2012 was the year when I went through my first big failure. The past years, I thought of myself as the person I was described to be by others, but in 2012, I realised who I actually was; the good and the bad.
It wasn’t an easy year as I matured into a new world. I had so many plans and desires. I was maturing and realising the value of independence, which was my primary focus. Today, I realise, that the things you want don’t always play out as you pen them down, there is always another author to the story.
As I grew up, my fear of taking any risks began to reduce, I had a hopeless perspective on the world. I regretted my past and even my present, not being able to accept reality. I created a new surroundings; feeling comfortable with my projection of my varied and conflicting ideas and emotions. Since all hope had vanished, I was always ready for failure, and being positive seemed like a scheme for the foolish. In the form of support, I hooked myself to various substances. I started with cutting and abusing my feelings, and ended up with cigarettes and alcohol.
The anger hidden inside me was projected in an irrational way. The smallest of things led to big outbursts. I would lash out. I vented out my feeling, both verbally and physically. The relief I felt after doing this though, led me to believe in the importance of talking and not bottling it all up.
I wasn’t the kind of person who opened up and shared my pain with just anyone, so I went to the person I trusted the most, and described my thought process and how I was dealing with it. That’s the time when I was referred to talk to someone (a professional). I was insecure about this then, maybe because I lacked a larger understanding of what it was, so I entered therapy with a closed mind.
It was around the same time that I sank further into my depression. Now that I think about it, it wasn’t such a big deal or worth taking such an extreme step for, but at the time, in my mind, I saw no hope and thought of myself as worthless. I gathered up a number of pills and tried to overdose. This was my first attempt at taking my life. The idea seemed like a good one at the time, but all it did was hook me onto a few medications.
This episode made me accept the changes and acknowledge that I had to open myself to a professional. I referred to this person as my anxiety whisperer.
Life for me was constantly changing, there were new expectations of me. Once again, I refused to accept the changes and shut myself off. The only change I welcomed was the addition of anxiety pills. My anxiety got worse as my parents kept reminding me and harping on each and every single one of my failures, on a daily basis. They questioned all my choices and took away the little space that I had created for myself. I expressed myself in a dark way, my fear of death had timed-out, and this was rudely vocalised. I kept myself at arm’s length from the people around me, considering the numbness I felt. That was also the year I lost the person who supported me throughout, and I ended up locking myself in my room and cutting myself off from the world outside my door. Surrounded by grey walls, I sank deeper into my own head.
When I got back to my daily routine, I found myself in a new relationship. I indulged in it more than I think I should have. I was vulnerable with no control, perhaps it was my latest addiction. I had given up on the world, and had only one person to give everything to now. I was happy at the time, while it lasted, with its ups and downs.
I realised that I was increasingly making things worse in my head than they actually were. Time and again, I would face new sources of stress, and would think about ending it all, again and again. However, each time I felt like I was one step away, I spoke to someone, explained how I felt, and reminded myself of what was important to me.
2016 wasn’t a good year for me. In the middle of the year, I experienced a panic attack that escalated into a heart attack. Being so close to death, that I had hitherto claimed I wasn’t scared of, terrorised me. Later in 2016, I once again tried to put an end to whatever piece of life I had left.
I wouldn’t say I have a new perspective now, or a new hope, only that I know talking things through helps and can also help accept things the way they are. I had been avoiding writing this piece because I knew it might make me walk through the past that I have been shutting out. However, as I wrote through the past that I was conveniently avoiding, I discovered the amount of strength I have accumulated to not let this affect me, and that gave me some closure. Everyone has their own paths to walk, but, if you allow others walking a similar path a chance, they can help give you some fresh perspective on life. Above all, it is important to think positively about yourself and be true to the person you are.
Today, I am able to open up to even a random stranger and own up to my story, because I know this is what makes me human. Acceptance is the biggest step to recovery, so vent, talk, share, scream, but just get it out.