Category Archives: Wellness and positivism

An ode to depression: my life-long foe

It’s like dying and being born…. dying and being born. Repeat.

Life is a sadist psychopath… plunging me into the depths of despair at times and pulling me out moments before I am about to.choke to death. That’s what each day feels like in the jaws of severe depression, when every moment am fighting to see the light, fighting off those scary, monstrous hands that are inching close to my throat every minute …. and am clueless and am growing tired. Someone help me, please!

I’m not prepared… wait! I’m not ready! Stop throwing those massive curve balls at me! I don’t know how to dodge them! Every moment, I am being razed to the ground and before I can even stand up straight and brace myself…. there comes another one soaring threw the haze, life’s hurled one at me again…. I can’t see! I panic! I search for a place to hide!

focus photography of white mask
Photo by Laurentiu Robu on Pexels.com

Wham! I am hit! Blood spurts out of my nose and stains my clothes. I gasp and I want to puke. The smell of fresh, warm blood is nauseating. I can’t breathe. I try to staunch the flow but I am getting bludgeoned from all sides. Tell me how to defend myself! Someone do! I want to scream but no soumd escapes my lips. I want to run but my legs feel so heavy! I can see that monstrous hand again.. with dirt-streaked, pointy claw-like nails. Its trying to scrape my face. Suddenly, it grabs my neck and dunks my head in black, black tar. Or is it muck? I can’t breathe! Surely, am dying!

The stench is awful! My head shrieks in protest…. no! No! I cannot give up! I cannot die… “Fight, you coward!” My insides shrieked at me. And I kicked out with the mad strength of a dying person. The grip loosened.and I resurfaced, coughing, sputtering. But I resurfaced.

Gratefully, I fill my lungs with fresh air. The monstrous hand has retreated but not very far, I am convinced it will return. Once again, to get me, to grip me with its saber-sharp jaws. But I will fight it again… either it will get me someday or I will crush it and finish it off, once and for all!

When Nothing makes Sense… Rejoice in the Senseless.

We are obsessed with making sense of everything. We feel an urge to find meaning in every situation, in every spoken word, every interaction, every relationship forged. And in our fast-paced, blink-and-you–miss-it lives, we strive to live every moment meaningfully, sensibly, perhaps trying too hard at times.
In my opinion, the bane of our modern lives is trying to be too sensible, practical and rigid. As such, we tend to trash the handful of people who do not live by such norms as ‘senseless’, ‘nonsense’ and ‘crazy’. Thankfully, I am one such person who can safely be labelled ‘crazy’ and I have realised that being ‘stupid’, ‘senseless’, even ‘childish can sometimes be a wonderful thing.
For one, it helps to alleviate stress and keep monotony at bay.

20160301-men-smiling
My grandfather was a grand, old man who lived till the ripe age of ninety-two. After the expiry of my grandmother and a few years later, my father, I could often see a desolation in his eyes. No matter how much we tried to keep him company, that did not ease. He must have sensed that in constantly trying to keep him company, we were doing somewhat of a duty to a family-member. Though we had both love and respect for him, he used to get jncreasingly uncomfortable of the fact that I was sitting with him for long hours, probably neglecting school work that I ought to finish.
On the contrary, when a few of his acquaintances and friends came over, his eyes would take on a sparkle. Despite the fact that many of these ‘friends’ were years younger than him, he loved their company. Many a time I have heard their stories and they brought on a smile to my face. Most of these were just silly tit-bits, utterly nonsensical stories. I heard the roars of laughter at times and wondered what these elderly men were feeling so wonderful about. The topics would be varied and some really far-fetched. After these men would leave for the day, a smile would linger on my grandpa’s lips and he would look completely refreshed, as if he had just come out of ‘therapy’. ‘Silly’ I called it back then… Now, I’d call that ‘brilliant’.

Then, it helps reconnect with our inner child

20200229_192357

.My child and her father bought two goldfish from the pet shop. On our way home, they were deeply engrossed in conversation regarding not just how to take care of the new pets but also how to communicate with them. Much to my amusement, they had a naming ceremony of sorts where the less golden one was named ‘Goldie’ and the other was named ‘Heart stamp.’ (Don’t ask me why, I have no clue!) Once home, they set up everything religiously and the dad-daughter duo sat in front of the fish tank, ‘talking’ to the two fish, trying to wave to them and see which one responds better when their name is called.
I was observing them, fascinated. When my husband finally placed his palm on the outside of the tank, patiently whispering to them, I actually burst out laughing.
“Do u think its a pup? Are you expecting it to come n lick your hand?” I questioned, amused.
“It won’t, right?” His voice sounded a tad flat, vulnerable and child-like. In that lovely moment, I had a glimpse of the little boy who still lived somewhere deep inside my very sensible, wordly-wise and practical husband. It was one of those rare moments when you want to cry but you don’t know why and you don’t care.

It let’s you be yourself… completely, fiercely and unapologetically.

phoe9f2xs02qbwe

To me, nothing seems more boring than a person who is trying to pretend that he is sensible all the time. Fortunately, I have been blessed with a few friends who are as quirky as I am and we often rejoice in our collective craziness. It is rightly said that good friends know all of your stories, best friends (read quirky friends) have lived those stories with you:-)

Some years ago, I had gone for a picnic with a few other families. It was a fair ground and owing to the fact that that was a long weekend, the place was packed to the brim. As we were looking for a place to set up the barbecue, my friend and I came upon this carousel with the wooden horses that move up and down as if in a dance motion. The long queue for tickets did not deter us. The two of us ran towards it, much to the chagrin of our husbands. After a loooong wait, we climbed up the saddles of two.of those wooden steeds and grinned delightedly. We did notice the security person stationed there and a few other parents frown at us but we cared not We were not breaking any rules, instead laughing our heads off with the little kids who were shrieking with glee. They were not in the least bothered by the presence of two overgrown children in their late twenties.

Another valuable lesson I had learnt that day…. be yourself! In every damn way. Be your true self with your uniqueness and flaws! The right people will appreciate you for having the courage to so.

I could add on to this but it seems pretty long and I’m falling asleep. No idea if I made much sense in this… but even if I didn’t, that is okaý!

Let Love Heal, not Hurt…

Being Indian, am a die-hard Bollywood junkie. These lines from a famous Bolly flick have resonated with me through the years. Originally in Hindi, it would read something like this….

If someone claims to love you, let them love you as you are…exactly as you are.

If they need to change you to love you, then that’s business, that’s not love..

‘Cuz my friend, business has no business when it comes to love!’

Yes, you’ve guessed it! My favorite topic to write about is LOVE. Always has been. Always will be. An incurable romantic at heart, I feel that love is the very essence that makes the world go round, it’s that elixir that breathes life into our souls. Who isn’t aware of the many forms of love,, it’s delights and delusions? Do you remember the number of times you lay awake in bed and cried your heart out, your face buried in your pillow so it would not awaken your parents in the next room? Or your roommate sleeping on the other bed? The duvet soaking up your tears, your pillow listening to your unsaid thoughts…. we all have been through those times, at least most of us!

But that is exactly what my post is about. What do we do when we let love hurt us? Sounds wrong, right? Love should make us feel magical, beautiful, glorified. Instead, it does the opposite, so many times! People take their own lives because they cannot be with the one they desperately want to be with, or they have been betrayed by that one person they thought would never betray them. I still remember a friend told me once that she used to cut herself in desperation; she was in love with a narcissist who abused her emotions, made her feel worthless. And she wasn’t a teenager either, she was in her early thirties.

So much for love!

To this day, I remember thinking that it’s wrong! It’s all wrong! What can we do to change this? How do we help ourselves and others when love hurts? How do we morph love that hurts into love that heals?

Take Back Control

Your life is yours, no matter how difficult it might seem at times. Science confirms that the pain of heartbreak is akin to physical pain and we would do anything to get rid of that. But before you let hopelessness and depression encompass you, stop to think for a minute. Life is so much more than just one person walking out on you! There’s still so much beauty all around, in nature, in the smiles of children, in the embrace of a friend or even in a simple act of kindness of a stranger. There are so many who do not have a life promised to them anymore…. the sick, the dying! You’ve still got days, years, moments. Make the most of it. You were giving so much love to another, save some for yourself as well. As the saying goes, ‘If you’re going through hell, walk as if you own the place!’

love your life clipboard decor
Photo by Natasha Fernandez on Pexels.com

Try Self-love .. Nothing Works Better.

Self-love does not mean wallowing in self-pity. However, do not be too hard on yourself. If you do not love yourself or do not see your own worth, you cannot expect others to value you either. Be happy with yourself. Remind yourself that there’s a reason you’re here, you have dreams, goals aspirations! No matter how simple they might be. Just because someone left you wreathing in pain on the ground, there’s no reason to remain there. Get up, give yourself a good shake and hold your head up high. Look into the mirror and try to bring on a smile, Even if red, puffy eyes are staring back at you, it’s alright. Even if you fall back on the bed and dissolve in a fit of tears, that is okay too. It’s only human to be vulnerable and feel pain. I know the tears seem endless now, let them flow. I have always felt that people who are not afraid of showing their vulnerability are the bravest ones and deal with hurt in the best possible way. And do cry. It has a cathartic effect, dissolves the heaviness in our hearts and clears our vision, literally and figuratively.

Listen to Friends and Well-wishers but Follow Your Heart

I do not undermine the value of family and well-meaning friends when you are trying to heal from invisible wounds. However, I’ve also realized that sometimes that can actually make you feel worse. The words of a friend who gives practical advice on how to move on and forget the past might not be bearable for some time. Therefore, if you feel that you’re not in a position to forget the past and you need more time, that’s perfectly okay. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re weak or lack dignity. If your mind has to go through all that that led you to the present moment, so be it. Think it over, go through the process, feel the pain all over again. Just don’t berate yourself. Think of it as a story you’re reading, or a movie you’re watching and then leave the movie hall feeling refreshed. Sad yes, but refreshed.

We are humans and each of us deal differently with grief, we heal differently. Just because someone seemed to move on faster does not mean you’re not healing. You’re… at your own pace. And believe me when I say this, every moment and every little thing counts. Every single moment that you’re trudging on with life… you’re chanelling within yourself the amazing power of healing.  

white daisy closeup photography
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

Read and Walk…. in any order

I am sure some of you will agree that being with our own selves at times, with our own thoughts can sometimes be beneficial. Don’t isolate yourself to the point where you feel lonely, but don’t be afraid to be alone in the lap of nature, if you can. On my walks in the early mornings, I’ve realized that being in the open, breathing the fresh air, staring at a grassy patch covered with white blossoms and seeing the world slowly awaken has therapeutic value. Find a bit of time, whenever you can. Morning, late night, evening… whenever. You’ll sense a calm that is difficult to come by in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. And why not carry a paperback to read a few paragraphs from? Or a journal to write something? Or sketch? My current favorite is ‘Spirituality’ so am lapping everything up on that. Some I like, some I don’t. Not a reader? May be, just listen? Audio books. Days I don’t feel like reading, I just listen to something on audio book apps like ‘Story tel’. Somehow, I don’t really know how, but helps me stay grounded.

Even if you cannot Forget, Forgive..

Not that everyone deserves forgiveness, but you need peace. Although that someone who hurt you will perhaps never ask for it, give it anyway. You’ll feel a hundred times better because you’ve taken an unnecessary load off your mind and soul. In my interactions with people, I’ve noticed that people who nurse a grudge, fair or not, often feel a certain restlessness, like a poison that consumes their peace of mind. It deters them from enjoying things they love and the anger that they feel makes them stressed out, resentful and can even change their personalities completely. Forgiveness is for you, not them.

So, try and forgive the one who has betrayed your trust. It doesn’t make you weak, it sets you free:P

Healing

Have you ever paused to watch
Twilight that plays among the clouds?
Ever marvelled at what treasures lay
In Nature’s lap; its sights and sounds?

Ever wondered how the colours spread
Before the pall of darkness falls?
And how it calms your dejected soul
When it answers the creator’s whispering call?

The rush of day is almost done
And weary feet drag down the lane
On a whim, the eyes look up
And your weary heart forgets its pain.

For there’s magic in the view around
Such magic that is true and pure
The creator’s hand that holds the brush
Has strokes that can all ailments cure.

So if you ever glance up and see
Pinkish hues smeared across the sky
Believe its Him and His hand up there
You’ll feel His love in you if you try.

Your eyes may well with sudden tears
That threaten to spill down your chest
Let them flow for He forged you strong
He knows you will pass His every test.