A gap year should be a basket of opportunities. A clean slate of sorts to start off on. What I find is that I am stuck in a deep uncompromising cycle of taking opportunities and leaving them because I am too scared that I am not good enough. Another aspect of depression that I must fight every day. What makes this ‘infection’ if I can call it that difficult is that it affects every aspect of your life however mundane.
Even if I sit in one spot, and just dream for a bit, it isn’t enough. The dream suddenly turns negative and soon it’s a nightmare I am watching with popcorn in hand. And as time passes it gets harder to believe that things are going to get better. Remember the saying, “when one door closes another opens“? Well, here it feels like you’re sitting in a room with one door and it is shut, and you can’t get out. Imagine that feeling, following you around every single day. It makes it hard to function, it’s a killjoy in the crudest of senses.
But what I find is that I am not sitting in the centre of that room and brooding about my existence, I am banging at the hinges on the door before the oxygen runs out. I am fighting it, I am fighting the urge to give up. And this is new, this didn’t happen before. While it seems like I am alone in this room for company I have the voices, that tell me all is going to fail and that I am definitely a lost cause.
I have always had voices for company as a child and was at some point my only friend when I had none, but soon turned into an imaginary enemy, undoing my progress with its snide remarks and constant want to make me feel less. Contrary to popular belief it’s quite hard to shut it up, strike at it and bury the hatchet. You grew up with this voice which once pushed you forward and now pulls you back. And I am not making this up.
As this blog proceeds, you’ll find that while I am a candid person some of what I say here, and if you know me will sound very different from what you see when you meet me. I am very good at pretending. I had to learn the art while growing up and it was a sort of social conditioning to hide emotions and pretend you don’t feel them because that’s what people really want you to do even while they tell you to open up.
As a kid, the story of ‘Vikram and Vethala‘ really caught my fancy, of a spirit(Vethala) that latches onto the back of a king (Vikram) wandering through a cemetery. I relate to the story now. Depression is my Vethala and somehow I am Vikram. I carry my demons on my back. It weighs me down when I should be standing up. And it’s ok for a while. It’s really alright. I can’t run before I learn to walk. The opportunities knock at my door, I can hear them. But I have to steel myself and take my time to open the door, because when I open it, I want them to see me, not Vethala. Hopefully, Vethala learns soon that I am not its Vikram. And even if it feels like I am missing the train, I know another one will come my way.