The Jack Syndrome #WSPD2020

Jack and I have been friends since teenage days. We started and finished the same high-school. We were in a group of 6 that bonded into something beautiful. On getting to know ourselves better, we discovered that he had mood swings on a regular – once he got into that frame, it was super hard to drag him out of it. The only person who could do that miracle a good number of times was Jill.

Most times, we got really mad at Jack, because once he dived into that pool, it meant we were all going to drown with him since it was a tick off to us all. What was more irritating to us back then was the fact that he never knew its trigger. I’ll always say to him, “don’t tell me that! Something definitely triggers it. It’s only when we know what it is that we can join heads to proffer a solution”.

However, In the long run, we got accustomed to it. We even gave it a name – “The Jack Syndrome”. Whenever he was in that condition, we would leave him to himself, basically, so we do not upset ourselves. Although, we did make it a point of duty, a good number of times to share with him some scriptures and words of encouragement, even though it appeared as futile.

Things got better, really it did or so we thought. At this point we were growing into adults, so we had our individual responsibilities to look into than gather from morning to night like back in the days. This syndrome wasn’t as projected as it was in time past, so we all assumed that phase of his life was gone. Also, at some point, we lost connection as individuals and as a group, so we all were more or less in our individual orchestrated webs.

2019 came, Jack & I regained some sort of connection and we began talking about a lot of things. It was then I got to discover that the “syndrome” had eaten so badly into him and his swings had graduated into a series of depression. From Volunteering with one or two Not-for-profits Health Organization, I already groomed understanding and knowledge of this condition, so I put them into practice. I had to make deliberate attempts to chat him up regularly and I remember mornings when I sent him texts like some lover hoping he starts off the morning with some smile. I remember laughing to myself one of those mornings saying “this uncle should better not think wild, this is just me trying to make him understand he counts and he matters to me as a friend.” However, I slacked at some point.

Fast forward to the year 2020, I had a call from Jill telling me to check up on Jack that he was almost suicidal. It sounded as a joke to me at first, so I laughed.”No way. It couldn’t have gotten to that extent” I said. Well, it did. This is something I read and hear about, happening live in my circle. Immediately, I reached out to him and we talked. As soon as I got into town, I scheduled a hangout, so we could reconnect and I’m glad it was fruitful.

Currently, we have a group chat which I believe is helping him because once he drops a message about how he may be feeling, we all jump on it and make it a priority to make him feel better either with words, voice notes, pictures or video calls.

Moral of my story?

It’s World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD). Like the 2005 theme: Prevention is everybody’s business. You and I have a responsibility to make individuals such as Jack understand that they’re worth so much to so many people. Get them to understand that life is worth living and they (directly /indirectly) make each day better. Communicate! Connect! Care!


You reading this;

You count!

You matter, a whole lot!

Everything about you makes today better!

Hang in there, your story is important.


Submitted By: Victoria Archibong

The Bridge Leadership Foundation is a non-profit leadership and capacity development Foundation established in 2011 committed to raising generations of transformational leaders.

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