Categories
Pain

I Know Why People Kill Themselves

Trigger Warning: Depression, Self-Harm

The only person I can trust more than me is my therapist. I feel paralyzed. Humans are so cruel. I want to live in a world, where we can take care of each other. I am living in a world where even after asking for help, people are rejecting, and the seeker is in disbelief. I know why Sushant killed himself. Who knows how much he might have tried to express his pain? Indeed, he was a brilliant, compassionate, and kind soul. When he was alive, not even one person in his life was able to take away his pain. I am glad that you are gone. You were too good for this selfish and cruel world Sushant. While in the session today, I wasn’t even able to communicate with my therapist. Sometimes, words aren’t sufficient to describe your feelings. A couple of days ago, this world has proved to me somehow that I do not belong here. This is the beginning of my end.

I have so many dreams and plans for the future, not for myself, but for this world. I have suffered so much in the past, not because of the mental illness, but the stigma around it in society. My colleagues in the IT company where I work (even the senior management & HR), their families, made it worse for me and made sure that I am left alone whenever I tried to mingle even after I recovered. I knew exactly who all they were who did that to me intentionally, but I did not carry any grudges against anyone. I saw these acts as ‘Lack of empathy’. I would be happy if it were for a personal vendetta, but their lack of empathy worried me because this showed me a bigger picture. I always dreamt about opening my own organization which will solely be based on mental health. In this world, where humans are so selfish, running after money, power, and fame, how can I cultivate empathy? But I never gave up. 

A couple of days ago, I could feel my nerves at the back of my head as if they were slicing the inside of my brain. I have been living with this pain for the past 5 years and it has become a part of me now because it never leaves me alone. But when this wave of panic attack hits me, my head spins and all the sound near me suddenly becomes noise for me.

I don’t feel safe anymore. I want to scream in pain, but all I can do is allow my eyes to burst out in tears. I need to hold hands. I need a tight hug and a soft voice to tell me that I will get through this. All I get is a Deja vu of the time I spent in Baltimore. I used to call my friends in India. But now there is a difference. My parents are right here with me. My friends in India now know what I have been through in detail. I have a lovely friend here in Tampa and she lives nearby.  I am volunteering in two NGOs. I write my own blog and I write on YKA. I am a proud mental illness survivor. I have been helping people heal, break stigma around mental illness, and seek help.  Despite all that, I am scared to connect to any of them. Because I am scared that no one will understand me. Not because they wouldn’t believe me, because I do not believe myself anymore. 

So, it was one of those days. Tears started rolling down my cheeks. I closed my eyes and allowed myself to sink at that moment. I wanted to speak to someone, but who? I saw a Facebook friend online, whose name I cannot disclose. I met him online recently, who works for a non-profit organization. He is a humble guy. I pinged him and told him that I do not know why I pinged him and I need help. To this day, he has not responded. I cried for help by texting a person on Instagram who also owns a huge digital platform. For this guy, I can give him a benefit of doubt because he must be getting thousands of messages. I also pinged in my mental illness NGO group which I am volunteering. Many read the messages, yet they chose to remain silent on my agonyI know I should not be judging people for not responding to me. I know that I do not know what might be going on at the other end. But what about me? I reached out to not one, two, three but more than 10, not completely unknown people. Most of them work in the area of mental health, and yet no one showed up. Ironic. Isn’t it?

This event broke me completely that day. I am not holding anyone responsible for feeling. But this is how I feel now. 

I waited. I waited for an hour for a text message, a phone call. I stared at my screen. But guess what? It was blank, unlike my mind which struggled to settle down for a moment. I feel like a toy these days who have to juggle between two different roles. The one I am writing in is the intense crazy one. The constant shuffling is way too stressful.

Then I introspected myself. What could be the possible reason? Either I am overthinking, or they did it intentionally.

If I am overthinking, then I have crossed that line of mental condition which needs a lot of work. So, at the beginning of this year, I was diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder Traits by my Psychiatrist over the phone call. I sat along with my therapist discussed and we realized that since we had to do a lot of other trauma healing over the past few years, it may have been there already, and we never found out because of the ongoing trauma. My parents are here with me for the past 4 months and I have been in a lot of fights with them. It affects me a lot. I feel my younger brother and I grew up in a totally different house and seen different childhood, especially the early childhood years. For them, the priority is my physical health, weight loss, and marriage. Working on mental health not only is out of the question, but it is also an alien concept for them which comes in with a lot of whys and hows, in short completely unnecessary because it is in my control. My brother thinks he understands mental health and me but when I try to make him understand, he still believes that it is up to us to control our mind. Even the thought of doing these discussions with them is petrifying me. 

Then I calculate the aftermath. I am dead. My parents are tormented. My brother is extremely angry with me to do this with him and our parents. And to be honest, dying isn’t easy. I have attempted multiple times in the past. If I do not want them to suffer, what if I take all them with me? That makes me a killer, right! Last night, we all went to a beach with a couple of friends. I love the water. When I was in the water, seeing the sunset, I wanted to walk towards the Sun until I disappear. I even told my friend to send my parents to India safely. Perhaps, she might have thought I was being poetic. When I was in the shower after coming back home, I started thinking about all of it. I imagine the pain and shame they will feel when they will have to face the world that their daughter killed herself or is labeled as a psycho because that is what they call a patient with mental illness. I recall the faces of my toddler nephew and niece whose aunt will be labeled as someone who killed herself or a killer. I was scared. This isn’t me. I immediately messaged my psychiatrist about how I was feeling. Of course, not about suicide and killing, but about juggling thoughts in my mind and not being able to understand it. I also scheduled a session with my therapist.

I was so anxious at night but managed to sleep. I did not wake up in a very good mood the next morning. All these thoughts were coming up in my mind when I saw myself in the mirror while brushing my teeth. The moment I entered the living room, I saw my parents looking at me and the thought that crossed my mind was – “Kaise sehen kar paayenge yeh log, inhe to maarna hi padega”. And in the next moment, I was having dinner with them. I was drying Maa’s hair so that she doesn’t catch a cold. How can I live so normally with them while having thoughts of murdering them? Even though, those thoughts haven’t manifested yet. I consciously know that I have these kinds of thoughts and they just come and go. But can I be trusted? Are they even safe with me? Like I said, this might be the beginning of my end.

Categories
Depression Mental Health

The worst of all is the death of the dreams

Last morning, I woke up with heartbreaking news of the suicide of a young Indian actress Preksha Mehta. She committed suicide at her residence in Indore, Madhya Pradesh hanging herself from the ceiling fan.

I am speechless. I cannot even imagine how tormented she must have been to have taken that step. I  read her last Instagram story which said “सबसे बुरा होता है सपनो का मर जाना” with a black background. I was not following her Instagram page until this morning. Since then, I have clicked her story a hundred times and each time, I tried to imagine her state of mind. Her dreams were shattered badly. She was hurting inside and yet no one could see that behind her glittering smile and soulful eyes.

I am mourning the loss of an actress, a young artist, a daughter to old parents who can never be the same again. But I am so angry at the current social trend we are living in. Facebook has added a new ‘care’ emoji reaction on their app, but we have stopped caring for each other. When Preksha updated her status on social media, so many of her contacts might have seen it but chose to ignore it like most of us do all the time. How many of her friends or acquaintances actually knew that she was struggling. I bet none or a few. I wish at least one of them knew and got her the required help, she would still be with us and I would not be writing this.

On average, one person dies each minute in this world of suicide by depression. At times I am so angry with the fact that like any other disease, there are no physical symptoms of depression. We human beings are so complicated choose to hide it behind our smile and a simple reply ‘I am fine’.  

So, let us start keeping a check on friends/colleagues with whom we do not connect. Let us randomly drop a text ‘Hi’ and ask them how they are doing. Let them know you are reachable and will help them out when they would be in crisis. Let us take Mental Health seriously before it affects our loved ones.

Categories
Life

I do not want a “constant” in my life

I feel I have always been deprived of love since childhood. My brother always feels that my parents love me more than him but what he does not know that I do not need just their time. I need them to understand me, I need them to know how I feel. I need them not just to worry about my physical health, but my mental health as well. I need them to understand that I will be able to focus on my weight and physical health when I am mentally fit.

I need them to stop thinking about what people comment on what I write on my blog and what they feel about my weight and what age should I get married. Because none of that matters if I will not exist. If these concerns are love, then I do not need this love, my brother!

My survival instincts, trauma, and my ability to understand the pain made me an empath. But being an empath is not easy. Not just in the family, but outside as well I feel I am always at the giving end. Not that I do not have good friends. I have amazing friends. I have been lucky enough to have angels around me at every step in my life. Some are in the form of Nikita, Reva, and Pooja Bhabhi who wiped my every tear and are ready to give away anything for me.  Some are in the form of warriors like Gundeep, Anchal, and Tripti who never let my guard down. Even when it was, they made sure, I was protected.

All of them are my people. They are constantly on my mind. I think about them all the time. I worry about them all the time. I know, I cannot save everyone. But I can and will do everything or anything to save them. I love them from every cell in my body, just like my own family. Because they were my family when my own family was not with me.

Now that my parents are here, they do not need to call me anymore. This is when I realize the pain people feel that one day your parents would not call you and ask if you ate because one day they won’t be there. One of my friends once told me – “Meghna, you need a constant in your life”. Since then I think about it. Will I always be on the giving end in that relationship too like in any other relationship as well? I know this statement will create chaos. I feel bad when for days, no one contacts me to ask me if I am ok unless I post on social media a post which indicates them that I am not okay or otherwise. I feel unwanted when I am the only one to contact most of the time. I know this might not be fair of them, but this is how I feel and I cannot help it, maybe because I have not received that love in my romantic relationships or from my family. My friends are the only source now where I expect. I feel bad when I wake up and there is no missed call or text waiting to know if I am okay. I am not alone in this house, I feel more lonely than before. I cannot scream in pain or cry when I want to. But then I can see the faces of all of them. Am I going to lose them too? I have had these conversations with some of them. But my “emotional” nature becomes too much for them sometimes. My mother tells me that if I workout, I will be so tired that I will be able to get a good night’s sleep. My soul is too tired without even walking a few steps. I wish she could understand this weariness.

I wish to find at least one person who can love me the way I am thriving for. I want a friend who I can call without having the fear of getting shut down by judgments. I want to get called for no reason and ask me if I am okay. I want to see a missed call or a message when I wake up in the morning so that I wake up with a smile because most of my mornings are very low. I want to be able to get a feeling of comfort to hug him/her tightly for hours so that I can wash away the pain I have accumulated in all these years. I am yearning for such a connection that doesn’t shut me down for loving someone intensely because this is who I am.

I am unable to achieve balance in my relationships. This is why I sometimes feel to cut out just all of them. But I love all of them so much that even if I want to, I cannot do that. Because in any case, I have to suffer. I cannot even explain this to anyone because none other than my therapist is going to understand this.

Sometimes I feel this is one of the symptoms of borderline personality disorder and I should take an anxiety pill or watch a TV series. Then I remember the hard-hitting statement – “Meghna, you need a constant in your life”. Then I tell myself that getting my constant is all a dream. I am so messed up that I should go back to what I do. I should not think about how I feel about being deprived of love. I should remember what I wrote earlier that, I get happy when I wipe out the tears of others.  I have already learned to live alone and gave up on love. So, I do not want a constant in my life.

Categories
Hope

A Dream which does not let me sleep

Honorable Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam said – “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep”. I see dreams every night, but I always yearned for a dream like this which does not let me sleep. I could not imagine what it feels like to have an aim in life, a purpose in life that is bigger than myself. After spending 30 years of my life, I found a purpose that enlightened my soul. I have started dreaming with open eyes. This definitely did not happen overnight. My soul cut into a million different pieces. I failed and gave up several times, but fortunately, I had some people into my life who never gave up on me. At times, when I had no one, I gathered all the courage to stand up again. So, here I was – a completely new version of myself. I took a rebirth from my own ashes.

I have been taking therapy for the past 3 years now and it has helped me tremendously. I leave no stone unturned to create awareness on the importance of mental health and encourage people to come forward if they need medical attention or guidance. Some friends and acquaintances have approached me, and I share their pain in whatever way I can. A couple of days back, I was talking to one of my friends. I have been able to help him only to some extent because of the distance. I was worried about him and I prayed to God after a long time. We both shared our pain and at that moment, we healed each other.

I am feeling I am heading home. I quenched my thirst for connection, of belonging, and of peace. I closed my eyes and waited for tears to drench my soul to wash away the pain I endured, but tears were not enough for my soul to attain peace. This was when I was enlightened with the path to solace. Happiness can only be obtained by wiping tears, peace can only be achieved by resolving conflict.

When I went to bed that night, all I could think of how I could work on creating awareness on mental health in Indian society. What should be the agenda? Or should I conduct a survey first? I have already been doing extensive research on how to form an NGO. But I was concerned about the funding and how I would continue it with my job. I could barely sleep that night.

This was when I remembered the quote by respectable Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam “Dream is not that which you see while sleeping it is something that does not let you sleep”. I feel so fortunate to have found my dream which does not let me sleep.

Categories
Life

When I Found The ‘Calling Of My Life’

I strongly believe in the concept of the mythological bird Phoenix. It is believed that Phoenix is the ultimate symbol of strength and renewal. It represents transformation, death, and rebirth from its own ashes. It translates into real life as well. Once we die a little inside by putting to death the falsity we held onto within us, then we can reborn again. Rebirthed and resurrected as a new version of ourselves that has put the falsity to the fire. The fire is a symbol of cleansing and purification. By going through the turbulence of the fires of tribulation, the friction and heat of battling our inner demons have purified us. We are remade into stronger, better, more pure versions of ourselves. 

A few years ago, I did not have a purpose in life. I was following a set pattern. I pursued engineering and started working in one of the topmost multinational companies in India. In 2.5 years, I was lucky to get an onsite opportunity in the USA. My family wasn’t happy to send me to a foreign land for 3 years. I promised them to come back in a year. I was only 23. I was on cloud nine. I was in a very happy space in my life. But there was an emptiness in me. I wasn’t able to figure out the cause of my emptiness. I discussed the same with my Guru and he suggested to introspect. An Indian woman at the age of 24 is perfect marriage material. Just when I thought everything will be perfect, I fell so sick that I almost thought I would not be able to make it back to India and see my loved ones. 

This was when I realized the purpose of my life. I started thinking, this could not be the end of my life. What if it ends today, what have I achieved? If I die right here, at this moment, then what have I done for mankind? This was when I could sense the calling of my life. I could feel a strong inclination to follow it. I wanted to give back to society. I was yet to experience the horrifying mental illness, but I had a sense of it. I wanted to offer my service to society in any way I can. I could only see this as my ultimate goal and nothing else. IT work, money, fame did not matter to me. I managed to go back to India with a clear goal in my life as if I was reborn.

So finding the calling of life may not always be a very tough journey. You just have to listen to your inner self. God will definitely send a guiding light to show you the path. Once I found the calling of my life, I had to burn so that I could transform into a better version of myself. I feel lucky that almighty has chosen me as one of those who has found the purpose in life. So for the past 5 years, my burning process is in progress. But now I am rising from my own ashes. I feel a strong magnetic calling from the universe to surrender myself to what I am born for. I do not know about the destination, but I cannot wait for this journey which has already begun. 

Categories
Mental Health

फ़रिश्ते

हम बचपन से फरिश्तों की कहानियाँ सुनते आये हैं,

उधड़ी सी ज़िन्दगी में किरणों की लौ बुनते आये हैं,

इसी उधड़ बन में ज़िन्दगी चल रही थी,

उम्मीदों की किरण धीरे धीरे ढल रही थी,

दवाओं का असर काम हो चुका था,

एहसास भी अब तो नाम हो चुका था,

अब तो बीमारी भी मेरी लाइलाज ही चली थी,

दवाएँ भी बिल्कुल बेकार हो चली थी

फिर सोचा की दवाओं का कुछ तो इस्तेमाल कर लें,

सुकून के उस फरिश्ते से इस्तकबाल कर लें,

उस वक़्त बस हमे ना कुछ सवाल आया,

ना अपनों ना गैरों का ख़याल आया,

मेहबूब से मोहब्बत बयान भी नहीं की थी,

अब तक तो पूरी वफ़ा भी नहीं की थी,

भेजा कुछ अपनों को हमने आख़री सलाम,

दर्द से लिया था हमने आख़री इन्तेक़ाम

हर कोशिश की तरह यह कोशिश भी नाकाम हो गयी,

बेहोशी में चंद अपनों को करीब पाया,

हमारी आख़री कोशिश भी हो गयी थी ज़ाया,

परदेस के नियम कानून कुछ अलग थे,

मौत की कोशिशों को लेके यह लोग काफी सजग थे,

हो गए थे हम बेबस, लाचार, मजबूर,

कर दिया था हमे सबसे बहुत दूर

कैदी बना के रखा था हमे अस्पताल में,

घिरे थे हम जैसे राक्षसों से पाताल में,

तकिये में मुँह छिपकर बहुत रोया करते थे,

आज़ाद होने का सपने खुली आखों से पिरोया करते थे,

उनकी आवाज़ सुनने को तरस जाया करते थे,

दिन में एक दो बार बात करके बरस जाया करते थे,

हिम्मत रखो तुम सब ठीक होगा वो कहा करते थे,

उन्हें बाहों में भरने को हम मरा करते थे

अस्पताल का दाना पानी जँचता नहीं था,

उन्हें देखे बिना दिन कटता नहीं था,

उन्होंने हमें बहुत मोहब्बत से समझाया,

रिहा हो जायेंगे हम, ये भरोसा हमें दिलाया,

अभी तो बस कुछ वक़्त ही गुज़रा था,

ना जाने अभी और कितने दिनों का पहरा था

खुदा ने फुरसत में हमारी दुआ पे शायद गौर फ़रमाया था,

अस्पताल के हकीम में हमें फ़रिश्ता नज़र आया था,

किसी ने सच ही कहा है इंसानियत का कोई धर्म नहीं होता,

कौन कहता है की पडोसी मुल्क के लोगों का दिल नरम नहीं होता

समझी उन्होंने हमारी तकलीफ़, हालात और जज़्बात,

कहा हमसे की खुशनसीब और समझदार हैं हम,

अमन और क़ामयाबी के बराबर हक़दार हैं हम,

रिहा हुए हम उस क़ैदखाने से,

एक नयी उम्मींद मिली है हमें ज़माने से,

मेहबूब की मोहब्बत और वफ़ा साथ लेके चले थे,

उस हक़ीम उस फ़रिश्ते से ज़िन्दगी की सौगात लेके चले थे

Categories
Pain

Reasons why is it important to process your pain

The human brain is very complex. Neuroscientists are still exploring as the brain is not fully understood. Every individual is different and so are their emotions and emotional responses to different events in their lives. The way we respond to fear, pain or shock may be different for any individual. I am no scientist or a doctor to talk about the reasons or connections to the brain, but I would like to share my own thoughts based on my experience.

There is a reason why there are different kinds of specialties in this field so that we can take help. While I do understand that in India there is still a lack of awareness, but I also see people around me trying to understand it. Taking professional help does not mean that someone is mad, it means that they are smart enough to understand that there is a problem and strong enough to work on it with some help. So, whenever you feel different or you see that there is some part of you that needs improvement, there is nothing wrong with taking the help.

I saw a very good example yesterday in a TV series where a guy was known to sabotage his relationships, his happiness every time. After a lot of resistance and constant push by his sister, he finally went to a specialist and through the neuro-emotional technique, he was able to understand the reason behind his problem. When he was 10 years old, he won a trophy in a competition. He felt extremely proud, excited and very happy to share the joy with his parents. When he reached home, he came to know that his father passed away and he never told about his trophy to anyone ever. As a 10-year-old, he felt guilty of feeling happy when he lost his father the same day. A child of his age did not understand that he did not know about his father when he was filled with joy on winning the trophy and feeling happy was not his fault. Since then, he was so scared to be happy that he felt emotionally unsafe around joy and ended up ruining it.

After the therapy, there was a clarity in his thoughts and merely by talking about it, he drained the baggage which he carried unknowingly for years. This happens to a lot of people. Some people are aware of the reasons behind a certain behavior, some are not.

Through this example, I am not commenting on how therapy works because that is not my job. I am trying to imply that it is very important to process the emotions. Now that I have a normal environment around me since I moved to Tampa and an ample amount of time to introspect myself, I am realizing that the processing of emotions is very important. Some of us choose to share them with their friends or family, some take therapy. I have started to process my emotions through series which involves love, marriage, divorce, heartbreak, death, accidents and so many other events which invoke a different kind of emotions. Having an intense personality, watching these series gives my feelings a way out and I feel lighter. I feel like I have shared my pain. This experience is similar to talking about it to a friend, only not getting judgments and ‘I told you so’ lines or expressions. It acts as a sponge that absorbs my pain exactly in the same way I want to, which helps me.

This is my way of processing emotions. Similarly, every individual should find a way to process their own feelings else you may end up creating a lot of baggage inside you, which someday, will break you and others in your life very badly.

There are times in my life, when I need such people in my life with whom I can share anything without listening to the things that I did right or wrong, without being told that this is my habit and weakness and I should change it, for this is the reason of my condition today. I have a friend who doesn’t know how to share things. I tried all different ways for him to come up with a way to share his pain with me or anyone in his life, but I failed to do so. He is in a lot of pain and I feel so helpless. I sometimes feel like yelling at him, telling him that he is lucky that he is being offered a platter on which he can bare his soul for once and can see the difference. I wish he can start opening up to someone sometime soon.

Share this post to all who you think are scared to be vulnerable, afraid to share and process their emotions. Take it from someone, who has always opened up and turned her vulnerability to her biggest strength as this makes it possible to know who actually cares about you and is ready to be with you during your darkest hours. Because those who can be with you in your darkness are worthy to be a part of your life. They love you even when you hit rock bottom, they are certainly keepers. 

Categories
Pain

Vicious cycle of Unresolved Grief

Every human being suffers some kind of loss in their life at different stages. “The response of loss, particularly to the loss of someone or something that has died, to which a bond or affection was formed is Grief.” There are different stages of grief – Denial and Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. It is necessary to resolve or address grief to prevent further damage to the soul.

In India, some places have Rudaali tradition. Rudaali Ladies are a group of professional mourners who arrive at the funeral. The impact of their mourning also compels other people at the funeral to cry. I am not commenting on the tradition, but trying to emphasize on the fact that addressing/resolving grief is extremely important.

Grief can not only be an outcome of the death of a loved one, it can also be caused by loss of any kind of relationship. There is a famous quote – “If you don’t heal what hurt you, you will bleed on people who didn’t cut you”. Knowingly or unknowingly, sometimes we hurt each other because of unresolved conflict or grief and it becomes a cycle within the society. Death of a loved one can cause severe depression and it affects the whole family causing damages to people around them, if grief is left unresolved. Break ups in serious romantic relationships often leaves a scar. Partners suffer from complex emotional detachment. When they don’t heal properly, they bleed on others by entering into rebound relationships. This creates a vicious cycle of unresolved grief causing a lot of pain and emotional damage.

It is difficult to understand the implications of this until it comes from our own experience. I was asked a question, few days back that why people do not move on and think constantly about people whom they lost as a result of a conflict or differences. It may not be a big deal for the one who left, but it can cause severe damage to the other one depending on the individual and their personality.

I have a very intense personality. I dive into thoughts very deeply. I am extremely emotional and I give pieces of myself and it shatters me to the core because it doesn’t bounce back. I attract these people very easily because I have so much love to offer and they somehow find comfort and peace in me. But every single time, I am on the receiving end of their unresolved grief and they take away pieces of me. I first started living away from my family 10 years back. Since then, I have lost so many pieces of my soul. I bounce back every time with grace, but I often wonder if I will ever get those pieces back.

There are so many people like me in our society. Unfortunately, some of us are constantly on the giving end of immense love and empathy and not on the receiving end. With each piece of the soul, we need to actively work on healing ourselves so that we can be prepared for the next journey. Each journey creates one more scar and one more painful memory which we want to desperately delete. Other people in this journey move on and do not look back. We end up suffering a lot and go through a painful process to absorb and heal. Some scars create damage to such an extent that there is no point of return.

I am often called as ‘stupid’ from my own family and friends for getting into trouble each time. What they do not understand is that this is who I am. I can change the choice of people I allow to enter my life, but I cannot change my intense personality. Either way, suffering is inevitable because most people aren’t healed and they end up bleeding on people like us.

So let us start healing ourselves first. Let us not sabotage the life of people who love us. Let us spread awareness on the importance of healing to end this vicious cycle of grief.

Categories
Mental Health

Life with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

I am no doctor or a therapist to comment on PTSD, but I want to share my own experience. I never even heard this term until a few years ago when I myself went through a trauma and suffered PTSD. It may not be a big trauma for the people around me, but it was definitely was a huge one for me.

When we hear the word trauma, we often imagine events like sudden death of a loved one, a car or a plane crash or something huge. But can we really narrow down the definition of trauma ? In my opinion we can not. Each individual is differently wired and so the effects of any traumatic event can be different for each one.

I suffered a trauma a few years ago and it took almost me an entire year to get back to a comparatively normal life. Its been almost two years now. I feel like those memories are stored in a very different part of brain. I am still healing, like my therapist says – “Healing is not linear”. Those memories often set me off on a scary loop and shivers crawl up my spine at the mere thought of those memories. Sometimes it feels like it was a bad dream and I woke up. I get scared that I will see that dream again and I may not be able to wake up again.

My trauma was not just another heart break, it was terrifying. Each second was a torture. I could not breathe, I could not speak or sleep. I went into hypervigilance. I lived alone in a one bedroom apartment. I used to wake up screaming in the middle of the night. The lights in my house were always on. I was scared of each and every person around me. Whenever I saw two or more than two people talking and laughing, I thought they were plotting against me. I thought I won’t be normal ever again. I was unable to bear any noise around me.

I have no idea how did I work. I remember I was working on two big assignments and I pulled them through with flying colors in spite of these episodes. I gradually healed by the end of the year, there were no episodes by then.

I started experiencing anxiety and flashbacks followed by difficulty in breathing , the following year around the same time. I was regular on medicines and I had moved on. But I could not focus. I felt like I was falling apart and everything was happening again as a result of which I put myself in danger again in July. These were ‘Anniversary Reactions’ which means that on or around the anniversary of a traumatic event, the survivor may experience an increase in distressing memories of the event. I cried for help, but I had no one because all of them chose to keep away from me because of my illness. My only support was my therapist who lives in India. Long distance therapy definitely helps, but my therapist was a friend to me as well.

It is a new year and I am a completely different person now. It is the month of February and I am hoping I will not have anniversary reactions this year because that person now does not exist for me and I out of that toxic environment.

So next time, if you see someone suffering or withdrawing from normal day to day activities, please do not leave them to rot. Because you might not be responsible for their condition, but you definitely fail as a human being and are a part of their deterioration. And no matter how much time you spend planting trees or do social work, it does no good when you choose not to help or hold hands of the people falling around you.

And for those who are suffering even a slightest bit of it, I assure that you will pass through it even if you are alone. Please seek professional help or find your person following “One for each” technique. Trust me, it really helps. I am always available for anyone in need, you can contact me.

Categories
Depression

“One for each” technique to fight depression

“Communication is the key to any healthy relationship” is a very common quote we know. But do we really communicate ? Or the words we exchange are only a formal “social interaction” for a purpose. I come across at least one person every day arguing the existence of depression and “It is all in the mind” phrase. Earlier, I used to get irritated and loose my cool. But then I got to the root of the issue – Communication. Are we really communicating what we feel for each other or discuss our emotions when dealing with issues.

I belong to a generation who have seen both 90s era and current era where technology and social media took over. In 90s and early 2000s, people cared for each other. Absence of social media played an important role. People actually took out time to spend with each other, communicate about how they feel. And this is why, mental illness was rare because people actually cared for each other by staying in touch.

In today’s world, our lives revolve around social media. Blessings of technology are a curse for mental health. We are all so busy in earning our living that we do not have time to live. “How are you” is a very common greeting, response of which is “I am fine, how are you”. No body really cares how anyone else is doing unless they are close friends or immediate family. What about those who do not have anyone to share with. Suicide rates are sky high. Is this going to resolve some day or will this be a road towards human extinction. I guess no because technology is advancing every day leaving people behind. And all of us are blinded in this race where no one will win.

But I still see a hope. I recommend a “One for each” technique. Each individual must have at least one “go-to” person who they can connect day to day. The go-to person can be anyone – a friend, a family member, a colleague or a stranger. Both the individuals can take care of each other on a daily basis by getting in touch with a message or a call. This may sound very simple, but no one really follows it. Relationships fail because of the same reason. Any two individuals in a relationship can be very different but the issues will never resolve until there is a lack of communication, compassion and forgiveness.

Let us take a step towards saving lives and fighting depression by following “One for each” technique. Let us find our person who we take care of for the rest of our lives. Let us take time for each other and build a society where “how are you” is not just a greeting. Because the next time someone asks me and I am not fine, I will say so.