Into the darkness.

There is always a choice.

But what if there is none.
The option of having a choice is it just a myth?

With my whims and quirks wavering, I was told I had a choice.

To choose good over evil.
To feed the wolf, I want to grow.

And, so I did.

I fed the good wolf.
I let it grow and well to its content.

Only, I did not realize that while I fed one, I starved the other.

By the time the realization hit, the starved wolf had decided to prey on its much-deprived feed.

It’s hunger now knowing no limits.

And, just like that, the good wolf ceased to exist.

The beauty of it all.

A breath of fresh air.
Is that what I said, then?

Yes, the reason for stepping out.

Every night standing on my patio,
gazing at the sky and the stars, mesmerized.

So elegant and yet so dazzling.

The night air feels like a subtle peck on my cheek.
And it caressing my hair as if I were a child. Oh! So meek.

I can hear the breeze and the commotions far away.
Nature, coming alive and celebrating life. To solemnize it all.

The nothingness at that moment feels like everything.
It fills my heart in abundance, and overwhelmingly so.

And, just like a child, I wait every night, yearning for it.
A glimpse, however small it might be.

A letter to…

#triggerwarning

#mentalhealth


You ask why,
Why did I change?
What was the need?

Why can’t things be like they were before?

And I said this then, and I say this now, “to break the cycle.”

Because

Every time I see you, I know the sorrow in your eyes,
for all the years, you shut yourself in and continue to do so.

Every time I see you, I see your struggle to cope,
to change the unchangeable, and to live a life that is deemed perfect.

Every time I see you, I know the happiness in your eyes,
for despite what your words say, your eyes say they can relate.

Because

I see you now as I have not before.

I see you as two individuals, the one who is related to me,
and the other who is struggling to relate with self.

I might disagree with the former but empathize with the latter.

But in either case, both are forgiven.

Because

Forgiving is not the same as forgetting.
But forgiving helped me move forward for the better.

And, I recommend the same to you, forgive yourself.
I understand the path might not be easy, but it is time now.

It is time to let go of your demons and to embrace yourself.
For the person you are. Different than those around.

But still, a person who deserves a chance at life. A happy one.


Why think?

I type this post as I set my phone aside after watching the movie Sara’s. The film does not call out anything we haven’t already heard of before but emphasizes listening to this time.

#spoileralert #notamoviereview #notapaidpost

Sara’s is a Malayalam movie available on Amazon Prime. The storyline is simple. It is of a woman who chooses not to have children. But is it that simple?

Though she gets married to someone on the same page as her on this matter, life happens, society happens, and things take a turn. However, I loved that the authenticity of the topic was maintained throughout while highlighting the key points.

  • A woman has to be mentally and physically prepared to give birth and raise a child. We often miss the mental readiness part.
  • Just because a woman is physically capable of conceiving and does not have medical issues stopping her from doing so does not mean she has to.
  • Some might say she will learn to deal when she has a child in hand. Unfortunately, that is not how the mind works. What is left is a forced relationship that consciously or subconsciously impacts the child and the mother.
  • But what about when she gets old, if she has a child, they will look after her. The statement is unsettling as it creates a necessity out of a fearful need and not out of a willing want. Adds undue pressure on the child as they grow with misrepresented expectations from them- a traditional barter system of unwilling emotions.

Childbirth has been a sensitive matter over the years, and this is not propaganda to say for it or against it. It is to say that whether a woman chooses to give birth or not, it should purely be out of her own choice.

The actor who plays a doctor in the movie says this well – Better not to be a parent than be a bad parent.

We often misunderstand that a relationship is toxic or abusive only on clear physical indications or explicit verbal statements.

Children are bright, and they catch any subtle negativity we feel we pushed off under the rug and made it unnoticeable.

So, next time you hear a woman make a choice, do not push your insecurities on her or make her feel guilty for making that choice. What might work for you might not work for others. And, that is OK.

Not broken, just in recovery.

Hello there! A happy weekend to you.

What’s cooking?

I keep talking so much about mental health, so today, I thought, why not write something about my experience through self-discovery and journey thus far.

Fun fact: I wanted to pursue psychology professionally in my early years but chose not to as it was not an in-demand profession back in those days, where I was based.

However, the curiosity stayed with me over the years and made me dive into behavioral psychology and mental health awareness topics. So, I started my learning in these areas intending to get certified over time. And, it all started as a path to self-heal.

As my learning progressed, I still felt a gap somewhere. And to fill this gap, I knew what I needed to do.
I had to seek professional help.
(PS: Professional help is always recommended even while you self-learn).

But, I managed to pause the idea because I did not find someone suitable to visit in person where I was based, and I wasn’t comfortable taking online consultations from home surrounded by family.

Finally, when I found a safe space to have an open discussion, I jumped right in. And, it has been the best experience.

At one point, my psychologist commented that I am more self-aware with my current state of mind and methods of healing than the others.

So why did I need a professional, you might ask.

Here is the thing.

Learning is different from executing. While you may be applying your learnings to practice, to implement something to 100%, sometimes you need a nudge in the right direction. Hence, a professional who is also a neutral party.

So, if you are looking to seek professional help, here are my learnings to share –

  1. Find your safe space to talk. It could even be a quiet corner in a coffee house.
  2. Some organizations/sites offer free consultations by qualified professionals. If budget is a concern, you may opt for these channels.
  3. The sites have clear terms and conditions specified about the privacy of information and so on. Read the terms in advance.
  4. If you are comfortable speaking to someone over an audio/video call, then in-person, online sessions are a fantastic choice.
  5. Psychologists and Psychiatrists are professionals of two different specialties. While psychologists conduct therapy sessions, they can not prescribe medications; a psychiatrist can do so as deemed best for your condition post-diagnosis.
  6. When looking for psychologists, there is no harm in trying a few. There is no better way to say this, but you need to feel comfortable with this individual and share a vibe with them. The more comfortable you are, the more you will be able to open up.

Most important of all, know that healing is a conscious and a continuous process. There is not an easy way or one way, or a one-time solution.

And, may the odds be ever in your favor. #hungergamesreference. 🙂


It is what it is.

This post is dedicated to people who are either accident prone or hold inadequate mind-body coordination skills. This is not to share tips on overcoming these traits but simply to let the acceptance sink in and chant internally ‘it is OK.’

As someone who carries both these traits, the conversations sometimes can turn really funny, and those listening might even think you are bluffing. And it is not their fault. 😛

Imagine if this was one such conversation –

Patient – Doc, I have this pain bothering me for a while now, and I wanted to get it checked.

Doctor – OK, how long have you had this pain? Did you fall or run into something unknowingly?

Patient – Silence

Doctor – Go ahead; this will help me narrow down the cause and diagnosis before running further tests to confirm.

Patient – Well, this is not a recurring pain. It comes and goes occasionally. Pause

Doc – Patiently listening That is OK, go ahead. Tell me.

Patient – OK, I ran into the wall this once, and a few days before, it was the bedpost, and then I fell down one day out of the blue, then there were maybe 3 or 4 other falls like that in the last year. I might have run into a few more objects around me, more or less around the same time. I think I also tripped over my other leg a few times. And,…

Doc – Sigh Please, I think we have what we need. Please get a full-body X-ray; we will see what the reports say. And, sometimes, change in the environment might help heal faster. Please consider moving to a secluded desert for a few weeks.

Patient – But, will this move really help? There will still be the wind and sand there, and my leg might get caught, and I might fall.

Doc – You know what, people warned me. They warned me that this would be a tiresome job, and I did not understand then. I am done.
turns to type the resignation letter.

Patient – So, do I bring back those X-ray reports to you, or would you be recommending me to another doctor.

Doc – presses the call button, and a nurse walks in. I need a doc asap.

PS:
1. I have the utmost respect for those in the medical profession and their patience on the job. This is a lighthearted, fun post and should be treated like so.
2. The dialogue might be a tad bit exaggerated, but my consultations more or less go on similar lines, and I am often lost on where to start and how to end. And, don’t get me started on the questions I have.
3. If you know of someone who is either accident prone or holds inadequate mind-body coordination skills, DO NOT tell them to be careful next time. Trust me, we try. 🙂


Just for fun or is it?

To err is human.
So why do we feel a need to put ourselves down, especially in front of others? On some occasions, if not all.

Why do we feel this form of self-deprecating is OK even if we justify it only for fun and nothing more.

We have all been there, and to be honest, so have I.

The more I interact with the world, the more I see this pattern.

Over the years, I realized that it is OK to humbly boast about yourself, acknowledge the compliments received, and own up for the mistakes while being nice to yourself and self-actualize in the process.

So, what is the key?
– Understanding that self-deprecating, even if you mean in a fun way, is still disrespectful of self.
– Do what you would typically do as self-deprecating behavior, in front of a mirror, or imagine you are saying those dialogues to a friend instead and not to yourself.

You will start to see a change in your perception and your interactions, and your way of life, after.

I had a chance to have open discussions about this with some, where I observed the pattern but wanted to share my thoughts with a larger group with a simple intent to inform and educate.

Does that mean I don’t have my rare moments of self-deprecating, where I slip into that back-hole subconsciously?

I do.

But again, to err is human but to forgive is divine.


The yarn ball

Every story has a back story.
And that story has another back story.
Then another one and another one and another one.

So, when you ask my story.
What do I say?

Do I share the story of now or then?
Do I share yet not share the story at the same time?

Do I let the yarn ball loose or hold on to it with my dear life?

Because every story has a back story, and there are different sides to it.

The story is mine, but the narrations vary.
The intent is well, but the perception changes.
And there is no arguing the emotions that come to play.

It might be a story I wish not to tell. Not out of disrespect.
But because the story is like a yarn ball, once you let it go, it is a painful process gathering it all and gathering your own self after.

Cry your heart out

Possible trigger warning.

Of all the movies I have watched to date, one film and one particular scene in it never fails to crack me up. The movie – ‘The Holiday’, where Cameron Diaz breaks up with her then-partner, ‘tries to cry’ and, after her best efforts to do so, gives up and moves on to book a holiday.

This scene, in particular, was amusing to me, maybe because it resonated with me very well – The attempt to cry.

As a kid, I was super sensitive and used to cry a lot, but I was also a brilliant kid, and I knew that I could get away with my pranks with a teardrop, so I played it well. All-an-all, I am not sure how much water I could have accumulated if I harvested it all – both the real and fake tears.

Then over the years, I just stopped crying, just like that.
Nothing impacted me. Or so I thought.

People respond to trauma differently, and toughening up was mine. (#acompletenono)

I used to have spasms like Cameron did in that movie but never a tear. This probably went on for a good few years. PS: Never control your tears, along with the spasms, you get a terrible headache, and of course, there are the other health issues that lead on.

Then as I grew old, I was able to see the relief in letting go and tearing up when the flood gates open. This did not occur until a medical condition made me realize it is not human to always hold it together, and it is nearly impossible if you think you can. The only other time I remember crying before that was when there was a close family member’s demise.

Over time, I developed a mechanism that I cry only in the scheduled times and do so alone unless there is a dire need for an instant outburst. This is not because I am ashamed of tearing up in front of others (not any more or so I would believe), but sometimes when the flood gates open, they also open doors for my inner demons that need to be shushed in private. (#choice)

It came to the point that I journal the cry events, compare notes from previous years, and whether the event occurred in public or private. This may sound bizarre, but you could call this a progress sheet for tracking patterns. It is also self-reflective in nature (one-on-one with my soul) to evaluate the events that lead to the cry, however small the latter might be.

This surprisingly improved my mental health for the better. So, if you are holding back those tears, bring them on. As I write this post, I just completed one of my scheduled sessions. I feel calm, and I can breathe. Really breathe.


Image credits – Image by Mariana Anatoneag from Pixabay

Recommended reads – Shush!

Yet another year in.

Something found, something lost, something worth remembering.
A story like every year. Or is it?

We say last year has been the worst over the decades.

Maybe so because it was ours to experience, and the losses were ours to bear.

But as we do, over time, we adapt, and we evolve.
Whether time heals it all or not, we learn to survive.

Only to share our stories with generations ahead, on the hardships we faced and how a blessing in disguise the year was.

That it was a year of learning.
The year that re-instilled what was forgotten – how to be human.
How to be kind and how to co-exist. Or at least try to.

Learning that we carry into the years to come, till we become egoistic in our own being, again. And, till the universe decides it is time for yet another lesson.


Happy New Year to all. A toast to kinder days. 🙂


Image credits – Image by James Chan from Pixabay

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