DEPRESSION AND ME : WHY I ALWAYS LOSE

Depression is a lot like love.

It will always be a part of you; You might feel that pure snippet of happiness when it dawns on you that you’ve moved on, or mourn the invisible shackles that still bind you to it. Tiny, random things from normal, random days will take you back to the past and make you feel the exact same way you once felt. Most of all, though, it will remind you how utterly fickle you are – you can easily fall all over again. You won’t know it immediately, but the signs will be there. Then one night when you’re trying to make sense of the tears rolling down your cheeks without any reason and the heartbreaking desperation for acknowledgement and love, you will realize that you’ve been here before. Look around you, the chair is now a mountain of unwashed dirty laundry, the present that your friends so lovingly gave you is lying on the floor, the food and new dresses that your mother sent you are lying in the corner; they don’t really matter to you right now. However, you want to believe that they do. I realized today that one takes steps to entice joy, just to ensure that one feels happy for the things that one should ordinarily feel happy about – pushing someone to the light of joy with the hope that they’ll inadvertently gift some of it to you.

I often described depression as a feeling of emptiness. I now know that the description doesn’t do justice to it, because that is not how I feel right now. I feel like there are veins of turmoil throbbing in me but they are filled with emptiness. Perhaps that doesn’t make sense to you, but that- right there- is the whole point.

The last time I felt this way was when I was in High School. I often wonder why my best friends, the ones I spent each day with back then, never caught on to it. I blamed them for being bad friends, as any naïve survivor would. “Perhaps they didn’t care enough to see the signs”, “They probably were too busy worrying about their own issues”, “They were kids and didn’t know better” – These were the justifications that I gave myself on their behalf. Little did I know that I, and only I, was to blame.

I went out with my parents today, and despite the sense of darkness that has been haunting me, I was the poster child for happiness. I made the right jokes at the right time, laughed throughout the conversation and added the right smidgens of dramatics required of me. It was almost mechanical. I was almost mechanical… but there was no way for them to know. It’s even better with my friends. I am the same as I always was. I know at what point I would normally pass a sarcastic comment or give an overly dramatic reaction or just laugh wildly like I’m not really feeling numb inside. It’s all very heartbreakingly normal. Sometimes I caught myself getting lost in my own thoughts of nothingness when I was in the midst of a crowd that I love. Next thing I knew, I’d started to plaster a content smile on my face when I did it. It makes me uncomfortable, this deliberate addition to an absolutely inadvertent act; and all of it just to conceal the truth, the discovery of which is my only hope. Today I gave an overly dramatic speech about my optimism for the times to come and it killed me inside how I could so confidently make such declarations and not even believe an iota of it. I was reacting the way I would have normally, as if I was set in ‘automatic mode’ which facilitated me to say just the right things at the right time for the purpose of seeming normal.That is where the problem lies. How would I ever be able to speak to them about this when all they believe is that everything is normal? I’ve recently become extremely active on social media, like a 14 year old who just joined Whatsapp I chat with everyone who ever mattered to me. I wonder if, in some twisted way, I am daring them to figure it out. Perhaps, despite all my unreasonable and unalterable attempts, somebody will understand.

There are two basic realities that I must face; 1) If you don’t understand your sadness, neither will anybody around you. 2) People believe what you let them believe. As I face them, I realize that this is why I keep losing. This is why, as I sit here pondering over something so devastatingly abstract, I stay silent. Who do I talk to? You could have a hundred people around you who love you unconditionally and they still won’t be able to help you if you don’t let them in.

I want to sit down with someone and tell them this. I want to hug them while I cry my heart out like I’ve been doing for the past few weeks. I can’t, though, and that is because sometimes, you have no one even when you have everyone. While that is a rubbish way to put it, I know no other way.

So, here I lie, writing my heart out. Tomorrow, I will wash my hair and clean my room, hoping that it will help. Knowing that it won’t.

DEAR DREAMER

Your mind is a haven of dreams;
Little snippets of miracles – Boastful of their magnificence, vain in their abundance.
Does life like your plan, dear dreamer ?
For the years are a bit too few,
the struggles a bit too many.

Your eyes alight with the sparkles of a distant future;
A reflection of the light that doesn’t exist.
Is the world backing you up, dear dreamer?
The fire in your heart will suffice – for now
But this is an open arena and a storm is coming.

Scars of the battlefield will be your jewels of victory;
A new perspective in your eyes – Every breath seems like the last, every gain the first.
Are you a fighter, dear dreamer?
For I see in you the will for a never-ending war,
I see a light that refuses to flicker away.

You will win, for it’s a victory that you fought.
If you turned the future bright with your eyes closed, oh, the things you will do with eyes wide open!
Is fate your friend, dear dreamer?
For it admires rebels and I hear you are their warrior.
Take your sword of passion, move forward and conquer them all.

Conquer them all, dear dreamer.
For hope is your ally – and it wants you to win.

– Roselina Roby

HER STORY

Trapped by choice inside the four walls, I gaze out the window.
Ah, such a beautiful night!
Grace me with a different life and I will use night to bask in the moonlight.
Are these stars God’s gift to me, I wonder.
For they are the closest to gems I will ever get.
Perhaps he doesn’t hate me as much as they say.
Perhaps I’m not tainted as much as they say.

My body still pains from when they kicked me out of God’s home.
The only comfort the sanctuary I made for him.
I sold my soul to the devil when I sold my body, they say. Prayers should suffice for survival, they claim.
Oh! How I wish mother had told me that before she succumbed to starvation.
How I wish I hadn’t been selfish enough to crave life.
Does he really hate me as much as they say?
Am I really tainted as much as they say?

Who is a White Knight? Even craving an ordinary love is painful.
Will I never be loved?
Will I never get to love?
Heart so bruised with a clear body, body so tainted but a heart untouched.
A curse that won’t end with my end for, they say, the gates to paradise are not for me.
Perhaps he does hate me as much as they say.
Perhaps I am tainted as much as they say.

Let it end, please.

-Roselina Roby

MAKE ME DREAM AGAIN

I’d been in the hollow for so long,
Eyes closed, for then the darkness would be a choice, wouldn’t it?
Agonizing over being the one left behind.

She’d been a part of my essence, her loss iterated how truly big a part
Her dreams shattered like a mirror, pieces of glass piercing her bruises further,
Throat choked by the claws of despondency,
She let the lake of afterlife soothe it.
“Why can’t I come too?” – I’d begged.
A smile I got in return, nothing more… so much more.
Now the realization didn’t just dawn, it thrust through the wall of ice and broke it down.
Her smile was not quite just the curve of her lips, but an entire saga.

“I may die and yet live in my death, why, though, should you die while living?
I’d dreamt with my entire being. Passion flowing through my veins, not blood.
This dream fell apart, yes, it did. Oh, but, how well I’d dreamt!
I lived an eternity in my short life, and I still live on.
Why, then, should you cease to dream?
Why, then, my dear, should you cease to live?

Dream.

Even if it crushes you bit by bit, even if your heart bleeds.
For a wounded heart is better than a numb one.
And a brief existence is better than a bland one.
This world is such a beautiful place, make it exquisite with your spirit.
The entire sky is waiting for you, get out of your pit and fly.
Let your heart go wild and make your soul smile,
And when you lose hope, think of me.
For when we reunite in the Garden of Eden, let you be the storyteller amongst us.
Let you be the one with adventures.”

-Roselina Roby
 

TWISTED

Irony takes the lead in the narrative,
The submissive confronts the free bird and triumphs.
If you find beauty in the brick walls that suffocate you…
Would it be tragically wonderful or wonderfully tragic?

I desire to fly, but the ropes of fear have tied me to the pit.
Perhaps you define fear for me,
Sucking the fortitude out of me with your kisses.
Should I love you or abhor you?
Lovingly hugging me to cut my wings.

I desire to escape, but these boundaries have started to mesmerize me.
Perhaps you define beauty for me,
Concealing the ecstatic world beyond.
Should I call you my captor or my protector?
Shielding me by caging me in.

How twisted am I to let this go on?
You thrust your hand into my chest and I snuggle closer.
How twisted are you to let this go on?
Squeezing my heart to fit into your fist.
I suppose love, ah love, is the answer to all.
The broken bones, bruises on my cheek.
My scar, perhaps, is the lovely mark of your passion.
Shall I cover it up or flaunt it for my wretched love?

It’s cruel how you find darkness within light, light within darkness.
Love comes in million forms, some of them despicable.

Can you heal my wings, please?
I’d like to fly back to sanity
I’ve been stranded for far too long.

Can you talk to God, please?
I prayed for a love that consumed me.
He took me too literally.

-Roselina Roby

WILL YOU?

Will you miss the chance to love,
only to have nothing worth missing at all?
‘Cause sometimes it’s enough to endure the ache,
but other times you turn weak and fall apart.

Will you give up on that one smile
To avoid those thousand tears?
Spoil your heart with love for them,
Then ruin it when you part.

Will you be their perpetual rainbow,
Only to be overwhelmed by darkness within?
Spread laughter and smiles
Even when there are no traces of joy left inside.

Will you save them,
Only to squander the chance to escape yourself?
For what if they don’t come back for you,
What if you stay trapped forever.

What would you leave if you never got the chance to keep it again?
What would you choose if the choice stayed with you forever?
For life is too long to live with regrets,
Yet too short, don’t let it fizzle away mourning.

So ask yourself…

Will you miss the chance to love, only to have nothing worth missing at all?

FEAR OF FEAR?

I’d believed great realization comes like a sudden wave, magnificent in its solitude, terrorizing because of its abruptness. Now I’ve learned it in a rather strange way that sometimes it comes to you bit by bit, like one brick after the other, forming a massive wall in the prison of your brain as if nothing is wrong. All of them are right there and you won’t even notice because hey, they don’t make you feel anything, do they? Then one fine day this wall breaks, it doesn’t matter how or when or why, the only thing that matters is the burst of emotions it brings. You needed it to shatter, get destroyed, because now that it is hurting, you will finally see the multitudinous iotas of realization backed by instances. Really see them.

I’d been delusional in my interpretation of fear. For me it was just the apprehension you feel when you’re walking alone on the street in the dark or worrying about telling your parents that you got a C in Sociology. It is hilarious how I never even noticed how fear could actually, and had actually, started ruling my life. Just the different kind.

I became afraid to write my heart out, afraid to show the world the raw thoughts that my mind housed. Poetry became a medium to pass time in Criminal Law Class and stopped being a window to my soul.

I became afraid of love because, oh well, who wants to get hurt? And isn’t love bound to hurt you? For we are mere mortals, it is only logical that the love in our mortal hearts will have its inevitable end too.

I became afraid to read, write, watch tragedies because they made me feel too much, made me think too much. I remember feeling the innocent tears on my cheeks and childishly saying “never again”.

I became afraid of losing, of not being able to excel in the things I had passion for and now, my heart has ceased to care enough even to try to win.

I became afraid of committing to real people, chose TV shows instead. That is, after all, the thing about fiction, you can choose to believe it’s real when everything is rainbows and sunshine and remember it’s not when things go dark.

I became afraid of people not liking me (yes, I am shallow that way). Sometimes I just never know if I’m being too forward or too loquacious or too frikking stupid. And soon, I realised, that I’d inadvertently started conducting mini-debates within myself even before saying a simple “Hi” to an acquaintance.

And now I have also become afraid of letting this fear rule me, which in itself means that it already does. It has turned into an anesthesia to my heart, made it numb. I have understood that smiling brightly is easier when you don’t have anything to feel. The smile will remain constant because its connection to the heart has turned futile anyway.

Today I realized that I’d stopped feeling long time ago, that I’d stopped living long time ago. And how ironic is it that I’d always tried to run away from tragedies.

THE GOOD WIFE

I was groomed well from the very beginning. The society had taught me how to be good as a woman even before I truly had turned into one. The secret, of course, was to be a good wife. One that I had become the moment I entered my new home, the house of my husband.

I  knew he was the man of the house and listened to everything he said, gave him everything he wanted. He was the king, period. When he was sick and lying on the hospital bed, I was there, taking care of him and never leaving his side. When he was infuriated over some event at the office, I would listen patiently as he rambled on and on for hours. I made his favourite cuisines, even if I had to wake up super-early to do so. I, indeed, was the classic example of a good wife.

My daughter might have felt a tad bit neglected over the years, but that was a necessary sacrifice on my part. After all, she was a girl, perhaps it was a good thing she got to learn adjustment and compromise from the every beginning, it would ensure a peaceful future for her. Oh, wonderful. A good wife and a good mother, I was brilliant. Handling the house as well as a job could never be easy for any woman, priorities had to be set for my own sanity. I was pretty clear as to how my days needed to be. I woke up early and prepared breakfast and lunch for myself and my husband. For my daughter, I boiled some milk and also prepared two eggs if time permitted. I tried to ensure that my daughter got a good breakfast, afterall, the only time she had a meal after that was during dinner. Her own mistake, to be frank. It’s not my fault that my husband and daughter have such contradictory tastes when it comes to food and ofcourse, expecting me to make a separate dish for her would simply be too much. It is pretty simple, she should eat her father’s desired dish that I have prepared, or make food on her own because I simply do not have the time. The petulant brat still hasn’t learnt though. She would starve for the day but never take a step into the kitchen, such a disgrace, who on earth would marry her? Over the years, it seems, she has gotten used to having only one good meal per day. Well, good for her. My husband understands that this is not my fault, so of course I’m doing nothing wrong. Oh but ofcourse, occasionally when she starts crying and acting like a cranky angry woman because of hunger, I make all her favourite dishes.I am a good mother after all. I make it a point, though, to not make them again any time soon after that. I don’t want her to get habituated with me making her special dishes, what if she starts expecting it every time? We can’t have that, can we?

My schedule is pretty hectic, when I come home after a tiresome day at work I take a 1 hour nap and then immediately get onto the cleaning task. My husband is rather messy, to be frank, and oh well, so am I. However, ever since my daughter shifted to her college dorm I’ve found a cheat move. I take all of the abandoned clothes, files and every rubbish from the living room and our bedroom and deposit them in her room. It is rather convenient, she isn’t here now, is she? Anyway, she deserves it. Even when she was home, she never helped me clean the house, that spoilt brat. I felt obligated to give her a thrashing everyday because of the same. She was such a horrible daughter, I tell you.

Now, 10 years later, I really wonder if she truly was that horrible. She had endeavoured to be a friend at times, I just never had the time. I wish I had though, what I would do now to get a glimpse of her. Not a glimpse of some photograph she uploaded on facebook but an actual live glimpse. She stopped visiting after her second year in college, even spent the vacations interning at some place or the other. Once she got placed she moved to a huge city situated at the other corner of the country. Never came back since. She sends us a nice hefty sum every month, also calls us once a week to know if everything is fine; a conversation too short for my liking. I wish things were back to normal, the normal that was 10 years back.

I wonder where I went wrong.

ILLUSIONS

In the lush forest, a tree.
In the vast desert, some sand.
She was but a dot in his long line of existence.
She urged to be the entire saga, all he gave her were a few pages.
She was naïve, or had her heart taken over?
His love defined her existence, his existence defined her love.
Her delusions gave her tranquility, the alternate-universe had become her home.
Her imagination had created a rose garden, truth acidic upon it.
Was reality already twisted? Or could her heart be blamed for twisting them?
She never dared to ask herself, perhaps she never will.

CATERPILLAR

The past seems like a magnificent utopia,
An alluring bubble, evanescing when touched.
The emotion that consumes me, I’m perplexed,
but since my heart is clenching, it must be sorrow.
Turn me back into a caterpillar, mother.
Being a butterfly seems just so wrong.
My wings don’t reflect my spirit,
And, for the flight, I don’t feel so strong.
Turn me back into a caterpillar, mother.
For I want those feelings back,
The buoyant anticipation of a wonderful future,
The excitement to fly, that now seems lost.
I spent a chunk of my eternity, pursuing treasures in the seven seas,
And now I’m missing the land.
I spent so long climbing, trying to reach the unattainable summit
And now it seems so utterly insignificant.
Give me a chance to figure out what went awry,
this is the future I desired, but suddenly don’t want.
Give me a chance to grow up again; a do-over.
I need to somehow weave the life in which I belong.
So turn me into a caterpillar, mother.
For being a butterfly seems just so wrong.
My wings don’t reflect my spirit
And, for the flight, I don’t feel so strong.

LITTLE JOYS

Why do tears invariably pursue smiles?
Why after tremendous joy, heart cries?
Does it miss the goodness of older days?
Yearn to go back to that time and space?
Oh, but it can’t, doesn’t it know?
We have to change, we have to grow.
Then go out in the world and make it ours.
Make every juncture matter, all the minutes and hours.

Why is world so gloomy? Why are people forlorn and sad?
Why do days require to be assorted as good or bad?
Why have little snippets of bliss ceased to matter anymore?
Yet even the little sorrows batter the very heart’s core.
Oh, how can I judge? Ain’t I the same?
I’m elated, then sombre, then elated again,
Its just like a game.

But sorrows don’t walk, they prance.
One has passed? The other’s on its way.
So let’s just stay strong and be ready for it, whatsay?
And believe that even the tiniest iota of delight matters.
The insanity and the unnecessary chatters.
Then spread this happiness, if not always, then once in a while.
Do your bit- a greeting, a smile.
Consign to oblivion the extraneous, sad ponderings.
Relish a life in which soul dances and heart sings.