By Neha Mishra:
I smiled looking at the smoke I exhaled. It was me who was inhaling through those poisonous sticks and exhaling the smoke. I was becoming pro this thing. The girl who was always against smoking was smoking and destroying herself for someone else.
I was emotionally ill but everyone around me said I will be fine, that I just needed some time. But, they were not right. I was injured, an injury only I can feel because it was not visible like any other crack in our body. I was breaking emotionally and I had no one with me except for the few friends who suggested I would be fine if I stayed calm. The days I spent around other people but, after my office hours, it was just me in that small room; sitting with no emotions, no fear, no happiness, no sadness. A blank me not knowing where I was going. I became so hopeless that I use to cry in the middle of the night sitting in the dark because he left me. A guy I dated for 42 odd days or may be less than that. He became my pillar of support because he was gentle with me.
I felt as if the world had fallen over me, I had nowhere to go. I felt like I don’t exist. I started doing every possible thing to distract myself but at the end it was just me in the mirror. I was afraid of my own face. I left my job, the city, my hobbies, my dreams and started running like a ‘failure’. But I knew this had to end somewhere. At least, that’s what everyone told me, “You will be fine, you just need to give it some time.”
I gave all the time in the world, but I was getting worse. And then finally I was tired of my own tears, I was envious of seeing people smiling and I started realising that it’s not about giving time.
Eventually, I knew it’s only me who could fix myself. I started loving my loneliness, I started building my dreams again. I realised that despite everything, I am still going to live without him. The emotional breakdown is not bothering him!
Everything has got a breaking point, that does not mean ‘the end’ (at least, not for me). I understood that a part of me has gone with him which is not going to come back. I needed to be determined to fix myself.
Today, I am smiling again but still love my loneliness. I do miss him but I do not cry over him anymore. I know I am broken but I also know some scares are good to make us learn.
Once you confront your loneliness you tend to enjoy your own company which ultimately leads to a good aura around you. And the more you share, the better the chances of getting healed of your emotional illness.
#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.