All the doors close. Everything you do, goes wrong. The negativity begins to paralyze you. No one wants to really listen. You feel checkmated. You remember the day you believed in the world. Instead, the world just took advantage of you. You begin to accept you are alone. Betrayal exists where friendship once resided. Deception becomes the new norm. Your world begins to shrink rapidly.
Every critique paralyzes you. A voice inside, belittles you. Your purpose. Your very existence. Financial turmoil compounds it. You enter a state of darkness where survival and uncertainty live side by side with loneliness. You reminisce each day on what life could have been. You gave this world everything.
Desperation for acceptance again becomes a dream. Someone to listen. Someone to give you a fair chance. You yearn to feel anything besides this pain. Everything starts to feel numb. No words allow you to communicate this feeling. You feel empty. You obsess over what others think of you. Insecurity takes over where confidence once lived. Your fight no longer becomes with the world, but with your mind. A demon inside you is born.
Where confidence and strength once soared, doubt and weakness moved in. The pressure becomes unbearable. Each breath feels heavier. Every heartbeat slower. Anxiety becomes a way of life. You question every choice you ever made. And, what life could have been. Surviving each day becomes a journey. You feel shattered. You fantasize on what happiness ever felt like. And, if you will ever get the chance to feel it again. The emotional toll grows. Hiding the pain becomes the only power you have left.
You begin to shut down. Your mind vividly replays the hurtful chapters. You close off everyone. You forget that people still love you. You are not worthy of their love. You are broken. A failure. Hope becomes your only salvation. But, drifts into the darkness of pain. You begin to shut down completely. You let go. No amount of physical strength can endure this pain anymore. Your emotions surrender. Your mind surrenders. You surrender.
This is depression. And, it’s real.
I’ve been here. I’ve felt this darkness. I’ve lived through every word and the pain it followed.
As a country of 1.3 billion people, it’s time to have a real conversation about mental health. India still largely believes mental health is taboo for conversation. Rather than having professionals, we turn to astrologers. And, if you ever shared you were depressed, the only solution you were ever offered was to pray. Sometimes, prayer isn’t enough for the demons the world created.
As news of the tragic suicide of Bollywood actor, Sushant Singh Rajput surfaced, I was reminded of V.G. Siddhartha’s suicide (Founder of Cafe Coffee Day). Two men from different industries that shared the same thread of lost hope. I felt their pain. I could relate to their vulnerability; what one human must have felt to have been pushed to their breaking point.
But, in these dark times, what should one do? First and foremost, seek help from someone you trust. A mirror always needs a reflection. Finding someone you trust, becomes half the battle. You need an outlet to remind you of your self worth. Words that you least expect, sometimes come to you at the right time and all you have to do is listen. Take the time to rewire yourself emotionally, physically and mentally.
Control your mind, control your world again.
Depression doesn’t just happen. It’s when life’s circumstances collide in a way no one is ever prepared for. No story is ever the same. But, the process is. Remind yourself who you are, what you mean to others, what you mean to the world, and how the world really operates. No one will understand your battles in a trapped mind.
Build back your inner strength. The courage lies within. Speak of victory, never defeat. You will need to be resilient, defiant and diligent every day. Trust in a higher power that will make the universe work for you again. Build your empire again, even if from scratch. You had the blueprint. It just took a detour.
Be bold. Be brave. Become fearless again. But, never ever give up.
I for one will be rooting for you. As you did for me.