Just do it-

Just do it-

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Throughout life,
You will come across people,
who would tell you,
No, You cant.”
You look them in the eye
(stand on your toes if you must)
and declare:
Yes. Yes I can“.
Don’t just leave it at that,
You may add a little spice with-
watch me“.

And then-
you walk away.
You let the conversation go.
You-
do not need to explain
how you are going to do it.
You do not need ANYBODY telling you how you are not going to do.

Just let them know you are and… do it.

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The thing about addiction-

The thing about addiction-

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The sun sprayed gloriously upon my skin, the mockingbirds sang the tune of my soul, natures forces whispered to me and I felt renewed, rejuvenated…. That, is not how it happened. I wish I could say that was it, but it wasn’t it.

It took a tragedy to pull me out of my darkness. A tragedy so great, I expected it to plunge me further into darkness’ clutches. I didn’t just wake up and decide to take hold of life; I woke up, and Life happened to me… That woke me up!

The sun did shine gloriously that morning, the hummingbirds sang, and nature’s forces were aligned in their greatest- but one person didn’t.

How it started, I can’t even remember. And before we could figure out our lives, the drugs had taken control of us. But that’s the thing about addiction, you don’t realise it is a problem until It has it’s cold arms, wrapped tightly around you in an unrelenting grip.

She didn’t wake up. I watched her lying there, with too many tubes, looking the most peaceful I’ve ever seen her, the doctor’s words amplified in my head; not a single visitor, not another friend present… I knew, unless I changed something, sooner rather than later, It would be me lying there.

I wish I could say, I simply woke up and decided to change my life. It took a tragedy, to pull me out of my darkness.

 

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

Writer’s Poem Wednesday: Kailee Venzin

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A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading the words of a fellow blogger, Kailee Venzin. It struck a chord with me. And today, I have the pleasure of sharing it with all of you, for my writer’s poem Wednesday.

Yes, I know, I should have posted a contemporary poem but this really, is a great one. I hope you enjoy. Do check out her blog for more poems at: https://innervoicewriting.wordpress.com/

I have seen the world gone mad by Kailee Venzin

I have seen the world gone mad,
seen women bolstered by deep aches
and sly “handshakes”, burning
flags and setting the world on fire.

But I feel lost,
swallowed by a fever.
I drift as if someone took a bite out of me
and spit me out into the world.
I want to stop living in fear of losing another part of myself.

I want to be a lighthouse in the city,
call all my sisters home.
I want to pull the lost ones in,
be the blanket around their trembling bodies.
I want to feel the rebound of heat
of my breath on their necks, whisper-
It’s okay to be broken.
We’re beautiful broken.

I want to be a pussy willow,
that furry young catkin
whispering on her skin.
Soothe her like
that softness did for me as a child.
I want to shout-
You don’t have to wear hard soled shoes
to walk over the rocks.
You can wait til your feet have calloused.
You can wait til your shoulders are strong enough
to hold your body upside down.
I want to take every broken child,
their butter skin between my sidewalk hands
and say-
Don’t you dare lose that
wild wonder in your eyes.
Don’t you dare forget
that strength in your pelvis,
the fervor that carried you home.
You can be broken,
Oh, so broken,
And still be strong.

Nothing prepares you…

Nothing prepares you…

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Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door, that one thing which throws your world into a whirl storm.

There is no set manual which details- preparation for loss.
But, it doesn’t come as a shock either.

You’ve felt flutterings in your heart all morning, not the pleasant kind.
Your hand trembles as you lift the coffee cup to your lips.

You feel some type of way but you don’t know why…
soon enough- you do.

There’s a banging on the door. A body is framed in the doorway.
Your heart skips a beat, lips quiver,
no word is said but a silent motherly message passes across- from her to you.

She barges into the house, turns on the TV set. Her legs give way.
She collapses onto the couch.

You crash beside her, hands intertwined in each other’s. Holding onto the only thing you’ve got- hope.

A voice on the TV utters, “school under siege”.
All you hear: “our baby boys are under siege”.

Nothing prepares you for that knock on the door. When your world as you know it- is thrown into a storm.

Mental Health Friday #31

Mental Health Friday #31

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Today’s Mental Health story follows Lisa, who used to work as a therapist in prison, and her personal struggles with suicidal thoughts.

Firstly, I’ll say I haven’t had any intense suicidal thoughts the last few days. I’m trying to focus on- this is the Universe letting me know I’m supposed to go down a different path now. I’m telling you (my friends and family…and you too reader) who read this, so you don’t have to worry about me. But man, the day I was fired and the day after, I was thinking of suicide. I was thinking “I’m tired of this shit…” and I sobbed and sobbed. And I thought of how I would do it, and I thought of my furry babies and who could take care of them. And I would sob some more.

I REALLY would like a place of employment where I don’t have to worry about losing my job. The more I think about this past firing, they had NO reason to fire me. It all had to do with a personality conflict with my boss which sucks. I miss that job SO much.

After the first couple of days of suicidal thoughts, they disappeared. I spent the rest of last week depressed and not eating much (which is SO unlike me…I love to eat…I eat 3 meals every day). This week, I’m basically back to normal…I’m focusing on a test I need to pass.

Honestly, this is not the first time I have had suicidal thoughts. This is the first time I’m writing about it though. I don’t think it’s written about enough. More people need to know they are not alone in their darkness. That it’s scary when it’s dark. And I understand why people have thoughts of wanting to give up.

Read more

I’ll like to believe-

I’ll like to believe-

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The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating everything,
In its path-
Except for me.
You see,
Mornings offer no solace,
Just as nighttime offers no rest.

But I rise,
And I dress,
And I greet the neighbour,
And I down a cup of coffee:
With just enough vigour
To say to the world-
I am okay.
But I’m not.

The sun spreads it golden rays,
Illuminating all,
And I’ll like believe-
One day,
I’d feel it’s light in my bones
Too..

 

Mental Health Friday #30

Mental Health Friday #30

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Last week on Mental Health Friday, I shared the story of Rahul who was diagnosed with Vitiligo (which is white patches spreading on the skin as a result of decreased pigmentatio). He was going through a rough patch; what with the stigma surrounding vitiligo, low self esteem and suicidal ideation. Today’s story continues from there…

At that time, My Mom & Dad had many long conversations with me, where mom was obviously tender while Dad pretended to be little tough but, they both had the same motto – not to let me fall into depression. In the meantime, I got a counselling call from NIT kurukshetra (kurukshetra is my hometown as well) for Civil engineering. After another marathon session with my Dad and my brother, it was decided that given my state of mind at that time, I should straightway join NIT and not even think of dropping a year to prepare for IIT again. And that Ladies & Gentleman proved to be a great decision as the things stand today –> #Moving on is sometimes the best option available !

Hey wait! Story is yet to finish. Few days into the college, I realized that it’s not like school, it’s different here. The way you dress, the way you look matters utmost here, especially during the first two years. And so, by now my favorite enemy, the inferiority complex was back to haunt me. I remember one day crying heavily after returning from college. When inquired by my parents, I uttered “No one will marry me!” And my Dad gave me a look which clearly said – you moron, you are have just turned 20 and you have already started thinking of marriage and who knows, may be about kids also!!

Jokes apart, I had this insecurity that no one would like to be friends with me and that nobody will even invite me to their parties because I look so uncool with these white patches.

After quite a few bad days, finally, one winter morning while sitting under the sun, I gave it a thought – why am I so unhappy and so ungrateful to God all the time despite having such a wonderful family, a wonderful college, some really great friends, no financial worries, availing best possible treatment available etc. Read more

Writer’s Poem: After a while…

Writer’s Poem: After a while…

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I don’t think enough credit is given to translators. I’m saying this because, there are some incredibly amazing poetry I have come across, which I wouldn’t have been able to read if not for the translators who transformed the various original languages in which the poems were written into English.

Today’s Writer’s poem Wednesday is a poem by the Argentinian writer, Jorge Luis Borge. “After A while” is a poem which resonates with a reader, it tugs on one’ emotional strings while at the same time, leaving a resounding message. It is the of understanding and advice. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

After A while by Jorge Luis Borge

After a while you learn the subtle difference
between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning
and company doesn’t mean security.

And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises.

And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up
and your eyes ahead,
with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.

And you learn to build all your roads on today,
because tomorrow’s ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.

After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much.
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul,
instead of waiting for someone to leave you flowers.

And you learn that you really can endure;
You really are strong,
you really have worth.
And you learn,
and you learn,
With every goodbye, you learn.

Translated by Veronica A.  Shoffstall

p.s I would love to hear your thoughts on this poem. It really is a favorite of mine. (And yes, I have far too many favorites 😄)

 

Broken wings Can Fly-

Broken wings Can Fly-

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You asked the question,
Here’s my reply-
I cant tell you why those men-
Broke you that night;
can’t tell you why your mother,
Drunk herself mad;
can’t take back the childhood,
That destroyed your life;
can’t shut out the voices,
That’s screaming aloud;
Can’t make you believe in-
The body you have;
Can’t force off the blade from-
Your hands every night.

Can’t tell you to get over it-
That’s not right;
But together we’ll get through it-
That’s my pact;
Together we’ll sit through,
The dark till it’s bright;
I’ll bind up the wrists till-
You needn’t do that;
We’ll seek help together-
And wade through setbacks;
Together we’ll make it and
Don’t ask me why?
I love you my girl and
Believe in the lines-
Even broken wings
Can still learn to fly.

Originally written 24/August/2014

Mental Health Friday #29

Mental Health Friday #29

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Today’s Mental Health story entails the journey of Rahul, through growing up battling with a chronic condition- Vitiligo, in a stigmatising society, and its impact on one’s mental health.

“Ladki ka rang saf toh hain na ” (Girl’s complexion is fair, right?) – a question so often asked here in our country (India), even today, by so called well educated ‘to be mother-in laws’ of 21st century. Such is the unfortunate obsession for fair skin in our beloved country. But look at the irony of the fact, when your whole skin is about to turn white, you panic like anything because suddenly, you are being looked down upon for no fault of yours.

Well here I am, presenting my story (it won’t be sad & boring, I promise) spread over 13 long years of my struggle with a skin disease called Vitiligo or Leucoderma, which in layman terms can be simply put as a problem of white patches, whereby melanin pigment of the skin starts fading away and your skin colour starts turning milky white.

Irrespective of how deadly a disease is or for that matter, how adverse the circumstances are, you just need to hold on, you just need to believe that things will eventually turn better for sure.

The reason why I want my story to reach masses is not to glorify my successful fight with an incurable disease, but to convey that irrespective of how deadly a disease is or for that matter, how adverse the circumstances are, you just need to hold on, you just need to believe that things will eventually turn better for sure. Hoping against hope is basically the key.

Coming back to Vitiligo, well the disease in itself is not painful at all. There is absolutely no physical pain whatsoever, but believe me , the taboo associated with this disease just fills you up with so much of inferiority complex initially, that you almost start hating yourself .

The ordeal started one fine evening, when I was about 11 years old. I returned home after having a horrible cricket session with my friends (I was out for a Duck and went for too much runs while bowling, if I remember correctly). I was anyways, dejected because of the day’s proceeding, but suddenly my mom noticed a small white patch on my knees and she panicked –“It’s a white spot! Come here, let me see properly ”, she said, with her eyes already in tears.

This looks like fulveri (another synonym for vitiligo) ”, she said with a heavy heart. And a pandora box of worries & uncertainties started from there on.

My life was never the same after that day. Every now and then, my mom’s panic stricken voice and fearful expressions on being asked by her friends about my white spots, were more than enough for me to know that something huge and something bad has happened to me.

Then started a vicious and unpleasant circle of countless clinic visits to all the dermatologists in the city and in the nearby cities including Delhi. For the initial few days however, I was unable to understand the gravity of the situation (I wish I had never understood, for ignorance is bliss sometimes) and I was more in a confused state but eventually I started feeling a little odd, I started to hide my spots. So much so, that I intentionally stopped wearing shorts at all and trousers/jeans came to my rescue.

I can still recall that extremely uncomfortable feeling of insecurity, that feeling of guilt for the crime that I had never committed, which stayed with me for next 3-4 years during school. After that, though the treatment continued (steroids & all), but this negative intensity started to lower down a bit, not because I made peace with vitiligo but because I changed my focus. I started preparing for IIT. –> #Changing the Focus does help!

But despite the likes of Irodovs & Resnick Hallidays around (my engineer friends can relate to these terms easily), I could not clear IIT and boom!! Vitiligo came to haunt me again, this time more ferociously. It was all over me, spreading like a wild fire.

See the thing is, vitiligo is someway directly proportional to your worry hormones. The more the anxiety levels are, the quicker is it’s spread. That was a horrible time – a career failure after 2 years of rigorous preparation & an incurable disease which I was battling for last few years – just too much for a 17 -18 year old to handle. I started thinking of ending my life. Yes, it is true, I was really low on confidence and was almost hopeless. Had my family not supported me that time, I would have committed suicide. –> #Family Support does wonders!

To find out how Rahul overcame his struggles and lived to tell/write his story, be sure to look for next week’s Mental health Friday post! 

Thank you very much Rahul for sharing your story with us. Do check out his blog at The passportsouls.travel and say hello. 

If you’d love to contribute and share your story on Mental health Friday, I’ld love to have you. Let’s join hands to talk about Mental illness and blur out the stigma associated with it. You can contact me on My email address: mykahani@yahoo.com