Kuwait, this oasis within the hostility of the world, was thought to be the epitome of happiness. Sadly this is not the case. Suicide levels in the country have been gradually increasing over the years, grotesquely morphing a limited problem to a widespread phenomenon.
A BMC Public Health survey presents us with a cascading list from 1991 with 27 cases of suicide, increasing up to 76 cases in 2012 of tormented angels leaving Kuwait with up to nine percent of the population lost in a desolate plain of pure depression according to the Ministry of Health.
Despite this, any pleas for help have been masked in an entertainment-focused culture. This is a country of pride and resolution! How could such a tragedy occur in a place like this?
According to statistics, the rise in depression is due to a congealed mass of problems: family, financial, and psychological. These are all preventable problems, so why do the victims remain silent up until their final moment? Why do they let their final gasps of this incredible energy that is life be the most agonizingly loud?
The most frightening part of all this is that these cases are drowned in ignorance and the taboo of not living golden, blessed days. Society is straining them, straining us, with ideals of perfection while masking our faces with makeup. Tears roll down our cheeks, only for us to get lost in a rising ocean.
They wish that people knew that the worst part about life is the feeling of sheer loneliness, the inability to express the anguish that rages within; and the smiley-face culture that we all live in worsens that loneliness because they are just too scared to tell the truth.
And the blinding truth is that: They can’t cope. They are not strong. The sun doesn’t look like it has been lovingly crafted for them just to see them happy.
Sure, there are times where their makeup cakes off though; these are the times where they say “I do not want to live”, or “I will say goodbye in a few moments.” Most of the time, these statements are brushed off as if they were dust ruining our immaculate suits.
I would like to ask you now: Is this really a tragedy?
Staying alive may be the hardest thing some people will ever do in their lifetime.
Staying alive may come easily to some.
However, arriving at a natural death may be as triumphant as living for those tortured souls who have to work so hard to continue breathing.
They are a part of us, aren’t they?
I urge you all to engage in small talk, because behind that hard-earned smile. all those masks and all those clogged layers of makeup is an all-consuming beast of insecurity and insanity. Go to your loved ones, before you see them collapsed from consuming large doses of medicine or poison, hanging or jumping from the height of your carelessness.
I also urge you all to love, love unconditionally – for hope may blossom from a single smile that is passed between strangers in a coffee shop; and with hope, we shall continue to rise from these ashes of hurt, betrayal and burden. These ashes shall not be layered upon us like makeup any more.
Act, before it all becomes a larger beast than we expected it to be, and all of our pills and therapies fail to conjure a miracle.
Or just carry on, carry on. As if it all doesn’t matter.
By Sana Kalim