Of Hope & Despair…
For days now, it has been on my mind. Infact it is the only thing on my mind for the past couple of months. Like other things negative, I thought this too shall pass and probably it would but right now it is getting worse. I know that people who care about me might want to reach out after reading this. I fear that. I really don’t want sympathy. That is the reason I was shying away from putting this up on my blog. There might be some people who would find it in bad taste, writing about something so personal and putting it up for the world to read. There might be still others who would think me weak and snively for not being able to hold myself together in the wake of life’s challenges. Some would think it a highly pessimistic state of mind despite being so well read. Yet others would feel I am too young to be going through a crisis like that, that it is just a figment of my imagination or something that I have picked up from the various things I read on a daily basis.
However, I, myself, recently got around accepting the fact that it is indeed Depression that I am dealing with. And despite all the misgivings mentioned earlier, I have decided to once and for all write about it and face the consequences later. My decision to write stems from the belief that acceptance is the first step towards healing, gathering courage to share it, is the next.
Such is human psyche that accepting something like this and then trying to talk about it or deal with it, takes a lot of grit & determination. I even wanted to use some other word in lieu of Depression but then that would have been yet another denial, yet another bottling up. The fact that I am writing about it should rule out all kinds of denial.
I don’t want to go into the clinical aspects of Depression, they are best left to experts to ponder on. I would only share what I have felt and observed and the ways I would like to be treated by my loved ones.
There is this constant sense of foreboding, of something bad happening. A weight descends on the heart and there is a consistent constriction of the chest. Over-analysing every decision and move becomes a tiring habit and the gravity of expectations, both from self and others, is immense.
Socializing doesn’t appeal too much. A feeling of solitude even when surrounded by people, a rote- I am good or I am fine to people’s query of How are you?, becomes commonplace. I rather enjoy the company of people I don’t know intimately than the ones I do because it eliminates the chances of being asked too many awkward questions. It also helps avoid the possibility of being judged by people on the state of my mind. I hate to be called demented or doddery or stupid or mad or senile.
If someone realises that something is not right, they keep asking me what is wrong and are disappointed when I say that I really don’t know. The truth of the matter is that I really don’t know what has triggered this or what is feeding it. I don’t understand my constant need to cry or being hugged by someone without asking me what the matter is. Eye contact has become a problem, I can’t look people in the eye and connect. I lose interest midway in any conversation with anyone.
There are times when I want to confide, some of my surface thoughts, in people I love but can’t find words in absence of a strong enough reason for all this. I am also wary of disappointing them in my abilities as a human being of a certain age. It is a societal norm that by this time in my life, I should have everything sorted out, but I don’t, so people might judge. Most of all what I dread getting is Sympathy or Pity.
All I want is a little empathy, care, love and an assurance that they’ll be there for me in whatever I am going through, no questions asked. I know, no one can change the course of one’s life to accommodate the eccentricities of another but isn’t that what genuine love and care is all about. If someone is reaching out to you for help, you must be pretty important to them.
I love people who can convey with one hug what a thousand words fail to do- warmth, care, love, strength and a promise that come what may, they will be there, always. Sometimes, it is gratifying to be reassured, in words and deeds, by the ones we love.
All said and done, I feel there is still Hope for me, that I will reach the light at the end of this tunnel, sooner rather than later.