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Friday, October 27, 2017

What my depression feels like.

disclaimer : This is going to be a very raw and real post, not intended as an attack at anyone in particular.

"Suicide is cowardly , selfish and childish" ;
...easy to say if you have not completely surpassed all your limits and don't feel like every passing hour is an eternity away. I hate how depression as a concept and feeling has become so dumbed down. You do NOT get depressed over the fact that the shoes don't come in your colour. You get depressed when the rug that is your life gets violently tugged from beneath where you're standing and you just want to feel... normal again. What people fail to see is that a suicidal person is not acting out and doing it to hurt, it's a complete 'fuck all' feeling where being alive is mental torture and it's got nothing to do with YOU, don't take someone's death and make it about YOU.

When I was immersed deeper into depression and could not see the light, I wanted to articulate exactly what that felt like . I wanted to capture my thoughts in real time. Because even then, at the bottom of the pit,  I knew that there would be a time when I would not feel that way anymore. I would not even remember why I felt the way I did. I wanted to believe that the colourful witty person was the default me, and this angry, sad person was the exception.

 So I would write a line or two of something, before feeling like it was pointless, and wanting to work on something else. A new episode, to study a new chapter, to be on facebook or instagram, have a snack. Then I'd tell myself, it's late. Let's wake up tomorrow early in the morning, have a hot cup of  Milo and begin. And the next day would come. But the moment I felt my eyes open, I would lie in bed for a further two hours, pillows on my left and right to resemble the warmth of another person. There was nothing to look forward to for the day. Everybody else had a life to return to, a job to work, a family crisis to resolve, their own settling in issues from spending a year abroad, and I'd be met with the same old advice;

Top 5 'helpful' advice to someone you know who's falling apart:
1. People are going through worse, be grateful for all that you already have.
2. You know that I'm there, I just cannot be there right now.
3. Why don't you spend some time outside your house?
4. Go and buy things to make yourself happy.
5. Pray, don't lose faith in God.

Which would have been great, except I was constrained, financially, transport wise, and when all I wanted to do was spend time with people, they would be busy. I cannot be angry with people for having a life, I understand. But it got frustrating to spend time with just my thoughts.

The second most prominent thing about being depressed was my complete inability to sleep until it was 5-6 am . At first I thought it was the fact that I just came back to a different time zone. But by the time October peeked in, I knew it was more that that. Imagine needing to do five to eight hours of class alongside this, dress well, pay attention, be a good student and neglect the fact that I was not happy with my life, because after all "You have so much to be grateful for, if you're not happy it is your fault". To which again, I'd be met with more 'helpful' advice.

"I can't seem to fall asleep."
"Just go and close your eyes, put away your phone , and sleep".

--gee, thanks.

Tasks like waking up and being in class, dressed well were suddenly.. difficult , and because it was so easy to everyone else, I was afraid that opening up about it just made me appear like a big baby who just needs to get by. Who I was on the outside or on social media was a completely inaccurate reflection of what was going on inside. Because, god forbid you expose your vulnerabilities online.
And maybe because I seemed fine , no alarm bells rung for those who I really wanted to read in between lines and know what was going on. Physically present.

It's not like I was in solitary confinement . It was worse. It was being surrounded by people but feeling so alone, misunderstood, vulnerable. It was no surprise that my relationship with almost everyone was failing as well. My intentions of wanting a better environment or space to exist in got translated as unreasonable demands and ungratefulness. I spoke less, because I could already forsee every conversation ending with a conflict or fight, and every conflict just made me deteriorate further because to even exist required energy and I did not have the energy to defend myself from false accusations or hear myself being called selfish or needs to always be right  --because 'alright/default me' would not have let the conversation navigate this way. Vulnerability leaves room for others to define who you are. You start thinking; 'Am I really like this or that?' Then I started believing and becoming the things I was fed with. That I was an unpleasant person to be around.

"Speak to people about what was going on, don't keep it all to yourself !"

The average adult provides a  'helpful' comparison of how things were in the good old days when people could endure far worse and harsh and still survive, being sure to mention that they have more reasons to not be alive, but that they didn't choose that, therefore the same comparison should apply. Completely oblivious to the seriousness of anything that is going on in your life which makes you feel like you are overreacting. On the same list of hurtful reactions is to be told that the pain and being depressed is self inflicted and if one could just look on the bright side then the problem would not exist. Perhaps what is more hurtful is when the familiar face you are relying on is looking at you like you're pathetic. You want to transfer your thoughts, energy, feelings to someone with a mere touch because you cannot gather the words even, to WHY you are hurt, HOW did it get this bad, WHAT you plan to do about it.

P/S for future reference : A simple "I understand" would have spoke louder than anything. All someone who is kicked down wants for is for someone to wants to spend time with them. Does not have to be anything fancy.

"Just focus on your studies, after all, that's all you have to do now"

That's another thing , which I found kept coming up whether directly or indirectly. Again I feel, another surprisingly difficult thing to do stemming from the inability to focus on one thing. There are so many needs, which can't be bought and cannot be satisfied, underlying in the background, and after all the trial run stuff was dismissed as no big deal, what person would feel like discussing the rest?

Just another subset of depression is how everything which used to be your favourite thing loses its appeal to you. There is no food you think tastes good or worth craving. There's no event you want to be at because that means meeting more people and needing to put an alright or happy mask on. There are no clothes you find flatter you anymore. There is no person who peaks your interest. Cynicism creeps in. It feels annoying to watch or be around happy people because you know happiness is a short lived, temporary concept . Or maybe you envy how other people start of  this race with springy shoes and cheerleaders on the sidelines while you are running it barefoot and alone.

Perhaps what's worst than fluctuating (or non existent) interests, is a fluctuating mood . How you can feel so weighed down in the morning then by evening feel completely different then switch back by midnight. When you're 'normal', you really believe you're just overreacting. Maybe if you wait it out, it can get better. But it doesn't , does it?

I hope I captured what it feels like, even though deep down I think I don't do the description justice because everyone experiences it differently . Things have gotten a little bit better but the fact that I wanted to articulate this was at the back of my mind for some time. I'm glad I did it. '


Freedom is an illusion.

Since coming back home, issues have just snowballed into a larger mess and now I don't know how to begin to scoop the mess away .

The term 'fresh' graduate seems like an oxymoron now, because in all honesty, I saw graduation as some pearly white gate into a better place where I would be treated differently, Jobs would not be so difficult to get or ease into, I'd involve myself in more intellectual conversations, meet fresh faces, have time to go out to bars, date, and to personalise my space with posters, quotes, pictures and tapestries.

I slowly learned that happiness and freedom is an illusion because it exists within the boundaries of

1. Whose roof you're under ,
2. The societal norms of how to behave and dress--being 22 and still so colourful is, in short, not the norm , to get excited over things is lame,
3. Transportation limitations.
4. Your friends' timing , and just because you're free it doesn't mean that your friends would be
5. How comfortable you are with your own company, and if you're anything like me then there's only so many ideas and conversations you can have with yourself in your head before you feel like you need other people to interact with.
6. How sensitive the people around you are to you, whether they even notice if you're falling apart.
7.  Your resources. Whether you have the cash to escape the feeling of being weighed down by everything.
8. Whether you had a taste of better. (It's honestly impossible to go back. It does not mean you're ungrateful or you're being fussy . It means your eyes are opened to how much better your life can be if you tweak certain things about your environment.)

 I still have not learnt to say 'fuck it ' and not feel anything. Life would be a lot easier for me if I knew how.

Friday, October 6, 2017

What a mess.

I think people take the ability to just endure a normal day and breathe with ease for granted. Things are not great for me, and if in the process , talking about this is going to put me on a hot seat, I could not care less because I don't even want to be alive anymore .This is going to be a rant post. Don't say I didn't warn you.

*It's a series of wrongs, which at first start of innocent and small, but they pile up, and in conjunction, threaten to topple me over this thin line I'm balancing on.*

I have not been able to fall asleep since I got back from UK, and just when I think I do, there's the vague sounds of  the azan in the background telling me it's the time when other people's days are about to begin. Even on days when I am 'sleeping' , it isn't proper sleep and the slightest sound or light can wake me up. When I DO fall asleep at let's say 6am, I wake up at like 3 pm and conseqently get such little hours of daylight before the day ends and a cycle of un-productivity repeats. If the suggested remedy is to not think , and if it was by some divine grace, that easy, then maybe I would not even go to people with this problem I have in the first place. But it isn't . In fact when I am trying to sleep I am not even thinking about much, it's subconscious.

I have not been to church in over a month, because when I eventually DO fall asleep it's well past 5 am, and I have no energy to wake up at 9 am to go to church, because I would be in a horrible mood, where I feel like stabbing everyone right in the heart even for smiling at me. Honestly, sometimes I feel like it's more about the breakfast before mass than it is about the mass itself. It feels like a task to check off the 'to-do' list, and it makes me angry when people preach about love in the church then the moment they leave it shout profanities at the next driver who tries to enter their lane.

I feel like people wants 'in' on my life when it's good and when  I'm funny and entertaining (which, to be fair, is a lot of times) but when I'm close to throwing in the towel and I'm crumbling, feeling like absolute shit and turning around to find SOMEONE to rely on, there is almost nobody there. It is a strange coincidence that everyone is going through something equally big in their lives to give a shit about me. Which brings me to this memory of someone telling me everyone is too selfish in enjoying their happiness that they do not want to be part of your sadness.

I moved to a new environment to study in to hopefully find some new friends or join clubs. It was a scary decision because I have always enjoyed the comfort and security of a group of friends. The move to the new campus meant I stood alone; yet I wanted to immerse myself in an uncomfortable situation to 'grow'. One month and a dozen acquaintances later, I can say that it's been a month which fell completely short of my expectations because everyone already has their cliques and who I am as a person does not fit into any of these circles. I did not think I wanted to make the mistake of changing who I am just to fit into a group and belong. So I am doing this 'alone' thing, and it' put briefly, very, very difficult.

I feel a lot like 'The untalkative bunny' where life carries on in pindrop silence, no matter where I am, be it at home, in school or even amidst people because the mess in my head have no direct solutions. I am in such a state where I am so easily hurt and vulnerable by people's words or actions that there has been a lot of conflict between me and anybody immediate in my life. Hence the best cause of action is to withdraw myself/stay away. There is so much to speak about, conversations which don't even get to pan out because there is nobody who would genuinely appreciate talking about my interests. There is nobody home on mornings, and five-eight hour classes do not exactly give me room to socialise.

I feel like some extremely poor financial decisions have been made and the brunt of the impact is on me. The home is filled with mess stored in the form of storage boxes in the name of being 'tidy' . I have just been trying to sort out mess since I came home. I had asked only for the bare minimal standard of upgrade which I felt would have benefited everyone, instead, I am made to feel like I am 'demanding' , 'unreasonable' and a 'terrorist', who just wants to mess up the order of how things are. There are so many things I feel could be sold, thrown away, weeded out-- but it appears that sitting in mess/disrepair is comfort to other people and I AM UNREASONABLE for suggesting change.

I did not get to have closure with my life abroad because so many things went wrong towards the end, and I was constantly holding it together even when I could not have done so, because any other way would have made the experience even more unpleasant than it was for me. I sensed a lot of hate and discomfort for a place and culture which had thought me what freedom really was. I was restricted from exploring places I wanted to explore on a 'holiday' under the guise of 'safety'. I had no real picture of me even graduating, And it appeared that my graduation was no biggie to the people who came to witness it-- the next immediate concern was whether clothes had been packed accordingly instead. And sadly, closure is not something you get to pluck from mid air. I will have to live with the fact that I was so, fucking alone in my post-graduation celebration while everyone was out with their families just basking in the moment it happened for them.

I don't drive or have a car to practice with. I also do not have a source of income to pay for Grab Cars to go where I want to go, and even if I did, everybody ELSE who I'd like to meet is busy studying/working/dealing with SOME shit. Which, read in line with staying where I stay, and in a house which is empty from morning till late evening, is close to being in prison. Except maybe in prison people speak to each other.

I feel really shitty about my worsening vision. I wish there were something I could do to repair the poor eyesight I have because I hate wearing specs all the time even to just watch the telly at home too. I did not need to do that before. I also don't have the cash to buy contact lenses. Even putting eyedrops is dreadful, like how do I tuck something in my eyeball??! :/

It's only been the first month since studies resumed and the bulk of content is overwhelming. Clearly my consistent study plans are not working out , because with all the other mess that's going on, I could open a book, read about 5 pages and realise I had not absorbed anything at all. 40 percent passing rate and only nine months to get this shit right would translate to yet another dead end.

It appears to be a recurring pattern that I get really close to people then we fade out , and I am not supposed to take it personally. Unfortunately, I have feelings. And I feel everything with so much intensity, especially hurt--, that I feel like ripping my heart out and telling it to behave, and not get so attached to people.

A lot of the hurt can be diluted if I was just a little more comfortable with solitude, which is why I am thinking about how moving back to the KL campus would be to fall on a safety blanket and not deal with the difficult circumstances before me. I need, more than anything, to learn how to embrace the pindrop silence. To dissect my thoughts and dispose of anything toxic . Social media detox, deal with the hurt and not shun it away, To forgive myself for the past. To accept that maybe not everytime it is my fault. Timing and circumstances don't allow for someone to just sit down and get me. And stay. Everyone leaves.

I'm at breaking point. Breaking point.

Monday, June 5, 2017

The last supper.

The anticipation for the feast was vibrant.  At the 5 rows of Hogwarts-esque table, the guests sat. Dressed in their Sunday best, they murmured about how the black, maroon and gold theme resembled that of a palace . They were,undeniably, flattered to be invited to an event of such a grandeur . The room, roughly the size of a football field, housed everyone . Not even one name on the list was left out. In fact, months prior to the feast, she went all out to arrange transport for those from other continents who were constrained financially. It was important to her that everyone she ever knew in her lifetime to be there. Same place, same time.

Then the food was served. The waiters served elegantly in a uniformly white mask .

"DIG IN!" , rang a voice through an intercom . It was, unmistakably, hers.

 Yet nobody found it unsuspecting that she had not made an appearance yet , from the two hours it took everyone to show up and be seated to the time the food actually arrived. They were too distracted by their hunger. At once, their pupils dilated in excitement. It was indeed, a feast fit for a king. With an array of seafood, fresh vegetables, different styles of chicken--baked, stir fried, drenched in sauce, different styles of pastries, curries, and desserts all presented at once.

10 minutes in, it was clear that some guests were experiencing discomfort. More than ten people complained of a sudden tingling sensation stemming from their fingers and toes. Around this point she makes an entrance. And what an entrance it was. In a body con maroon velvet dress, she walked down the staircase to greet everyone, responded with nothing less than a roaring applause and cheers. Half of those present had not seen her in years. The other half who saw her a little more frequently recalled how she had fallen completely below the radar just some months back, withdrawing from all forms of social media and how she had stopped showing up to work. She wore a smirk on her face, as she noticed the confused looks on everyone and watched some guests visibly turn red and sweat. Then, the itching began.

"Just as I thought." the voice rang on the intercom again.

By then, the itching morphed into something worse, --a choking sensation. At this point, some were already on the floor, gripping onto the carpet for dear life. One by one, those who were affected breathed their last breaths. The unaffected ones were too scared to move. They looked at her, startled with how unaffected she was, observing the horrendous chain of events unfolding before her. It was clear that the ambiance had shifted to one of pure panic and terror.

Standing there, she took a couple of seconds before she uttered, in an unbecoming monotone; "There, done and dusted."

With only three days left to live, and millions accumulated in wealth, everything was going according to plan. They had to feel her power, her wrath and, (pardon the pun), a taste of their own medicine.

 Her obsession with knowing who was what , the amount of times she was abandoned by the same people who she imagined would never give up on her-- coupled with her discovery of the short span of time she had to be alive drove her to lunatic ends. The plan had to be completely eradicated of suspicion, and required a mini break from the world. Upon learning of her terminal illness, she worked closely with a team of scientists to concoct a lethal solution which would  kill anyone who was two-faced, spoke ill of her, backstabbing and secretly hated the sight of her. Sure, there were some who she did not expect to see, get affected. But at least now she knew. She knew, and she was content.

..."What are they going to do, kill me?"