Have you wondered how it feels to be someone who suffers from mild depression but the symptoms aren’t that deadly so nobody gives a shit?
Hold on, this isn’t any comparison or whatsoever. Every type of depression is equal and should be treated with utmost care and respect. This is NOT a competition.
I have good days and bad. Mostly good days, but the bad ones are bad enough to overshadow the good ones by a long shot. I live a pretty, good privileged life and I should be thankful for it (which I am) but that’s not the point. I don’t cry my eyes out or have trouble breathing at random, but I still “feel” like shit most of the time. A minor inconvenience fucks up my entire thought process and creates indescribable disruption. I fall into pieces which only I can assemble back. I hear everyone say, “I’m here for you if you want to talk.” ; so where do I begin? How do I explain a lifetime of battling with anxiety and “mild” depression? How do I possibly put aside the fear of getting judged while narrating my sob story to a society which constantly disappoints and puts down every human being? Be it shaming a 3 year old for what her mother made her wear or a global female icon for getting shot and making something out of her misery. And mind you, it’s not just my gender that throws me further into the deep, dark pit of depression. It’s much bigger than that.
I love how these supportive messages begin to pop up at the death of one famous entity. As soon as that fades away, so does the empathy for the dead person. It breaks my heart that people like me who are struggling every day, sometimes just to wake up and gather the energy to live a single day without overthinking, or without having to indulge in small talk, will have to keep on handling themselves because no matter what, nobody else can understand your pain like you do, nodbody gives a shit about you like you do. It’s borderline cynical but if you put some wise thoughts to it only you can save yourself, be your own best friend. The people around you, are all good just for casual encounters.
Of late, I have come across a bunch of hoodwinked people who assume and believe that Depression and Anxiety affects only the less privileged part of the society. Clearly, these people have never faced uneasiness, random pangs of sadness, overpowering them and eventually bumming them down!
Honestly, Depression was never about those temporary bouts of regular old sadness. Depression is certainly not some black and white image with goth boy staring out of a window and some stupid quote caked on to it. It’s just like your regular illness that you wish went away, but worse. Because, nobody comes out and says “I have a disorder” or “I need help.” For whatever reason, opening up about it isn’t something we all do. Nobody hides the truth, but at the same time none of us are facing it head-on either.
It’s almost impressive how worthless depression and anxiety can make you feel. Here’s the thing, get it straight or get out: People get sad. People get depressed. And people cry. No one has the right to say that they can’t and worse, to be happy and say “it’s just a phase” because it doesn’t ever get better.
Depression can hit anybody, regardless of their sex, age, or country. You might have a lot of friends, but you might feel like curling up in a corner and not have any human interaction for days at all. You’d skip sleep but at the same time feel never to get out of the bed. You skip meals because eating feels like a chore. Your friends and family worry about you but eventually they get used to your absence every now and then. They stop asking you what’s wrong because they never get the right answer. What would you say to them anyway? You might have a hundred thousand people by your side when you don’t need them but the moment you do, there’s no one at all. All your nightmares begin to seem to come to reality. And the voices in your head, oh the voices never die.
This is what depression is and if people knew even one fourth of what it feels like to go through the this, they wouldn’t joke around about it. They wouldn’t tell people that it’s ‘spur-of-the-moment’ thing or to get over it or to look at the bright side. There is no bright side for us.
So, don’t let people tell you that your problems are less important than the problems somebody else might have. It’s never the case. Don’t make them make your tough situation any tougher.
And so I try, I try to be more ‘in the moment’ because it struck me for the millionth time as I lay in bed yesterday morning that I’m always either in the past or the future – a future that I’m perpetually planning and never get to; a future that keeps getting farther away. Today WAS the future I’d dreamt of once and so I tried.
I lay my head on the pillows and listened to the birds outside chirp. A few stirred around the corner of the room. It was warm inside and frigid outside but I went out into the hall anyway, after a while.
I stretched, lay down my yoga mat and got through three cycles of the surya namaskar before I felt a sharp pain in my back. I felt it all, thoroughly, my sinew angry in protest. It was an unpleasantly warm morning and my muscles were hard, set, unwilling to move and I’d pushed them too hard. So I sat on the settee with the ants who’d followed me from the bedroom to the hall.
On calmer days such as these, I try not to push myself into a lot of things. I try to think about why I’m here, I try to be kind to myself.
Love has diffused into everything we do, it’s become an everyday affair. It’s subtle poetry, not a song that explodes out of our mouths anymore. It’s how the stars go around — over ages, silently but beautifully still.
I don’t know about the trajectories of our stars, where we’re going or where we’ll end up. Or how we’ll end. I don’t understand the pressure to decide things NOW and here that my parents have recently been putting me under.
On that note, I don’t know what to say to my mother these days. I feel like we’re drifting apart even though I say all the right things to my parents. I love them but I’m a little sore because I’ve been clasped too hard all my life.