Nonfiction: After The Long Night; hope for the hopeless by Iwu Jeff

by Iwu Jeff
Have you ever felt like you’re surrounded by darkness as a result of the issues of life? You feel your world covered by night and all you think about is how to be you but in a different body. The night becomes unending. You feel your head swollen and about to burst- heavy and laden with loads of problems. You look around your world, you’re alone and then, your solitary state becomes exacerbated by the chirpings of life’s challenges like the nocturnal creatures, here and there.
At this moment, your heart skips, attempting to jump out through your mouth. Your stomach turns into a war zone, firing bullets at all corners. Your body shivers and your hackle rises like that of a mad dog.
You’d like to speak to someone. You’d desire an ear to pour out your fears to. A heart to connect with. A shoulder to rest on. You need help. We all need help- people to link up with- friends, colleagues, family members and so on. You try to open your mouth so that words can freely spill out from it but as you make effort to speak, your mouth becomes muffled.
‘Shut up!’ A voice yells at you. You turn around but see no one. Everywhere becomes darker and ominous. The voice in its authoritative tone sounds like a monster, ready to devour. Again, you become clothed with a garment of fear heavier than the one you’re wearing. The coming of this odious voice makes you feel disconnected from your dreams. Disconnected from your hopes. Totally disconnected from the issues of life. The voice keeps coming especially when you’re about to see a ray of light. It acts like a caterpillar, eating you up daily and leaving you afterwards to be enslaved by terrible dread. It sits with ease inside your heart, giving you convictions on why you shouldn’t pour out your feelings to anyone. It reminds you how you’ve been betrayed in the past by someone so dear to you. It tells you that people around will judge you. You’re afraid. You feed these thoughts and cling to the belief that speaking up will only bring your feet to the path of danger.


You believe this voice and remain in silence, staring deeply into bleak darkness. You shrink day by day, gradually turning into a dry cane. Your legs become crippled. Your mouth gets stifled. And your eyes blinded; too blinded from seeing better things- new life, new hope and new ambition. You become so pessimistic that you see nothing but failure even in the unknown future. Your ears also become deafened that you can no longer hear the knocking sounds of life’s opportunities, which stand like ‘Jesus’ on the doors of our hearts.


‘You have failed and can’t rise again.’ The evil voice says to you, playing it like drum in your mind. ‘Never you try again!’ It adds. You cry aloud, accepting the new name that life has given to you, ‘FAILURE!’ You believe everyone hates you. You become psychologically conditioned to tread on the path of failure. Now, more challenges keep coming your ways without asking for permission. You see them huge like Mountain Everest and they keep growing to the magnitude. You get your hands tied and can’t face the challenges. You feel life is a longer night spent in insomnia and you wish it’s brought to an end very quickly. Now depression sets in and you begin thinking only about your past, your mistakes and lost battles.

‘Why don’t you end it now?’ The unknown voice suggests. It continues, resonating; now with authority. ‘Fool, get up! Just end it! End it! End it now and have rest!’ You look around again and see no reason to live. No reason to love again. No reason to try again. Your head becomes like a formatted memory card with no thoughts about loved ones. The voice comes again and tells you to go to hell and you see reasons why you should be there. You stay all through, day and night, fantasizing how good it would be to die. You pay attention to the sounds from there and what you hear is the rhythm of music flowing out from hell. The sounds become melodious to your eardrums.
Now your heart goes weird and your eyes controlled, seeing only messengers of death. A knife in the kitchen. A blade on the table. A bottle of insecticide or pesticide you bought some days ago. A rope on the floor and a ceiling above. Your eyes show you a river and what you hear is, ‘jump in and get drown!’ Again, you perceive the jangle of a moving trailer and you shake your head to the repellent sound it makes as it crushes your body on a tarmac. You think of what to do- smile or cry? Your mind shows you the images of your body lying on the road like butchered meat. You begin to see yourself in another body inside a coffin, taken away and never to return. And now you think that is where you can find rest. I mean rest from the troubles of life that keep coming with turbulence. You have no thoughts on why the dead don’t tell stories. No thoughts on why they are focused with deaf ears, not minding the wailings of their loved ones. If they return to tell their tales will anyone ever think of dying?

You try to weep. But you can’t weep. Your heart becomes so strong and rocklike. ‘You dare not weep; go ahead now,’ the voice chortles. You look up and your mind is made up. Your heart becomes filled with worries that you can’t take away.

NO! DON’T DO IT! Behold the dawn. It comes with new hope, new life, and new aspirations.
Say no to that voice. Wake up. You’re loved. Stand before a mirror, what do you see? See yourself again and again and speak positive words to the image you see. Set your heart on your dreams, work on it and be you. After a longer night comes dawn with light to shine. Its light is here again to brighten your life. On that mirror is a hero the world is waiting for. Move on, there is no mortal whose life is disconnected from having challenges. When you fall below your hopes and tongues are wagging, like a dead man pay deaf ears to the mouths of men. Don’t throw a party of pity and remain there; you’ll keep seeing darkness all around you. Wake up and try again, know that even sweet wines can go sour. Know that even roses come with thorns. Know that gold passes through fire to be refined into precious jewel. Just as the sun never shines at night or the river flowing out of its bounds to go on dry lands, your challenges are not more than you. The load you carry can’t be more than your ability.

In the words of Ceneca, ‘it is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that things are difficult’. When we don’t dare the challenges of life, we see them as impossibilities on our ways. We lose hope and see them as longer nights, which can never be brightened with light. We also feel depressed and depression has led many to their early graves.

There is light after the long night. This light is a light of hope. Believe in your ability for no challenge is as difficult as it first appeared. Summon courage to face your opposition, speak out and you would realize how weak the issues of life are. After the long night comes a new dawn. Dawns come new, with new hope, new vision, new aspiration and new dreams. Cheer up and stay in the light.

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