Battling Demons - Inside Out
Chronic Illness, fibromyalgia, invisible illness, mental illness

Battling Demons – Inside Out

Depression occurs in phases. I battled depression for three years having had a very disturbed childhood.

There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.” ― Laurell K. Hamilton

My parents didn’t get along. My mother and I never had a normal relationship, as it should be between a daughter and a mother. She suffers from BPD/NPD and never tried to seek help from doctors. But my parents never compromised with their expectations from their children. They always wanted to be the toppers in class, in the school although the environment in the house never supported us. We were not allowed to mix up with other kids. We had no friends. All we had to deal with was constant endless fights and emotional abuse along with our studies.

But things went out of control when I fell into depression.

I didn’t sleep for months. I used to have crying spells in the class at school, during tuition. My performance was affected. Somehow I managed to pass but I used to stay isolated and cry a lot. I remember one of my classmates saying, ‘Iski badi badi ankhon mein hamesha pani rehta hai..Jheel ki tarah!‘ (Loosely Translated: Her big eyes are always watery,just like a pond) I didn’t know whether it was a compliment or she had caught me crying.

The worst type of crying wasn’t the kind everyone could see–the wailing on street corners, the tearing at clothes. No, the worst kind happened when your soul wept and no matter what you did, there was no way to comfort it. A section withered and became a scar on the part of your soul that survived. For people like me and Echo, our souls contained more scar tissue than life.” ― Katie McGarry

It went like that for about a year. Then I joined college in Pune. There, I started healing and coming out of depression. Meanwhile, situation at home kept on getting worse.

This time it was my sister who was in the trap of depression. I had an idea what she was going through. She went to the extent of getting her appendix removed only because she was depressed. There was nothing wrong with her appendix. Staying in Pune, I started seeking help for her by meeting psychiatrists and reading books on it.  During that time,  I also tried to explain my parents but they didn’t seem to understand anything. I decided to go home and help her overcome this situation assuming I could do that. To do all this, I decided to skip my semester exams.

What I didn’t realize that depression can be healed either by improving the environment or with the will power of the sufferer. A third person alone cannot do anything. I failed in my attempts to help them all and returned to my college. But I had a very strong fear that she might take another extreme step of taking away her life. She had already tried a lot of times. Because of it all, I could not concentrate on my studies. I had 15 papers and 9 practicals in backlog. My cousin also used to study in the same college. I thought he would understand my situation and reached out to him. Instead, he tried to molest me.

Neither could  I handle it nor could I take the correct steps to expose him then. I just wanted run away from everything. So, I returned home. I told my dad about this incident, stating that I could not continue anymore. I begged him to allow me to drop out. He eventually gave in. It didn’t help much and I feel into depression again. I started feeling guilty and worthless. My mother used to taunt me while my father was trying to get me back into the college somehow.

I remember, I used to become numb, drained off energy, staying in the bed for 20-22 hrs, without sleeping even for a minute. I was put on anti depressants again. Those pills used to make me drowsy. I either used to sleep or cry. I was admitted to Company secretary course. New text books were bought and given to me, in an attempt to keep my engaged and put me back into track. I could not read a word. By the time I reached the 3rd word in the sentence, I would have forgotten the 1st word. My reading and writing skills went for a toss. It seemed the vocabulary had been flushed from my brain. I was fed up.

Others imply that they know what it is like to be depressed because they have gone through a divorce, lost a job, or broken up with someone. But these experiences carry with them feelings. Depression, instead, is flat, hollow, and unendurable. It is also tiresome. People cannot abide being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they ought to, and they might even try, but you know and they know that you are tedious beyond belief: you are irritable and paranoid and humorless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re “not at all like yourself but will be soon,” but you know you won’t.” Kay Redfield Jamison

Then came a time that I became comfortable in being depressed. I had no energy. I knew depression could kill me one day, I didn’t want to do anything. I couldn’t write, read, feel or even cry. But one day after months, I finally mustered the courage to put an end to everything. I decided to kill myself. I managed to collect money and bought medicines from different shops as one shop would not have given me medicines in that quantity. I unwrapped them in the night and popped them all. They must have been at least 30 tablets including antidepressants and sleeping pills.

I was sure that was enough to kill me…but I was saved. In the hospital,  the doctor asked me why I took such a big step. That’s when I expressed what I was going through. After a week or so, I suddenly realized that it was not in my control to live or die. So, why not do things that I wanted to do. I realized that depression had broken me completely and I needed to find myself back and reconstruct everything. I knew I could not do that living in a gloomy environment.

After 3-4 months, I applied for a job in Pune. Luckily I got selected and relocated. I decided that I would never touch the medicines again. I packed my bag to start a new struggle in a new city, with a new job. I have failed many times, changed jobs but it was ‘I’ who saved ‘me’ , after I decided to save me. Until about two months ago, I used to think I can never fall into depression again. I am stronger now. But Fibromyalgia seems to be bringing back the feeling of guilt. My life have been changing constantly ever since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia.

You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.” ― David Mitchell

P.S: This post has been shared anonymously with us. Names withheld on request. If you wish to share the story of your battles in life or of someone you know, you can send it to us through our Submissions Section.

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