Depression – Feels like a sun set but in reality its the dawn of a new beginning……
My seeds of depression were set in my childhood when no matter what I did was never good enough. I had my grandmother telling me I could sing better, my father telling me that I could always do better. Better Better Better….. Where am I today… Well I am doing great but I could do better. And when the better gets bigger than the present achievements, that’s when depression starts setting in.
Having Aspirations is BAD:
What made it worse was I grew up in a society where a woman being ambitious was seen as something negative. Women could dream of 2 things being married and having kids. So on one hand I could do better, but if I wished to achieve better, then something was wrong with me! When there was no way to go up the only choice left was either to be stuck in the 2nd gear which I couldn’t or go slump right back into a depression.
Being Jack of ALL trades:
For years I felt guilty of having ambitions. I wanted to achieve crazy things, like I wanted to find cure for Cancer and Aids, or bring about world peace, or be an actress or maybe a journalist or a chef or an artist or an astronaut or an architect or a cricketer……
So many choices, didn’t know which one to choose. I was good at everything but not good enough……. Jack of all trades master of none….. All my friends were very clear of what they wanted to do in their life. I was all over the place.
One by one I gave into all my fears and killed all of my dreams. I was over weight so I couldn’t be an actress. Scared of blood…. cant be a doctor…. Socially awkward, Shy, Lazy, Dumb, Stupid were just few of the labels I got during this period. I felt completely out pf place and empty from the inside.
For years I had waited for an owl with a letter or a prince to come and rescue me….. Some adventure…. Surely I had a bigger purpose in life…. But that moment never came…. At the age of 17, few months away from graduation, I hit rock bottom…. Dropped out from school and shut myself away from everybody I knew for the next one year. I had gone to a therapist in those days but it hadn’t helped at all. I just didn’t want to listen to anybody.
The closest analogy I have found to describing what depression feels like is like getting close to a Dementor as was described in Harry Potter. “Get too near a Dementor and every good feeling, every happy memory will be sucked out of you. You will be left with nothing but the worst experiences of your life.“
I never called it depression then. I was just figuring life that’s what I had told myself… years later when a friend of mine shared of how she was going through depression, although she didn’t want to call it that… She felt it was just too hyped…. I agreed….
It was only a few years back when I googled depression and it gave a list of symptoms. Point one tick… Point two, tick…… well I ticked every point! Below the points it said if you have any of the symptoms you may be suffering from depression, and I had ticked all!! Oh god I suffer from depression!!!!!!
In that one year break I had taken, I had promised myself to overcome my fears one by one. It has taken me years to achieve that…. almost a decade, many more years for me to label what I had been through and admit to myself that I have been through depression! And a few more years to finally put it down here and share about it.
While I still struggle with panic attacks and anxiety to this day, I have come to see my depression as a positive thing. It’s when I am my most creative. The purest me.. all my labels shredded to pieces under the weight of my expectations.
I don’t think I will ever go back to the time where I wont have any self doubts or be completely happy with who I am forever, but I have learnt to accept that depression is not just a big part of my life but I need it sometimes. Its like de-fragmenting a computer, helps to re-organize my thoughts, puts things in perspective and clears my head to take on bigger challenges.