Inside Out

This is not a fashion post, sorry to disappoint. It’s a realistic glimpse into what these few months have been like.

A week.. or was it 2 weeks ago, time slips through my fingers these days and make no sense.. I had a breakdown. You know, the kind where you use your reserves until something inside snaps. And it came crashing down like a heatwave.

I prefer not to answer “How are you doing?” these days. It’s as if there is some expectation there from the person, to find out if I’m ‘over’ another depressive spell.

I am not okay and that is okay. There will be no facades. Those days of keeping up appearances to ease the discomfort of onlookers are gone.

Sure I hit a snag last year with busting the knee but it was a short one. This one feels all consuming.

I guess losing Hershey And trying to keep it together while facing social media backlash snapped the straw on this camel’s back.

In between curling up in bed and getting some sustenance during meals, I write to my therapist who I work with online. Which works better for me because the thought of dragging myself out of the apartment to see a therapist and interact with the world is not exactly reassuring.

As someone with chronic low grade depression otherwise known as Dysthymia, I make a concerted effort most of the time to banish the broody spells. But you do get beset with a major depressive episode more than the average person. So far I’ve been lucky that it’s reduced to once a year.

There were Years of a single episode. So I’ll take that progress and cherish it.

When you make a concerted effort to push yourself beyond the daily blues – meet people, be productive – it does take a little out of you because it Is an effort. So you go to bed wearier and wondering how you’ll do it again tomorrow but you take that leap of faith again and again everyday.

I give myself permission during this episode to be silent and to turn inwards. Not to make any important choices at this juncture. Not to make any plans. Setting very simple goals that will aid my daily functioning. I am listening in the silence. Accepting of the ebb and flow of pain in that silence.

Right now the most mundane efforts are victories. Writing this out is a victory.

When you’re not battling thoughts or emotions and have the ability to enunciate pain, that is indeed a victory.

I have been thinking about so much, too much lately. Am I a good human being? What am I unlearning? Where is this headed? Will I always have to keep these walls so high around me?

I’ve also been thinking about what I’d like to change.

I’d like not to be scared and tired. I’d like not to look down on myself. I’d like to construct a future and actually see it materialise. I’d like to stop seeing my failures as weakness.

To give you some history : I have been living with depression since I was 16. I began seeking therapy and medication from the age of 20. Didn’t stick to either forms of treatment for longer than 2 years at a time. Finally sought treatment again in 2009 and I’ve been on anti depressants ever since. The medication evens out the sadness by numbing it which is a boon and a curse.

The improvements over the years have been vast. In fact, starting this blog really helped matters for the first four years or so. Things began to get a tad difficult the more invested I became into my work and I guess this is some kind of burnout coupled with grief.

I refuse to be exhausted by the weight of my identity. So here’s hoping the grey disposition will dissipate with some rest and care.

If you ever need to talk or vent, please know that I am always here to listen. My troubles may feel all consuming but I don’t let it get to a point of an over indulgence. Self care does not have to be entirely selfish.

All my love, Aarti

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