I’m Depressed

There. I’ve said it. It’s not the first time. But I don’t want to say it again.

I’m depressed.

Not your milennial kind. Sitting at a cafe, rolling my eyes at the girl I don’t like and complaining about singledom, “Ohmygod! I’m so depressed!” No. Not that kind.

The real one. The emotional kind that people tend to treat lightly because they don’t understand how serious it can possibly be. So, welcome to my world.

I’m not an actress. My life isn’t a Bollywood movie. I’m not sitting by the window, staring into space and nothingness. I don’t have a single tear running down my face as I lose sight of what’s happening around me. I’m not snapped back to reality. A hug isn’t going to heal me. A boyfriend cannot fix me.

This is real.

I’m right beside you. I’m not in hiding. I’m everywhere I need to be. I’m talking to you when you’re talking to me. I sound like I do everyday but I care a lot less. You just can’t tell. I show up to the event, dressed like a dream. You can’t tell it took me effort to put it all on. Not physical. Emotional. To get out of bed and prepare myself to smile with a world I can’t connect to anymore.

I can’t tell you I’d rather be at home. Not listening to you talk about problems that don’t affect me and having to give you comforting advice when I can’t even think. I can’t tell you I’m two seconds away from breaking apart even when I seem to be laughing.

You help me. Sitting across the table, as a best friend. You help me. Knocking on my door for a small conversation. You help me. A distraction for a few seconds. But you can’t take it away.

I want to confide. To tell you how I spiral. To tell you how this is all too much. I think I’ve taken on more than I can chew. My overthinking has taken me by my hand and led me back to my dark place. I was depressed a few years ago. I think it’s back for me. Or maybe it never stopped at all.

I wake up every morning. I walk out the door, that takes a lot of effort. I look through my checklist, ticking off things that pay my bills. I eat my lunch to Netflix. I come back home, turn the lights on, find my corner of the bed and suddenly I’m lost. I switch between streaming platforms. I grab my phone and get on Instagram. There’s nothing to watch. Nobody to see. I don’t care about any of it. But I have to. Because if I’m not watching Mike Ross fight with Harvey Specter or Lorelai and Rory Gilmore fast talk their way through Luke’s coffee, I’d want to slam my head against the wall, crying.

I ask myself everyday. Is it the end of my relationship? Is it the amount of work? Is it the personal woes? The inability to give back to the people who gave me everything? Is it the drowning debt? My answer is the same every time. No.

Someone once asked me what depression feels like. “Is it a state of mind? Can’t you change your state of mind?” I tried to tell her.

It’s like an empty room that hasn’t been lived in for decades. It’s hollow, your voice echoes multifold. So your worries echo multifold. It’s dirty, not the sexy kind. It’s broken windows and rusty doors. It’s haunting without the ghosts. It’s a feeling of sinking. Like something bad is always going to happen. But it’s not. You know it’s not. Yet you feel like it just did. You feel like you’ve lost. Maybe it’s the loss of life in that room. Or the loss of happiness. The loss of light. It’s a dark room. Maybe there’s light. All it takes is the flick of a switch. But you’re stuck. You can’t get up and turn it on.

She asked me why. I didn’t have an answer.

My depression doesn’t need a reason to cling on to. My emotions don’t have to explain themselves for sinking again. I can’t write down why I’m not okay. But it’s the truth. I’m not okay.

How do you ask for help when you don’t know what you need help with? What do I say?

“Hey, I’m depressed. I don’t know why. I don’t know the fix. But help me?”

What do they go on with? What solution do they give to a problem I can’t describe?

So I try what I always have. To smile. Maybe if I smile enough, the happiness will become real. I try to giggle. Perhaps the silliness will help lighten up my heart. I try to create. Art helped me once, so it should again? I try to live. But as I sat there at that boardwalk, staring at fireworks, my sister turned to me, “Are you crying?”

I had to say no because I didn’t want to explain myself. But the truth was… Yes. The fireworks made me cry. I don’t know why. They always make me happy. And I was happy. But something within me made me cry. Because I wasn’t really happy.

How do you explain that?

Things that bring me an abundance of joy cannot lift me out of this dark hole I find myself stuck in over and over again. Maybe we’re all depressed and we just don’t admit it to each other. Maybe as you’re reading this, you’re relating. But you can’t tell anyone either because when they ask, “Your life is amazing. What do you have to be depressed about?” what do you say?

What do I say?

So I shrug my shoulders, look down in guilt and swallow my tears. I look at them, a lump in my throat and softly say,

“I’m not okay.”

 

Anger’s Comfort Zone

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I was on a long and emotional call with a friend who’d recently been verbally abused by his sibling in a moment of anger. We talked about the possible reasons and how they usually behave within and outside of family. All our observations led me to one big question – Are we willingly more rude to a family member than we are to a friend or a stranger?

I have always tolerated irritating behavior from a stranger and I always told myself it is due to the fear of appearing harsh or wanting to avoid a public scene. But what I never noticed – I am perfectly capable of creating a scene and saying harsh things to a family member at that same place, for the same reason. But why?

I turned to my facebook page to see what others believe is the reason and they came up with interesting reasons:

  • “Because we don’t feel the need to please our family.”
  • “We’re comfortable with our loved ones and it’s okay for our emotions to show.”
  • “Your family will not judge you for your anger.”

And finally, the answer that really made me think – “We know what our family members’ limits are and how they’ll react, wherein a stranger’s reaction to your rudeness might be more aggressive than you would expect.”

Does knowing one’s limits make it right to mistreat them?

Just because someone isn’t saying “Stop” does not mean it isn’t hurting them. And honestly, at times, we can cross the limit and not know it at all. What then?

Someone said, “But after the fight, I apologized. So it’s totally fine.” Is it?

“An apology means nothing if you don’t stop doing what you’re apologizing for.”

An apology does not take away how you made someone feel at that moment. It doesn’t take away the potential damage you could cause to a relationship. An apology, to a person who was emotionally pained with words, is only a temporary bandage. The scar will always remain.

I’m 24. I remember the hurtful words my mother said to me when I was 9. She apologized. I forgave her. But I can’t forget. Not even if I tried. Because people forget the good things you do. But the knives you struck in their hearts in the form of words, it sticks with them forever.

Anger you see on the news always begins from a place of comfort. When you think one person takes it, it grows.

So stop. Evaluate a situation before throwing a tantrum or screaming at your loved ones. Always put yourself in their shoes.

Just because they’re family doesn’t mean they don’t have emotions. Just because they’re not arguing does not mean they’re not hurting.

Watch your language. Breathe to 10 before you speak. Sure, we’ll all have our moments. But ask yourself, “Is this situation worth a lifetime of negative memories?”

It’s not good karma to help a stranger you see on the bus after you’ve yelled at someone at home. It’s only your day that gets better when you say, “Sorry.” Their day is ruined for good.

Remember – It’s not blood that binds a human to another. It’s the way you treat each other.

Be kind.

Especially to the ones who’ll forgive you when you’re not.

A Painful Addiction

Like so many things I’ve talked about here before, this, too, is a secret well-kept. One I’ve often wondered if others have been through.
Doesn’t every addiction have company?

We were texting and it was a fight like all else. There was shouting. There were rude things. I told myself I’m going to block him. Then came the text I’d dreaded, right below his name – Typing…

Do you know that hammering in your heart when you’re saying goodbye? The one where you know it’s for the better while you wish something had been different all along? That’s how I felt. I stared at that word.

I knew in my heart I had to walk away. Block him now and never have this conversation again. But I stalled. I heard my mind tell me, “He’s going to type something hurtful. This will not be kind to your soul. He is angry beyond comprehension. Being nice isn’t what he wants right now. Walk away. You will break down over the words he’s typing. Press the button. Block him now and walk away.”

But I stalled. Because I wanted to see them. I wanted to see the names he would call me. The words he wanted to throw at me. I wanted to feel just how much he resented me. I wanted to feel my heart crash. My emotions sink. I wanted to hurt from within. To curl up and sob over the physical and emotional turmoil the words he typed would bring to me.

And for the first time, I noticed it. I noticed an addiction.

One I’d never known before.

Nobody talks about things like this. People don’t tell you this is a possibility. And maybe it isn’t. But it was there. Pulsing through me with a need that words cannot explain.

I called my friend and told him about it. I told him what I’d just realized about myself. And the more we spoke, the more instances I recalled.

Like the time I sat in a car with a boy I was dating and waited for him to tell me what I already knew. He’d been cheating on me. But I wanted to hear him say it. To hear him say he was sick of me. To hear him say he’d upgraded. Even when I knew the stinging pain I’d feel right after.

And the time I had a fight with my father and, instead of walking away, I stayed so I could hear him tell me how disappointed he was to have me for a daughter. I knew he wouldn’t mean the words he’d say. I knew my heart would still believe it. And when it did, I knew it’d shatter into a million different pieces. But I stayed to hear him say it.

Or the time I had the opportunity to talk about it all. To end the misery of being the messenger in a broken marriage. To finally be just a child again. The time I chose to stay quiet. To not end what I knew would consume who I am for the rest of my life.

The time I chose to stand beside someone I knew was breaking from within. I wanted to absorb what he was letting out. To feel what he was trying to get rid off.

Because an addiction doesn’t have to be material. An addiction doesn’t need a physical form. It can be something bigger. Something more disturbing. Something more life shattering.

An addiction can be a feeling. Of heartbreak. Of emotional damage. Of misery.

An addiction can be something you’d never consider.

An addiction to an emotion.

Wanting to be hurt. To be emotionally ruined. Wanting to hear the words they’ll regret in the morning. Finding comfort in places you know you’ll crash. With people you know will wreck you. An addiction to an emotion so strong, it breaks you. Piece by piece. Until there’s nothing left of you.

And I..

I am addicted to Pain.

And I don’t know if someone out there feels this way too. I don’t know if this feeling is common. If it’s normal.

But it exists. Deep within me. And I can’t shake this off.

So there’s no positive end to this post. I’m not going to tell you how I plan on beating this or how I’m going to work on getting better. I don’t know if there is a way to get better.

But I’m talking about this because I know.

I know this addiction. And it’s not easy. It doesn’t make sense to many. It’s a battle everyday. A battle where you repeat to yourself over and over again to walk away. A battle you always lose.

So if you’re out there. If you’re feeling the way I do. If you’re addicted to the one thing everyone resents and avoids. I want you to know you’re not alone.

I want you to know that I feel it too. Everyday. Every moment. And I know how it consumes you. How it’s destroying you. How ridiculous it can sound. How real it can feel.

I know this painful addiction.

It’s mine too.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebound To Avoid Relapse

It was last year, around this time, that I became close to a guy who was two years my senior in high school.  Let’s call him Mr. Almost. We had been acquaintances for a long time and as we began to talk more, we became very good friends. We began to share stupid jokes and he was just so nice. In my so depressed state, he made me laugh. He made me giggle like a child. And I fell for him. The head over heels, I have no idea what to do with my life if I don’t spend it with him every waking minute kind of emotions.

He always hinted at a liking but there were never any promises or sure signs. He knew though. He knew how I felt about him and he always kept me on the fence. I have had days when someone would ask me out and I wouldn’t know if I should say yes because he made me feel like I didn’t have the permission to date someone else. Like I had to wait for him. So I did. For almost an entire year I did.

Have you been through a tough break-up? Where you believed that person was The One and your search had ended, only to have the relationship turn sour eventually? That affects you a lot and it takes a very long time to move on from something that strong. To say, “Yes. I’m ready to date someone new now.” I was healing from a bad break up when I met someone in university that I thought was a good person to be with. Somehow, I was very happy but it always felt like he was incredibly troubled the entire time we were together. It only lasted a few weeks.

I always wondered why he was so frustrated. I figured it out recently. He was my rebound.

For all you hopeless romantics out there that believe in rescuing a person from their heartbreak and saying, “Oh. You’re going through a break up? Let me help you. I’ll be perfect for you.” I’d like to give you a heads-up on being someone’s rebound.

Here’s the thing about a rebound relationship – The person going through the rebound always rises by drowning the other person. You are helping someone get rid of their hurt by letting them lay it all on you. And I can promise you, there are less than 10% rebound relationships that actually work once the person stops hurting.

I never knew what I did to the poor guy when I went through rebound until I was on the receiving end. Today, I have drowned. I get to watch my Mr. Almost laugh and be happy in pictures and so much of me is so happy for him but I cannot erase or push away that tiny voice that wishes I was in the pictures with him laughing it away than watching it from the outside.

It’s been almost two months since I talked to him. I’d like to believe that it is getting easier with time. I don’t blame him. It was my call put a stop to it. He was better, he was seeing things clearly and I could feel him pull away and I am definitely one of those people that would rather end it than be ended with. But I still have days when all I want to do is pick up the phone and call. I have to stop myself every time and remind myself why it is a bad idea. I have to remind myself of all the emotional turmoil I will go through if I make that call.

I honestly wish I could have come up with a better blog post today but my mind is just so occupied with him. I promise to have a better post next week. It’s difficult to come up with incredible posts when you feel like you’re being pulled down by an anchor of some sort.

When you’re going through a break up, you feel the need to be validated. You need to know that you’re worth loving and caring for. That’s why the rebound relationships happen. The other person gushes over you, loves you and cares for you and it is why they end up hurting in the end. Like the old saying..

“Nothing so easy as catching a heart on the rebound.”

– Mary Russel Mitford, 1830

Nothing so difficult as letting it go..

 

Understanding the Differences

In a world of over-achievers, I’m a mediocre. I live my life in a way that I see fit and not everyone understands or approves of it. But that’s every one of us, isn’t it?!

My brother has a book coming out called Ketchup & Curry. As he explained to me the concept of the book, I started thinking – We live in a world that is unbelievably diverse. What I saw in Los Angeles,  I can never imagine seeing in my city and it works the other way around as well. So what happens when one of us decides to go and live in a place that is filled with people who couldn’t be more different than you are?! How do you live in a foreign country surrounded by people who are unlike you and still live peacefully and happily?

I’ve travelled quite a bit. My passion is to learn and understand different cultures and someday, write about it all. I need to be the most nonjudgmental human being on the planet to pursue a career out of that. Like I’ve mentioned before, my parents raised me saying “thou shall not chill with a man who is not your brother, father, family or betrothed.” When I first moved to a foreign country, the first couple I saw making out on the street were both women. Here’s the culture shock – you don’t kiss people in public. If you’re older than 20, your own father will flinch when you try to kiss his cheek in public. Then comes “OMG ! THAT’S TWO WOMEN !” But I thought that was the most beautiful thing. The freedom to be who they are and not having to hide. I lived there for about four months. When I left, I no longer had the need to judge people for the choices they make out of love. That was the first thing most people didn’t understand.

When I started university, my classes were only a few hours a day. I had plenty of free time on my hands and I spent three quarters of them on YouTube. Have you ever been so bored that you started out with a music video but a few hours later, found yourself in that weird part of youtube? That happened to me. I was watching Paradise by Coldplay and somehow ended up watching videos of people with Gender Identity Disorder and videos of Transgenders and their everyday struggles. In my city, the only kinds of transgenders I’d encountered were the ones who usually come and ask for money. When you say no, they try to bully you into giving them money or whatever it is that you have. So whenever I saw them, I’d get scared and try to walk away. But those videos forever changed my idea of them. I never realized how incredibly nice they can be if you just understand them and accept them. You know when you’re the black sheep in the family and everyone’s giving you the cold shoulder and you just look at them thinking “My friends understand. Why can’t you? Come on ! A little acceptance would be nice!” Imagine living life like that every day. But you’re not just asking your family. You’re asking the entire human race (with the exclusion of a few people here and there) to understand you and accept you. I might not be their best friend, but I stopped running away. I chose to stop and give them an answer when they asked me something. Sure there are some of them that are thieves and cheaters. Tell me a time when a man or woman you trusted wasn’t a thief or a cheater? We’re all human beings and the least we can do is treat each other the way we’d like to be treated. In a society that already lived like that, I learnt to accept them and live in peace. That’s the second thing most people don’t understand.

I still meet people who are completely different from who I am. I meet people who make choices I can never imagine making for myself. “She had six boyfriends in the past” is a statement that is approved in one culture while looked down on in another. Judging the people who disapprove of it isn’t going to make my life any better. But that doesn’t mean I have to change who I am. Every person is entitled to their own opinions. I can’t control my thoughts about things. Similarly, the other person’s thoughts are his own.

I can be cheesy here and say “Please let us love one another.” But that’s a statement that won’t ever work. We can’t all love everything. So let me tell you what I’ve learnt in my life – “Yes, we’re all different. We may not all have the ability to accept our differences and love each other. But the least we can do is to keep the hate to ourselves. Stop the stupid fights on comment sections. Stop comparing. Stop name calling. You do your thing and let them do theirs. If you don’t like something, walk away. It is not your place or in your right to judge someone who likes it. You can go ahead and live your life the way you want to. But the next person’s life is theirs. It’s their choices. It’s their interests and if they screw up, it’s their consequences. Unless you’re asked, don’t give your opinions. It’s as simple as that. Remember, who you are is insignificant when you’re gone. It’s the words you say and the actions you do that you leave behind..”

In a world of over-achievers, I’m a mediocre. I live my life in a way that I see fit and not everyone understands or approves of it. But nobody gets to judge it. Nobody but me.

And that’s the only thing I wish people would understand.

Cancer and the Battle | World Cancer Day 2014

A couple of days ago, I read the book “The Fault in our Stars” by John Green. Though it may sound overdramatic, I’m simply being honest when I say, that book killed a part of me. To lose someone you love is tragic. But to lose someone you love for no fault of his/hers is unfair. It’s also the definition of Cancer. Every day you hear stories about it. Our parents, our well-wishers inform us about the vaccines that prevent it and advise us to get it done immediately. If we have lost someone in our family to Cancer, we live in fear that we might end up having to battle with it someday.

I lost two granddads and a grandmother to Cancer. Last year, I also lost an aunt to Cancer. I can never say I lost them because of Cancer. They didn’t die because of cancer. They fought a battle. A war, even. But they lost. They lost to a disease that seems to be affecting more and more people all around us every single day.

The thing is, if someone dies of a head injury, a drunk and drive accident or even a cardiac arrest, I’d get over it. Maybe not immediately, but at some point I’d accept it and move on. But I can’t seem to do that when I lose someone to Cancer.  Because they didn’t just die. They didn’t just say “Hey, I have Cancer” and fall flat to the ground. The pain, the agony, the screaming and shouting, the mood swings, the humiliation they feel, the loss of self-esteem, the loss of a life they dreamt they’d live, the regret they feel for putting their loved ones through so much pain, hurt and trauma – if this was so upsetting for my aunt who was above 60, imagine what this is like for a 6-year-old. An 8-year-old. A teenager.

Beyond the victims, imagine the trouble their loved ones go through. The mental torture. Every time I think of it, I just want to hug them. Every parent, every child, every husband, every wife and every friend that has had to lose someone they love to Cancer. There’s a part in this book where the mother says to her husband when they think their daughter is about to pass away, “I won’t be a mother anymore.” That broke my heart. It might be a fictional story but I can imagine so many mothers out there having to live with that as a reality. What did she do to deserve that? What did that poor child attached to twenty different tubes do to deserve that?

Especially, to learn that the cancer has been cured in their system, only to go back to the hospital three years later and realize “the Cancer’s back.” I have no words to describe that emotion. I can only hope that the love and the support they find around them gives them the strength to fight and win that battle a second time. In my mother’s friend’s case, a third time.

I would have loved for an opportunity to meet my granddads. The way my nieces/nephews would someday wish to meet their grandmother and I’ll them the story my parents told me. The story of how the vicious and scary ghost of a sickness and my aunt got into a fight. How she lost to it because she didn’t have the love of a very very very adorable little child. They’ll live with that story until they grow old and learn all about Cancer. How all the love in this world couldn’t have saved her. In fact, all the love in this world cannot save anyone battling with Cancer. But it can make the difficult journey a tad bit easier.

So on World Cancer Day, this February 4th, join me along with a million others across the world to raise awareness about that vicious and scary ghost of a sickness. Teach the world to accept and love the ones struggling to fight Cancer.  It might not save them, nothing but their own strength and possibly a cure for cancer can save them, but I assure you, it’ll make their journey a lot easier.

If you or anyone you know wish to give or seek support, there are so many websites and organizations that will connect you to the patients and their families. You can simply Google them.

Last but not least, if you are someone battling with Cancer, I want you to know, you have my love and support and I will be waiting for you at the winner’s lounge. Last round’s on me ‘kay? 🙂

Depression

Have you ever had that feeling where you’re so lost you have no idea what to do or where to look?
You’re trying to find an escape, but you feel like you’re in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by nothing but water .
Everything feels dull. No matter what you do, there’s a part of you that’s missing.
But here’s the problem, you don’t know what it is that you’re missing. At times, it feels like you’re missing everything.
At times, it feels like you’re not really missing anything. You’re, in fact, stuck with all the things one could imagine.
Except the things you want.
You’re surrounded by the people you love, who love you and yet you feel unloved.
You laugh and it feels like you’re doing it through someone else’s body.
Your life becomes a routine. You’re a machine that knows :
Get up. Brush. Shower. Eat. Watch TV. Go out. Look like you’re having fun. Change. Sleep.
Nothing stays in your head. Nothing except an empty feeling. A need to be somewhere else. To have something else.
But you don’t know where. If you know where, you don’t know how to get there.
It’s like getting to Neverland and meeting Peter Pan.
Yet it feels so realistic in your head. Like it’s right there. But you can’t touch it.
You want a particular someone, or rather just anyone, to walk up to you and pick you up.
To mend the broken pieces that only you can see.
To hold you close until you’re all fixed up and can stand on your feet again.
To tell you, no matter what, tomorrow will be a better day.
But even as you read this, you know, no matter what they say, you won’t believe it.
Waking up tomorrow is a pain you don’t want.
You stay awake all night and sleep all day because it’s your way of avoiding conversations during the day.
You push people away and they have no clue that it’s hurting you more to do that, than it’s hurting them.
But you can’t let them in. You can’t let them too close.. You can’t let them see..
That even if you look like you’re having fun.. Even if you’re smiling..

Deep inside, your heart is dying.

Marriage : From “I Do” to “I Can’t”

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The past three days, the topic around me has been constant. Marriage. As one friend of mine gets ready to seek out his bride, another friend who already found her love just told her parents about it. In another part of the world, a guy I’m acquainted with just got blackmailed into signing his divorce papers after his wife ran away. Three very very different stages of life. The excited, the fighter and the hurt.

I, just like most other girls, have dreamt of my wedding – the dress, the venue, the weather, the jewelry, the guest list and so on. But I’ve always felt like I’ve misunderstood the concept of marriage. To me, it’s when two people, with common goals and interests, come together to share their lives. Caring and loving each other. Becoming the best of friends till death do you apart. Sure there are going to be some hard times. That’s the reason you have each other – to lean back on when the going gets tough. The feeling that you have someone to catch you if you fall will make you aim and rise higher in life. However, every single one of these traits must be found in both the husband and the wife. My father always told me, “Remember, you’re not the only one entering that marriage with hopes and dreams. It doesn’t matter if the other person is everything you’ve ever wanted. You have to stop and wonder if you can be everything the other person wants as well.” I think I’m still growing up on that last sentence. I’m not quite there yet. But are my ideas of marriage immature? Am I fooling myself with a dream of an unrealistic fairytale?

In a world that is now driven by your bank balance, prenup is the shit. Getting married? Lock your money first. I’m sorry, but where’s the love? Where’s the romance? Even arranged marriages are more like blind-dating these days. Surely there must be more to that relationship than “I think it’s going to be a good run.” Why do we start a marriage believing it might end some day? Why do we care more about saving our money than saving our marriage? Is losing your bank balance more tragic than losing your spouse? Don’t even get me started on the running away with your secret lover after you get married part. But as much as I would love to support the guy I know and call the woman a bitch, I’m sure her side of the story is a lot different. Marriage is a two-way street. You get what you give. It’s important to always keep in mind that the other person too has emotions.

In marriage and in life. Treat the other person, any person with respect and love. You’ll be surprised at how many long-lasting friendships and relationships you make..