By Nibha Gupta:
It’s been a while since I penned down this poem and others similar thoughts. It was a year or two ago when I was beginning to learn the corporate life. I don’t exactly remember what triggered this loneliness in the first place but it did stay for a month or so and it seemed like ages to me. There was a constant emptiness that I would feel. Neither the funniest jokes could make me laugh nor would my favourite food bring back my appetite. I just ate to fuel my body and not for the taste of it. Whenever I was home, I would be holed up in my room emerging only occasionally, that too for obligations.
I kept trying to escape the feeling by submerging myself in the world of words, either my own or others’. I was not sad or happy but it was kind of a numbness that I can’t explain. I just felt as if nothing was good enough. I didn’t want to talk to anyone, even to myself. I didn’t know what I was longing for. Tears would escape out of helplessness in the darkness of night. Of course, nobody except me knew about it. I didn’t know what to tell others when I wasn’t aware what was going on myself. I tried to fight it and be happy but it didn’t help.
An adventurous family trip ended this dark phase. The rush of adrenalin pushed those feelings away and I was back to being myself. Maybe this is what I was longing for, a change, an adventure. I spoke about this phase to my closest friends after I was done with it. I wish I had done that earlier; a few friendships might not have been strained then.
These feelings do return to take me to that dark corner of loneliness, but I make it a point not to fight it too hard. I let it pass just like any other phase of life, making sure that it doesn’t grow on me. I write out my feelings so they don’t tamper with my head. I try and plan outings to change the routine and spend more time with the people I love and who love me back. I try to maintain distance from the people with high levels of negativity.
To anyone who is going through it, reach out and speak. Just one person who can understand is enough. Restrict it but don’t cut yourself off from any social interaction. It’s always good to talk.
At times I really miss,
All the glory that I used to had.
Never thought it would turn this way
This strange, this lonely, this bad.
In the room of loneliness
I Want to sit back and cry.
Seeing around the world I am in
Want to run away or go fly.
Oblivious of the world around
Dwelling on thoughts very deep.
Strange was the feeling
Under my skin that would creep.
Darkness and sadness engulfed me
Made my vision blurry and unclear.
Tried enough to be tough and strong
Through the eyes rolled down a tear.
Nobody now seems to care
Pain is all my heart now bears.
Holding up my head high
My smile now hides all the fears.
When uncertainty filled my heart
With a smile I got off the bed.
Having no one to share the journey
Lonely was the path I led.
#LonelyButNotAlone is Youth Ki Awaaz’s campaign to start conversations around mental health and how we experience it in the urban landscape. ‘Where is home?’ is a continuing audio-visual series that features young people’s stories about coping with loneliness, depression and other mental health issues. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a filmmaker, photographer, animator or an artist and would like to feature your work as a part of this campaign.