Posts Tagged ‘depression’

It was just that sort of a day when you need to remind yourself of who you are and what your core is made of. Actually, it’s been a series of such days end on end.

Being a bibliophile, I try and find answers in the written word. For me, there is nothing that a google search can’t throw up- from books on recipes to countering depression, from what to watch in which mood to what to wear and where & how to travel, from ailments and their cures to the composition and impact of medicines, I find everything when I look for it and more often than not, I end up reading on everything that goes on in my mind. That’s how much words rule me.

So, it wasn’t surprising when I noticed some discrepancies in my general behaviour and reactions, I immediately looked up the reason for the change and found out that there is something called ‘working depression’ & that I was quietly but steadily moving towards it. On delving into the problem further, I found out about (surprise, surprise!) a book- Pilgrimage of Desire by Alison Gresik.

Generally, I don’t read self help books but this is something that all of us can benefit from. I am still on it and I feel better because I realise that we are not alone in this. All of us go through lean patches and we have got to believe that there is a way out of them. And once we are out of them, we shine brighter. We may not come out unscathed but they are just battle wounds, the scars that leave a memory and a lesson.

Years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to the marvel, that is, Jon Bon Jovi and one of his songs that is etched deep into my psyche is ‘Welcome to wherever you are’, the other being ‘Walk like a man’. I may have spoken about the latter in one of my previous pieces but the former is the one that inspires me in my current mood.

I leave you with the lyrics and will try and attach a link to it too.

Happy listening!

Maybe we’re all different, but we’re still the same..

We all got the blood of Eden, running through our veins.
I know sometimes it’s hard for you to see.
You are caught between just who you are and who you wanna be.

If you feel alone, and lost and need a friend
Remember every new beginning, is some beginning’s end.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far.
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Welcome, to wherever you are..

When everybody’s in, and you’re left out
And you feel you are drowning, in a shadow of a doubt.
Everyones a miracle in their own way
Just listen to yourself, not what other people say.

When it seems you’re lost, alone and feeling down
Remember everybody’s different
Just take a look around.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
Be who you want to, be who you are
Everyone is a hero, everyone is a star..

When you wanna give up, and your heart is about to break.
Remember that you’re perfect, God makes no mistakes.

Welcome to wherever you are
This is your life, you made it this far
Welcome, you gotta believe
That right here right now, you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be
Welcome, to wherever you are.

Welcome to wherever you are

An ambiguous title, I agree!! But it was infact, A Crack that inspired me to crack open the mystery of my mind and take a crack at unravelling what turbulence lay beneath the presumably calm and quiet disposition that I portray despite being perturbed to the very core.

Last night, I was deranged to the point of being depressed and anxious. There might have been many factors attributing to that state of mind. I know I had read something that left a deep impact, an indelible imprint on my mind, may be it were the events, the people around, the presence or absence of some, the sudden realisation of a loss, a mental check and balance of life’s wear and tear.

As long as there is life, there’ll be no shortage of reasons. Whatever it was, it threw me off balance. I had a restless night, a cranky morning and because I had to drive around 300kms, a very tiring journey.

I was exhausted by the way my mind kept churning out thoughts after thoughts, some complete others partial & half-formed, with no seemingly set pattern or precedent attached to them. There was a stretch of road on my way where I drove at about a 140kms/hour, all the while thinking, what if I ram this car into an oncoming vehicle and summarily dismissing the insane idea. That’s how irrelevant things got.

But, you see, the human mind is a tricky thing. It is as layered as it is complex. It poses questions which might not have simple solutions or may be they do but are hard for us to see & fathom. At times, our mind provides resolutions when least expected. I have increasingly come to relate the inner design of my mind to the intricate interlacing of ribs in a spider’s web. I love the term mental cobwebs when used for my confused state of mind. Nevertheless, it would be negative of me to call it a cobweb because while the latter are deserted, dust-laden, abandoned structures, the former serves a tangible purpose of feeding the Creator. Both have an innate beauty. Both, works of art! One has life the other has outlived its life’s aim.

Coming back to my muddled thoughts and the sudden stroke of inspiration or light it received. While driving at this outrageous speed, a small pebble flew and hit my car’s windshield leaving a miniscule yet discernible CRACK on it. The tracery or the form that emerged right before my eyes had so much visual conformity with the spiral, orb- like way a spider spins its web or to be precise the plight my mind was in, at that particular moment, that instantly all my attention converged onto it. It was like a giant jigsaw, with all its pieces finally falling into place.

Straightaway, I mellowed down. Something had clicked into place like the right key for the lock. I was perceptibly more relaxed, pacified & at peace. I could finally, comprehend & make sense of my disquiet and conceive a way out. The cloud had cleared, rightaway. The spectre of doom that so overshadowed my reason, had lifted. I realised the fallacy of my conduct & thoughts.

I realised that life is for the living and that it will go on whether the people you love or choose to be with, stay or not. It will not stop even if there are errors in your judgement. You will continue to breath, in failure or success, alike.

Crumbling in the face of disagreements, inconveniences, losses or discomforts is easy. What is tough, is holding on, being courageous and letting go!! What is commendable is making something of yourself against all odds, controlling your mind & heart, not the other way round!!

Contemplating is wise & logical. Overthinking and suffering due to that, isn’t. ‘What ifs’ bring nothing but chaos. Whatever happens, happens for the best. I know it is a cliché but there is always something better, hidden in the ways of the universe. Losing hope and sanity is not an option. Last but not the least, ACCEPTANCE is the way to go. Once we accept things as they are, there is a lot less pain, a lot less expectation and a lot more forgiveness.

It was Rumi who said, “A wound is the place the light enters you.”

Leonard Cohen developed it into an anthem that goes like this~

The birds, they sang at the break of day
I heard them say – Don’t dwell on what has passed away
Or what is yet to be
Ah, the wars they will be fought again
The holy dove, she will be caught again
Bought and sold and bought again
The dove is never free
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

We asked for signs, the signs were sent
The birth betrayed, the marriage spent
Yeah, the widowhood of every government
Signs for all to see
I can’t run no more with that lawless crowd
While the killers in high places say their prayers out loud
But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up a thundercloud
And they’re going to hear from me
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

You can add up the parts, you won’t have the sum
You can strike up the march, there is no drum
Every heart, every heart to love will come But like a refugee
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack, a crack in everything

That’s how the light gets in
That’s how the light gets in

That’s how the light gets in.

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.