‘Someone asked me a few days back, “What’s your story?” and I went blank for one whole minute. I had no idea what to say. I didn’t have anything pleasant in particular to tell to that person.
All I could think of was the fact that I suffered from depression for about three years which apparently seemed my whole life. But is it something you can tell a person easily? It takes a hell lot of courage, fighting with yourself, hours of overthinking and thinking of all the possible outcomes of what could happen before you tell a person that.
My life had never been easy, from childhood till now. I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety when I was 21 and it went on till, I turned 24. Three long years of multiple series of depressive episodes and anxiety attacks. Initially I thought it was a phase and I will be okay and so I was many times. However, it kept coming back. It kept clinging on to me. I hardly opened up about it or shared my feelings with friends or family and kept most of it inside of me, not because I was scared or ashamed but I always had a feeling not everyone around me had the capability to understand me or my emotions. Also, it was not very easy to put something like this in words. Not everyone understands what mental health illnesses do to your mind and body. Yes, body too.
It creeps up on you, affects your thought process rather controls it. It’s like another person inside you. Not a person actually, it’s a monster inside of you. It has its own mind, its own needs and wants. To fight depression and to come out of a dark place is to push back that monster constantly everyday back to level zero. To shut it up. Try to make it stop. It’s a competition within yourselves every single moment. Can you let it win?
A few times I came across people who brushed it off saying it’s not real, just a mood. I was in a situation once when a person felt shameful and felt the need to hide they were with me. I have had people call it a weakness on my face. And once I felt discriminated in a workplace because of this.
I had realised by that time that going through depression and living with it is as difficult as the circumstances that first caused it. Maybe more?
I have a tattoo on my body which says ‘mukt’, a Hindi word which means ‘to be free’ because I considered myself independent and someone who has a free soul, it seemed right to make it permanent on my body. But I guess I wasn’t living up to my own truth properly yet. This piece of writing is to make sure I do.
This article is to share a life, a struggle, a story in the hope that it helps someone just a little bit to achieve hope just like writing it out is helping me just a little bit. Somehow this whole episode of my life has had a few positive outcomes as well. Hard to believe but yes it teaches you a lot and gives one perspective about various things and you end up learning a lot about yourself. This is just me trying to tell you that it’s okay to not be strong every time because an illness cannot be classified between strengths and weaknesses. It’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling because its natural. There is no hurry and you can take your own time to kill that monster inside of you without losing patience. The battle only ends when the answer to the following question is yes.
Are you giving your best?
So, when I finally replied to that person I said, “it’s mad, you might actually love it!”’
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