Posted in Life, Me and moi

Catharsis.

I have been going through a down patch in my anxiety and depression over the last couple of months. The trough began around January. I don’t think it was triggered by anything. I rather think that I’d been so immersed, so busy in studying for and giving my university exams that after they ended in January, my mind chose to fill up the sudden free time with its old enemy. They do say that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. I could feel it coming on slowly, but I couldn’t fight it. The more depressed I got, the less I wanted to talk about it. It became more and more of a struggle to want to get out of my room, to interact with the people around me, to seek help.

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I wasn’t severely depressed; I wasn’t suicidal. I got up in the morning every day; I went to college. I talked to my friends and family.  I’m a private person anyway, but my depressed self went out of her way to assure people that everything was alright. To stop them from asking too many questions. You guys, it is so easy to smile and lie to your nearest and dearest. It is so easy to maintain a facade of overt contentment. You laugh at a few jokes here and there and you smile widely when someone asks how you’re doing. My introversion and depression were stopping me from talking about my introversion and depression.

When I got up in the morning, I’d already decided that the day wouldn’t be worth it. That I wasn’t worth it. That meant that even though I went about my daily life, I wasn’t engaged in any of it. There were a few small points of joy, sure, but I was approaching everything I did with the belief that I was wasting my time. That obviously meant that I wasn’t doing as good a job as I could be. Especially as a student, I wasn’t learning and absorbing enough because I didn’t think I could ever do it. When I opened a book, I’d already told myself that there was no way I could ever understand or remember any of it. It was all so pointless to me that it became pointless by my apathy and disinvolvement. That, in turn, reinforced and worsened my conviction that what I do day to day is worthless; that there is nothing being gained by me getting out of bed.

Thankfully, even at my lowest point, I don’t go as low as I used to a couple years ago. Nowadays, all it takes is a gentle push to get me on the road to recovery. My mother noticed. It is difficult for her to say the word ‘depression’ when it comes to me, but she noticed that I was having ‘the same old problems’. She gave me a stern talking-to, and it was exactly what I needed. At this stage in my depression cycle, I think handholding and mollycoddling wouldn’t have helped me as much as her “how dare you treat yourself like that” speech. I could feel my psyche being whipped back into shape.

I’m better now, which is why I can write this. But I’m sure that sometime in the future, I will be low again. And I’m writing this so that the future low me can read this and help herself out of it. So that she can tell herself that, even if she doesn’t feel like it at that point, talking freely to people is much easier and more therapeutic than she thinks. This is my catharsis.

Posted in Stories

Saudade.

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I met you again today

At our table at the same old place;

I tasted just a trace of what

I used to love about your face.

Your eyes, they crinkled

Your sly smile beamed at me

I held my breath, prepared,

Against the brute force of memory.

I waited for sadness

To fill my mind and my heart.

I waited for longing and pain

To fill the time we spent apart.

The sunlight changed.

It became a rose-tinted hue,

As if greeting an old friend,

I greeted nostalgia and you.

We had had the past.

It lingered there in the air.

I smelled it in your coffee cup.

‘Twas tousled there in your hair.

It didn’t bother me.

I wasn’t sad or bereft.

I’d grown my soaring wings

.To fill up the space you left.

My soul has changed.

I’ve built upon the ashes

Which you gave the fuel for

But I provided the matches.

We’d both moved on.

On our own separate paths.

You’re content and happy.

And I’m not a part of that.

I get up to leave.

We shake hands again.

Laughing at the difference ‘tween

As it is now and as it was then.

We won’t meet again.

Neither of us wants to.

Sometimes reunion tales

Are actually too good to be true.

 

Posted in Books

Twelve Favourite Quotes and Counting.

Many moons ago, I did a post listing a few of my favorite quotes from Shakespeare. I thought the time was ripe for listing a few of my all time favourite quotes from English literature.  This list is by no means exhaustive. It is also in no particular order.

  1. “Sometimes I can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives I’m not living.” – Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  2. “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. “Nobody even imagines how well one can lie about the state of one’s own heart.” – Thirst for Love by Yukio Mishima
  4. “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  5. “She wasn’t doing a thing that I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together.” -A Girl I Knew by J. D. Salinger.
  6. “We cross our bridges as we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and the presumption that once our eyes watered.” -Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard.
  7. “I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night.” -The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.
  8. “It does not do well to dwell on dreams and forget to live, remember that.” –Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling. 
  9. “The mark of the immature man is that he wants to die nobly for a cause, while the mark of the mature man is that he wants to live humbly for one.” –Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.
  10. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” –The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
  11. “He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.” –Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.
  12. “You and I, it’s as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught.” –Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak.
  13. This one is an entire passage. I suppose I could have edited it to select just a sentence, but I didn’t want to.

    “Waste forces within him, and a desert all around, this man stood still on his way across a silent terrace, and saw for a moment, lying in the wilderness before him, a mirage of honourable ambition, self-denial, and perseverance. In the fair city of this vision, there were airy galleries from which the loves and graces looked upon him, gardens in which the fruits of life hung ripening, waters of Hope that sparkled in his sight. A moment, and it was gone. Climbing to a high chamber in a well of houses, he threw himself down in his clothes on a neglected bed, and its pillow was wet with wasted tears.

    Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.” A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens