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No one noticed. I understood that it would be difficult for my friends to notice as we rarely met or talked. But what about my parents? My family? They were the ones I spent every day of my life with.
Trigger Warning: This deals with extreme depression and may be triggering to survivors.
Whether you are a child or a parent, you will end up associating your life with the story ahead.
It was a windy and chilly winter evening. Looking out the Delhi metro window, zoned out of this world, I sighed and almost whispered, “I really want to pass the foundation exam. Papa ne ₹9,200 bhare hai exam ke liye”. (Papa has paid Rs 9,200 as exam fees).
My friend heard it and asked, “You used to study a lot in school. What happened?”
On hearing this my throat went dry and my mind began to rewind…
What indeed had happened to me? Who had I become? When did I start watching my ‘body self’ from the outside, from a dark and hidden corner?
Coronavirus had entered its year 3 and so had I, into another year of a deteriorated mental state. The pandemic was expected to dip and eventually die down. That was the way I had been feeling about myself.
Getting out of bed had become a task I just couldn’t accomplish. My eating habits changed. My personality altered. I would be sad, irritated, hurt, angry: all quite easily. Even the things I relished doing like reading, walking, sketching, cooking something for myself, I just didn’t anymore. I had breakdowns every day.
I thought I was losing myself.
No one noticed. I understood that it would be difficult for my friends to notice as we rarely met or talked.
But what about my parents? My family? They were the ones I spent every day of my life with.
Ma, how can you not notice my swollen eyes and red nose? How can you not notice that I have stopped doing anything at all?
Papa, when you asked me how I was and I told you that mai theek hu (I am Ok) looking into your eyes while being completely and utterly broken, how could you accept my answer?
One day I was lashing out, the next day fully shutting down.
Their disregard made me wonder: Is this all in my head? Am I just fine in reality and those nervous breakdowns, panic attacks, shut downs are just fragments of my imagination?
Mother, I stopped studying and your answer to that was that I am now officially a person who doesn’t want anything in life. For months, I couldn’t get myself out of my bed even after hours of being awake, and you concluded that I was a lazy hag…that I will never achieve success.
Yes I feel a bit cross but I do not blame them, dear reader. Just imagine as a parent, to watch your offspring try and fail and try and fail and try and fail and keep failing. EVERY DAY. A child that has been starting all over again for the last half a decade. They are bound to respond the way they are.
My friend’s stop came and she left. My mind forwarded itself back to reality.
If there is one thing that I truly truly wish for, it is for you my reader.
For you to NOTICE. Notice your kid (or your loved one if you are the child).
Listen to the cracks in their voice, the instability in their breathing, the loss of interest, the change of appetite, the hurt behind the anger, the fear of disappointing. Notice and act. HELP.
You, parents, are your kid’s entire world: however ‘cool’ or ‘grown’ they might have become. The world will never care for your kid like you do. Rescue your kid before it is late.
If you or anyone you know is feeling severely 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: pixabay
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