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I went to my desk and sat for a long time, shivering at the step I had almost taken. I thought of all the people in my life who loved me, my husband, family and friends, and how broken they would have been.
Trigger alert: Has descriptions of depression and suicidal tendencies, and could be triggering for a survivor.
They say – “It’s darkest before the dawn” and it has proven to be true for me. This dark period of my life also helped me transform into a much stronger and wiser person.
In 2016, my mother had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and there was nothing we could except alleviate her pain till the end came. Since my parents were in a different city, I got them to Mumbai to stay with me and my husband while she underwent treatment.
Unfortunately, I took the wrong decision to change my job at that uncertain time in my life for better prospects. Though, the new role has more career advancement and was definitely more paying, it was also extremely stressful.
I was working 11 hours a day and would come back to take care of an ailing mother. I had joined a team which only had men. A few days in the job and one of my colleagues started having extremely inappropriate conversation with me about another woman colleague. While uncomfortable, I did not tell him off or report his behavior.
That was my first mistake. My silence was taken as consent to have this type of conversation with me. It later progressed to creepy messages and commented directed towards me.
The stress of work, badgering by these men and my mother’s deteriorating condition started to take its toll on me.
I would not get sleep in the night, I would feel a physical pressure against my chest and despair was my constant companion. I lived like this for almost 3 months. Since it was a new job, I could not take off, so I would get up every morning, put on my make –up and go to work.
One day, I was so lost that instead of getting off on my floor from the elevator in the office building, I went up to the topmost floor. I realized my mistake and was about to go back in the elevator when I saw that the terrace door was ajar.
I thought – how easy it would be to just go out there and jump. All my sufferings would end and I will not have to fight anymore.
My guardian angels were watching over me that time. As I took a step towards the terrace door, a security guard came to tell me that I could not be on the floor. As his voice broke into my reverie, I realized what I was going to do.
I went to my desk and sat for a long time, shivering at the step I had almost taken. I thought of all the people in my life who loved me, my husband, family and friends and how broken they would be if I had taken this step today.
And, that’s the day I decided to fight back.
The fear of judgment had made me keep quiet and not speak to anyone. But I understood that I had no need to be ashamed of what I was undergoing.
I reached out to all who loved me and started talking about my problems. At times, only talking and speaking about your feelings help so much, and I felt the pressure ease up a bit for the first time in many days. As per their advice, I contacted a therapist and started undergoing sessions.
It was an uphill battle that I fought but did not give. Through the sessions, talking with my loved ones and letting out the negativity in me, I finally managed to defeat depression and come out of it.
I did speak about the harassment I was facing and finally told my boss that I could not handle the stress being put on me. Ironically, when I left the job a year later, 2 people were hired to do the job I was managing alone. I did lose my mother, but I accepted her loss and the grief that came with it.
This event taught me one thing. The most toxic thing we can do to ourselves is to bottle up our feelings. With no outlet, the negativity brews inside, causing damage to us. There is nothing wrong with feeling despaired and lost. We all are at some point in my life, but when you feel like you are drowning in a dark pit of sadness then reach out, you won’t believe how many helping hands will come your way to pull you out.
While death by suicide is a tragic thing to happen and one possible way depression can go, for every person who attempts or even dies of suicide, there are many who suffer depression, but somehow don’t go that route. Why and how does this happen? What is it that helps them take that positive bend, or prevents them from taking the negative bend?
10th September is World Suicide Prevention Day. We have for you 3 personal positive stories of women who have come back from the brink, on the 10th (Link), 11th, and 12th of September.
If you or anyone you know is feeling depressed or suicidal, here are some of the helplines available in India. Please call.
Aasra, Mumbai: 022-27546669
Sneha, Chennai: 044-2464 0050
Lifeline, Kolkata: 033-2474 4704
Sahai, Bangalore: 080–25497777
Roshni, Hyderabad: 040-66202000, 040-66202001
Image source: shutterstock
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