Memories of depression

This morning is beautiful. It’s sub 20 degrees Celsius, a common scene in Bangalore. Sitting on a comfortable bean bag, I have wrapped myself in a cozy blanket with only right hand hanging out to lift my cup brimming with super hot ginger tea. I can smell the rain and fill the chill whenever any part of my skin is accidentally exposed. Such a blessing life is!

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At the same time, I look to my left. The bed which I easily left after a mere 5 hours of sleep (in excitement of the weekend) used to be my best friend exactly two years back. The same weather used to be upsetting, gloomy and irritating. If I look at the wall for too long, I remember that gaze- the ritualistic gaze that lasted for a good 2-3 hours. I can picture myself, sitting on the bed with knees drawn together and my torso rocking till the bad thoughts go away. Does it look romantic and dreamy and artistically sad? Maybe, but the feelings that came along were something I would never want to revisit.

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But why am I ruining a perfect morning with nightmares that I saw with my eyes wide opened? Because that’s what I do every morning. Every morning, I remember how it was to live imprisoned by my own mind. Every morning, I thank God for being kind to me and for giving me this opportunity to see the light on the other side of the tunnel. Every morning, I just wish no one goes through the same numbness. Every morning, I hope that people suffering through this pain make a decision- a decision to wait till the sunshine is back. Do you remember as kids when we were promised a visit to the fair only if it doesn’t rain? How badly did we pray to the Rain God not to pay a visit?

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One of my acquaintances shared a post on why we need to stop making mental illness look cool on social media. It got me thinking- do you think depression is beautiful? Do you think being in depression gives you a superpower to feel intensely and write with depth? Do you think it sets you apart from others, making you an elite? Do you think depression gives you an excuse to be sad and lazy? These are some questions that I had to face while I was suffering. It got me down to thinking if I was really depressed?

Undoubtedly, there is an other-worldly charm to tragedy and grief. The most popular love stories are those that involve separation, waiting, longing and yearning. But like what people say about reality, that love is messy, so are depression and other mental health issues. There is nothing poetic about it, at least for me, it was nothing but a series of emotional breakdowns followed by screams and muffled sobs. I could not read anything because nothing reached to the part of the brain that feels. I was broke, without a job. I could not go places because strong anti-depressants won’t let me walk straight. And that’s my reality of depression.

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Sometimes, I too wonder if unwittingly, I too am guilty of packaging my mental trauma as something pretty. When I started my blog I wanted it to be strictly literary. With time, it metamorphosed itself into my journal where I poured my heart about morning walks, heartbreak, being fat and everything under the sun. And today, it has become a witness to my mental health journey. But as a mental health blogger, my biggest dilemma is- how should I address this elephant in the room? Should I be weepy about the issue that is already so dark or should I white wash it to appear like a Shakespearean tragedy?

Back in those days, I could not relate to the millions of sad beautiful quotes on Instagram. What saved me were fantasy and horror movies and real life recovery stories- the magic, the hope and the happy ending encouraged me to hold on. Though I am guilty of not having read Harry Potter series but I think there are some great insights about depression in the series. Remember Ramus Lupin’s “boggart” class? I am trying to do exactly the same. I am trying to see depression as something funny and sarcastic in the form of a novel that I hope I would complete someday.

There is something funny about memories. We run away from the bad ones while we chase the good ones but the truth is one doesn’t exist without the other. It’s an endless loop and until we accept both with open heart, probably its difficult moving on. And that is why I am practicing this every morning, along with my prayer I thank the God of depression and ask him not to visit me ever again.

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