Sometimes, all you need is love to get the ball rolling.
As I psych myself up to write this, I am also figuring out how many things I have to psych myself up for tomorrow … getting out of bed, washing clothes, preparing food for kids, dressing them up for daycare, eating, travelling to work, focusing on conversations, meeting deadlines, remembering what I have to do and in what order, coming back home, feeding the kids, putting them to bed, finishing off pending assignments and what not! This has been a part of my ‘routine’ for some time now and it is exhausting.
In the mid-summer of 2016, I found myself struggling with depression.
Several problems were (are) going on in my life. The anxiety around achieving my goals and also wanting few things work on personal front was making me stressed out. Feeling depressed wasn’t a choice. I didn’t want to be depressed – nobody wants to be depressed. It was a natural reaction to my circumstances.
I remember the first time I vocalised and admitted the fact that I was struggling with depression and anxiety. Many thought I was trying to seek attention, while some thought I was overreacting.
You may not see depression the way you do injury marks on a body. Someone can have depression but spend their day laughing and smiling, like I do all the time. Not that I didn’t want to open up. I wanted to talk about how much I was struggling but didn’t know how. I feared scaring others. I feared it will make them walk away from me. There has been far too much stigma attached to admitting we are struggling with our mental health, let alone discussing this.
Few years later, i.e. NOW, in 2019, unable to bear the agony any longer, I finally went for a counselling session. During my first session, I cried. I was unstoppable. It was embarrassing. I tried to calm myself down by telling myself it won’t last forever, and I can make it all end.
Speaking to a professional is stressful the first time, but the good thing is after that you get comfortable.
Recently, a friend, who had long been observing me asked me out one day. And very calmly told me that he would like to listen to my “story”. I closed my eyes, preparing to hear the same responses that I have been hearing all these days, and confessed. The moment I opened my eyes I saw him in tears. He was looking at me with compassion and understanding. He held my hand and said he could feel my pain. The guilt and the shame I had been carrying all these years had almost gone.
It was renewed hope that with the help of someone else, I can be better than this. I can live a better life than this. I can overcome this. And it all started when he placed his hands in mine.
So, all the people out there, who are struggling with their mental health, trust me there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I used to have a meltdown at least four times a week. It has come down to once a month now. What I believe is with strong determination and a non-judgmental support system, one can definitely triumph over anxiety and depression.
And for the rest, if someone tries to open up to you, let them. Sometimes they don’t even need you to say anything, they just need to feel like someone is listening and they care.