I thought that a fun-loving, easy-going person like me could never feel anxious, stressed or depressed. Well, who could have guessed? My parents have always been proud of me since I was a little kid because I was one of those, who always came first and won sports trophies in every annual function. I have always been a yearnest person while growing up; showing signs of early maturity and adolescence. I have been deemed as the kid who everyone’s parents compared their children to, “Sharma ji ke bete ko dekho, kitna acha hai”.
The problem is, I never fully understood how all those praises and expectations began to burden me. I felt pressurised. It was a slow process and the feeling began to creep onto me, one day after the other. By the time I reached my second year in college, my confidence and my grades, both dropped, leaving me at the expense of my parents continuously complaining about my deteriorating nature. They started nagging me about why I had become the complete opposite of how I was back in the days. And when it came to me, I was always at a loss of words of how to tell them what was going on. I never fully understood what was happening, why I started becoming way too familiar with the emotion of sadness. It completely consumed me.
I was made to feel that my opinions or emotions didn’t matter anymore.
My parents never thought of paying any heed to my needs, or even, what I was feeling. I was constantly asked to go out and make friends, I had become lethargic and even gained some kilos. I cried myself to sleep almost every night. I could never express my emotions well, or else my dad would start blabbering about how I should toughen up or ‘man up’. My mother had always been a caring person, but this time, even she failed to check on me. Is it that difficult to come and talk to your own child, even when they can clearly see that their child is struggling?
The constant state of denial that my parents were living in, affected me greatly. I ended up scoring poorly in my last year of college. I remember, as soon as I reached home, my parents immediately blasted me off for missing the best opportunity in my life. This would reduce the chances of good college placement and that I would never be able to accomplish anything.
Trust me, I never wanted to run away from that place more than that moment.
Seeking the help of a therapist was the option I was left with, but still, I contemplated whether I should even consider it. I didn’t want to face society’s criticism of visiting a therapist. I prayed to God, to cure me as if depression was a disease. I honestly never thought, he would answer my prayers but guess what? He did and instead of my parents, it was someone else who understood me.
I had started liking this girl since we shared our chemistry notes in class. But, throughout the years, battling with depression made me forget about her. However, she miraculously came back into my life as a neighbour and things started getting better. She was fun, cheery and wholesome. I used to feel warm and secure whenever I was with her. She slowly began to break down the walls I had created around me, and eventually won her way to my heart. A year later, I opened up about my state to her. She remained quiet and hugged me tightly, letting me know that she’ll be there for me.
The silence that I had forever avoided, started becoming a bit more familiar to me.
She was the reason I smiled again. She held my hand when I cried and even encouraged me to take therapy sessions that would eventually make me walk the path to recovery. Her determination, her selflessness and love inspired me to look up again and be grateful for the invaluable time and effort she spent on me. I sometimes insisted, that she didn’t have to dedicate herself to me and that she also had her own life to deal with. That’s when she replied, “Don’t worry, it’s love.”
My partner was there for me at a time when I was in the lowest place in my life. Now that I’m successful in my life and at a place where I can reflect on my past, I can say that she helped me stand back up again, fight my depression and anxiety and face life as it is. My parents still didn’t understand what exactly had happened to me at that point in life, but yes, she did and I don’t need anyone else anymore. She was enough. She made me feel that I was enough.
She loved me even when I didn’t love myself.