This is a story of the time when you are wide awake but it feels like you are walking in a forgotten dream. You are switching off the bathroom’s light and suddenly it feels like Déjà vu. It is strong and for half a moment you expect the door bell to ring and you earnestly listen for his footsteps as he marches towards your room. It happens quite often and you never understand why.
This is a story of the time when you are taking a shower and meditating over your three year long depression. You realize that you need therapy, that religion doesn’t work always, nor do motivational quotes. Mental illness is as real as every atom of your body, and you can’t shun it away. It has fed upon you for so long that living without it seems like a distant memory.
You’ve forgotten what it feels like to eat lunch while solely concentrating on the burst of flavors which try and try but fail to spin your head. There always has been something to read or watch to distract you from the dark thoughts which cloud your vision.
You try to let go of that faint but fairly strong thread of hope which pulls life out of your fingertips. It breaks you down again and again and Murakami or Kafka don’t seem to help at all. It is there, raving like a monster during the good days when you are gay with your friends or frolicking around Karachi. It only hibernates when the depression unleashes itself during the darkest part of the night while you sit on the prayer mat, believing firmly that when you get up, everything will be all right. The burden will be lifted, He will finally listen.
But nothing changes and the cycle repeats itself on and on until you are nothing but a whisper of your past self. You can’t see yourself past thirty or even twenty-one. And there seems no point in living in the present when the tones of sepia constantly engulf you in the emotionally abusive past which has no end and is different every time you tread upon it.
A senior with cognitive depression kills himself while his friends are calling him, in hopes to make him hesitate. It haunts you and you promise yourself that no matter what happens, this isn’t the path to take. But then you get electrocuted while everyone’s asleep and you could’ve died and nobody would’ve know until a new day had begun. The fragility of life hits you hard and it seems so easy to give everything up to Death who looks upon you as much as God does. That’s where friends come. Who talk you out of it and do ghum khori with you till late at night, until you fall asleep. The beauty of life when friends switch on their motherly mode. The smallest bits of appreciation of not driving while depressed just for the sake of others.
The autumn air and the jewels from pomegranate hold you back. And so does the belief that nothing is eternal. Just like every bit of happiness, sadness too fades away. The moments are never too long; regardless of your inability to breathe or speak.
Here’s to a new era when you’ll not be afraid of talking about your depression. Or anything that haunts you. When you openly seek therapy and feel not the least bit of ashamed of being too human. I hope there’s someone for you, even if it means anyone sitting across the world and oceans and nations. And if you can’t find anyone, then come over here. Open your heart in the comments section or in my email inbox, for I promise to listen to every word you have. I’ve been there. I’m still there. Some days it feels like if no progress has been made but every breath we take leads to a new possibility. Don’t ever let go of this. Or yourself.