It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no…it’s actually…
Yours truly with her late night musings. For whatever reason I’m especially creative during the darkest of hours and especially after a bowl of cereal with cold milk (I suspect this is because it tricks my body into thinking it’s actually morning again…)
Any who, I’ve been toying with a few ideas in my head as of late and one seems especially promising, but also bizarre – it’s on self perception – I was always fascinated with what makes us who we are.
Warning: this post details my personal experiences with depression and it might be upsetting to some. (Though I firmly believe, mental health issues are nothing to be ashamed of, if we discussed mental health hygiene more in the open sufferers could benefit by seeking treatment and regaining quality of life sooner.)
As far as I could remember I was always a very confident kid, believing I could do anything and everything – up until, people close to me started to burst the bubbles of my childhood dreams with pins and needles.
There were the relatives who always wondered why I was so ‘wild’ and ‘badly behaved’ in their terms. But my mother was always on the defensive side, because, I assume, she either believed in me, or believed in giving me the freedom to express myself.
Then one day: ’you’re not special’ said my mother.
Admittedly, I felt betrayed. I thought she would be the one person backing me up in things and believing in me – alas, it was where the first crack formed.
‘She’s your mother. She’s more experienced. She knows you better than you do.’
‘You’re not special.’
I believed her.
I’m not special.
I stopped asking questions.
I stopped being curious.
I stopped going after what I’d wanted.
I gave up my hobbies in favour of more useful ‘activities’.
I was wrong to believe I was ‘special’, except it didn’t just stop there, it snowballed.
I tried to be who they wanted me to be.
I was ‘wrong’ and they’re ‘right’.
I didn’t complain anymore because I’d forgotten how.
I was silenced.
I was joyless.
I was lost.
I was someone I didn’t recognize, someone I didn’t like.
Until one day, I ground to a figurative halt and nothing pretty awaited…
I knew it couldn’t go on…
Seeking help for depression, I visited the health centre at my university. It was a scary experience as by that point I had shut the world out. I was ashamed and embarrassed that I somehow had lost my way and no longer felt any joy.
The clinic was…not what I expected. As in, I’d thought I’d see a psychiatrist right away – instead, I had to fill out forms and get referred. I walked away with a pamphlet, with facts about depression and positive affirmative phrases like: ’I deserve the love I want.’
I’d wasted from what I was to being completely anhedonic. It took years.
And in hindsight, I had no one to blame but myself. I should’ve, could’ve, would’ve stood up for myself sooner, except, somewhere in the intermingled arguments and conflicted thoughts of ‘I want to make my parents proud’ and ‘I don’t want to hurt them’ coupled with people telling me to stop being so ‘selfish’ and ‘self important’ and see things from their perspective for a change for a change for too many times. I had become full of excuses and had somehow forgotten all about myself…
What is it that you want?
I want to feel.
Most importantly, I want to feel like myself.
I want to like myself and live the life I choose, not the life someone else dictated.
I wanted to be ‘free’ – despite over and over again my parents have repeated. ‘There’s no such thing as absolute freedom,’
But why not?
Who wrote the rules anyways?
Did they know what life is all about?
Out of all the 7.3 billion people on the planet (as of June 6, 2015) who really has an idea of what ‘life’ means or should ‘mean’.
Who are they to prescribe the rules, or tell you how or how not to live your life?
Then I realized, it is true – you are born and you die, but what you do between that is undetermined and that is entirely up to you, if you let it, and I needed to do just that.
Rediscover myself in the wreckage and pick myself up when I still can.
Before time runs out.
In high school, I once said and this deeply disturbed a teacher of mine:
‘Life has no meaning.’
Needless to say, she did not agree, nor did I get to elaborate on my point of view.
But now I say it.
‘Life is what you make of it. It’s like a book, partially written, everyday is a page, every new day a new page. It most likely won’t make sense, as it wouldn’t stick to one genre, there’s going to be comedy mixed in with romance and suspense and horror – but everyday, you get a chance to move it in the direction you want the story to ultimately conclude. But the emphasis is not on finishing the book – the emphasis should be those pages you bookmark and return to at the epilogue and savour again and again. Though I can’t guarantee this, my bets are – those pages, answers the question: ‘why am I here?’