The Leftover Pizza

Daily life Pizzazz, some nuggets, some fun

Archive for the month “January, 2011”

Taking responsibility for depression

Last week was one of those weeks in life when life just got fed up and told me hey I am not here to listen to your crap about how bad I am, straighten up or face the music. And boy did I wake up. Life on the drama triangle is a daily roller coaster and worst is you think you can do nothing about it. Letting go doesnt come easy. You churn the same thoughts in your head day in and day out and keep telling others about it. You somehow misguidedly believe that the repetition will actually lead to some magic aha moment when you suddenly realise what it is you have to do. Instead what you do is bore, terrify and push away people. its not even like you like doing what you are doing, but its like some form of a compulsive disorder. Anything that happens has to be talked about, read about, maybe even blogged about etc etc.

But what happened last week taught me an important lesson, that I had been behaving like a child waiting to be led by the hand. A totally unrealistic expectation. There were some serious issues I had to resolve with respect to affection as a child, things I have intellectually understood now, but havent assimilated completely. This keeps manifesting in all other spheres of my life even now.

I have long blamed the past for making my present the way it is. Spent hours and hours analysing it, decoding it and taking the past as reference for what could happen in the future, even though the people I am surrounded by today are totally different. Even the relationship with close family has changed on many levels. But I still wouldnt see how I was contributing to the status quo by just sitting and mulling over it.

Depression is a reality, but just naming it as the cause of your mood swings doesnt take away your responsibility. This was my most important lesson right now. I had a picture of my life since my younger days and when unlike other pictures, this picture didnt materialise, I couldnt accept it. Things havent been bad, but my mind is still focussed on that dream picture. The jolt this time though has made me realise that I better regroup. In my frustration and depression over the lost picture, I have been traumatising those close to me, I had almost become an emotional vampire. Staying away from some of them meant, I didnt know what went through their minds when I vented to them. But then I saw some of the effects on some people close by and got the kick in the butt I badly needed.

Bad things happen and sometimes there is no logic as to why they happened. But the problems created by my reactions are clear to me now. Time to change this track, play a happier tune. I hope I salvage some of the things.

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How the hurt, hurts loved ones

Warning : Please DO NOT read if you are depressed, could worsen it a bit.

It is bad enough when your problems trouble you, but when you see your loved ones worried about you, feeling helpless for you, something really snaps. Things have been rough for quite sometime now and I have buried my head in sand enough number of times and found each time that I had to get up, start over again, because no one could do it for me. At some point, this takes a toll on you.

There are days when you dont want to put yourself through the torture anymore. On these days all the things that you ever went through come to haunt you. Also all the grief that you think you gave people comes back to you. You wonder what really is the point? If you have an assertiveness problem, some sort of post trauma disorder, its even worse. You either go passive or you want to lash out at the world, none of which has worked for you till now. At this stage of life, you are like a sinking person trying to keep afloat. Any and every log or semblance of it seems like a boon. And that in some cases is where the trouble starts.

You end up in intimate transactions with people who either want to just sit and moan and never change. Or you end up with abusive people who initially start off faking empathy. Been there, done it all. The abusive relationship makes you feel ok for a while, but it actually pulls you down even further. It brings into sharp focus all the trauma that you ever went through. For some people one such relationship is a wake up call, however many either continue in the same abusive dance or seek others like them, till nothing much is left of them. I was lucky to listen to the wake up call.

But the wake up call doesnt mean everything goes back to normal. The fragments of your life are even more broken now and the fixing needs so much time and even more support. If you are lucky, good people come into your life then. I have been lucky, yes, but the fog isnt lifting yet. And even if it does, there is no guarantee that its going to be a road or a dead end. All you do now is cry and wonder and try to talk things out with your loved ones.

You keep telling them, you keep applying different medicines to the wounds, thinking that this one might work. Sometimes it seems as if there is some healing, but then again, things go back to that agony. And as you are battling all of this, trying to maintain a reasonable level of existence, you see that the people who love you are slowly getting consumed by this despair of yours. Nothing hurts more than that. You know how bad it is to spend life in the dark and the last thing you want is for their light to be diffused. Their optimism has at many times lifted you up or atleast reminded you of the times when you were just like them, full of dreams. And so it is hard when you see them swallowing your pain, its hard to see them feel helpless to help you.

There are also those loved ones who dont want to be reminded of how helpless they have been in the past or felt most of their lives. They probably thought that you were stronger than all that, that you wouldnt suffer like they did. So when you are going through this and turn to them to just be heard, they dont want to have any of it. They have buried the helplessness deep down, they are living in denial of its existence and here you are, bringing it back to haunt them. They dont want any part in it and yet, they love you and feel bad about this.

What hurts though is when you see the optimistic ones, the ones you cheer you up everytime, the ones who were ever so happy before this happened to you. They still try to cheer you up. They bring you flowers, cook for you, gift you a holiday, do all that they can, but all you feel is like you are cheating them of a better life. You wonder if you would be this angelic if they were to go through something like what you are going through right now. Everytime they are nice to you, you feel like asking them not to be so nice, you wonder if you even deserve all this. They were so much better off before this happened to you. Not a furrow over their forehead and now you have made them worry, given them sleepless nights, messed with their schedules because you wanted someone’s shoulder to cry on. This despite the fact that you are not expecting them to solve your problems for you. You tell them, its not their fault and yet they feel responsible. You feel sorry for all the stuff that you are making them go through, just because you cant handle your life’s problems at the moment. You dont feel the unfairness of it all to your life, you feel angry about how unfair it is to them, its not their fault at all. People like your parents should actually have some moments of peace now that you are grown up and socially acknowledged as independent, but instead they still have to worry.

You wonder what God really has in mind. Did he want human beings to actually think and live or does he get some sadistic pleasure looking at how comical your efforts are at trying to live something which you think is a successful life. The questions persist.

New year resolution

My new year resolution this time is slightly different. Its not about going someplace or shedding a vice. Its about listening to myself.

Too often we are caught up in what we ‘should’ be. Too often its about what others ‘perceive’ us as. A lot of times we spend our lives proving or disproving the perception of others. Imagine this, someone tells you or implies that you are useless. You would react in two ways, you would normally react in two ways. One is working hard and being ultra good and disproving them, but finding they still find something or the other to not like about you. Or else you would be so angry that you would go about proving yourself worse than what they think, shock them and mock them. In both cases, you are not listening to yourself, you are listening to them. You are letting your actions and self worth be determined by them.

So what’s the right thing to do. Examine first whether what they say is right, as in is there some room for improvement. If there is make a few changes but stay true to yourself. If your self reflection tells you they are wrongly or unfairly judging you,  just discount everything they say. Its not worth fighting to prove yourself to people. They say you can’t make the blind see. Step back rather than worrying about their perception. Keep doing what you think is right and soon you will find that either the people will move out of your path on their own or you will find a new and better path.

Most importantly, be ready to make the change. So many people stay in situations that subtract from them and stay stuck because they fear they would be seen as failures if they move on. Been there, done that and still trying to move on. Staying on unfulfilled only saps your energy and kills your confidence. It makes you a clone, a corporate or capitalist slave, whichever you prefer. Instead keeping looking within, talk to yourself, listen to yourself and even if it doesn’t happen soon, the fog will clear. Something tells me this year will be the year when all the pain, confusion will end. This will be the year when all the self reflection and the soul searching will yield results. There is no point in staying stuck. They say rats jump out of the sinking ship first, but that doesn’t make those who stay back any holier, sooner or later they meet the same fate. And what do you know, maybe the ship is sinking closer to the shore and then the rat would be the first one to touch land. Point is if a ship is sinking, it doesn’t matter when you drown. Either you plug the leak or you find a plank to sail away. You don’t remain on the deck fighting with the captain or deck hand about what led to the leak or who will plug it.

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