all. It will shock you what most of our role models went through and contemplated along the way before they reached where they are now.

    Even Jesus asked for the cup to pass over Him when He was praying before He was captured: On the cross He even asked why God had forsaken Him?

    We all go through a lot as human beings: the direction given in the bible was: to help those who are down

    Whatever position you find yourself to help someone; no matter how minute you feel your help may be to the situation as a whole just do it. You never know what you may have averted by being of help and making a kind gesture.

    It is well

    Thanks for this Frank

  16. I’m lying in bed sick bt I had to comment. I think about all d people I’ve lost ,when a RIP comes up on someone’s bbm status I think about life. Some of my friends think its morbid to talk about death bt i don’t think so. Life truly is a gift n its by God’s mercies I am not consumed. Every morning I thank him for his mercies. Thanks for sharing this Franque

  17. A colleague of mine just asked me why i’m looking so emotional and i told her that I just read an article that touched me deep in my soul…. Its refreshing to know that i’m not the only one who gets depressed. I went to school with the lady who committed suicide, i don’t know the reason she did it but i remember thinking in school that i wanted to be like her, i thought she had it all and its sad that we all look at people around us and wish to be like them when we dont even know the challenges they are facing. I dont know why i’m alive but everyday i thank God for life. Sure i get depressed but what i do is just keep hoping that one day things will get better….. yea HOPE

  18. First of all, I’ll like to say that I know I’m alive by the Grace of God. Nothing else. I’m not better than all those who have died. Its just by His inexplicable Grace and Love. Next of all, I’ll admit that i judge people who commit suicide. In the weeks before my daddy died, I was at the hospital every single day. And I know that there are people who would give anything to live. They pay millions. Because life is the most precious thing. Its about the only thing money still cannot buy. I can never understand why anyone would take their own life. I’ve tried to. I just can’t. Why? Suicide is a very bold act. If u’re bold enough to die willingly, why can’t u face whatever is bothering u? I know I can’t want to take my own life. Mbanu. I no get that kain liver. On a final note, that guy in ur story that wanted to drink acid, why did he want to kill his girlfriend too? Did she tell him she also wanted to end it all?? Why evils???

  19. Perfect way 2 start out my 21st year…
    Abt ur frnd, clearly, its in pitch darkness dat d brightest light shines. Glad 4 him.
    I’ve battle with judgin too, lyk evryone else but i’m learnin to hush up if i havn’t walkd in ur shoes and fallen 🙂
    Not sure wot the future holds (nobody ever is…) and i dnt think i can answer d questions aptly either but i’m grateful for today so i’d simply say THANK GOD!!

  20. I read this post hurriedly in the morning, yet it struck home. Reading it again now and I get the chills. It only goes to show how much kindness to those we don’t know matter a lot. There are lots of semi living dead people walking around you contemplating why they deserve to live cos life is not panning out as they’ve planned.

    I have always felt I’m special and God’s love for me indescribable, hence why I am still here. I need to fulfill His plans for me, We still have unfinished business here, so I’m still here. We need to touch the lives of those around us to help them hold on to that knowledge.

    Judging people is almost a reflex for we human beings, it would help if we always asked the why and the how of people’s circumstances before passing out those rash judgements. I personally find it hard to judge people cos I know I’m capable of so many things I don’t know, cos the circumstances hasn’t pushed me to make a difficult decision.

    Lovely post Frank.

    P.S: We all make mistakes, and some people have done worst things. U can only despair but for a short while.

  21. Its harder when we don’t like the person in question, our judgement skills rise to a 120%. I am sooooo guilty of this. Lmao! God help us all to go throughour ordeals in Faith and Hope.

  22. Earlier this year, i asked myself these same questions. I was fresh out of a relationship with a man i loved with all my heart even after he’d gone ahead to impregnate and marry his PA, a PA i’d interviewed and employed for him. I was traumatized, depressed and asked “Why am i alive?” My family did all they could, my friends showered me with love even when my ex’s PA lost her child at birth and they (ex, his assistant/wife and both their parents) stormed my house accusing me of “killing their child”. I’m not going to sit here annd say suicide didnt cross my mind because, it did! You know what i did? I resorted to prayer! I soaked myself in it, i drank it, i livesd it!!! And i got a miracle, God turned my life around. I’m not the most religious person but to show you what prayer did for me, all i will say is PRAY!!! Right now, i’m going through another difficult situation but this time i’m not scared because i know i have the solution…PRAYER. Before you turn your noses up at me, try it, people. PRAY! You might not like the answers you get but you will et the answer you need. Right now, asking myself the same question, “why am i alive?” I still dont know, but i know God knows. (Sorry for the long reply)

  23. I guess I’ve hibernated longer than tis necessary.
    It is time to clear the cobwebs from my brain….
    Thank U for writing this.

    It is time to tell my story

  24. Often times, I can’t help but ask this question, “wouldn’t it be better if I had died in that sickness/accident so I won’t have to go through this pain?” But then I remember that I’ve got life ahead of me & I’ve got friends who’ll bear my back only if I dare to look. This puts any suicidal thoughts in check. Thank U Franque for this reminder.

  25. Often times, I can’t help but ask this question, “wouldn’t it be better if I had died in that sickness/accident so I would’t have to go through this pain?” But then I remember that I’ve got life ahead of me & I’ve got friends who’ll bear my back only if I dare to look. This puts any suicidal thoughts in check. Thank U Franque for this reminder.

  26. Everyone battles depression at some point in our lives. Its just how we handle it that matters. Support from loved ones is very essential during trying periods such as this.
    For those judging other people, you don’t wanna put your legs in their shoes mehn

  27. *sigh* comin from someone who has actually tot about ending it all.. I stil dnt get why am I alive buh den I always rem Jesus died so I can live! Am nt perfect buh he still luvs me.. And I have hope! Its gon b bera!

  28. Sorry it took me this long to respond, but iHad been busy workin on Friday’s post n preppin for work 2moro. Here we go…
    @ Engy: Thank you;
    @ M.E: The last tym u saw my ‘kini’ u were a toddler n iWas a young man – e no reach to write epistle on. But iKid *hug*;
    @ Miss_N: Words lyk urs will comfort n embolden. They also offer answers. Thank u;
    @ Neefemi: U r spot on @ professional help. It’s just sad how many feel they r alone n so don’t seek help or counsel;
    @ Uk: We all r here for a purpose. Let’s pray n work @ decipherin what that purpose is;
    @ Mateelly: sometyms sed friends n family don’t even let u kno they care! We hav to show ppl around us that they r loved, they matter n we care, then maybe they can care about deprivin us of their presence;
    @ Kelly: Very correct. We all despair @ some point. We just havta persevere n find a reason to be strong;
    @ Jemine: This makes ur comment all the more valuable! U will be healed. And u will find reason(s) to constantly and earnestly thank Him;
    @ Chic: Amen. Not just for me, but for u n urs too;
    @ HRS_Cindy:…na wia we for dey?
    @ O: Hope is a good thing to have n hold on to;
    @ Igho: Sometyms these questions will forever be asked;
    @ Krypt: Happy 21st *hug*. Thankful is a good way to be;
    @ Chicasa: it’s unfortunately how we r – we judge :D;
    @ Adaugo: God’s seen u thru stuff before, He has shown his might, he will do so again. Pray n believe;
    @ Chidinma: iAm thankful that iKno u, and iWanna read that story;
    @ Chychy: it would not be better off if u were gone. Think of ur Ma, n think of me 😀

  29. DEATH!!!!Such an enigma…..
    Suicide…whether consciously or consciously, whether for a second or for years, sure most of the people alive on earth have considered it.
    The easiest reason for suicide is “to end it all”…; “to get to a better place innit?
    I have trolled the path of depression…many times. I have had my doctor plead and then threaten me over drug abuse…sleeping pills and anto depressants I pop at will.
    SUICIDE!!!…to end it all???
    Once I had an epiphany…WHAT IF???..What if..the other side is just worse? what if that is when the suffering actually begins? I believe in Heaven and hell..just as I have been taught to believe but I still ask the question…what if it is just worse at the other side of life…in death?
    with that, I have come to stay put with life on this side…no matter aw bad it gets as long as I can’t guarantee the situation on the other side, I will stay put on this side.
    Selah!

  30. @ Ada: U are right on the money! Support from loved ones is invaluable;
    @ Zoe: He sure loves u, and as long as we have HOPE, we have everything to live for;
    @ Bond: That’s my personal take on the matter. Not more, not less, just uniquely;
    @ T: Now that’s a bucketful of criminally cold water on the head!! What if…?

  31. Wow, wasnt sure if this was a good idea, but reading through the comments, it seems like a very good idea. Each and every comment has been helpful to me, because firs of all, that feeling of being alone is no longer there, and also, i just discovered that it takes a lot of courage to kill oneself, so why no just use that courage to get out of the problem you are in.

    Really grateful to my BBM big brother FRAQUE.

  32. I really think this article is coming at a timely moment in my life and I’m grateful that asides all the “superficial” things on 360nobs, there are articles like this that help people in time of need. I have always thought you to be a great writer Franque and the people who read your stories also share a like mind because each and everyone of them had a word or two to pass across. I thank God for you Franque and for everyone here.

    May he make you a source of joy to the people around you. God bless you all !!

  33. @ Sorey: iSee you. U go chop *konk when iSee u for dat mis-spellin of my name;
    @ B: Thankful and grateful is the way to be;
    @ Gfunc: iAm glad u found ur way here too. God bless u too.

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