-Ashmita Karki


It was hard to wake up in the morning. It was more difficult to get back to sleep if I woke up in the middle of night or at the earliest dawn. I could shut my eyes lying supine on my bed but hardly fall asleep. God knows how many nights I had spent just loitering on the balcony outside my room, not because I didn’t want to sleep but for I COULD NOT fall asleep in all likelihood. Pills could have worked, had I tried to give it a shot. But, I wanted to believe on what people always say- Time heals everything, every bruises, every ails, leaving you scarred but with a hope that it would shrink gradually. Give time, calm yourself, and by and by you’ll be all better.

I would not come out of my room for hours. I would not need no fresh air. I would need neither empathetic kiths nor sympathetic kins to provide me emotional solace since I had started to believe that they would do all bark but no bite to me, just all in vain. I would not let anyone in my room, let alone let myself out. People who occasionally were allowed in certainly thought of me as the meanest girl alive because either I would stay deaf-mute the whole time they tried to start a conversation or just simply ask them to let me be and leave. I still remember how I used to break down at every tiny issue just by their reminiscence, keep my emotions bottled up rather than dealt with and would just curl into a ball so helpless, so frail. Even a 60 db two people talk would be intolerant and annoy me just as a chattery crowded market. Needless to say, I had become a desirer of solitude, colossal solitide, which is clearly a full-bore wrong turn to any sane person. Waking up with heavy head and sluggish wetty eyes, eating like a bird and limping back to my room where I would sleep from afternoon till twilight, dining and then struggling to sleep all night had been a daily routine, a routine that seemed incessant, a routine that I had thought I’d have to live with my entire life.
One day, I even overheard my grand-mom talking to my mom about my emotional state. “Has your daughter gone crazy?”

Mom knew I was going through distress and that it was hard for me to unearth it. I had a mental problem and a big bunch of people outside, had a problem with that. That then led her to see a psychotherapist for me. Tricyclic antidepressant as they said some selective serotonin inhibitors along with psychosocial therapy were which they put me under. The therapist came into my life like a god-father, like my guardian angel and shaped a completely different person out of me,that makes me who I am today. He helped me escape the dungeon I was buried into and showed me path to the way that led to a beam of hope. He resurrected my soul, revived my sloping spirit that was on the brink of collapse and instill an optimism that a little something was still there inside me, glowing, just an old yet naive rayon perhaps, for the flame certainly long snuffed out. He used to say- “What you have in your bones, the real instinct you possess, makes who you are. Often, you digress and lose that instinct, howbeit it never dies out because that thing that you feel deep in your bowels is like a boomerang that comes back one day. Might get lost along way but sure does it backfire to the place it belongs.” And, the boomerang was my identity, my happy-as-a-lark-identity.
One fine morning, the second week of the therapy, he held a glass from the table and showed it to me. I was sure he was going to ask me the “Half-empty/ Half-filled” question. Instead, he asked me the weight of the glass. I guessed 50 grams, 60 grams. After a brief twitch of his lips, he pulled a chair and sat in-front of me and continued- “The weight of the glass is not what concerns you. How long you hold it for is. If I hold it for a minute, I’ll feel nothing just a 10 oz glass on my hand. If I hold it for an hour, it’ll hurt my hand but if I hold it for a day, it will benumb my hand, might even paralyze. The weight, although remains the same, will feel heavier if you keep holding the glass for a long duration. Stress is like a glass. The longer you hold, the deeper you feel the ache. Just as your reflex commands you to drop the glass once you start feeling the ache, make your conscience let you shed off the stress you’ve been holding onto for a long period of time. And by and by, every bit of your torn inside and out forgathers to the form.” That example of the glass struck me real deep like it got etched inside me like a graffiti, ineraseable. That explanation fished me out of the doom and gloom which contained me for all the world and changed my life for good for ever.


Since then I’ve been trying to live the real meaning of life every moment. I got all my feathers to fly and all my vigor to try. I realized that the be-all and end-all of life lies on how you choose to live it. While dealing with mental disintegrity, there’s no strike-now-or-else-the-iron-cools rule. All you’ve got to do is pace it slow, take it simple and to the top, do not let it aggravate. Which music enthusiast doesn’t know about Syd Barrett, founder member of Pink Floyd, guitarist, vocalist and composer? Which movie maniac might not have watched “A Beautiful Mind” that clearly portrays the struggle and success of mathematician, John Forbes Nash, also a Noble prize winner in Economics. Oh! not to forget, THE Robin Williams. Do I need to mention JK Rowling, author of Harry Potter to all you reading addicts out there or Sylvia Plath or Charles Dickens? All of these mega minds, despite being mentally ill, gave notable contributions to the planet in no way lesser than the wise heads in their best health. What I’m trying to put forth is that one might not be perfectly fit if we peek at the depth of their illness. But, let’s spare a little time to look at the beautiful mind they’ve got that can mend so many things around if they get the proper treatment. If a moment of attention and affection can give them a cherishable life ahead and help them witness a bright light at the end of the tunnel, why shouldn’t/don’t we step ahead? Why do we treat them like a beast which if gets unchained, will hurt us? After treating a human so ruthlessly, if you tag yourself with sanity, then I am not sorry to say that you are the insanest person alive. Who do we wait for to break this chain of stigma and rediscover a whole new definition of mental illness? Do we want to be that stigma that keeps them from seeking medical help with the fear of isolation and those illogical taboos? I, from the blood-red core of my heart, step ahead to unleash the chain of stigma, rooted in our society. DO YOU??

(The writer is student of Bachelor in Public Health. She is interested to work on Mental Health. She is also a blog writer.This article initially published on her own blog : http://ashmitawrites.blogspot.com/2015/03/i-was-not-crazy-just-depressed.html?spref=fb )

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