Rising from the depths of darkness: Into and back from depression, Part I

The following paragraphs of this post were written almost a year back, two years into recovery, a few weeks into my first turning to help. It was incomplete (intented to be completed and published as a blog) and doesn’t have boundaries and form. But it reflects a phase of my life, or more the pain that was with me. So I dare not edit it, add/erase anything.  Much of the pain reflected here has either been resolved, eased up, forgotten, or buried under more beautiful memories. I hope they will not return. I believe that over the year, I have grown stronger. And I hope, “hope”, this beautiful emotion, will not again be forgotten. These paragraphs surprised me, for I had forgotten the pain to such an extend. It is both good and bad, bad because I will be less able to guide those suffering my same fate, without knowing what they are feeling. I thank the good people who were around me, my friends and my Professors for helping me get up and start walking. I’m aiming to run and sommersault now. The following piece isn’t too easy to read. It reflects a lot of pain.

Depression is not just darkness. If you were to be thrown into darkness, you surely look for some light, and maybe find it. Depression is having forgotten that light exists. And you are never thrown into it. You slip in, slowly, unsuspectingly. And by the time you are at the bottom of this black hole, you would have forgotten what light is. For some time, there will be a disturbing feeling within. The frustration of missing something important, and that dies down too.

I, a girl in a middle class family, grew up in a much mediocre, 21st century family, of parents, and no one else. Basically, I was cared for and everything taken care for me. My family was dysfunctional. My parents always fought. The last two years of their life, they barely spoke to each other. It was easier for them, in that stress filled environment to just do everything for me, including making my timetable for school, instead of having to take the pain to wait it out, very patiently, till I learnt to do it myself. They are proud to have done a good job- of what, I would ask! Being good people doesnt spare you the flak for mistakes. I, a girl in a middle class family, didn’t have many people in my life, except for the kids in my school, whom I was not allowed to meet after school hours. I’a growing teen,was glued to the TV, obese, and had no lifeskills, because I was always under curfew, never even allowed to go to a shop 500m away from home, at 17. Being practising Hindus, my parents taught me from a young age, to not have an ego, which equates to not think of myself and my acheivements as great, not to think of myself as capable, and basically, not to have a good self esteem, and to be afraid.

I, started slipping into depression at 16, when the fight at some intensified. At nearly 18, I joined a college run by a charitable, Hindu institution headed by a godwoman. I was gone for good over there….

In a matter of months, I developed anxiety, concentration and memory loss, an even worse self esteem, and anaemia. The place was poison. The emotional torture unbearable. My parents and everyone outside: idiots! Ignorant fools! To not see what’s going on inside, to not understand their child’s suffering! I, came out scratched, torn, coulourless, identity-less. And then there were bits and pieces lying on the ground, that I couldnt make sense of. Because my mind was gone by then, into that abyss.

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ഒരു പുനർവിചിന്തനം (കവിത)

‘മഴപെയ്ത വേളയിൽ’ എന്ന തലക്കെട്ടോടെ എന്റെ പ്രണയതിനുവേണ്ടിയുള്ള മധുരിതമായ കാത്തിരിപ്പിനെയും ആ കാത്തിരിപ്പിനെ പ്രണയിക്കുന്നതിനെയും കുറിച്ചു ഒരു കവിത പണ്ട് എഴുതിയിരുന്നു. അത് ഈ ബ്ലോഗിലേക്കും പകർത്തിയിരുന്നു. തിരഞ്ഞാൽ കണ്ടുപിടിക്കാം.

കുറച്ചു നാളുകൾക്കു മുൻപ്, <facebook>-ൽ, <I think I’m in love with someone> എന്നൊരു <status> ഞാൻ ഇട്ടിരുന്നു. ഒരു കളിയുടെ ഭാഗമായ് വെറുതേ ഇട്ടതാണ്‌. ദിവസങ്ങൾക്കു ശേഷം, ഒരു സുഹൃത്ത്, <facebook>-ൽത്തന്നെ <chat> ചെയ്യുമ്പോൾ ഇതിനേക്കുറിച്ചു സൂചിപ്പിക്കുകയുണ്ടായി. ആന്നു പൊട്ടിവിരിഞ്ഞതാണ്‌ താഴെ കൊടുത്തിരിക്കുന്ന കവിത. ഈ കവിത, എന്റെ പ്രണയപ്രതീക്ഷകളേക്കുറിച്ചുള്ള പുനർവിചിന്തനത്തിൽ, മേല്പറഞ്ഞ കവിതയ്ക്കു മറുപടിയായ് പിറന്നതാണ്‌. ആത് ഇവിടെ ചേർക്കാൻ ഒരു കൗതുകം. അതിനാൽ ചേർക്കുന്നു.

ഒപ്പം ആ സുഹൃത്തിനു നന്ദി പറയാനും ആഗ്രഹിക്കുന്നു. ഒട്ടേറെ നാളുകളായ് അടഞ്ഞു കിടന്നിരുന്ന കവിതാമുഖം അവസാനം തുറക്കാൻ നിമിത്തമായതിന്‌….

കാത്തിരു,ന്നായിരം പൂ വിരിയും,
ആയിരം താരകങ്ങൽ പൊഴിയുമാ സന്ധ്യയിൽ
കാത്തിരുന്നു കാത്തിരിപ്പലിവാനായ്
നൂതനമൊരർത്ഥമറിവാനായ്
ഒടുവിലവൾ –
എൻ തോഴി
സ്വച്ഛമാം മഴ-
അവളും പോയ്…. ഇനി ആരോ ഞാനോ?….

സ്പോർട്സ് ഡേ

സ്പോർട്സ് ഡേയ്ക്ക് ഒന്നു ഓടാൻ കഴിഞ്ഞപ്പോൾ എന്താ സന്തോഷം. ഉള്ളിൽ ഉറഞ്ഞു കിടന്ന എന്തൊക്കെയോ ചീത്തത്തങ്ങൾ അലിഞ്ഞില്ലാണ്ടായപോലെ. ബുദ്ധി ഉണർന്നു. മനുഷ്യനു പ്രകൃതി എന്തു തരം കേളീവിഹാരങ്ങൽ കല്പിച്ചു നല്കിയിരിക്കുന്നുവോ അതിനു വിരുദ്ധമായ് പ്രവർത്തിക്കുമ്പോഴാണല്ലൊ ക്ഷീണം, ബോധമില്ലായ്മ, ഭ്രാന്തു ആദിയായവ ഉണ്ടാവുക. എന്തായാലും നന്നായി.

just an afternoon thought

how can i call myself a little tiger if i don’t be as free as one. today i was moving through town and watching all the people with the blank faces moving around, all the men who are minding their buisness not lookn @ you so that come evening they can gawk @ and dart sexually inclined glances @ gals like me, all the men and women folk who show a sense of insecurity that’s written all over their faces, who are scared to smile or bring any kind of emotions to their face or even to talk to the person standing right next to them, just as that person standing next to them is. these rules were always made by us, etiquette and everything and all of us are following these for the sake of satisfying everyone else’s sense of good behaviour. but if these are proving to be a burden, then why can’t we all, together, just forget about them. ultimately they are all constructs of the mind, every rule and bound set before each member of the society. If you think about it, or perhaps if you don’t, these are inpalpable and therefore, can’t incapacitate you if you don’t let them affect you. and if you think about it, everyone is thinking about what everyone else is thinking about them. its as if the thoughts can materialise infront of them and whip them. of course, thought is a dangerous thing. but no need to give it much thought.

A trip….to…remember, definitely!

Image

There are two different kinds of trips. one where people plan to go first and then choose the location, and two, where people plan to visit some location and think about how to get there, later.

I like to go on the second kind of trip; because there’s a heavily motivating element from the beginning, which excites one days before the trips begun.

So, the lot of ours’ trip to Ponmudi belonged to the second category. and, maybe thats why we missed our bus the first time, and the next one’s in….. about an hour and a half???

oops! forgot to tell. Ponmudi is a hill station located in the southern part of Kerala, in the district of Thiruvananthapuram. Its relatively very accessible, because theres a road winding from the city,all the way to the top :P.

We were at valiyamala @ that very moment.  strictly speaking, pathinaaramkallu. So, we took a bus to the nearest major stop Vithura in hopes of getting a bus to Ponmudi from there. Hey, it’s better than standing around. But to our dismay we learned later that all buses to ponmudi came through pathinaaraamkallu, our previous stop. That’s when we heard from one of the people there about Kallaar, a mere 10 km from Vithura and we had a bus to that place in 10 minutes! Off to Kallaar then!!

Kallaar kept true to its name – a river of rocks. There were huge boulders everywhere, with water filling the gaps in between.  Rains were off for a few weeks now.  So the water level was low enough to allow the rocks to jut out of the water, so that we may explore every part of the river by hopping from rock to rock, and high enough for us to have some fun!  of course, the rocks underneath the water were extremely slippery due to algae growth and one had to be very carefull where one was stepping. Up the river, there were large continuum of solid rock that reminded one of solidified lava, lava that was flowing down the hill, maybe a tribute to the volcanic past of the subcontinent.

The river led up to the Meenmutty waterfalls.  But we couldn’t quite get there. we had a bus to catch, to Ponmudi!  But we went half way and had lots of fun!

So aboard the Ponmudi bus! The bus was packed and this was a 1 hour journey. But we were doing it the old fashioned way.  Nothing fancy, nothing funny.  sheer ecstasy and determination. Someway up, I was thinking about kallaar. How a spot right off the itinerary would have been subjected to huge amounts of amounts of contemplation before approval if this were a family trip or organised tour.   And i was thinking about the people who were with me, the people i was talking to right now. and they made my day!

Our bus stopped halfway up the hill. And we had to walk the rest of the climb. There was a lookout point, kind of an elevated cement platform, constructed obviously for visitors to enjoy the high view from the hillside. And boy it was beautiful. It made me wish I had a DSLR with me (and that cost’s abopt 50,000. what???), knowing very well that my modest little mobile camera couldn’t do justice to it. It’s the same for everything else, I believe, not just scenic spots. Our eyes are the best lenses and the brain is the best album. There’s so much dynamism in everything real that simply can’t be reproduced any other way. But that didn’t stop me from trying, and checking later, all of them turned out fine.

@ the check point, the entrance to the tourist destination, we were asked our identifications, and my heart skipped a beat. No one was expecting this and we had nothing of the sort with us. But, with some amount of negotiations, we got through. Past the “tresspassers  will be prosecuted” sign put up on the fenced property that the IIST had aquired we climbed on. The Sun was oppressive except for when the occassional happy cloud decided to come in between us and the Sun. But the view simply got better. Nevertheless, after a while we had become  so used to it , that we didn’t care. I decided to stop shooting while I was still in awe. The greed, to have all of it, was killing the fun.

The walk was long, and at some point all of us might have considered abandoning it and going back down. But i guess what kept us going were each other. we were walking and talking, trying to get on others nerves and having a lot of fun. things we would not be doing in the average classroom, humanly aspects of ourselves, stuff that I was beginning to forget after three years of  24×7 morbidness and prison-like life. We had even begun a fantasy role play, imagining ourselves as a tribe, with our own ‘mooppatthy’ (tribal cheiftess). and somehow, i don’t know about the others but, there came a point when i hoped the walk would not come to an end, hoped that i would not reach the destination, because everything ended there. ….

All along I was wondering why it came to be known as Ponmudi. I saw different hues, of green, yellow, grey, the blue of the sky and the hills, even the pale yellow of the dry grass that covered most of the hill. But no gold. Little did I know that I was to find out only days after, when I probe my grey matter of the memories formed then, and the tingle that it and the bonds forged left under my sternum.

At the end, when we reached the top, it was magical. Not the golden sheen of the hills, put forth by the sunshine dancing on the yellow grass over the hills, (only days after, when i was thinking again about the trip, thinking back to the time when we sat on the rocks at the top, thinking of writing about it, did i remember that the hills looked all gold all around us in the evening Sun! Did that become so unimportant to me at that time that it slipped my attention??) nor the cold that was setting in against the receding Sun. It was that all of us were there (we were missing a few people, who had to stay back. we missed them.), but more importantly, the road that brought us there. Maybe it was because our journey took up the greater part of the day. Or may because it was always the journey that matters more than the destination, whatever we had acquired being treasures that we stumbled upon the road.

And as we as comrades stood on the edge of that hillock beside that big boulder, with Sansel proudly perched on top, for that prizewinning final click, the glow about everyones faces, of battles fought and ultimate conquests made, shone forth brighter than the golden backdrop the hillocks offered. 🙂

A Soul's Walk

20 children no longer scream
in a place that their parents thought safe
And 20 children died by a knife
two years ago in a faraway place.

Was it 178 kids that were killed
by the drones near Pakistan?
And ones and two’s all over the world
With guns and knives and hands?

How many children died in a car,
Someone drunk at the wheel?
How many children died from the cold?
Their little toes could not feel.

Governments and floods and citizens too
Mentally disabled and sociopaths
Children have died since children were born
And we think policy change will help.

How many children were killed by two bombs?
During World War II?
How many children were killed in the flood?
That God sent upon the earth.

People get angry and shocked and scared
And grief tells two lies so hard to resist,
“I am the only one right…

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