This blog is a collection of my highs and lows, that’s how I see it. Today is no different. Something about today felt remarkable though, a small change in the positive direction that inspired some much-needed confidence. I don’t want to address it someday in my perpetual tomorrow when it becomes irrelevant.
When you see a physical manifestation of your getting better, you finally feel like you’ve made progress. This year blood tests induced much stress because there was always that one mark of my introvert self that never seemed to be in check. A side effect of being a home-body is Vitamin D deficiency, and in December last year, my test reports concerned everyone because it was frighteningly low. Numbers that seemed almost impossible. Today, when it turned out to be in the normal range I felt lighter.
The depression, anxiety, all of it, and the deficiency were always connected. Depression made me stay indoors and refused any sort of happiness. Anxiety made me cancel any plans afraid to do anything that would put me out there, and the stress of exams, assignments and my lifestyle. My dorm in Delhi with no windows and London’s gloomy weather only aggravated the situation.
Today, I felt one weight on my shoulder disappear. It was like setting down a dumbbell after working out, literally. I used to scoff when people used to tell me I’d get better. My psychiatrist, my therapist, everyone told me there’s an end to this struggle. I just didn’t see it, but today when my test reports came back with something I hate and have been craving all my life – ‘Normal’ it was intense. This hasn’t been easy, doing everything that my disorders didn’t want me to do.
I can’t appreciate the timing of this any more than I am already. I’ve been continuously looking at the reports over and over again since morning because a part of me can’t process it. I feel like if I check it once more maybe I’ll see the blue numbers again. I feel like my eyes are deceiving me. Two days ago, when I came home from therapy I asked myself, “Am I really getting better or is it just me trying to convince myself that I am?”
Today, I know I am getting better. If my body is ok, one day my mind will be too because it’s a part of my body isn’t it? This coming from a pessimist like me! Trust me, if I am saying one can get better, then I know that every single person out there with depression or anxiety or OCD or any disorder can get better. You’ll fall a hundred times along the way, some days you’ll think it’s over, and you’ll want to give up, but don’t. That’s my only advice.
This is just a trajectory. I know I still have much to work on and there’s still the medication, the thoughts, a lot to get sorted. But, as the weights slowly come off, the climb gets easier. I can’t see the summit yet, but I know I am on the right path, I am not lost.
I know this hasn’t been an easy fight. I have hesitated before mentioning the gory details on the blog, always presenting a sanitised version of things. Mostly because I couldn’t make sense of them myself. It has been a struggle I’ve put my family and friends through along with me. They were there and that was more than enough.
You know what this means? The sunlight is actually reaching me. I still sit at home, but I guess, I wake up facing the sun, and make it a point to sit in front of that window for twenty minutes before coming downstairs for breakfast. I do my thinking in that time and so far I thought it was a silly thing. I suppose this year I got out more than I intended to for work, for fun. Like I said I didn’t want to, I just wanted to stay under my blankets and close the curtains. I didn’t feel like moving on some days, I just wanted a break but I never knew from what.
It was so difficult, my Dad would say, “Come outside for a bit, sit in the sun,” even my parents knew that this deficiency could prolong my getting better. I am not talking about a simple deficiency, these were numbers nobody wants to see on a report. But I always refused, it was just too much. Everything was too much, right from opening my eyes to brushing my teeth. And slowly bit by bit, the energy increased, from walks to bus journeys, from visits to the doctor to coffee dates with friends, from Netflix to theatres, from hiding all the books to reading books by the dozen. It was like learning how to live again.
I don’t want to sound like I am overjoyed, because I’ve won the battle and not the war. But, I suppose this deserves the post. If my obsessions, my thoughts and even coffee get a post each then this deserves one for sure. I suppose now I know even the darkest people can be touched by the light. Something so small can affect something so big. I don’t know why I kept underestimating it.
P.S. That’s why most of the pictures I put up are of the sun, for those wondering 😛