I have never really talked about my mental health ; maybe I’m embarrassed by it or what people will think of me. It often becomes awkward and some people just stop talking to me altogether. Some don’t get it. That’s ok. There’s a lot of illnesses I don’t understand either. Some get annoyed: ‘How can you be sad, what do you have to be sad about, you have a great life ! You have me, isn’t that enough for you?’
I lived a dual life, a private one and a public one, with depression for many years. To the outside world I had a great life – a lovely family, successful career and healthy lifestyle. But inside I was battling almost every day to simply survive, thinking I didn’t deserve any of it.
Everyday was a struggle. I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.
It’s often said that depression isn’t about feeling sad. It is a part of it. But I tell you what – Sadness is a healthy part of everyday life. Depression progressively eats away your whole being from the inside. You look happy but you don’t feel happy, that is what depression do to you.
It’s with you when you wake up in the morning, telling you there’s nothing or anyone to get up for. It’s with you when the phone rings and you’re too frightened to answer it. It’s with you when you look into the eyes of those you love, and your eyes prick with tears as you try, and fail, to remember how to love them. It’s with you as you search within for those now eroded things that once made you who you were: your interests, your creativity, your inquisitiveness, your humour, your warmth.
And always, the biggest stigma comes from yourself. You blame yourself for the illness.
So why was i depressed? The simple answer was I don’t know. There was no single factor or trigger that plunged me into it. I was’nt like this before. Oh what a happy girl I was ! I used to smile wide, I had the coolest attitude. What had happened to me then? All that i remember is that I first noticed this offbeat behaviour in February, 2015.
Let me take you back to 2016. July 10. It was Exactly after 1-1.5 year from when I first noticed it. I woke up with a strange pain in my head, that constant pain. I took a pill and sat down to study. My phone rang around 10 times. My Bestfriend was calling me, and i started crying. I did’nn wanted to pick it up. I did’nn knew why was she calling me. Why would anyone want to talk to me? I did’nn knew why I was behaving in this weird way. From 8 days, i have’nt stepped out of my room. I called my boyfriend, but as always, he did’nn picked. I called him around 60-70 times. But as always, he never picked. He switched off his phone and slept and I did’nn found anyone else worth talking that day. Humans I tell you ! We run after people who run away from us. I was sinking on that horrible night. And I started questioning my existence, that Why am I even alive ? And I decided to end it all up.
I , upto the present time, donot know why I did that. It still haunts me, but trust me, I donot know why I did that. But by that time, I knew there was something wrong with me. It used to surface again and again, and I did’nn knew exactly what it was. All that I wanted was someone to come to me and say – “Hey , It’s going to be OK. It’s going to be OK.”
On reflection, I realised I have spent over 2 years dipping in and out of minor and major bouts of depression- each one slightly worse than the last.
Again in 2017, I’d just finished my second year at university. I was standing on the terrace and I wanted to end up my life, again, without a reason. Something battered me and I asked myself why are you doing this? I did’nn jump and made the wisest decision of my life and I decided to visit my doctor to complain about feeling low.
He asked me- “How are you?”. And I started crying. I cried for 15 minutes in his clinic. Every activity stopped in that room, Doctor and the nurse waited for me to stop weeping and know what exactly horrible have happened to me. They thought something dreadful. Rape etc. The nurse stood up to console me but doctor stopped her and stated – “Please, let her.”
The moment I stopped whimpering , He asked me “what had happened?” – very politely. I looked up in his eyes and told him I don’t know. We colloqoyed for about 30 minutes and he wrote Severe depression on my prescription and immediately put me on anti depressant’s and at the same time I got off from the business of getting my degree. The pills took a few weeks to work, but the effects were drastic. Too drastic. I started sleeping more. And even after 2 months, there were no signs of medications. I was loosing hope. “Can medicine also not heal me? What have happened to me?” If I could only write about that feeling !
Then how do I came out of it?
On Just another night, I was in my room, sniffling again, And my friend on the phone told me that – “Listen, It is your fight. No medication or doctor or any wise man can pull you out of this. Only you can.” I don’t know why it strucked me ; in the time when I was not even getting my own Impulses. But it worked. I started with small things that I loved. I started cooking my own food , meditated for one hour daily and I started running. I used to just run and run and run, without a pause for hours. I started meeting my friends frequently, even though I did’nn liked it. But this time, I was doing it for myself. I don’t know from when did i start feeling good, but today I feel my life was worth being saved on July 10.
I tell you what. Nothing can pull you out of this trap- Depression. Only you can. It is nothing just a fight of You with YOU.
And, If you attach stigma to people with mental illness, Please remember two things. One, it can easily happen to anyone. And two, no one stigmatises their illness more than the people who suffer from it. Reach out to them.
And to anyone with depression – Don’t listen to these attacks when they tell you not to pursue your goals, to isolate yourself, or to forego an activity you enjoy. This gives the voice even more power over you. Instead, when you notice these thoughts and attitudes starting to intensify – Ask yourself, would you think such cruel thoughts about a friend or family member who was experiencing the same struggles. By having compassion for yourself and recognizing this inner voice as a destructive enemy, you can begin to see who you are more clearly and realistically. And yet, please do protect your inner peace. Nothing is more valuable. Nothing ! Whatever you are facing right now, Just remember,
IT IS GOING TO BE OK.
IT IS ALL GOING TO BE OK 😊 .
As long as you breathe, there is hope.