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

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.

FLAWED FAMILY

She loved her daughter, she truly did, but sometimes the young lady behaved so erratically that she almost seemed like a stranger. Under the dim light of the room in the elite, ostentatious hospital, she sat with her shoulders slumped, wondering about the grim expression on her daughter’s face. Any passerby won’t think much of it. The poor girl’s father was admitted in the hospital all of a sudden, surely she wouldn’t be spurting rainbows from her mouth. However, if you looked closely, you could see smidgens of irritability rather than those of concern; a trait that would be enough to label her as an immature daughter with no seriousness or worry about her old man. This was what had gotten her mother in a twist. Her daughter was the soothing cool breeze and energizing ray of sunshine all rolled into one, a hyper-active girl who showered her father with affection all the time. She might not be perfect but she was a gem, their gem. If anything, her behavior right now was nothing but perplexing. Little did the mother know, the daughter was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, she couldn’t give a damn.

She loved her father, she truly did. She was concerned too, however, every time she noticed the look of utter peace in his face, she couldn’t help but feel annoyed. It was as if he was loving the status quo, basking over the nonexistent glory of it. The doctor hounding him to ensure he was alright, the nurses specifically assigned to him taking care of him, her mother giving him a massage and being at his beck and call, it was indubitably obvious that he was deriving some twisted tranquility out of it all. She endeavored to understand his perspective, but she couldn’t consume the fact that he was somewhat secretively enjoying at the expense of his loved ones’ peace of mind. It was a simple issue of gas, the X-ray report had authenticated that, however he was hell- bent on getting hospitalized because apparently his body felt as if it was bursting into flames. Worse was the way he changed his behavior as per the people surrounding him. In solitude, he behaved like the dinosaur-in-distress. Groaning and gnashing his teeth, only grumbling as a response to anything that his wife asked, setting up a nice pretense of attempting to speak but not being able to due to the unbearable pain. However, that didn’t stop him from indulging in a nice tete-a-teta like a smiley miley with the wardboys and nurses. What trumped everything else was his behavior when the doctors came in, the act was so perfect that even she couldn’t help but feel sorry for him. Little did the daughter know, the father was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, he couldn’t give a damn.

He loved his family, he truly did. He genuinely did not want them to worry much, perhaps just a little bit? Oh, who was he kidding, he was enjoying the fact that his wife was wound up over his health. The neck massages were truly little iotas of bliss. How long had it been anyway since she’d last done it? He didn’t even remember. She had always lived in extremes, and never in a good way. She was always either ‘too’ busy or ‘too’ tired or ‘too’ frustrated by work to ever even sit with him for a nice chat. Not now though, now she was all his. His nice little family worried sick about him, paying attention to every moan coming out of his lips and every drop of glucose entering his vein. Well, maybe not the family in entirety. His daughter seemed rather off, not in a way that she should have considering the fact that her father is hospitalized. His daughter had always been a chatterbox and a cuddler, something he adored about her. Now, though, she barely even gave him a sweet smile, a nice review of the latest book she read or the most recent episode of her favourite TV series was out of the question. He didn’t worry much though, if there was anything he was absolutely certain about it was his daughter’s love for him. He was well aware that he had multitudinous flaws, most of which she was well-acquainted with. That didn’t stop her from loving him then, so why would she now? Moreover, the extravagant attention from the hospital staff more than made up for this little glitch in his plan. Not to mention, the patient next to him seemed like a pretty cool guy. It had been too long since he sat down, relaxed and had a nice conversation with a young intellect like himself. Everything was going according to the plan, he had even successfully befooled the doctor, the good old idiot was getting all worked up as if this was the most complicated case of his lifetime. Perhaps it truly was, you never know these days. Little did the father know, the doctor was well aware of how the situation seemed, however, he couldn’t give a damn.

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.

TO LET IT GO

It is melancholic how hilarious the tricks of heart are,
It feels wounded, splintered, wrecked.
And one fine day, it just lets it go.
The darkness and light alternate in the vaults of heaven,
But perpetual night resides at your core.
And then one fine day, you just let it go.
Remorse dries away like the tears on your cheeks.
Love fizzles away, trace of it remaining like a shadow…
Omnipresent, but ever so naturally unnoticed.
Tragedy, after all, is comedy of a kind.
For how humorously mournful heart’s pain truly is…
If one fine day, it just lets it go.

SWEET HEARTACHE

There is a sanguine elegance in the inevitability of heartache,
A jovial melancholy in me falling without expecting you to catch.
My heart feels sturdier, affections seem immaculate,
Somehow not tainted by the impending sorrow.
Perhaps this was what I’d been waiting for all along,
My soul yearned to be taught how to love, and now it knew.
It is twisted how I want my heart’s wishes to be denied.
For love fizzles away, the pang of heartbreak stays. Always.
And I want your memory to reside in the sublime garden of nostalgia.
So I shall hold on to you…
by letting you go.

YOU ARE LOVED

Defeat doesn’t become you, my love;
Your eyes- two bleak orbs of despair,
“Your zest doesn’t need my wretched essence”, you whisper,
And I know you’ve forgotten what our love truly does mean.
You feel desolate, shattered and miserable,
trembling with the yearning to know your place in the world.
And I want to bare my soul, show you
how much you matter, how much you are loved.
The myriad pieces of your heart
scattered across the bland shadow of nothingness.
I’ll find every single one of them,
stick them together with my spirit.
My heart is feeling fiery, soul is ablaze,
And I’ll let it burn to illuminate the dark abyss of your thoughts.
Look at yourself with my eyes
And you’ll feel the dejection fade away,
For I see you for all that you are and all that you could be.
Your mind aches with the dreams you can’t help but see.
Let us transform them into actuality together.
You had a stumble on the way,
Let’s get you up and sprint forward together.
For I’m right here, believing in you,
showing you that you are loved.

IRREPLACEABLE

Some fear betrayal, some desolation…
I? I fear being replaceable.
It is a wild hope, an ardent desire,
An irrational need to be the one.
Let me be that imperative segment in the puzzle of your life,
That special book, in the saga of your existence.
Let me be your analogy of love, the tale that precedes every other tale.
Let the memory of my love remain, even if I am forgotten.
The moon and the stars embellish the vault of heaven
But let me be the sun, engulfing you with illumination.
Break me into pieces, but keep the pieces safe
in that untouchable corner of your heart.
For I need nothing more,
For I shall ask for nothing more.
Let us think of each other even in blissful ignorance
Just let me be…
Irreplaceable, in your life.