This was my first entry for the BlogAdda prompt, “The Day Before Sunrise” and I won. I’m proud to be showing off the winner badge.
I have seen many a dark nights, tossing and turning in bed, as sleep would continue to elude me; till the wee hours of the morning. Those were my darkest nights. Thank God that they are now a thing of the past. This is my story from a few years back. Sleep had become my elusive companion and depression had cloaked me in its gloomy shroud, refusing to leave my side like a clingy, petulant child. The more I tried to push it away, and fight it; the more it clung to me, manipulating the inner recesses of my mind. My days were spent wallowing in self-pity, at the same time ironically trying to put up a brave and confident front for the world at large, as though nothing was happening to me, and I was a very happy person. But deep within my being, I was fighting what seemed like a losing battle, day in and day out.
Today is World Suicide Prevention Day, I thought it would be the perfect platform to share my personal story. A story that I never have shared in the past. But in my case, I must admit I was very depressed and did not want to continue living a miserable life, yet I never attempted or contemplated suicide. The reason I write this blog post is that because I feel somewhere my story will give a ray of hope, to those battling depression and emotional health illness.
To begin with, I had no reasons to be depressed. Life had been good to me. It had given me lemons, but I felt incapable of making the lemonade. The dark days were a thing of the past. I’d already crossed a few challenging hurdles, and life was giving me a second chance. A very rosy, and promising second chance, I must say here. But, the chemicals in brain were playing havoc. They were going all haywire and were not allowing me to utilise the good that had come my way. I stayed up innumerable nights fidgeting, worrying, agonising over inane things and also scrolling my phone screen, getting more depressed seeing all the happy updates on Facebook. Everyone it seemed, was making merry and had a great life, except for me! Well, I did have a great life too, just that at that point of time, I was clueless where my emotions were taking me. I was caught in a quandary and had become an emotional yo-yo.
I wanted to have a career, but at the same time torn about leaving my little one home (who was a toddler then) and stepping out to join a full-time job. I have always been a very independent woman and the very idea of ‘asking” for money from my DH, for my shopping, or other requirements, made me feel like I was being a burden. Somewhere money was proving to be my biggest nemesis. The more I felt the need to earn, the more unhappy I became from inside. I was doing a few consulting assignments here and there, but nothing close to earning a lot of moolah.
Gradually my dark, gloomy nights became long, drawn. Those sleepless nights, that would bring me down to my knees, when I would cry, waiting for the sun to rise and for the day to begin. When I managed to sleep, I wouldn’t want to wake up at all. Though sleep was my elusive companion, it also became was my best friend. After all it helped me forget the worries and quieten the non-stop chatter in my head. When I would wake up in the mornings, I would feel an indescribable sense of melancholy, like a ton of bricks weighing upon my heart. It seemed as though I was mourning something. Mourning the lack of happiness I suppose!
I totally believe in this quote. It is during these challenging nights and days, that my family and a very close friend stood by me, rock solid helping me cross this enormous hurdle. Yes, it goes without saying that it wouldn’t have been possible to overcome the depression hadn’t it been for my inner resolve, as well. My DH, my mother-in-law, my best friend, my father and my now 19-year-old daughter who was then kid; were my true pillars of strength. I could open my heart out to them. Though my friend was in a different town, she held my hand and helped me tide through this. Somehow I felt, she understood me the most. Of course I took help from the medical fraternity as well. I went for therapy, I took antidepressants (seriously, no harm in taking those.) I still don’t understand the stigma around them. We can take medicines for BP and Diabetes and other ailments, so why not for mental illness? Doesn’t it count as an illness too? You wouldn’t hesitate to take medicines for any of the above, so why not for depression?
I have realised, it’s very important to talk to a loved one when you are feeling depressed. But its uncanny that a depressed person wants to withdraw further and further into their shell and not talk at all. It’s part of the emotions that set in at that point of time. It’s important to break out of that shell and reach out, before the symptoms aggravate and things become worse. They did for me many times, as I kept telling myself it was all right, or that things would get better. When they actually weren’t.
It also helped for me to break away from the shackles of a mindset that focussed on money. My husband earns and that is enough for now. We lead a happy, comfortable life. The moment I moved my attention from money, to doing what made me happy, my life changed three sixty degrees. I started writing/blogging for myself to start with. I took to my passion like fish would to water. And I instantly became happier. I still continue to take up writing projects, but the only ones that stoke my passion. So moolah does flow, but I’m not chasing it anymore. Baby, money can’t buy you happiness, I promise you that (I know I say this over and over again). But that’s a realisation that dawned late in the day for me.
I also want to share here that I went for alternative remedies. I have been taking Tibetan medicines to help me heal. Spirituality-Buddhism in my case, has given me a lot of strength in this journey as well. I’ve come a long way. It’s been more than a year, since I came out of the harrowing grip of those dark nights and was able to shed the cloak of depression. I may still have a long way to go. But then the sun has been shining and smiling bright for me every morning.
Each morning I wake up to thank the universe for a blessed sunrise. After all Those Dark Days Before Sunrise Are Over.
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