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“One Day At A Time”: How My Bestie Brought Me Out Of A Possible Depression

Posted: December 26, 2019

Going through a challenging transition, my best friend reminded me – that living one day at a time helps us deeply experience the present – and prepare for the future. 

I have an inclination to love very deeply. So much so that my individuality is almost annihilated when in the presence of the person or object of my affection.

Of course, it backfires, but this is how I have always loved. Wholly with complete abandon. Maybe I am like this because I was loved like that by my family ever since I was a little child. While I have always known that things and people change, that people move on or completely forget one just because we changed places, my intensity to love has remained the same.

If someone looks through my personal belongings, they will still find things like handwritten notes with their edges turning yellow and crisp, tucked safely somewhere or a leaf carefully kept inside a novel because it has a certain memory attached to it.

I have changed schools thrice in order to pass my 12th boards because my father was in a transferable job. Changes and transitions has been a normal part of my life. Leaving behind friends, places and things I loved was something that I learnt early on.

But most times, I have not taken to transitions well

I guess it’s human nature.

Last week, I had been fighting a challenging transition phase where I was in denial of the situation while clearly understanding that there’s no point in fighting. Being a woman and a mother at such transitions are not as easy. Every woman who has left home or sent off a child for further education would relate to how difficult transitions are.

It’s like life wants you to place your heart in someone or something and then that same life asks you to “please move aside, heart and all because it’s time to move on.” At times like these, I mostly go outside and sit amidst the trees and look up at the sky. My father had told me once, “Whenever you feel stressed, just look up at the sky and you will understand that the world is so vast and your problems are so small.”

Every time I look up I remember my dad and me looking up at the sky on a soft moonlit night. Last week was no different and while I hoped for a little sanity in my mental struggle, I could not help the tears welling up in my eyes while looking at a twinkling star. Of course I missed my father and I had to face my current situation.

Well, when nothing works, girlfriends do…

…and this is when I messaged my bestie in Delhi. We have known each other through thick and thin, have laughed at each others’ goof ups and weaknesses and have remained BFFs for over a decade.

I spoke to her about my struggles. My fight with this thing called transition which I was so bad at dealing with. After she patiently heard me out, laughed at my situation and gave me the needed advice, she signed off saying, “Just take one day at a time, it’s easier that way.” I could not help but send her a meek ‘Yes’ as a response.

Her advice brought to me a chain of thoughts, especially a memory where one day, shaking with fear to face the future, I had asked my father wide eyed, “What if things do not turn out well, dad?”

He replied, “What if it does?”

I realised then that we live our lives either holding onto the past or planning for a future. Transitions are times when we are completely facing what is in the present and like we always have, we try to dodge it. While life happens only in the present, we live in someplace which does not exist. This is exactly the reason why we struggle.

My best friend’s advice taught me that we need to focus on the present when faced with a certain difficult situation. It brings things into perspective. Her advice connected me to my dad’s memory where I had learnt as a wide eyed college student that things also have the possibility of turning out right; and if it does, how we would miss having spent our time whining and ruining our present.

Transitions therefore are situations where we need to sit down, relax and give ourselves and the situation time to settle down. Talking to my best friend has helped me out of a possible depression that I was headed towards, well, because my perspective was not correct. Like always, I cannot be grateful enough to her for giving me an ear.

The next day I received a voice message from her part of which said, “Are you okay now after I laughed at you?”

The answer was of course, a grateful yes.

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