It has started in full swing. The daily commute, the crowded buses, the smell of dust in the air, in that part of the city where few venture out to. It’s a task but a welcome one. The city has swallowed me whole. When you travel in a city bus, the sheer magnitude of people shows you that you’re a forgettable speck. It’s beautiful, of course, it’s not that beautiful when someone’s elbow is in your side and someone else’s armpit in your face, but that’s city life for you. You get what I’m trying to say.
My mother will pack lunch for me now, that’s a thing she did when I went to school. It’s been six years since I carried a lunch box in my bag, and wonder what’s in it. In school lunch was taken for granted and on some days when you got a lot of vegetables that you didn’t like you’d complain to your mother that the lunch wasn’t great. When I complained, the next day she’d pack my favourites, the woman never forgot. Now when she packs my lunch she looks excited, tells me I must eat it because she has made it with a lot of interest. I didn’t ask her to make it, mind you. She’s holding on to the last threads of my childhood refusing to let go. This is a blessing after years of having canteen food and tuck shop items that just don’t compare to her cooking.
I like what I’m getting to do and to be honest, it’s well-paced and fun. I am going to get used to this very fast. Waking up has also gotten easier. I come home and get enough time to watch what I want to watch and write my blog. What more does one need? Some decisions are meant to be taken. I get home just in time, before the rain and after the worst of the afternoon sun. Life couldn’t be more ideal. I started watching season 2 of 13 Reasons Why yesterday. As someone who is suffering from depression, that shouldn’t have been my go to. But I feel like I have to watch it because in some ways it’s a catharsis.
I remember when I watched season 1 I had chills because it reminded me of what I went through in school. But now watching season 2 I have toughened up. Life is strange and twisted. Even though you’re happy there’s a constant reminder of sadness, and it’s humbling. I can’t get ahead of myself, I am not alright yet. I’m trying to be but I’m not. I’m able to ignore my depression using my work as a cover. When I met my therapist last, she told me that I should not get attached to my depression. I think that’s where I’m struggling. I’m happy but I stop smiling in the middle of laughter.
It’s strange, it’s like the depression creeps up on me. I’ll be listening to a beautiful song, and suddenly my throat will dry up. I’m getting better but I’m not fully recovered. My therapist, my doctor and my parents know this. I know it, but I’m trying to put it away. I’m in a happy place and I don’t want my depression to ruin it. I don’t want to feel like a stranger to myself again. I stopped peeling the layers back when I got out of the house. I guess at home all I was doing for 24 hours in a day was to confront my depression. Now I have other things to do. The ignorance was what let my depression grow over all these years. I’m going through the same cycle again.
How can I confront 12 years of my life or more? Can I do it in one year? 12 months for 12 years? It doesn’t seem doable, does it? The improvement I’ve seen so far is in my daily life, getting back into a routine, reviving a broken part of myself. Inside my head though it’s a lot more confusing. I have so much to connect to with my past. With the help of my therapist, I learnt that for every one of my idiosyncracies there has been a corresponding incident in my past that has made me this way. Whether it’s making sure everything is symmetric, complete panic when someone uses my belongings without my permission or being afraid of cows. Everything is connected. There’s so little I know about who I am. I’ve just grown up not knowing who I am turning into. I ascribe to my assigned name, an assigned place, and an assigned family but that’s all. In some ways, I’ve completely controlled who I turned into and in other ways not at all. It makes me wonder, are we just the sum total of all our experiences? Maybe…
I don’t say it as a bad thing, I am just trying to figure out my oscillation from being happy to sad. It’s like swinging back and forth between to versions of myself, ‘depressed’ and ‘ok’. I revert back to patterns. I always feel a little more composed around my old friends, slightly more composed in my city, and on my laptop. I guess all these things are symbols of happy memories. New spaces throw me off until I find a pattern. I like it because it breaks monotony but I’m still settling in, I’m still finding equilibrium. In a way, I’m breaking the pattern just so that I don’t become attached to my depression. My success in doing so is another matter altogether.