Admittedly, I was happy and grateful to be able to work from home due to this pandemic circumstance. But a LinkedIn connection request transformed my perspective. She was a freelance journalist quarantined in a remote flat in Mumbai. I casually asked her how it is to be away from her family and managing a precarious profession. Her story hit my nerves and I repented for evading fellow humans.
Her colleagues and family always expected her to be rational and productive every time. Seeing her quiet or troubled, they would list out all advantages she has over the mendicants and explain how happy she must be. But then, depression would have been the disease solely among the indigent section of society. it is not so. It is a state of mind, no matter how rich or physically active you are. They say it is okay to feel every emotion. But it is also not to feel anything. Sometimes her mind underwent long dull ache for which she couldn’t speculate. She never solicits sympathy but she wanted people to understand her and give the space she needs to cope up with the circumstances rather than pigeonholing her as an introvert.
There is a difference between an introvert and a patient of depression. Introverts defy the world to meddle in their world. A depressed person has no choice but to stay away from the crowd.
She was oblivious about the vivacious life she led before. She kept on fluctuating from transcend her thoughts or escape from them. She was unusually stressed and sad, not being able to concentrate on work and had to disappoint people who started a conversation with her. Being a chatterbox since childhood, she surprised her close acquaintances with the loss of appetite to talk, conceive or engage in any activity.
Poor mental health manifested its ways on generally agreed causes of depression like a troubled past, chronic pain or illness, genetic predisposition to depression and life stresses, people around her associated it with work stress.
She suffered in silence, yet her silence could deafen others.
Lately, she understood that like everybody else, she deserves to live life to the fullest. She started to observe herself. She looked at the other side of her illness. She used to curse her brain for over-thinking but now the silence she created around, made her creative. The same thoughts which carved her brain and left her sleepless for many nights now let her dream amazing art. Remember Harry Potter who entertained all of us, was born in the depressed mind of J K Rowling!
Speak, Share and seek Support.
She pretended to laugh more and eventually she could laugh her illness off. She aligned her thoughts in different, amusing constellations. She tried to Exhale negativity, express her anxieties and Evolve from her insecurities.
Certain feelings need to be felt and some to be celebrated. You are not overthinking. You are just on the right path to find yourself. Don’t bury your thoughts. Think it out and leave no trace of it in you. Lend your ears to your neglected inner voice and buried desires. Take coffee breaks. Prove yourself time to time to the world that nothing can hold you back. We are fighting this battle, You and I and a lot many. No matter how things are going on around you, you have to prioritise you and your mental health as important as your physical health. Seeking clinical consultancy is no more a taboo. Be gentle on yourself. Everybody is worthy of the help you seek. You have got the chance to be inspiring on how you thrive, not just survive this illness.
“There is hope, even when your brain tells you there isn’t.” ~ John Green