TRIGGER WARNING: SUICIDE, DEPRESSION
“To live or to not live”– years passed by living in this dilemma as if there was nothing else that mattered to me. Most days weren’t easy. I used to spend a copious amount of time believing that there isn’t anything left in my life to live for, and when you realise that you have no purpose to live, well, it is a dark place to be in. We often don’t realise how ignorant we have been until it seeps into us. Depression was one of those things I never paid attention to, because who isn’t depressed in this world, right? Every next person is battling and struggling in their life and so should I because that’s “normal”.
Well, thinking about creative ways to kill yourself is not normal. Letting people hurt you and trigger your anxiety is not normal. Obnoxiously beating yourself down is not normal. Feeling insecure to an extreme level where all you do is self-loathe is not normal. Everything we have been told about normalcy is NOT NORMAL. And therefore, being depressed IS NOT NORMAL.
It is that dark entity that latches itself onto you until you surrender your soul to it. It waits for you to be at your lowest and then chooses to attack you. It smiles when you are vulnerable because it is aware of the power it holds against you. It laughs when you pour that boiling water on yourself so that you get addicted to the pain being inflicted on you. It dances when you toss and turn every night and beg for some sleep. It sits on your chest and chokes you every time you breathe so that you gasp for breath and live with the fear of dying every second. It shows you horrid images in your head of your loved ones dying in gut-wrenching ways and it makes sure you live with that pain even though in reality, all your loved ones are fine and alive. And I can go on writing about what IT is and still I won’t be able to do justice to the harrowing experience living with it is.
After being diagnosed with Dysthymia and chronic anxiety, the journey towards healing has not been very glittery (for those who are hearing the word “Dysthymia” for the first time: here, educate yourself about it).
My therapist once told me, “The process of cleaning a big mess is messier than the mess itself”, and surely she was right. I decided to seek professional help because I had over-drained myself by fighting it alone. And well, now I can definitely say that to choose to fight battles alone is never a good idea. Putting yourself through excruciating experience just to test how strong you are is not a healthy way to go about it. Most of the time you are indifferent to the damages you put yourself through because you tell yourself or rather command yourself that “you can take it”. However, any kind of illness changes you as a person, both mentally and physically as your mind and body are related.
The day I embarked on the journey of recovery, I was standing face-to-face with what they call “talking about mental health is a taboo”. Not only I was ridiculed, but people didn’t really “believe” in any kind of mental illness unless, it didn’t include regular visits to neurosurgeons or well, you had tumours in your brain.
Mental illness is treated like a GHOST in this society– some people believe in it because they have seen, heard, or felt it; some people don’t believe in it; some people think God can shoo it away; some think science can help; some think the more we talk about it, the stronger it becomes so hush it down; some people just don’t want to talk about it because it is not interesting enough.
I have met all kinds of people– some were family, some were friends, and some were just people with their set of knowledge. However, I was lucky enough to have some people who chose to evolve and educate themselves because they too were tired of seeing me go through so much. I owe my life to them and shall always remember that even in the darkest time, you will find someone who will never leave your hand and will walk with you in that darkness being unsure of whether or not will they find the light at the end of the tunnel.
Fast-forwarding the time today, there are two people working with me and for me to heal and help me recover: a therapist and a psychiatrist. I have made peace with the fact that I need to be patient with myself as it is going to take time for me to recover completely. Some people take a month, some a year, and some are still taking time to heal, and even though I come under those who are still on their journey of recovery, I do feel proud of myself.
I keep reminding myself every time I feel I am relapsing that, “I am not leisurely meandering; I am walking on this journey with a purpose; the purpose is to recover and heal”.
(The views expressed here are the author’s own and do not reflect the opinions of The Siyahi Columns)