My Journey from Nothing to Everything
It was not a dull and gloomy day as the glimmering sunlight hit my face when I peered out my classroom window. The shrill ring that echoed in the hall outside the room caused chaos to erupt in the small classroom. I was neither very excited to go back home nor I wanted to stay in the small, confined space.
With a heavy heart and a head full of a promise of liberty, I strode to the exit of my school. Turning around, I looked at the big arch that read the name of the place I had come to associate with peace and rage and a contradicting swirl of emotions. But I knew that soon I would find peace in silence.
It took me around twenty minutes for me to reach home with my younger sister in tow. The emotion that I had been feeling grew more steady than ever. I knew what I was going to do. The decision was made.
After lunch, I went to my room and prepared a noose from a dupatta to hang to the ceiling fan. This was the time where there were no smartphones, limited usage of the internet, and I definitely didn’t have any friends I could reach out to. After being bullied for more than two years, I was tired. All I wanted at that point was to rest, peacefully with no pain to feel every day.
I lay on my bed and stared at the noose I had fashioned crudely.
My mind raced; What would happen to my younger sister? Who will guide her if I’m gone? What would happen to my parents? Would they become outcasts in society? What would happen if I’m gone? Will I find peace?
These questions plagued my mind and left me confused. How was I supposed to find peace and quiet if I didn’t die? With shaking hands, I touched the noose, feeling the soft fabric that I had chosen to end my life with.
Why can’t I do it? I asked myself.
What is stopping me from finding eternal peace?
Because you don’t want to die, you want to live. A small voice cried in my head.
But living was painful, wasn’t it?
No, it isn’t but you are not living, you are merely surviving.
The truth was too much to bear and broke down, crying softly burying my face in the make-shift noose. I wanted to live, not survive. The surviving part was painful. I was daily harassed by my peers and had no support from anyone. To a 15-year-old mind, the idea of telling my parents seemed excruciating. With no support, no guidance, I felt lost and distressed. I hadn’t known then that I was depressed. That diagnosis came seven years later.
Stepping away from the noose and after untangling it with shaky hands, I went and took a hot bath, clearing my head. After calming my broken spirit, I plugged in the small radio my parents had and listened to the music for some time. Soon, I found myself in my father’s library perusing his book collection. A particular book caught my eye; “Death in Cyprus” a mystery-solving, thrill-catching novel that became my escape.
During that time, telling anyone about my attempt was futile. I knew people won’t understand what I was going through and would mock me and hurt me. So I hid in books and tuned out the harassing from that day forward.
Seven years later, I was diagnosed with clinical depression. I told my story to my family and friends and asked for help. Self-harm thoughts stayed but not for long. My therapist was a very compassionate and supportive person who taught me lots of exercises to help with my panic attacks and social anxiety. Even when people said that this ‘depression’ is in my head and I’m ‘making it up’, I didn’t let their opinions cloud my thoughts, never again.
What you need to understand is that depression is something we can never ignore. I was depressed with my life. I tried ending it but soon realized it is not on me to end it. No one else can demean me. Only I can demean myself and that wasn’t happening soon. Depression is not a one-stop-shop. Imagine a stair;
Step 1: Depression
Step 2: Anxiety
Step 3: Failure
Step 4: Heartbreak
Depression leads you to anxiety, nervousness, and feeling of what people will think of me. Anxiety soon follows depression that leads to failure, which is closely followed by heartbreak and loss.
After the last step, it’s up to you to decide which elevator you’ll choose. The elevator that says ‘Heaven in a step’ or the elevator that says ‘Heaven in 100 steps’.
One will take you to your final destination with one simple act of ending your precious life and the other would take you to your destination but will be filled with rocks, mountains, monsters, mayhem, and failure but that will teach you things you would never know. Do you want to take the low road and end all the struggling or you want to take the high road filled with thorns and fire and become a successful person putting an end to bullying and ragging?
The bottom line; Suicide isn’t an option. Depression is and always has been a very sensitive issue. It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do. It’s okay to have many options regarding careers. It’s okay to explore other courses while you can. Again, don’t listen to what others and especially “society” have to say to you, do what you deem necessary, do what pleases you do what you think will make you happy for the rest of your life. Remember, no one else can demean you, only you can demean yourself.
I read an interview a few weeks ago, Jared Padalecki did with Variety. He said, “I was 25 years old. I had my TV show. I had dogs I loved and tons of friends and I was getting adoration from fans and I was happy with my work, but I couldn’t figure out what it was; it doesn’t always make sense is my point. It’s not just people who can’t find a job, or can’t fit in the society that struggles with depression sometimes.” And I agree. This also reminded me of an interview about Deepika Padukone, who spoke up about her battle with depression, “The toughest part in the journey for me was not understanding what I was feeling,” she said. “Just having the diagnoses in itself felt like a massive relief.”
There is no shame in dealing with these things. There is no shame in having to fight every day and if you’re fighting, you’re winning. You’re here. I’m not saying that there will be no tough times in your life. There will be several tough moments in a single day, but keep fighting. Say this to yourself,
“Today won’t be easy, but I will keep fighting and I will win.”
Not every day is a fight for me, not anymore. Maybe once a week or a month, or once a year, but I keep fighting.
Today, I’m a writer, a published author, and a mental health advocate. I want people to understand the loneliness and pain that comes with battling depression and anxiety on a daily basis. I want the stigma surrounding the issues with mental illness to end so that people in need can ask for help without feeling ashamed and fear the judgment.
If you see someone in need of help, don’t hesitate. Maybe the other person needs the support you can offer. Maybe the day you contact that person, might be the day they decide on giving up.
Remember to always keep fighting. You are not alone. Maybe not today, but one day you will win.