November, 2015… I was busy being happy in my fairy tale world. You name anything a girl desires – I had it!
A perfect blessed family (adorable son, loving husband and caring dad) where everyone was healthy, happy and contended with their lives. All four of us are travelers and have awesome memories of holidays and road trips in India and abroad. I had changed careers and found success in almost everything I tried (except learning languages, I guess) and loved being a photographer. I loved being with people and had the sweetest of friends. I was “divinely guided and protected” and believed nothing could go wrong again.
I had just come back from a wonderful road trip to Goa and all of us were in high spirits. That’s when things start getting weird. The first time it happened, I broke down in a mall and could not stop crying, for no reason at all. I tried ignoring it as a mood thing but again had an anxiety attack in a flight back home. I was baffled as these things were not making sense at all. Slowly these events started happening more frequently and by end of December, I had reached a very dark place. As per my doctor, I was clinically depressed – a term I had never really understood before this.
Apparently, a part of brain was choosing to produce less of the required ‘happy chemical’ and that was causing me to behave this way. You know it is like your pancreas acts crazy and you get diabetes. Usually something like this is caused by a trauma- death of a dear one, breaking up a relationship, some shocking news etc. In my case, my therapist still has no clue why it happened. And I have given up trying to even find out why. The fact remains – it did happen and I lived in a deep, dark hole for months.
The attempt here is to help you understand what I felt then. Unfortunately, even thinking about it right now is making it difficult to form sentences. Let me still try explaining. The obvious was the constant fear and the crying – as if someone dear had passed away. However, it did some very interesting things to me:
- Completely robbed me of whatever I knew of me as a person: I now hated meeting people, I had a deep fear of travel, I could not pick up the camera (I have shot practically nothing, professionally, for 6 months now).
- Zero will power: I could not even get myself out of bed by noon. I didn’t step out of my room and mostly preferred it dark. I, eventually, did nothing of what my to-do list would be – including taking a shower somedays!
- No desire to feel or look good: I survived on 4 t-shirts, pair of jeans, a pair of tracks and a night suit. Sounds silly but I even stopped wearing kaajal and earrings. Of course it didn’t matter as I was always in my room.
- I could not remember what “normal” felt like. Even if I tried – I could not visualise a future. It was one day at a time I was dealing with.
Luckily, I somehow decided that this was a phase and this was not me. I had always been a die-hard optimist and a tiny part of me still continued to believe I would be happy again!
The question was how and when!