Category Archives: mental health

Dark Over Light, Light Over Dark

I’d like the light to win over dark, of course. But sometimes resistance is futile (and tiring) and you just have to accept that the dark is stronger for now and sitting over the light.

And that you can step back and look at the colours flow and overlap with each other. Which can be quite an aesthetically pleasing sight.

And remember that it could always be worse.

It could be totally black, without any other colours at all. At least now I can still see the colours and I know they’re there.

When Words Are Not Enough

Lots of other things also seem to become lost the moment they’re explained in words, really.

Like the sense of futility when you think about what you’re trying so hard for..

Like the feeling of hope that there is hope…?

Like the frustration of not loving yourself enough… or the irritation you feel at yourself for appearing ok when you’re not really feeling ok but you don’t want things to be awkward so you appear ok…

Like the small but strong voice that tells you to try one more day, maybe today it will be different, and it’s really ok even if it’s not…

 

We have a myriad of feelings and emotions, and words don’t always portray them accurately enough.

 

Still. Through it all, I know I am blessed, I know I am incredibly lucky, and I know this too shall pass.

Framing

Recent thoughts.

Who was I before all these happened?

What kind of person was I?

Optimistic? Sensitive? Accepting? Curious?

Am I still all those things?

I’d like to think I am.

And yet I have changed – and am still changing – on this journey through unchartered life territory.

This journey has allowed me to see myself through a different lens. It has made me realise I am more resilient than I think. It has helped me forge stronger relationships with my loved ones and friends, and helped think about how I would be a better friend or companion if someone around me were to face similar issues in future. It has enabled me to discover roots and inner resources I never knew I had or was capable of.

– John Green, “Turtles All The Way Down”

I didn’t decide what came into the picture of this life, but I’m glad I still get a say in which frames I want to use.

There are always choices.

Digging Deep

So recently I have been thinking.

About how I am still alive.

And how I have made it through all those times when I thought I would not be able to.

All those days when I don’t feel like I could get through but I did, one step at a time.

Looking back, I realise we really should not underestimate the power of the inner resources of a human being.

I realise we do have the capacity to dig deep, and sometimes deeper than we think we are capable of reaching.

When the circumstances call for it, we really can rise to the occasion. And in the process, develop and gain new skills and strengths.

I am thankful for my inner and external resources – everything and everyone that has helped me through thus far.

May the journey ahead be a smoother one.

When Something Shifts

When something shifts inside you,

it does not announce itself.

It does not celebrate the occasion

with fanfare or festivity.

It does not step over the line

with the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd watching the end of a marathon.

It simply shifts.

Something clicks, or something happens, and it is there. It has shifted.

And because it is so quiet, so stealthy, it can be so easy to overlook.

I noticed it, a few days ago.

I noticed that the intensity had lessened.

I noticed that the internal resistance had decreased.

I found it easier to be alive and breathing.

I found it easier to be in touch with the world.

It was a pretty surreal feeling, when I realised that it does lift and things do shift.

It felt good.

Then, the morning before I sat down to write this length of words, I felt another shift. This time, a not-so-desirable one. One that would entail more difficult emotions and thoughts to grapple with.

But, I sit and look and them and smile at them. Or at least I try to.

It will lift again, I’m sure. Change is the only constant 🙂

 

India 2018

I learnt that everything can look the same on the outside but the weight you carry around can really make a difference to how you see the world.

On good days I would be present. On not-so-good days it feels like everything is seen through a fog. Like I’m there but… not really there.

Does that make sense?

Expectations were another thing I had to grapple with.

I guess I had gone on this trip with the expectation that everything would be solved. That the weight would lift, that I would be able to move on with life as before again.

It can be dangerous to have expectations. Because it means you’re setting yourself up for greater disappointment and despair.

So I learnt that it’s probably better to have more realistic expectations, especially where human emotions are concerned, and that maybe, there are just some things in life we have to go through.

And these things are shitty and feel horrible and confusing but –

if I could just pull through, I know something will come out of it. Something has to.

I refuse to go through all these in vain.

Today I am Thankful for:

  • Friends and people who have been there for me through the past few months
  • The fact that I live in a country where I am able to get access to therapy services and health care
  • The awareness I have over my feelings and bodily sensations
  • The ability to FEEL.
  • My morning routine.
  • The desire to stick to my morning routine, even when I don’t feel like it.
  • The ability to look towards the future.
  • Having made it to 2019.
  • A world with music, books and cats.

 

Shopping and Inner Voices

On the most normal and mundane of days, I do not enjoy shopping as a recreational activity to begin with. But sometimes, I indulge in it when I’m with friends. During which I would walk around with them and inwardly gasp at how expensive our consumerist society is, while keeping up a conversation of sorts as they browse the racks. As long as it’s not for too long a period, as long as I feel we’re still making some meaningful connection – I’m fine.

But yesterday, a mere 20-minute walk around the shops transformed into Battle of the Inner Voices.

What’s the point of doing this.

She wants to shop, its her day off, just walk around with her for awhile.

Yes but what’s the point. Of all this. Of life. 

Let’s not go there. Just walk. 

Ok now she’s talking to you. Smile and say something appropriate.

Ok. Why do I always have to feel like I have to put on a mask?

You don’t. You’re choosing not to let her know how you’re feeling inside.

That’s because I don’t think she’d understand. And it’d just make everyone uncomfortable. Putting on a mask is easier. 

So don’t complain. 

I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to articulate what I’m feeling.

So what are you feeling? In the body?

There’s that weight in my chest. The foggy feeling. The feeling like something is wrong with me.

Ok just note it and let it be. It is what it is.

Smile, Smile. 

I’m trying. Why is this so hard. What’s the point, again?

It’s ok, you’re doing the best you can.

If I were better I wouldn’t be feeling this way. 

It’s not your fault, just note the sensations and let them be. See where it takes you.

It’s just… there. Where is it going? What if it stays there forever and never gets better?

You don’t know that. Just breathe mindfully. 

I can’t wait to get home and cry.