My Truth (about depression)

My Truth (about depression)

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Depression
Is not just a phase
Like the girl who outgrows
Enacting plays with dolls,
Or pretending the mirror
Is her applauding audience.

Depression
Is not just sadness
It is screaming and anger
And irritability-
Being a short ended fuse.
It is rudeness and numbness
And night vigil,
To make it go away.

Depression’s antidote
Is not love.
It doesn’t magically evaporate
By the presence of someone
Whose world revolves around
You.
Love makes it better,
Love is no cure.

Depression is not glamorous.
It is pure hell,
It is a mean friend.

Last month was my blogiversary, and I asked you all to ask any questions you want to be answered. For this month, I’d be posting my blog posts with an answer to a question, so keep an eye out for that.
Question 1 (Colin and Ray). He asked: What was the most impactful event (what has influenced you the most) in your life to date?

I had to think a lot about this because there’s been quite a few events, but, I ended up choosing one. And this is because, this particular event was what started a spiral for me and that event is “leaving home and going to another country (Sudan) at the age of 15 to start university.
The main reason I chose this is because, I know now, that if everything that occurred with me whilst I was in Sudan, had happened back at home, the end results would have been completely different. So moving to Sudan at that particular age and time, made all the difference.
Thank you very much For the question Colin.

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Depression knocked on my door (2)

Depression knocked on my door (2)

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I lied.
Depression didn’t knock on my door,
It opened it,
As it always did,
Without an express invitation.
Depression is not a guest,
It’s family,
Moving in at whims
Doesn’t take no for an answer,
Does as it pleases.

When the sun graces
The sky- with its presence
And I try to will myself
With coffee…
There depression is.
Standing, walking
Sitting, beside me.
Sipping from the same cup
As I,
Me…
Us.

Depression didn’t knock on my door,
It waltzed in.
But there are days,
When I can battle it enough,
Just enough- to go through
The day without crashing,
Enough to smile at strangers
Without faking,
Enough to go to work,
Without crying…
Somedays,
I can almost defeat it.
Almost.

This poem is in response to a previouse poem I had written a year ago: A conversation with depression. I had always wanted to write a part 2, and after taking this impromptu hiatu, I thought this would be the best start for me. I missed blogging and the entire community ❤️❤️❤️

Mental Health Friday #32

Mental Health Friday #32

 

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Today’s topic is one close to my heart and I could hardly wait for Friday, to unburden. So, here’s the thing. We all have someone (Atleast most of us do), who is battling with drugs, substance abuse and dependence. We might even be that person, because the truth is, you don’t really know a person until you know a person. And a lot of time, substance abuse doesn’t always come with a label on the forehead.

We, as a society, have tried shaming people who become dependent on substances (in other words, addicted), and how has that helped? Its only pushed them further into the throngs of abuse. Why? Because when you isolate people, loneliness is a hell of a thing, they delve further into their only constant friend- the abused substance.

Drugs have killed our society and shame has buried us alive. And until we find healthier and better ways of dealing with abuse, we are only building houses with glass ceilings. And those ceilings will come crashing eventually.

We’ve tried the whole- insulting, ridiculing, and making fun of those dealing with substance abuse. But name one person that has helped?! Time after time after time, we shame people from wanting to seek help, with our words and our manners. Read more

Mental Health Friday #5

Mental Health Friday #5

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Imagine receiving a surprise invite to an amazing dinner at the most exclusive restaurant in your city. You know, one of those invite only establishments. The dinner is for the “who’s who” of the world…but somehow you received an invite. Excited about this unbelievable opportunity, you arrive to the dinner early and wearing your best attire. When you walk up to the registration table to find out your seat assignment, you are given an empty name tag.

You quickly try to give your hostess your name, but she replies “oh no, names don’t matter here.” Baffled, you scowl and wonder what type of place doesn’t take names. The hostess notices your confused scowl and says “once you put the name tag on, it will display the current state of your mind; and that’s your seat assignment.

If you had to wear the current state of your mind like a badge, what would it display? Would your badge read “depressed” or “anxious” or “elated” or something similar? Sadly, most people have never thought about this question, so the answer is likely “I have no idea.”

We have all been taught the importance of physical health, but we rarely hear about the importance of mental health. It’s almost as if we have somehow forgotten that the brain is also apart of the same body we strive to keep healthy.

Now listen, I use “we” to admit that I too am guilty of this. Depending upon which point in my life you asked me this question, my badge could read “I just came for the snacks” or “sooooooooo, you don’t have bacon”. Read more

Mental Health Friday #8

Mental Health Friday #8

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I am diagnosed (at the moment) with rapid cycling bi polar type 2, extreme anxiety, agrophabia, fear of crowds, but that stems from the anxiety.

I feel I was lucky that I had been in my relationship for a while, before I got diagnosed, because for my partner he was suddenly dealing with a different person. Rather than the out-going, always smiling, high flyer, he had known for the previous two and half years, instead, he was dealing with a 6 month pregnant lady, who would cry at the drop of a hat, refused to leave the flat and couldn’t give a flying fig about her job

Due to the fact that I was pregnant, it was easy enough to get me to the doctors and luckily, I wasn’t that far gone and was still able to see something wasn’t right. At that point I was blaming the hormones triggering something, but the fact is I have always been a little bit quirky, shall we say, and thankfully my partner who had known me for nearly 20 years, knew it too.

The doctor sent me for CBT (Cognitive behavioural therapy) and by the time my son was born, I was not only very stable but with the support of my partner, had started up my own little business and we moved into a house with a garden. Read more

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

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

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

 

Agoraphobia-

Agoraphobia-

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He looks like someone,
Who has seen enough of life
To know,
It is not all hunky dory;
There is no pot of gold,
At the end of the journey.

He stands ramrod straight,
slouching,
Only to give a penny,
To the old lady on the street.
A man who is more than,
What the world sees of him.
But I do… see it.

After all,
What else does a home bound,
Fear stricken, panic roped,
Woman got to do but watch.

And I watch the man across the street
Whose smile, is like a warrior
Out of a horrific battle,
Happy yet knowing-
As bad as it was,
Even worse things lay out there.

And he fades around the corner,
Into the unknown….
I look around my walls,
Imprisoned by irrational fear,
Restricted to my limited knowings.

 

Mental Health Friday #28

Mental Health Friday #28

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Hi, my legal name is Rayette but I go by Ray. I am totally blind and have been since birth. I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, major depressive disorder, PTSD and an eating disorder-Anorexia, to be more specific and it is something I have been dealing with for the past 17 years.

I was never officially diagnosed with an eating disorder because my grandparents didn’t believe in mental health treatment.

For most of my life, I have experienced physical, sexual, emotional, mental, verbal, mental, and ritual and spiritual abuse. I attempted suicide multiple times and have been admitted into the psychiatric facilities 23 times within the last 5 years.

PTSD (Post traumatic stress disorder) was my first diagnosis, the major depression and then the Borderline personality disorder. In December, I was diagnosed with Dissociative identify disorder. Read more