The Fear

I am so used to being depressed, I think I am afraid of getting better. It’s funny because all I wanted to be for years is better. I don’t remember the last time I was better or even felt better. But, when it starts to feel different as if the fog is lifting, I am not ready for it. I’m not ready to finally feel like it’s all working, and whatever I am doing is going well. The self-doubt still exists. The darkness is still present like my whole life is a giant black hole. But I see dim lights coming on now, very slowly. My heart beats louder now, and I can’t get rid of the feeling like I am moving to the edge of a cliff.

You know that swooping feeling when your stomach jumps when you go over slopes? I have that feeling at the thought that normalcy will one day enter my life. It’s all about baby steps. Now I can wake up on my own, make a few decisions like, what I want to eat for breakfast without breaking down. I can leave my carpet slightly off the black marble instead of aligning it every time. For what it’s worth, it’s progress. All the credit can’t go to the medication. I’ll take some of that credit for making an effort.

Every time I move one step forward I move two steps back and it frustrates me. But as long as I am not throwing myself off the cliff I think I’ll be fine. I am scared as hell that I might tip over backwards, but I am still standing. I am scared, petrified. The doctor asked me to define what makes me happy. I couldn’t answer her and now two days away from my next appointment, I am still drawing a blank. It’s like trying to write a good thesis statement. Why don’t they teach us that in school, college, wherever?

Happiness is a philosophy in itself, undefinable. There is so much to say about happiness, but by asking me to define it the doctor just held a mic to my fear. The fear tells me that I can never be happy, I went through some of my baby pictures and I wondered why I smiled so much back then. Maybe because I had no responsibilities, maybe because I didn’t feel incapable. The rut didn’t catch up to me and swallow me whole.

But just like I do with most assignments, I am going to leave defining my happiness to the night before the appointment. But the thought is nagging and doesn’t leave me alone. But I got nothing, except I’d love to know happiness. Maybe it’s when I laugh watching Brooklyn nine-nine. Maybe it’s when I go rollerblading on weekends. Maybe it’s when I write a poem. But they’re all moments and that’s what I am still living for. Since the depression has been handling my life since I was 11, making that more than half of my 21 years I feel like somehow the happiness after that was all fake, temporary.

My family tells me to trust them and that soon I’ll be my old self. But the old self they know is the girl who kept all the depression locked up until it burst beyond control. That frightens me. It’s frightening because even they don’t know what makes me happy. I could go with the definition in the dictionary- ‘feeling or showing pleasure or contentment‘ but that doesn’t explain anything. I have shown contentment and pleasure towards so many things even after I was 11, but the depression has been a constant that never allowed me to be happy for too long. Since then, my confidence has reduced, my willpower took a beating and the rest of me survived on oxygen.

When will I know I am better and will it last? The fear tells me I am not ready to get better. My depression tells me it’s going to stick around longer. I don’t know what I am more scared of, defining my ‘happiness’ and then realising that definition was wrong or it being right. I guess I need to get back to my homework. The definition of happiness may be unknown to mankind, but to me, it’s a genuine smile or moments. But if we had those moments all the time, we’d get bored. I’d take that any day over the continuous sadness. I am not prepared. Hope this one makes sense to you.


2 thoughts on “The Fear

  1. PGP says:

    Hats off to you and your efforts. Fear drains our energy a lot. Therefore, it is worth reflecting on it without any fear!
    “It’s all about baby steps. Now I can wake up on my own, make a few decisions like, what I want to eat for breakfast without breaking down. I can leave my carpet slightly off the black marble instead of aligning it every time.”


  2. Gita Chengappa says:

    There is something magical in you, that sets you (and your writing) apart that makes you achieve pinnacles of success and win awards, hope you do lose yourself in reminiscences sometimes.


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