If you are a regular reader of my blog, chances are that you might have noticed that I haven’t been posting as frequently as I used to, neither have I been active on my social media lately. The reason is that I have been going through a phase that I thought I was over with. Something that I don’t talk about much, something that’s not usually talked about much. In the society we live in, depression is often confused with being sad, it’s not seen as a big deal, or any illness. What we don’t realize is that depression is not just being sad, it’s way more of a bigger deal, a sort of illness that can not only challenge your well being, but overall sucks out any motivation that you have. You hopelessly open your eyes in the morning knowing that today is not the day your depression will leave you behind. Like you feel that life should apologise for being an assh*le to you.
The reason why am writing this very personal post today is because I doubt that the day my depression will leave me behind is long to come and since I feel too connected with my readers, I thought that I owe you guys an explanation of why I haven’t been updating my blog or social media lately, and why I rarely respond to e-mails and inboxes. Because when I went on a trip to Andaman right before the storm that stranded thousands of tourists, trust me when I say that my readers were more concerned about my safe return than my friends were.
I don’t know when I actually started suffering from depression or that I realized that I suffer from depression rather than just sadness. During my teenage days I found myself in a situation that can get anyone depressed. Not just one single situation, but a lot of situations tangled together and that lasted for like 5 years until I found a way out. When it was all over I had to see a therapist. I wasn’t diagnosed with depression, rather told by my therapist that I took the right decision (which I knew) and I moved on.
The following months, I had my ups and downs but after I met my boy friend, situations were better. With him things were so much easier and better but then I realized that even though I am in a much, much better place now, silliest things can get me way too upset and I can hold on to that terrible feeling even after the reason of my sadness gets reversed. I found so many ways out. One was to erase any memory of any person that has disappointed me, without saying a word, without explaining anything. Worse was when I started working as a Data Analyst and made the mistake of becoming friends with a colleague. It didn’t work out very well and it got so out of hand that I resigned even though I really loved the job as well as my post as a senior auditor.
When I left my job, my blog was only 4 months old. I knew too well that it was early, that I should have given my blog a little more time to grow but I could not wake up another morning to get ready and walk in to that office and have another horrible day. I knew I should have looked for another job, but instead I decided to find solitude in my blog. Doing what I love every day, investing in a good camera, improving my photography skills, attending events and writing as frequently as I can, I decided to wait until the hard works finally pays off. I was happy, but there were times I would break down in sobs calling my boy friend asking if I had made the right decision, for I have given up on my corporate career too soon and I wasn’t sure if I could ever make a career out of my blog.
On the month of April, I came back to my hometown to live with my parents. Firstly because I have only given occasional weekend, Christmas and Durga Pujo visits during the last 9 years and since I would be working from home, I can afford to live at a small town now. Secondly because I’ve lived four months in Kolkata after leaving my job and after investing every penny I had on my blog I had to take financial help from my dad to pay my bills and rent. Back at my home I created a perfect atmosphere, I have the whole first floor to myself and I decorated my work place and my dresser and my bedroom with colours and cute stuffs that makes me happy. Eventually I created a balance that helped me with my depression. From filling my room with pink and cute stuffs to lighting candles and fairy lights in my work place, like I knew that one step out of the balance and I lay flat on my tear flood. Because I have been cutting people off that disappoints me and because I feared further disappointments, I allowed myself only two friends that I thought would never disappoint me. Same worked with my relatives as I avoided anyone from the family tree except for my paternal aunt (my dad’s only sibling) and her family. Like I created a box that contained my family and my boy friend, my two best friends and my only extended family from my father’s side and I knew that stepping out of that box can make me vulnerable and exposed to depression that can take birth from the silliest of reasons.
Even though I’ve always hated schedules, I unconsciously created one. Waking up late, having a nice breakfast, checking my e-mails and texts, clicking some pictures for my blog, keeping a track of my social media and e-mails continuously, shower, extensive skincare routine (or self pampering session), lunch, power nap, cook or bake, occasional visits to my little nieces and nephews from my two first cousins, having a hearty supper, writing, having dinner, another extensive pampering session, chatting with my two best friends, playing some games on my phone, talking to my boy friend on the phone, checking my social medias and blog comments and then finally going to sleep. And there were once a month visits to Kolkata, to catch up with my boyfriend and the city life I have been missing out on. Like I’m always aware that a slightest of change in my routine can set my mood off. May be I fear my depression more than death, maybe that’s why I rush to light candles and fairy lights and run to get my phone to talk to someone from that box to lift my mood when I get a slightest hint of feeling low. I thought I created the perfect balance, that I figured out a way to fight my depression, that I have people in my life that I can find solitude in. Little did I realize that the people inside the box can walk out of it. And they hey have every right to. And it might sound like I’m too selfish and am grieving that the ‘perfect balance’ is ruined, but to me it’s way bigger than that. It’s nine years of carefully selecting people that are close to your heart and suddenly they decide to walk out. And when the list of close people is that small, chances are that losing a friend can hurt as bad as a break up and the only person you have to console yourself is you.
It’s been over 2 months now that I have been convincing myself that at the end of the day I still have a best friend in my boy friend and that I have a career that I love deeply and passionately. For the first couple of weeks, my blog was what kept me sane. Soon the scene turned into literally dragging myself into opening my laptop, finding no words to write, start crying and then shut the laptop off. Another series of unmotivated mornings when I get out of the bed knowing nothing I’ll do today will make my situation better. No picture I can click that will make me happy, no article I write can reverse the situation. And even if it does, even if the situation reverses I really wonder if it can make me happy again because deep within I feel like my depression was looking for another excuse to come back, and it just did.
One of my best ways to fight depression was to look for a blessing in disguise whenever something bad happened to me. May be that’s why this time it hit me the hardest, because you cannot possibly find any blessing out of losing a very close person who walked out not out of choice but out of compulsion. May be it’s time I take a peak out of the box myself, be vulnerable and learn how to work that out. May be if I leave my bedroom and go out more, the lump in my throat might decide to leave me after a certain point. May be there’s a way, that I might be able to create a new clockwork routine that will help me recover, I’m still hopelessly looking forward to that day but someday I’ll work that out.
P.S: If you are someone who suffers from depression or anxiety or stress, there’s someone who’ll listen to you and help you get through. If you know someone who’s going through the same situation, I hope you are compassionate towards them, because trust me, it really helps.