Uncategorized

To live or not to live?

Why is it that in this life we are given to live all we can focus on is death? Death is something that controls the way we live, instead of being a simple reality to the end of a well-lived life, it becomes the reason to live. This makes no sense to me, well not anymore…

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RIP to these beautiful souls who struggled with their journey, my heart wishes they got the help and support they needed.

There was a time in my life that I was obsessed with death, with finding out what happens next, with figuring out if this is all we have. Life seemed to be an endless string of pain with no release. Sometimes we reach a point in our lives where every door seems to be locked shut, personally, I feel maybe at this point we not pushing hard enough on these doors because all we WANT to see is no hope, a shut door. You reach that point where you just have no resilience to try, to try to see better than what’s right in front of you. All you can see is the murkiness that built up drowning you in a pool of self-regret and well, pity.

This next part is pretty personal and maybe a trigger for some, about three years ago I had reached the lowest of the low in my life. I desperately wanted to end my life, there was a bottle of turpentine on my table that I had bought for painting, I remember wanting to drink it, to end it all, because my curiosity was out of control. I wanted so desperately to find out what comes next. Although if what comes next is complete nothingness that would have been a pretty useless experiment.  My mind could not move past the reality I grew up in, that we have just one purpose here, to get to heaven. It is difficult to form a new perception of the world we live in, well for me it was. From going from a complete mentality of ‘knowing’ everything that happened and will happen to realize that was all a fantasy world and there is just so much that you don’t know is a huge leap of the mind.

At the time my mind refused to see the beauty of my situation. Actually, all I could see was that life seemed pointless without a point based system, but when you are conditioned to think this way everything else that is possible in life seems pointless. All I could think about is finding answers, answers that so many don’t know about so they make up a comforting reality for themselves. Something that gives a new purpose, I will come back to my new found reality in a bit.

Somehow, mostly with the emotional support and love of my significant other, I passed the darkest ‘hour’ of this life. My friend Lydia recently quoted Rumi to me and it seems so significant to my life right now, ““The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” How beautiful is that, and how true is it. I feel like everything in this life that broke me down, made me more grateful for everything that I have in my life right now, to find a new path and purpose, one that aligns with my core beliefs and morals, one that is full of love.

My journey has not been a straightforward one, it has not been an easy one, for a long time after passing the suicide phase I still kept dying as a backup plan, I still thought, hey if life gets too difficult or out of my control I can just end it right.  Death went from being my purpose to my back up plan. For 25 years of my life, I struggled with life, in all that time I felt that I was so tired of always fighting, in fact, that feeling made me give in to the people around me and that did not make me feel any better either. So whichever way I did I was battling my own demons and my body and soul were tired of the eternal struggle. The struggle of being unable to just breathe and be me without having to constantly justify it was my daily battle.   It is difficult to reflect in writing the emotions felt at this personal point in my life, it is something you have to experience, it is a time in one’s life that is clouded with misery, where one is unable to see anything else. Staying stagnant at this point is detrimental and a sad point that many people face, I am glad that I had managed to be resilient enough to claw my way past that into a happier space. A lot of it can be attributed to my resilient nature and a lot of it can be attributed to the support team that I had around me during this time. I had so many people telling me that what I thought was impossible at that point in my life was more than possible, was achievable. People behind me cheering me on and pushing me even to make the changes I desperately needed to make at that time. Looking back I feel like life gives you sometimes violent nudges in a certain direction and if we refuse to see that direction the nudges can be more tortures than meant to be.

I am so grateful that I never gave up or gave in to my suicidal former self. My life has drastically transformed from being a ‘rebellious’ teenage daughter, to be an unsuccessful, unsatisfied Indian house wife to a disappointment to her family divorcee, to finally becoming the woman I wanted to be, leaving behind those trails of titles other people gave me. I am now a woman in love with travel, passionate about meeting people and hearing their stories. I now live to see what I can do to help others; how I can make this world that I live in right now a better place. I live to explore every inch of this planet I can possibly see, I live to learn or tamper with any new skill I can find, I live to laugh and cry with loved ones, to feel ultimate happiness and reality checks of despair, I live to feel every feeling I can possibly feel and take in every beautiful thing I can on this earth and in this life, I live to help bring light to people in despair and try in the tiniest way even to help those not as blessed as I am, ease their journey, I am grateful that I live. I am grateful to allow all the new realities and knowledge into my mind and live in the humility of my mantra, ‘The more I know the less I know.’

My life has opened up to me once I left all that was holding me back behind and now I realize, we don’t live to die, we live to love.

 

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Awareness · Fiction · Mothers · Uncategorized

The Burden

She stared down at the little creature in front of her. She dreamed of this for so long, but now it changed everything. The pink, gooey little thing coiled its fingers and stared at her. Her heart bled as she stared back. What should she do with this little clump of life? Her heart hurt, afraid of what impact this creature with have on her life, afraid of what impact she would have in the creatures’ life. For a moment she wanted to run, just run and leave this to be someone else’s problem. But an invisible string jolted her back to reality, and she knew she should stay. So many problems she could run from before, but this was not one of them. Now she had entered a sacred sanctuary, now she was a mother. She did not dare think what would happen if she failed, like so many before her had. She picked up the sticky creature, and it buried its head in her chest, she felt at ease with this, as if it was saying all would be okay, as if it knew.

“Angelina darling,” a soft feminine voice called from the clouds, “You have birthed your soul, nourish it and it will nourish you, you will know what to do.”

Angelina held her soul in her hands, cradled between her bosoms. This is where she shaped a life before sending it to earth. This is where she created good or evil. How would she know what to do? What if the creature sensed the darkness in her, what if the creature wanted to feed off her anxiety? Why did Relphina think she was ready for this task? Does one not have to clean their heart before shaping a soul? At least Angelina had just one soul to nourish, Leilani in pod 14 was nourishing five souls with ease and grace, two of them were almost ready to release to earth. Angelina walked past pod 14 and peeped in the window all the while caressing her creature. Four cribs lay side by side, sticky creatures with big, black globs for eyes stared out. Leilani, bless her gentle heart, sat beside the crib, the most beautiful melody released from her mouth.

“O my creature hear my song, O my creature hear it well. One day Mother Leilani will release you home, and on this time you will dwell. Life will fill you with such measures, but in it you will find your treasures. Hear this song in your soul, hear this song in your heart. For one day we shall soon part, and goodness shall erode your path.”

Leilani was a natural, Angelina did not have this confidence. For a brief minute she wanted to leave her burden at Leilani’s door and run. Again she could not do it. She held her creature to her heart, looked into the globs of it’s eyes and whispered, “I hope I do you well.”

 

 

depression · mental illness · Uncategorized

Her Demon

She felt the monster grow inside her every day, but she continued to ignore it. Thoughts crowded her brain, haunted thoughts, dangerous thoughts. She never knew what to make of these thoughts. They fed her monster, made him stronger, as he got stronger he drained her. Each day she grew weaker and weaker. Eventually, she was too tired to function, getting out of bed was a mission she couldn’t handle. The thought of food made her feel ill. Haunted thoughts were all she needed to feed her dark soul. She thought, why am I here? My life is useless. I should just sink away into the darkness and let this darkness in my soul take over.

Finally, she submitted to her monster. He now controlled her relieving her from a sense of responsibility. Suddenly the dark world was attractive and all she wanted was darkness and solitude. She cut the cords of relatiınships she deemed useless. She vaguely communicated with those she deemed important, instead, she sought out her enemies and drew them close to her. Craving power she drew out their weaknesses. She knew what made them tick, dug on their insecurities, and drew out a long and painful vengeance on anyone that had hurt her soul.

Mavis was concerned with one specific enemy. Dianne was her name. The girl with long dark hair and a smile that looked chilling, maybe so chilling because it resembled the several knives Diane had stuck in Mavis’s back. Mavis allowed her demons to navigate through the revenge. Diane wanted someone to feed her ego, tell her how wonderful she was, all Mavis had to do was build Diane up and then she would gain her trust. So Mavis did exactly that, she gained Diane’s trust, she drew her close and learned her deepest secret.

Diane was pregnant, but it wasn’t her boyfriend’s child. It was her ex-boyfriend, a relationship that was complicated beyond repair. Diane was finally with a man of her dreams, a man that treated as well as she felt she needed to be treated. The plan was simple. With one recorded confession Mavis could publicly expose Diane for the fraud she was. Her perfect man will never trust her again, Diane could never truly be happy with the ex but he would know he is the dad. Diane would have no choice but to involve him, pushed to do the right thing. Finally, no one would trust Diane after this, people will finally see her for what she was. Mavis felt her chest burn with a desire for vengeance.

For the first time in days, she caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror. Past her matt, flat, wiry hair, her hollow eyes, her shrinking face and protruding cheek bones, pass all of this Mavis finally saw what she refused to see all this time. Instead of herself, she saw a monster, an unrecognizable version of who she had become. She broke down in front of the mirror and the burning desire in her chest transformed into an unrecognizable pain, finally, she lay on the floor and wept sorrowfully for what was. By trying to break Dianne she turned into something worse than Dianne. And now she didn’t know how to go back or if she even wanted to…

Awareness · depression · mental illness · Uncategorized

Depression is my normal

Think of a deep, dark whole, you falling into an everlasting sunken space, free-falling, the more you struggle and fight against it the more difficult the journey becomes but if you accept and submerge into this dark space you might eventually reach some ground, some stability. There might be something at the end of the dark space. This is what a depressive spell might feel like to some, an overwhelming feeling of sunken gloom that seems never-ending, but for some it’s a ride we wear off periodically. Let it flow till it is over. Sometimes you just have to let yourself feel and stop resisting that you feel sad, angry, anxious, feel it out, work it out and let the emotions ride through you until it’s done. Cry out a bucket or two, punch a punching bag until it’s tatterted and hanging by a thread, scream out until your lungs are exhausted but just let it all out.

 

Growing up I was thought to hide how I feel, wear a mask, pretend you happy all the time, pretend your life is perfect and let people think that it is. If you need to cry do it alone in a dark space where no one can see. If you angry suppress it until you become a ball of passive aggression and can not live with anyone. This is unhealthy, personally I think emotions need to be acknowledged, we all need to encourage each other to be human, to feel what we feel, to give ourselves a break. When did life become a competition of who’s smile is the widest, whose life seems the happiest, whose emotional stability is the most controllable. Maybe it’s time to redefine the norms of what emotional stability is. Maybe emotional stability should be projected our emotions in a healthy manner instead of stifling ourselves and pretending we are robots. We aren’t robots yet, we all still human.

 

For so many reason I hate the term ‘normal’. I think this term is setting up unrealistic expectations for so many of us. I wish I felt normal, I wish I had a normal life, I wish I was in a normal family. What is normal? If we could all individually create an idea of what normal is personal to our own lives, maybe we would find a happier more content space (Of course this does not apply to being in an abusive situation). Personally for me, living with depression is my normal, feeling things the way I feel it is my normal, not getting as excited about things way in advance is my normal. Once I accepted what normal means to me I am much more content and in tune with my emotions and life. I just enjoy being different and unique and this works for me. What works for you? What makes you feel ‘normal’?

Awareness · Mothers · Uncategorized

Walking with her shoes…

Taking a break away from the topic of depression, this is a tale based on a dear friend.

Have you ever seen a mother so frustrated with her child, a screaming, crying child and a frustrated mother not knowing what to do, she maybe yelling, she maybe dragging the child, and you wonder what the hell is going on. Have you ever thought, that’s not what I would do, that’s not how I’d handle the situation. It’s easy to judge a situation from the outside looking in but maybe let’s take a walk with the situation, with the mother and her shoes, with her situation.

We work together at a preschool, spending majority of our time teaching young, not always eager minds, but not just teaching them, we feed them, we take them to the loo, we change them, we watch over them when they play, we are like day time mothers. It is a tiring job, when I come home, I look forward to some quite time, some bliss, a nice drink and silence. That is a luxury I have, because I am not a mother.

But my colleagues lead a more tiresome life, they are mothers, and after an exhausting day with students they come home and resume they real job, the more important one, being a mom. Work is like a break a way for them.

One day after work I had accompanied my friend home, she wanted me to cook for her, a traditional Indian curry.  I love cooking, I love curry and I love her so I was up for it. We left school together, drained from the day. She didn’t know what to expect from her little one, would he be a ball of sunshine or would he be a little demon, she took a deep breath and entered the school we had to pick him up from. He came down the stairs and gazed at us suspiciously; almost as if to say, what do they want? We had to coax and encourage him a bit before we could get him out of the school; eventually we all left the school. A tired mother and a tired drained little son, have to make a long walk home. We were in for quite a trip. He started walking tepidly at first then faster, then he was running and she was running behind him. Eventually she had to carry him across the road and that’s when it started, the little one was too frustrated and started his little tantrum. He sat on the pavement in tears, and the tired mom had to try everything from walking away hoping he would follow, to eventually having to pick him up. Now she is a petite woman and he is a chubby baby who resisted being picked up. He slapped at her, screamed and squirmed. Eventually we made it down to the subway station. Mother exhausted, child frustrated, and he sat on the floor once again, the mother too tired to carry him, eventually dragged him to walk, which he resisted, a kind stranger eventually helped out and carried him up the stairs for us. Bless the mercy of kind strangers.

 

Finally we were in the bus and both mother and child could breath and gather themselves. Isn’t it so easy to judge from the outside, we would do it different? But when you actually in the situation, you see the frustration, exhaustion, challenges, it’s too real to judge. My friend loves her son dearly and is a fantastic mother, after her ordeal of getting the little one home she made sure he was happy and not angry at her, she made sure he was clean and fed and relaxed. I felt a bit useful being able to cook for them, give her a little breathing space. At dinner she sacrificed all her meat for him, the child can eat like a man! She fed him first before she could eat even though she was starving! She made all the little sacrifices a mother makes for a child, even after he gave her a very difficult time she still only showed love and concern, because he was her child. I was touched by her motherly ways. I will never judge a mother and child again, because we truly don’t know from the outside what either are going through.

After the day was over, I was tired and made my way home. My dear friend still had to see to her son and make him sleep and tidy up her house. I once again had the luxury of just getting myself home and relaxing before another day at the grind. I left her apartment and for a moment I thought I had forgotten my sunglasses, I opened my handbag and saw she had put my sunglasses in my bag. Now that is a mother, I had thought with a smile. .

depression · mental illness · Uncategorized

Dark Humour: My saving Grace

Her lips were smiling, you hear her giggling at silly things, she makes short, to the point jokes that make everyone around laugh or smile. Do you have that friend? That one person that is the funny one, but not just funny, she has a biting, sarcastic, edgy sense of humor that flows with such ease and grace that it’s hard to tell if she is really joking or serious. While enjoying her company and feeling at ease, having a good old laugh, have you ever looked into her eyes? Really looked into her eyes, her mouth smiles and laughs, but her eyes might be telling a different story. She could be a perfectly happy, jolly friend or there might be a lot going beneath the surface.

Humour is a brief and fleeting joy in life that can break many barriers.  It is a great tool, a saving grace, many people who suffer with a variety of mental illnesses chose to use humour as a way to make things around them feel more jovial than they truly feel on the inside. If the world around you looks better than you feel inside there is some balance to life. Imagine if you were on a sinking ship in stormy weather, and all you see for that moment is that you going to die! And then suddenly you see land ahead and you sigh a breath of relief forgetting that you still need to figure out how to get there without dying. This is what it feels like to live with depression but use humour as a defense, you feel like you constantly drowning but when you have the power to bring smiles to people around you, you realise that there is some hope out there and you have some, little power over your mind, you good for something, if you can’t find joy yourself at least you can bring it to others, but you still don’t know how to get yourself out of the dark. It’s momentary hope.

Maybe that’s why there is such joy in a childs laugh or smile, the innocence of a child reflects that their laughter and smiles are genuine and untainted. It takes us back to a time were laughter came easily and joyously, a time were the world was simpler and the mind untainted. A child’s smile is the ultimate hope that you will smile that way at some point, even if just briefly, for a fleeting moment, you would love to feel the joy and innocence of a child’s smile.

Why dark humour though? Perhaps because it is the hope that even in the darkness we can find hope. The edging, biting humour can be used as a way to let out frustrations of the mind while simultaneously bringing smiles and laughs to others, in personal experience this humour works best with true friends, others might become offended by it. There is nothing more comforting then being around close friends were you don’t have to monitor every word that comes out of your mouth, personally this is how one knows that they in the company of true friends.

My true friends love me despite my dead soul, sometimes even because of it, because it makes me who I am. It shaped me in many ways. What has shaped you? How do you stand out from the crowd or what makes you just like everyone else? So many things we think we experience in isolation are in fact experienced by many, reach out and find a way forward.

depression · Uncategorized

Who Died?

Did you see her? The woman sitting on that park bench, headphones on, staring straight ahead, looking as ‘normal’ as can be. What about him? That man shuffling pass you on the street, hands stuffed deep into his pocket, he shoved you as he passed and you grunted irritably, remember?

Do see them every day? ‘Normal’ people that just blend into the background of your life, the noise in the background, the static, the nuisance. Well stop. Just stop, be silent for a moment, really look, really listen. All around you are silent cries for help from everyday people, with problems just like yours or worse.

Now stop, and listen to the words inside your soul, the silent cries of help inside of you, the voices you drown out by mixing in the outside world around you. The voices that make you want to bleed inside, cry out blood, dig the wounds, the bites of the demons that dwell inside of you.

That is a fraction of what it feels like, a fraction of words that can paint the story of what it’s like to live with a soul crushing depression. You want to be as ‘normal’ as everyone around you seems to be, you want to stop feeling, yet you hate the numbness, you passionate yet you numb. You love, yet you hate, you need, yet you reject. When you realise what’s going on inside your head, how much easier it becomes to stop fighting but submit to the darkness, but you crave that light, the light that shines bleakly and rarely in a life clouded with grey.

And no, your life isn’t horrible, in fact your life is pretty amazing, you kick ass at everything that you commit to, and you shine in everyone’s eyes but your own, because the demons inside you won’t allow you to feel worthy, to feel accomplished.

You are so aware, so aware of the unbalanced chemicals numbing your emotions, not allowing you to enjoy things the way everyone else seems to. In the end you accept it, you accept this is you, you accept that you are part human, part monster, because your demons haunt you and mix with the juices of unbalanced chemicals stirring rapidly in your brain.

And you design a mask, a mask that makes you look like everyone else, a mask that makes you blend into the background. Become part of the noise you use to drown out who you really are so that no one suspects.

This isn’t you? Well this is me; this is my living with unbattled demons and ‘mild’ depression. Next time you see that seemingly normal woman on the bus, or the random barrister with a plastered smile handing you a coffee, that could be me, or could it be you?  This is my living with a part of me that died, this is the musings of a dead soul.