the big sad

2 min readDec 30, 2021
Illustration of a person drowning with a hand reaching out from above
Illustration by Paul Blow via

“God abeg”, you mutter over and over under your breath because there are no other words to express your cry for mercy. It’s not like you believe in any God or their benevolence but you’re at your wits end. You’d do anything to ease the pain. You bury your head between your knees, your eyes and nostrils flowing freely like a dam, “God, abeg.”

Your desperate attempts at seeking the benevolence of deity don’t end with the unscheduled moments of prayer, you now punctuate each breath throughout the day with the two words you can utter coherently. You don’t know what it is you’re pleading for, do you want an easier life, do you just not want to feel pain or do you want it all to end? You leave the answer at the discretion of whoever is listening, you seem to say, “do with me whatever feels like mercy”. If it were up to you though, you’d rather cease to exist.

You want to scream but you can’t find your voice. You give whatever gods are listening, an ultimatum. If the heaviness does not lift by evening, you’d visit the beach and become one with the ocean. Forever.

You’ve lived with this inherent sadness all your life but this year, the doctor put a name to it. It makes sense. It all makes sense. Your will to live now hangs by a thread. You’ve chased joy and hope in circles all year long but they always seem to evade you. Now, all you’re left with is sheer exhaustion.

Once again, you fall on your knees. You groan. Your body trembles under the weight of the burden you cannot name. You let the tears flow. You let the panic run its course. You feel the nausea. You don’t get up till you feel empty. You make your bed. You take a shower. You light candles. You play Uneven Odds by Sleeping at last. You exchange messages with your friends. You sleep. You wake up the following morning. You go again. Or not.




“Silence is a dangerous thing to give yourself to, especially if you were born to speak.” - Eloghosa Osunde