We all can probably agree on one thing – depression is an asshole belonging to the elite class. For some, it’s a constant companion and for some, it may be that bitter ex they’ve moved on from. Some may not even have had their first tryst with it. For me, it’s been that relative I desperately want to stay away from but luckily successful in my endeavors. It was around 10-11 months ago when I had my worst and maybe the longest meeting with that asshole.
That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.
We’d already met many a time before and when you know someone for long enough, you tend to believe that you have it all figured out. I was pretty sure that my past experience would’ve taught me a thing or two about shooing away the asshole. But, I was wrong. Very! I thought I would be sinking into a darkness I had already sunk into some time ago but no, this darkness was different. It didn’t have any air of familiarity to it. And that’s the thing about depression. It always has new cruel tricks up its sleeve. That’s what makes it the asshole that it is.
Actually my past meetings weren’t exactly with depression. Probably, just the milder versions of depression or grief!
And when that asshole knocks on the door, it means tough times are ahead. But contrary to what some people usually say, masking my feelings so that the world wouldn’t know that something was amiss, was not the toughest thing I went through. The most difficult thing was to carry on with the normalcy that had been slightly displaced. Simple things in life that I had probably done a thousand times before, seemed to look as easy as climbing a mountain barefoot. Charging my phone, filling the bag with my books needed for the day’s class, switching on the fan, etc., seemed like achievements. Not that they seemed pointless. I just couldn’t bring myself to do them. It was like I had unlearned everything overnight and my brain was rewired to treat these things as complex tasks. I didn’t know how to deal with it and to be honest, life felt like an ordeal back then. The kind of ordeal that you cannot put your heart into but you have no choice but to ensure it.
But I’m not writing this is to open up about the hardships that came my way or some kind of preachery (I made this word up). There was a silver lining to that phase. I vividly remember asking for help regarding the basic tasks I’ve mentioned above and I was lucky to have people around me who’d help me with those chores. Of course, there were times when someone would say, “Why don’t you do it yourself?” or “You can’t even do this?” and I would just laugh it out, even though it made me feel miserable. But I wouldn’t blame them.
Just like depression, I was an asshole myself. I’d judge someone’s problem based on how I’d react if I were in the same situation. For example, someone would tell me they had a heartbreak and were not able to get it out of their system and I’d talk to them in a condescending manner. Only because I dealt with my heartbreaks in a different way. So when people asked me those questions, I just told myself that it was my karma catching up and that made me feel a tad bit better.
Coming back to the silver lining I was talking about, I think I came out of that phase a way better person. Of course, there is a lot of room for improvement but what matters to me is that I’m a better version of myself. Those words of kindness, even though I didn’t ask for it, those little acts of the people who didn’t frown at the pettiness of my requests, those smiles that made me fantasize about hopeful tomorrows, I see them as gifts. Gifted by the more empathetic ones around me. Looking back at it in hindsight, I do realize that I may have been annoying but I’m just relieved nobody asked me to fuck off.
You may have people around you who are behaving in a certain way and they might be as annoying as I was. If you can, try to be gentler. What have you got to lose, after all? Your helping someone book a ticket on BookMyShow may not seem like a big deal to you but for a person who’s in the company of that asshole called depression, it means the world. Because you might find it easy but the other person might be having a tough time doing just that.
Please bear in mind that one may not be able to deal with multiple assholes at the same time. A little empathy doesn’t hurt, does it? That’s the thought I’m leaving myself with as I resign.
P.S. If you know me personally and you feel I’m behaving like depression, feel free to punch the asshole (me) in the face.
P.P.S. Don’t curse for using the word “asshole” multiple times. You came here after reading the title, didn’t you?