I was torn if I should, and for just one more time, write on mental health. But seeing how little progress the region has done towards this issue, I feel obligated to cater to that inner tear and tip the scale towards speaking up, not to try and tell a story, but rather present a perspective: an unhealthy mind’s perspective.
Editor’s note: This might be a tough read. If you are struggling on your own please seek the help of a mental health professional.
For whatever reason, years ago, I fell into a deep depression. One that I considered terminal. Now read carefully: TERMINAL. In short, I was willing to take my own life because I felt trapped. Trapped beyond a point that I can process. I try to remember school, 9th grade or whatever, that very last class of the day. It’s pouring rain outside, it’s a bit cold, so cold you can feel it through the two jackets your mother so lovingly forced you to wear. You look at the big old white clock hanging above the door. 17 minutes until I am dismissed by the school bell.
You drift again into your thoughts, your plans when you get home. You’ll eat, hug your parents, study a bit then call your friend to invite him over. You’ve drifted so long, you get excited. You look at that clock again. 15 minutes to go.
You’re shredded, sad. You feel trapped. The clock entertains you, your brain makes it seem as if the hands on that clock are trapping you. They move so slowly if you look. If you don’t look, they seem not to move at all. It starts to physically hurt you. It leaves a bad taste in your mouth. Someone is controlling something and no matter how much you try, you cannot change it nor can you influence the course of its action.
Now let’s come back to today. You’re an adult. Your life is a shambles for whatever reason, be it big or small to you or others, there is no real scale that says what is huge and what is not. The scale is our own, and it’s so custom-built that it differs even for identical twins.
Your brain, for chemical reasons, and reasons stemming from your path in life, cannot acknowledge that after dawn there is always sunshine. Your entire life feels like those 17 minutes. Every second of your day feels like those 17 minutes, but scaled up to real issues you’re facing. You’re trapped. You’re trapped. You’re trapped.
You have no say. Your brain tricks you into believing you have no control. Your inner voice tells you time never passes. You’re being eaten alive by your own brain. Your mind is cannibalizing itself. It’s trying to shut off reasoning, it’s trying to keep the trapped version locked firmly inside. It doesn’t want you to be free.
You muster up whatever energy you have left to outshine the darkness within, something happens: doubt, fear and insecurity rush back.
Louder, stronger flavored with pain. You’re trapped.
Life seems to be dragging you down. Your brain can no longer acknowledge anything but what’s inside it. You shut off all external stimulus. At this point, you’re a Stockholm Syndrome victim. You love that trap. It’s very truthful. It does not disappoint. It’s true. It favors Murphy’s law: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
You’re gone. Present in the course of time, yet internally, you’re in the past and you do not want a future. For once you decide to speak up, but you hear the words that trap you again: Get over it… you’re not praying… go to the gym. Those words externalize what you already feel: I cannot do anything about it. Your self-produced sentence switches from imprisonment for life to execution. The worst par t: You’re your own jury, your own judge, your own prison warden, your own executioner.
The next time someone tells you that they are feeling depressed: Listen. Believe me, that simple act of listening can, at times, and for someone in depression, become a verdict of innocence. To the woman who always listened: Thank you for pulling me back to a life I love. I love you.
Featured image from Unsplash.