It wasn’t until I started coming out of depression, that I realized how deep I was in it. All those years I kept hitting a new rock – bottom every time I thought lost control of the situation. Although in all honesty I never really had true control over anything. There came a time period where I believed there was no other direction for me than downwards, and to my surprise one morning I woke up to a very random yet not so random realization, a realization that shook the very foundation of my mental illnesses. It was like a stern whisper in my ear in that sweet state where a person is coming out of their sleep but not completely awake, that’s when I heard my own voice whispering to me that there is no direction in the vastness of space, every direction is relative to everything around it and perception is the only due North. It was that moment, that lead to my ascension.
That was the day something inside me made a decision. A decision I should’ve made long ago but nevertheless making now. I will not die a death that isn’t mine, I will not let this Anxiety tell me who I am?, I will not ask depression how long it plans to stay with me? I will find my due North not matter what, no matter when. That was the day I decided, no matter how many battles Anxiety and depression win, I will win this WAR!
That is what I found at the deep – end of my spiral.
I started my Reiki practice last week. Finally did the one thing I wanted to do since 2012, guess it wasn’t the right time then but I am sure today is. Created my Instagram page for my website and blogs page site, for people to reach me in case they need my help to heal and learn. ‘Spread the word’ I told my friends and family, somehow I didn’t feel like telling my best friend of 16 years and today I figured out “why?”
You see things have been different in the past few years for me, we all know how change is difficult but necessary, so when we are going through it, we don’t know if it is good or bad, all we know is that it is different. And since 2014, when I embarked on my spiritual and healing journey things have been drastically different, thanks to the change of my perspective I could see clearly, this bearing highly beneficial results in the future, which made it “good” different.
I got a call this morning, from my best friend of 16 years from whom I have been distant lately, especially after a fall out I had with another of our close friend, while she was present and a part of. Since that ‘episode’ we exchange texts first and set up a time to call when we have free time to talk. But this morning she called and I got a feeling something is up. I answered her call.
She said: “Hi! how are you?” in a rushed manner, as if that was a formal greeting dying to get on the “real” thing to discuss
Myself: Skeptic yet nonchalantly I responded ” I am good, thanks! How are you?”
She said: “I am good, I thought you were sick with your hormonal imbalance”
Myself: “whatever is happening is happening, but I am not sick, just tired”
She said: “I thought you would be suffering from weakness given your hormones going crazy”
Myself: “No, I am okay. thanks”
She said: “Did you start new page called Soulsne?” she seemed shocked
Myself: “Yes, though its not new. I have had the blog for years now” , I was fighting a strong urge to confront her, so I stayed calm
She said: “Yes, I know about the blog but you never told me about you starting your practice.”. may be I was brewing this up in my mind but her intention of asking that question did not seem very supportive
Myself: “Its fairly recent but I have had that page for a few weeks on Instagram.”
She said: “but have you completed your Reiki learning?”
Myself: “Over 8 years ago. This isn’t new to me” I answered
She said: “But Reiki has level 5 and 6, which you never completed, only people that are high level gurus can do that”,
THATS IT! by this time I just wanted hang up. She was hoping I hadn’t completed my course, so I wouldn’t heal completely and get to the point of successfully beating Anxiety and Depression, and start a practice to help other eliminate their obstacles and heal.
My best friend of 16 years, who was with me when I was struggling with my family and my health, was ridiculously uncomfortable with me doing better than her. I had known it for a few years but I did not want to admit it. I was in heavy denial of this and though we have been for each other through thick and thin for the last 16 years there were only 2 ways this could go.
She either had to find a way to be happy for me or let me go. And though my heart was holding on to the former, my gut knew the answer wasn’t it. I was not facing my biggest fear.
Myself: “There is no level in Reiki after 2, it is master and teacher level”
She said: “Yes off course there is, there is level 5 and 6” she continued insisting
THATS IT!!! I knew at this point she was in denial and did not want to admit, i have gotten better and I am on a path very very different than hers, she wanted me to stay in in a shitty situation with her as long as she was in it, which I understand, but I have kept my progress from her for years not, not weeks or months, years. I was fooling myself trying to make several attempts over the years of trying to tell her the the truth that I am not the person she though I was any longer. There were times I thought to myself , “May be I didn’t try hard enough”, but I knew I did and it was time, so I replied saying,
“How about we agree to disagree”
She said: “Okay. lets do that. So I just wanted to congratulate you. good for you.”
That half ass wish was the nail in the coffin. I said, “I have started work now and it’s pretty busy so I need to get back to work.” We said our goodbyes and hung up.
After that moment I knew, there was no going back to where. I had known, witnessed and lived the part where they say once you decide to change your lives for the better, you leave a lot of relationships behind, and that had held true a lot of my superficial friendships, but this one that I thought I will be able to hold on to until the very end of my story.
Turns out, the universe always has different plans for you. I am still mourn the loss of my most treasured friendship,its only been a few hours and I know I will survive this but this is the last place I ever imagined myself in, I didn’t even realize,“When did we get here?”
…. what, I took it too far? too morbid? Well now that I did, lets just keep it going. I am sure we will get over it as we go.
Mental health has in recent years gotten the attention and acknowledgement it should’ve gotten decades ago. Don’t get me wrong, I am not complaining, I am however still not sure how appropriate it is to talk openly talk about Depression. Wow! just saying it out loud, it is empowering.
Not too long ago Depression was considered a myth, in some cultures it’s still not accepted as a real thing even, I happen to come from one of these cultures. Some generations still struggle to understand it, and what they do not understand, they fear. Few years ago for me to even utter the word ‘Depression’ was like saying ‘Voldemort’, (# harry potter reference) as if I am giving this demon more power by just saying it’s name. God knows! I do not want to go back to those times.
I have been thinking of starting this series for quite a while now. Though science and medicine are making decent progress in educating the masses about mental health and researching more about what causes and cures mental health disorders, can I please get an Amen when I say, “those who do not suffer from it, do not understand it?”
I am sorry for being so harsh and a lot of you won’t even agree with me, to which I say you don’t have to, it okay we can agree to disagree. I want to do this for myself and for a lot of others like me that are victim of these unfortunate conditions.
Let me tell you what I hope to achieve out of this series, I hope to address some basic issues and day-to-day challenges that a person suffering from depression and anxiety faces and hope that some day, just may be someday others will finally start understanding it. I also, hope that other people suffering from various kinds of depression can one day stop treating the word ‘Depression’ like ‘Voldemort’, I hope they can come out and talk about this, with me or with anyone really, talking helps and I know that doesn’t feel easy so may be writing will help, who knows, may be.
I am going to go ahead and tell you my story, my struggles and I would really love it if you would want to share your story with me, personally or on this platform (whichever suits you). Lets Talk! and lets tell them or more so, show them that Superheroes exist….
” like a Warrior fighting in the dark, with the darkness, to let in that one ray of light that carries the Hope of a better Tomorrow.”
“The limits of my language means the limits of my world.” – Ludwig Wittgenstein
Give me a word in any language that would precisely express the deep affection I feel towards my people other than the overused word ‘Love’. Tell me words that meticulously express my gratitude and my faith in them.
“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.” – Rumi
To love was never my struggle, to express that love in the finite words of any language was, is and ever will be….
It has happened! The COVID – 19 Pandemic has changed this world already. We have surpassed the ‘Point of No Return’, which means that nothing can ever go back to how it was before this Pandemic hit us, everyone will have to pick up at the endpoint and take it from there to start an entirely new chapter of their lives.
I know we are still trying to salvage whatever we can from this fire, but the truth is, no matter what and how much we manage to salvage, its tainted now, and the sooner we accept this the better it will be for us, so we can move on and get to creating a brand new tomorrow. Even the biggest of economies have been failing the test of this new challenge. People have changed, lives and relationships, financial and social situations have changed, what was perceived important yesterday, today its demand has changed. But now is the time to rise to the occasion and help contribute in rebuilding falling economies. History has witnessed our kind to be a survivor. We fall, we break and we resurrect from our own ashes like is a Phoenix on an Egyptian pyramid. So, let’s not wait to be rescued by the likes of the governments, politicians or even globally united organizations, let’s not wait for them to fail us again, let’s not be at their mercy again. Let’s wake up and see the world for what it is and trust our instincts and nature to support our forthcoming endeavors.
We have made speeches and written in golden ink the promises to leave this world better then we found it, to do whatever it takes to have our children inherit a greener planet. Can we finally follow up on that please? Now that we have been forced by fate to change can we make good on our promises after all? Wouldn’t it be nice to not be a disappointing generation to these generation z and generation alpha? Being an elder millennial, all I have witnessed is me and my kind spending a better part of our semi-miserable lives compensating for the inaccuracies of generation previous to ours. Tell me please, oh pretty please that you want to break this barbaric cycle as much as I do. Tell me you are tired of it too.
It’s simple really. Is me feeling uncomfortable more important to me than you feeling comfortable? Oh! Hell No!
So, if you make me feel uncomfortable, I should not be around or in presence of you, correct?
If you are comfortable with me being miserable, then for my own sake I should be distancing myself from you, right?
Theoretically, yes this is ideal, yet most of us find it ridiculously difficult to act on it, to which I ask Why?
Because pleasing others has been cultivated in our generations in the name of culture, or just plain ethics or politeness and that for so long, it’s more than difficult to even carbon date it. BUT I am Done!
Here is me, and play this visual in your mind, like a GIF on repeat and hashtag whatever you want to, giving a Flying Goose to your comfort that comes out of my misery. Here on, its Me and My sanity. Everything else can go fly a kite!!!!
Lesson 1: Unlearn
They taught me to be Kind at 3, but they forgot to tell me to be Kind to Me,
They asked me to be Wise at 11, told me everything should be forgiven, they never taught me to Forgive Me,
They told me to not be Dreamy at 12, made sure in my dreams I do not dwell, they forgot to mention I could still pray for Me,
They asked me to Sacrifice my youth at 20, said there would be time to enjoy life plenty, about the consequences of my sacrifices, they failed to educate Me,
Your methods are faulty, demands even more so,
Finding my happiness made me feel guilty, and finding peace felt even worse than you know….
Why in God’s name shouldn’t I Unlearn what You taught me? Why in the Universe should I not Burn all fake education you bought me?
So, from here on I Choose Me!!!!
Lesson 2: I Choose Me
We chase the life they said is so fulfilling. Grow up, get good grades, get a degree, get a job, get a career, get a life partner, get married, have kids, educate them, raise them, get retired and die ‘Happy’. Yeah right!
How does one die Happy if one never lived Happy????
They created a Template for life and like sheep in herds we follow their steps like mindless turds. Sure, if you believe when they say, die happy.
I hear what they say, but say what you may, I don’t believe them.
So, I won’t follow them, its that simple but took me over 2 decades to make it a habit,
Because they try silence my opinions, ask me to not stand out but camouflage like chameleons, just like the other 10s and 100s of millions, but no more!
From here on, I Choose Me….
I will believe what I want to, in that process will learn to trust me gut too, and while I am at that I will purge all the Shallow.
Like my friends Marie Kondo’d their closets, I will Marie Kondo my Life, my friendships, my relationships and all my subscriptions too. I am going to Purge All that doesn’t bring me Joy, Comfort and Contentment. And if that includes you then so be it, hell I say you don’t need me too cause from here on, I don’t care for you,
because from here on I Choose Me….
Lesson 3: Pages of my Destiny
Do not ask me to fulfill your dreams no more, I have my own to work on,
Ask me not to give your apologies to this planet you ripped, I have my own footprints to wash off,
I cannot be the person you failed to become, I have my own ambitions,
Who I become, I decide,
Who I spend my life with, I decide,
I wait no more for your approval, I pivot no more to serve your pride,
No longer will I blend in, no longer will I hide,
I will stand up if I want to, I will stand out if I wish to,
No matter what ending, it is my story to tell, these are my pages to write….
So, ask no more of me, I have none left to give you,
I need what’s left of me, to write the pages of my destiny,
as long as there’s a breath left in me, I’ll need what’s left of me, till the day I die….
Clarity was a luxury I could not afford. In a materialistic world where a person with little to no material possessions is considered “unfortunate”, what does someone with no concept of “fortunate”, or education on “striving”, do to convince their own selves that they aren’t “unfortunate”? Let me tell you one of the most common things they resort to, “Retail Therapy”. Believe you me, that shit works! sometimes like Magic! (disclaimer: only momentarily though)
Turns out even if I could not afford clarity, I could afford Sephora, Zara, Homesense, Body Shop and Best Buy. So I did go and get myself a few items convincing myself I needed them, almost everyday. Don’t get me wrong, these are amazing brands, genius products but separating ‘Needs’ from ‘Wants’ was my Achilles Heel. Everything I earned, I spent with zero savings remaining in my bank account. Not being financially educated was not my only problem, being able to live on my own and having no one who truly knew my story to warn me or stop me from these mistakes I was making was also a big problem. I had hid from the world for so long I didn’t have a single person who could “See Me”. So even after earning decently, being able to afford certain luxuries I was still “unfortunate”.
The story did not end there, in addition to being a shopaholic, I also became a Hoarder. Not something I am proud of of something I have grown enough to admit. Everything I bought telling myself I needed it for better skin or, hair or vanity, time is the witness, I did not need it and 90% of that shopping stayed in the shopping bags for a minimum of 3 months if not more. I am the kind of person who physically gets sick in the presence of clutter so I would dump my shopping somewhere I could not see it every day reminding me of the damages I had done to bank account by feeding myself a bunch of lies. That continued for over 5 years until one day the unexpected happened.
It was only 2 years ago that I made an unlikely friendship who tried showing me a different path. Someone who could see me and see what I was doing to myself. Someone who could cut my bullshit and tell me things I did not want to hear. She became like a sister from another mother, you know what I mean, right? To come to think of it, I got pretty lucky I found a friend who could be that person for me, I am sure there people like me who have yet not met their, what I call them “Bull-shit cutter”. To all those friends, I really wish Good Luck and pray that they find BS cutter for them. Anxiety manifests in so many ways we have lost count of it, depression manifests in ways that cast a shadow even on the most enjoyable parts of life, for me one of it was retail therapy, what is it for you….????
At a tender age of 11, my aching heart believed being treated unfairly hurt the most. Growing up with an aggressive teen sibling, being the middle child I then thought, feeling invisible hurt the most,
Years passing me by, while on a brink of becoming a puberty struck, overweight teen with abandonment issues I thought, carrying all that rage burning inside me hurt the worst,
Carrying the burden of responsibilities while having to become your own pseudo parent, being tough on yourself while pretending all the well to the outside world felt the worst,
Finally ridden off the teenage hormones, maturing into a semi- stable, partially functional adult grieving a loss of one among the only 2 unconditionally loving family members, hurt the worst,
Physically uprooting the self travelling to the other far corner of the world and then still watching another struggle for an opportunity to love and care for you, there trying to hold on to the one you love while they leave of exhaustion felt the worst,
Of all that pain and suffering, I sit here today and finally realize, none of that suffering was on par with what came after,
The Mother of all agony, all suffering, truly begins when you start Healing,
Reliving every bit of the anguish, every hurt from every loss, every ache from all the wounds, just so you learn to let it go is when one truly understands what Pain is….
Neither grief, no loss, no wound hurts more than that very moment, the split second moment, between two existing moments, less than a nano second after you choose to Heal, to Grow, to Metamorphosize….
It was the Saturday of the Victoria Day long weekend, a gorgeous early spring day of 2020 and it was also the first day of the rest of my life.
Now it might’ve been just another day of an Spring 2020 for everyone else, a bright day with warm sunshine and a cool breeze that makes it the ideal weather to take a walk, go for a hike or just go to the park and have a picnic. And though the shadows of the COVID – 19 Pandemic are far from leaving us alone, physical distancing still being something that everyone is expected to practice, groups consisting more than 8 people are still not legally allowed to gather according to the Quarantine Act and we are probably 8 to 10 months far from a vaccine , if not more along with the possibility of social and professional life getting back to “normal” anytime soon.
I am a homebody, after struggling to make a work-from-home routine for the first 3 weeks of this Quarantine, I started warming up to it when I realized that I am increasingly productive this way, I am good with it for now. As much as I want us to find a vaccine for COVID – 19 and get back to travelling, visiting friends and family, I am good with this work from home and physical distancing part.
Lets get to the point of why this day was different for me than it was for everyone else. I had quite an enlightening session with my therapist this morning. Of all the therapists I have tried and tested, this one has helped me out the most. Unfortunately, he is not in the same time zone as me. He came highly recommended from my Ayurvedic / Naturophathic gynecologist who had two of her previous patients getting great results from having him as their therapist. So, I decided to meet with him when I was visiting my family and surprisingly it worked. He understands the life and the culture that I come from, unlike most doctors and therapists he is spiritually inclined which is a plus point and you know how just the vibe of a person feels right? yeah so I vibed well with him and decided to continue with getting therapy from him.
Even after having read books and hearing crazy dramatic stories about hypnotherapy, I wanted to opt for it because after all these years, I had concluded that there are parts of me and elements to my personality that just won’t co-operate with me no matter how badly I wanted to heal. If you or anyone you care about has had anxiety and suffered from depression, you will know what I mean, not that if you don’t have someone like that in your life, you won’t get it, empathy is a human quality and that’s more than enough for you to get what I am saying.
I will reserve the details of my therapy session from that Saturday for another day for another topic, but the after effects of that session that I did not expect to see on such an instantaneous basis. I was quite taken aback from that session as it was intense as most of my hypnotherapy sessions are, but I took a few hours just to process that session. A passive aggressive element of my personality was eliminated in that session, something that I had been carrying around for god knows how long, that part that was holding my progress back, making me physically ill and draining my mental and physical energy, that part of me was identified, acknowledged and eliminated all in one session. Don’t get me wrong I am not ungrateful, I am just processing.
After the session, I cooked delicious spicy vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals for the next couple of days, more than I have been cooking all year so far. After that I cleaned up my place and took the garbage out and for the first time, in forever I stepped out of the house just the take a walk in my neighborhood.
I live in a beautiful neighborhood, it has many a beautiful parks, gorgeous mansions where sometimes you can see uniformed staff attending the front and back yards of those mansions. People are now started to get out of the house more after being cooped in for over 2 months in their homes due to the quarantine, so I saw quite a few people in off course small groups and couples walking and having a picnic in the park, it was nice.
I have been living in this apartment for over 2 years now this is was the first time I stepped out purely with the intention of just exploring the neighborhood. My anxiety and depression kept me so busy in my chaotic mind that made mundane tasks increasingly overwhelming, so much so that it never even occurred to me to take a walk or explore the neighborhood or just get out of the home for any reason other than groceries, errands and meeting up with friends. The days just pass me by and I am just procrastinating all my essential tasks to the next day and the one after and so on, but not today. Today I outperformed my own self in almost every way. Everything on my list for that day, I did and a few additional things like booking the handyman services, appointment with my tax guy and financial advisor. Its like there is so much space in mind to work with and store more information and learn much much more than before. Though I don’t fully understand what my therapist did and wrap my head around what happened in that hour long session but whatever he did, it worked. I can breathe better than I did last week, I can think more clearly than I did until last Friday. Believe me I hope and I wish this progress and this clarity on every person that has suffered through mental illness. But lets not get carried away yet, I have a feeling there is more to come…. So Stay Tuned!
I don’t remember the last time I thanked you,
I knew it was coming so I ran, I hid, I cocooned myself like a turtle in its shell,
I seldom peeked, made appearances, when it felt safe and seemed like all was well,
Never giving it a thought, when I wasn’t there, who was?
See, I don’t remember thanking you,
Oblivious to the truth, unaware, naive, a bare victim of my lies,
Wondering whose reflection, I see, in that mirror instead of me,
What beauty do I seek, how loving can I be, if I can’t even see myself with my own eyes?
with all that wonder and questions I am still not giving it a thought, to when I wasn’t there, who was?
I don’t remember ever thanking you,
When decades pass me by, holding a shallow bag of memories I sigh,
Where did they go? Who remembers my fair? my scars tell me I was there,
Finally asking the right question, when I wasn’t there, who was?
Here’s why I don’t remember the last time I thanked you,
You took my beating, you lived my suffering,
You caught everything ugly they threw at me,
Tormented and tried, with every tear of mine you cried,
You stood there, you stood strong and stable with everything that you are able, by the door to my cocoon, you stood there,
So, the door doesn’t unseal and even the slightest touch of your suffering I don’t feel, you stood there,
While I was so busy avoiding you, taking credit for everything you do,
Hiding behind the lame excuses and pity parties, cleverly blaming the world my injuries, on a pile of medical bills, I was too busy avoiding you,
Now I remember, all of it, it comes to me and I remember, I never really thanked you!
So today with all my might, alive and shining bright, thanks to your victorious fight, what I really want to say is Thank You!
Thanks to your ceaseless will, I am the freedom I feel.
And I so wish I had said it earlier but here I say again, Thank you!