Trigger warning: mentions of suicidal thoughts and self-harm
Apparently, things seemed to settle for me. I thought things may get better. I believed my past did not affect me till that dark night. Unfortunately, I was wrong.
Two years ago, I was in a toxic relationship that was emotionally draining. After a point, it felt difficult to breathe. It was discomforting and displeasing. I decided to stand for myself and ended it.
Post this move, many other disturbing instances followed. A troublesome past coupled with an ugly present was awful. Things got worse during the lockdown.
I would wake to nightmares involving my past relationship in the middle of the night. The racing heartbeat, sweat, tears and uneasiness, it is absurd to explain it in words. It aggravated my suffering.
I tried to express my plight to a few of my friends and family members, but none could comfort me. Some gave me advice on coping. I must tell you, never give advice to people when they are disturbed!
They want a safe and non-judgmental zone and someone to listen to them, while they express what they are going through.
Lend an ear if you can, not a list of dos and don’ts!
With passing time, I started getting suicidal thoughts. I would think death would be better than to live with grief and suffering. Misery seemed permanent. Darkness seemed to capture my life.
I was very upset with everything. Literally, nothing made me happy. Memories from my past and a few other things happening around me, collectively took a toll on my mental health.
That dark night, once again I woke up to a nightmare. Tears rolled down my cheeks. I started to question my existence. I kept thinking about how people have treated me. I was blaming myself for others’ behavior towards me.
My arms cladding my body, I kept scratching and hitting my head.
It was painful to accept that people I helped, considering them to be my friends, in their bad times, were indifferent towards my suffering. I kept thinking and over-thinking about my past and present. I doubted my worth.
I kept crying. I can not express how hopeless and helpless I felt.
Just then, my eyes rolled towards a pair of scissors kept on my bookshelf. I grabbed it and tried really hard to slit my wrist. It was difficult. My flesh kept moving and I kept trying. I pushed it against my wrist harshly in rage and anger. Yet, there were no major cuts.
The skin on my wrist swelled and bruised with some blood droplets. Now the scissors were not working.
So, I made a move towards my balcony. I stood there for a good time, flashbacks of bitter memories passing my mind. I cried and cried. I climbed the railing with the intention to jump off the balcony, but I was exhausted, and my wrist hurt. I was not successful this time. I tried again and failed again.
I repeated and this time fortunately fell on the inner side of balcony. I felt traumatised, anxious, and like a void at the time. I felt alone and lonely. It left me feeling dismissive about my life. I felt empty.
I felt hopeless, feeble, and sick at heart. I got up, thought I am useless and moved to my bedroom. I fell on my bed as a dead leaf falls off a tree. Dead from inside, I felt there was no life within me. I felt terribly poor and defective.
I ardently wanted to combat this feeling of being broken and come out of this phase. I was desperate for going back to being happy, reading, loving myself but somehow, I could not. It seemed that nothing worked.
Simple tasks like bathing and brushing seemed extremely hard to me. I would spend my days lying down, sleeping, and doing nothing. I ceased to be productive.
Next morning, I woke up to a call from my domestic worker. “Lubna, main das dinon ke liye kaam par nahi aaoongi (Lubna, I won’t be coming to work for the next 10 days)”, she said. “It’s okay! But, are you doing fine? Do you need any help?” I responded.
She asked me to handover the call to my parents. I rushed to my parents’ room and handed my phone to them. Both my parents were shocked to hear the news. A day before, our domestic helper lost her daughter-in-law to death by suicide.
I just saw my parent’s reaction followed by gazing at my wrist. They were shocked and disturbed. I came back to my room. Pondering how precious is life, I kissed my wrist. I promised myself to heal. I was firm on the promise to improve myself and blossom as a flower.
We had never met our domestic worker’s daughter-in-law. Yet, the news of her suicide was disturbing for all of us. This incident also forced me to ponder about Allen bhaiyya.
Allen was an ad hoc professor at St Stephen’s College, at the University of Delhi. He was a close friend of my sibling. In the year 2019, he and his mother died by suicide. It took around a year for my sibling and all his other friends to accept and overcome the grief of his death.
That morning made me realise that I was certainly mistaken to question my worth. I decided to act for myself. I understood that no matter what I feel, there are people who love me and will extend their support to me.
I have been through hardship and despair. I would never want my near and dear ones to feel something similar because of me.
Even more, I love myself and I want to live a life that inspires others. I want to dream and accomplish those dreams. I do not like abrupt endings, so why choose one for my life?
This incident changed me forever. I am no longer the person I used to be. I won’t say that I have sailed through the path of the blues, but certainly, I have changed my approach towards it.
I have actively involved myself in things that help me feel better. I am sure, with time and my efforts, I will heal completely. I am one of my own kind.
I may not be in your shoes, completely, but I have been through something similar. I feel you. I understand how overwhelming it feels. It is a battle; and I must say, you are courageous and brave to face it. Trust me, no matter how you feel, you have the ability to fight your war.
You have got to do this for yourself. You will come out stronger. Trust me, the feeling of fighting for yourself is priceless. You are the driver to your own journey. You will fly! You will heal!
Remember: it is in your own hands. You need to trust yourself and be your own kind of beautiful!