Dear Friend

Today I received a very pleasant surprise from my past. It was a letter from my ex-roommate. I hate writing sappy things but it was a letter full of love, happiness and support (that’s the way I am taking it, Friend). This one’s for her and all my other friends:

Dear Friend(each of you just read your own names here…:-D),

Whenever I revisited the space-time where we shared the same space, where we were roommates, I always had this question as to the nature of our relationship: Were we friends, enemies, colleagues or co-sufferers in that small town? Today, I have my answer. Slowly did the memories fade away, faces relegated to the past. Your letter was a complete shocker to me and hence, even more special. The way you said it – it’s been ten years. A long ten years during which both of us have been through different kinds of experiences, maybe grown a little smarter, a little more matured than we used to be(that’s the hope , anyways…:-)). I would love to take this moment and space here to thank all the people who have been there for me in my toughest hours and those too who could not be in touch but allocated some really valuable real estate for me in their thoughts.

Yes, my Friend, thank you… You see how much I have changed. Thanking “people” on an open platform where anyone and everyone can read it.

To all my well-wishers:

I am finally at a place where I can very happily say that the depression and BPD are the best things that ever happened to me. This is no empty platitude. To quote Nietzsche – That which doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Okay, I’ll say – depression’s one mean bitch! But BPD has been very good to me. It has made it possiblefor me to experience each moment of my life as if it were a movie. The dreamer in me couldn’t ask for more. I have always been a little out of sync with the world around me and I still love to escape the drudgery sometimes. BPD made it possible – it taught me how to tune out the world and  focus solely on my thoughts. I have so many emotions that I can hardly recognize or understand even a quarter of them. Works like a charm every time to make my mind stronger and flexible.

I have always been stubborn and a self believer. Failing at curing depression and BPD was never an option. Whenever you find yourself on the lowest rung of this ladder called life, all you can do is start climbing up – or you could stay in situ too but that gets very boring very fast. So, you climb up.

I have always wanted to die the best version of the person I was born, the person I could be. My struggle has proved invaluable in that respect. Change is the one constant in life – the one thing that remains unaltered is change. I, too, have been changing, transforming even transcending(just love the word!) every moment.

Keep Walking…

Advertisements

THE STORY…

I made a solemn promise to myself yesterday that I would get back to blogging from today onwards. So, here goes nothing…

Umm… I am supposed to write a whole page about something but I don’t know what. Should I write about the enforced sabbatical I had to take from the professional world due to some psychiatric problems or should I focus on the path I have been walking on since these problems cropped up? Can’t make up my mind, drawing a blank every time. Lemme see. I will start with the problems that I have been facing for almost twenty months now…

Once upon a time in a galaxy far too near, on planet Earth lived this organic form, called a human being in the native language, who was suffering from depression. Let us see what steps it took to cure itself.

  1. It consulted a psychiatrist who promptly hospitalised it and prescribed meds to begin the process of transforming it from a human being to zombie.
  2. Finally, after a substantial amount of time had passed, it started rebelling coz it didn’t want to be a zombie anymore. As a first step towards that goal, it switched the mental health providers, i.e. doctors. The new doctor changed all the medicines and prescribed a psychological test too (conveniently the test was in MCQ format) to find the main culprit for the depression. The test revealed the root cause – BPD or Borderline Personality Disorder.
  3. The human being tried to understand the nature of the culprit but wasn’t really able to grasp the concept in its entirety. Thus, began the long process of struggle with it. Several epic wars were fought over the course of twenty months to defeat the culprit. Finally, the day arrived when the enemy was defeated. The human being won. How? Coz the enemy’s nature was laid bare. The moment the enemy’s nature was revealed, the path to defeating it lay wide open.

Of course, the path is long, tedious and full of hurdles but I have already taken so many steps down the road. There is no turning back. Every person in this world struggles to achieve one thing or another. My struggle is for just my peace, my well-being and of those around me. I keep taking one step at a time. Step by step the journey will be completed. In the meanwhile, I just have to make that extra effort…find the strength to stand up after each time I fall down. Hurdles only mean more power, more strength which is all good news for me.

Keep Walking…

Lost…

image

Lost am I
Someone please show me the way
Through the mazes of my mind
Guide me through the fire lights.

What I do
Insignificant things
Plans of grandeur
To dust they fall.

So much rage, so much pain
I cry deep tears – a rain
My brain’s a mush, Pill popping a game
Memory’s no use – it’s down the drain

Hope? Check. Happiness? Double Check!

meditation

Introvert – Check. Depression – Check. Suicidal feelings – Check.

One thing I learned about myself from that dark dark period of my life is that I am a survivor and that life is too precious to just give up especially when you are not in any sort of rational mind to take such an important decision.

A bit of a background:

I was depressed for around 3.5 years from 2008 – 2011 and some part of 2012 as well. Being an introvert, I never shared the depth of my malady and the seriousness of it with anyone though in hindsight I can clearly see that I didn’t know that I was in depression. All I knew was that something was very, very wrong with me, that I was always tired – mentally, physically and emotionally, couldn’t connect with anyone around me but since I couldn’t always connect with people before I never gave it much thought. But I was really tired of living, having to wake up every morning with no thought/no ambition, nothing to motivate me, to just get through the day somehow and once when the day was dead, there was still the night to pass. Insomnia became a norm. No rest in the night and hence, no energy in the morning. I was going through the motions of life but reality didn’t seem real anymore. I was in a haze, trapped in my mind by my own mind. No prison can be worse than one’s own mind! It knows your darkest thoughts, secrets, your worst memories and will throw them at you when you least expect it to and depression is not the best time for this. I, too, had a balcony from where I could see the world passing by. Normal people living their normal lives. And there I was! Trapped in the darkness, cut off from the world with no escape! I so wanted to fly away from that balcony, leave all the pain and darkness behind. Just fly away, light as a bird towards freedom, happiness, the heaven! Ah! Sweet escape!

But some threads held me back or I won’t be here writing this article now. Obviously, some of the threads were the people in my life who have only loved and supported me completely throughout my life. I couldn’t make such an important decision without thinking about them. One of the threads was my eminently practical nature which promptly asked me – What if you don’t die? What if you just lose a couple of your limbs or your spine and become a burden to your parents through no fault of theirs? I couldn’t punish them so. Of course, I knew a few more ways to commit suicide successfully but these questions held me back because they showed me that all hope was not lost. What I was thinking of as one continuous dark night actually held a ray of hope. I hadn’t given up hoping even in the darkest period of my life. The questions showed me that. And that was it! That stopped me! Because I am truly human! So long as there is hope I will persevere! So long as there is hope things are not as bad as they seem. That evening I cursed myself that I couldn’t even be strong enough to commit suicide without being analytical about it. But that was the very moment when I started believing somewhere in my mind that one day I will be happy again, that I will come out of this constant soul-sucking misery. Not that I became alright overnight! No. That doesn’t happen in real life. Took a really long time. But I had hope and that was enough for the time being.

Today, I look back and I am darned proud of myself that I didn’t give up. What would I have to show for myself if I had given up? Nothing but a broken body and worse, a broken spirit! Today I know that I a very strong person because I have been through the fire and lived to tell the tale. Today I know that what I thought as cowardice on my part was nothing but sheer courage and determination to fight my condition. It would have been ridiculously easy to give up! But something in me did not – the part that made me truly human! Human beings are known for their tenacity, perseverance and hope. After having evolved for around 2 million years, it would be poor performance on my part to give up just when faced with a little pain and misery! I couldn’t do that.

What gave me hope then was my faith in my personal God – the one I believed in who gave me nothing but love, understanding and acceptance always. Then who was I to doubt that I was not worthy of being alive? The other thing that helped me was the meditation. I was very fond of meditation when I was growing up. As an introvert, I loved spending time meditating and had the art of introspection down to a pat. Since I was used to meditating for a long time, I got to attend a 10-day Vipassana course at an early age. By the time all this happened, I had already attended Vipassana thrice and though I wasn’t a regular practitioner then, I think that Vipassana helped me to not lose hope and ultimately helped me in coming out of it. Now, I know that it did indeed play a huge role in helping me then. Of course, I did not come to know about all these things until I came out of the depression. Also, it helped that I hadn’t labeled my situation. Sometimes, labels really suck! I think I would have been even more depressed if I had known the name of my malady – it would have scared me more and wouldn’t have helped a bit in return!

Remember at all times: Having depression doesn’t mean that you are weak. It just means that it is a test and you will emerge a stronger, better, more evolved and mature person once you have come out of it. Don’t let anyone put you down or make you feel like shit or call you a weirdo. One has to walk in someone’s shoes to know their problems.

So, to sum-up:

  1. Give yourself a break. So, something truly horrible happened. It’s okay to be miserable, to be depressed. Maybe the “normies” can’t understand that. That’s fine. It’s okay to break into thousand pieces sometimes. It’s okay not to be strong, happy, rational and normal all the time. It’s normal. Don’t make a big deal out of it. How will that help you?
  2. Never give up hope. Cliched but true. Hope when you have nothing left to hope. Just hope blindly. Have faith in your hope that one day in future, no matter how long it takes, you will be happy again. Till then, continue the fake laughter – fake is better than the silence. Change your perspective or if you can’t at least adopt this one for the time being – Hope is never far away. It’s always there right along with the pain, suffering and misery. We just can’t see it then.
  3. Try meditation or prayer. It helps by creating positive energy within us. I have found Vipassana pretty awesome and effective (http://vipassana.org/). They run a ten day residential course free of cost across different locations in India and other countries.
  4. Look to your family for strength. No matter what happens, they will always love and support you whether you ask for it or not.
  5. Be strong and believe in yourself. The dawn is sweetest when the night is blackest!

Be happy!

Lost At Sea…

images (36)

I am so lost,
Floundering in this sea,
Made of humans,
No landmark I see!

Strewn it is with,
Faces familiar and strange,
Choked it is with
Heartbreak, happiness
Sweet love, broken dreams!

Paradoxical emotions,
Create the chaos,
Churn and burn.
Underneath the surface,
A deadly maze!

The depths I can’t gauge,
Just know that I’m drowning,
Deep and deep.
Can’t feel the floor,
Beneath my feet.

My arms flail around,
I can’t stay aloft!
I fight against the currents,
A battle I have lost!
The final end is near…

The water closes,
Above my head.
Darkness surrounds me,
In peaceful embrace.
Gently, softly, I let go all
A beatific smile on my face…