[Noteworthy Note: The article expresses my view of emotional turmoil coming from my own experience of going through it for past two years. I have difficulty in managing self, anxiety and fibromyalgia. Thus all the symptoms kind of interlink and overlap each other.
Through this article I am trying to put words to the difficult feelings and emotions I have felt in the last two years and how they have changed my perspective about life.]
It all started in the month of December, 2015. I was in Mumbai and was doing a fellowship. I would not say that I “got” depressed then but I understood that whatever I was feeling wasn’t going away soon enough. I changed my environment, I changed the kind of people I was working with, and I even got to change the city. But mentally things did not quite change for me.
I felt sad most of the time, eating a lot was one way of coping with it. I would finish bags and bags of chips and watch films on the loop. On the exterior of it, I would be okay. Nobody would know if I was going through any kind of trouble at all. I would simply have days when I did not want to move a limb and JUST DO NOTHING. Yet most days I would have to pull myself and get to work and not understand what was happening to me.
On a particular Sunday, I woke up and I started crying a lot. I cried for more than an hour and I could not stop. I did not know whom to call because I did not who would be okay with me crying and not be overwhelmed by it. A call to a friend helped.
Six months (August 2016) later I came back to Delhi and I started hunting for work. It was a difficult time, nothing was working for me. Whatever I tried failed miserably or the world seemed to be failing me. So the difficulty kept increasing. Come next year, around the end of February (2017), I could not deal with myself anymore. I would cry at the slightest issue. I cried so much that my eyes hurt in the morning and then I would cry some more. It was clear that something was up with me. Though no one knew what it was and how it could have been handled.
Through a friend of a friend, I came in contact with a therapist in March. I have been taking therapy sessions since then till today (17th Sep, 2018).
What did these moments of emotional turbulence do to me?
On one hand, they broke me, cracked me open got everything that was in, out. I did not feel like myself at all, I did not know who I was. I could not write poetry at all or write for myself. It became so difficult to live that I would be on the screen watching films and shows all day long. I did not want to face the reality. I did not want to feel the pain. Illusion always felt way better.
On the other hand, I slowly began being aware of myself. Through therapy and the signs that my body has given, I came a lot closer to my real self.
For me, I see this emotional turmoil as a result of multiple things. Emotionally scarred childhood, hostile school environment, the external pressure and resultantly my need to ‘prove’ myself consistently, the body shaming in teenage years, not being able to weigh my ‘worth’ for who I was as a person, the conflicts of values, morals and justice in work places, my struggle to keep hope and faith intact, my place as woman in the society and my search for the meaning of freedom, created a complex web of thoughts leading to mental fatigue and eventually lead to the feeling of being “broken” .
The symptoms were always there, because the problems were always there. The external and internal difficulties were present which just blew up one day like a volcano.
There are a couple of things that I still jostle with majorly while going through this stage of my life. One, that this condition is an invisible one. No one looking at me can say I am going through emotional
difficulty, thus no one will understand in how many ways it can be affecting me. Why I might not be taking certain decisions or why I might be doing/not doing certain things? It is difficult to explain to the parents or boyfriend or the boss. The former two in my life felt a bit ditched when I said I am going to a therapist to talk. It has taken them time to adjust to the new reality.
Heck, it is difficult to explain to oneself. There are times, even after two years of being in this stage, that I forget to empathize with myself. I call myself names, give tags and label as lazy and a big time procrastinator. It is only after some reflection (each time) on the ‘why’ of my feelings do I come to an understanding what made me behave the way I did.
Honestly, today when I look at people with the new perspective that I have received through this crisis, I wonder who isn’t suffering. Who isn’t hurting? Most of us are in loops of avoiding, rushing, speeding, crashing, snoozing and rushing again. Do we have time to ‘BE?’ Like Oprah says, “All everybody wants is to fulfill the highest, truest expression of themselves.” Do we have time for that?
This emotional crisis has lead me in various ways to be closer to who I AM today. It is not the most ideal way to reach to oneself, rather I pray that people have a healthy childhood to grow up as sane adults, but if it does not turn out that way, I still hope that there is hope and courage with all of us to rebuild a temple out of rubble after the earthquake has surpassed.
I am building mine. One day at a time. One step at a time. Sometimes, just one breath at a time!