Reach out today #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

Reach out today #WorldSuicidePreventionDay

Technically, I am not blogging at the moment, since I am working on my book. But I just couldn’t let this day pass without putting something down here.

For the last hour, I have been tweeting about #WorldSuicidePreventionDay and was wondering how I could say something that would help someone else.

Then, it struck me that if I could post an extract from my WIP here, it may help. As you may have guessed by now, I am working on a book dealing with my personal battle against depression & bipolar disorder.

So, if what you read here can help you or someone you know, then that would make my year.

Extract

(This is a first draft and needs tons of editing, but sharing it for the benefit of those who may be in the throes of depression)

On the days when I felt that life was not worth living anymore, I would withdraw into a moody silence that distanced me from everyone in the house. Over time, my mother began to sense these delicate moments and would quickly put in a phone call to M or P. Both of them lived not too far away from my place, so getting to my house would take them under 15 minutes.

And they did. On the dot. Every single time.

One or the other was always available to come and talk to me, joke with me, pull my leg about our college crushes and the goof-ups we endured at the teachers’ hands. Very carefully and strategically, they would veer me away from the suicidal thoughts and keep me engaged with moments of rib-tickling laughter, warm and comforting hugs and huge dollops of sanity in my partially insane world. We avoided any reference to my being ‘mentally ill’ or ‘clinically depressed’, because, to them, our memories of one another always dominated everything else.

M would recall the time that we had attended that cultural festival together in Delhi and how a group of us would giggle helplessly each time a particular song was played. P  would make me break into peals of laughter as she recounted the variety of colourful phrases she had used on the other motorists on the road that day. She always did have a fascinating vocabulary, that one!

Earlier attempts to harm myself had terrified my mom , enough to ensure that I never stepped out of the house unsupervised. When M and P came by,we’d go for a walk in the local park. As I sat there, with the wind playing soft caresses on my cheek or the sun gently bathing my skin, watching the birds chirp and the people walk around, I would forget that I was going through a traumatic and life-altering illness. For those thirty minutes, I was free- free from the choices that I had made, free from the pain of disappointment and liberated from the shackles of the mind-altering Bipolar Disorder.

Gratitude seems like a very inadequate term for what I feel when I think back at that entire period. Literally speaking, I owe these people my life. Support of any kind is so crucial to the recovery and recuperation part of mental illness. Whether that comes in the form of a loving parent, a trusted friend or an understanding spouse, it is invaluable when it is sent and received.

It takes very little to change the way the world thinks about something. We can do it with love, patience, compassion, forgiveness and unconditional acceptance. Take it from me. Were it not for the grace of my parents, my family and my friends, there is no telling how much longer I would have been in the abyss of depression, bipolar disorder and near-suicide.

Chances are I’d still be there, waiting for someone to hold out a hand and pull me out of the cavernous pit. Or maybe I wouldn’t be here at all.

Compelled- #AmWriting

Midnight.

It’s the time when people should be asleep, washing away the worries of the day and letting Sleep do her task of gently caressing our tired heads in her loving lap. It is time for me to switch it all off- the kitchen light, the whirring fan in the living room where the blare of the TV has filled the tiny space with its flurry of laughs, crimes and drama for the past two hours. I walk past the tiny altar in my home, waiting for the lamp to flicker softly and die out on its own as I pause to bend my head in prayer and gratitude for the day gone by.

Some scattered laundry calls my name as does the smell of freshly bought brown cover for my daughter’s school books as they lie in gentle disarray at the foot of my bed. I pause to think if I should cover one more and I realise that it can wait till tomorrow. Tying my hair up in a bun, I blink and peer into the mirror to check for dark circles, the ones that never really seem to go away, not with all the laughter in the world. Sighing, I tilt my head forward, splash water on my face and turn to switch off the lamp above the sink. The bed beckons, with its warm sheets as the howling wind outside picks up in crescendo to a raging gale now, rattling the window shades and slamming forgotten doors across homes in my building. Shrugging on my robe, I stand by the window and gaze into the pitch black of night, wondering at the souls who lie with no shelter above their heads.

Then, when I should be crawling into bed, I turn and stride into the next room, push my chair back and feel the words flowing out of my heart and head. There’s a need to sleep and a need to say something, all at once. A dam will burst, gushing forth in glory and grace, as I lay my heart out on these blue screens.

And I realise, writing doesn’t follow the earth’s rotational rules. Sometimes, we are just compelled.

To write.

I can sleep now.

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Write to be read- #poem

It takes me a while

To put it all down

To reach into the soul of my being

And lay it all out on the ground;

For you to see

For you to read

For you to feel

All it takes is a few moments, I plead.

It is the voice of my heart

The breath of my soul

The burning in the hearth

Of this writer’s impassioned tale.

All you need to do

Is read, nod and sigh

Perhaps hit ‘Like’

And even say a word or five.

But, you walk right on by

For you have other things to do.

You have blogs to read

Dinner to make,

Life to live

for its own sake.

I judge you not

For this role you don

For I wear the same clothes

From dusk to dawn.

As writers, we write

For writing’s own reward.

But if that writing is not read

Why then must we write at all?

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