In a Dark Place

download

I  know how it feels to hit a rock, to feel so helpless that you hate yourself. I know how it feels to look at yourself in the mirror and see nothing but pain and disappointment. To feel so alone in the midst in those that love you the most. I know how it feels to not want to open your eyes and wake up because facing the day is worse than sleeping away your nightmares. That my friend is the beginning of depression. At first it’s a normal low. You know, how it feels when you flank a paper you had your hopes up for. That way. Just another bump on the road. The kind that can be fixed by a laugh with your friends or a call to momma. But soon, the feeling comes back this time. Often. Before it would last a few seconds or even minutes, but now hours pass with you at the same place. Same dark and taunted place.

For me a bad breakup took me there. The kind that leaves you broken with a piece of you literally torn away. Or so it feels. The kind that makes you question what you once believed in, including yourself. In the words of Robin Williams, “I used to think the worst thing in the world is to end up alone. Its not. The worst thing in life is to end up with people that make you feel alone”. The beauty, the dreams and aspirations. Your once perfect picture now shredded. Everyday felt like a nightmare and every night dragged so slowly. I remember one night that I couldn’t close my eyes to sleep and so I texted mama “I can’t take this anymore”. For those that know me such an admission would be such a shocker. In the eyes of many, I have always been the strong woman, known to have the bravest faces. But here was not only admitting to it but also feeling so helpless. Unknown to me that was the beginning of getting better. I needed help and asking for it made the difference. A few sessions to a shrink and it felt like I was taking back my life. Like a new beginning but with scars that dint itch.

I know what you may think. She must be very soft to not be able to handle a heartbreak or that can’t happen to me.The rising cases of depression among twentysomethings is not something that many don’t identify with. If not you, a friend, a neighbor, a former schoolmate, someone close to us has lost it to depression. Statistically, according to WHO, someone in the world commits suicide every 40 seconds which means about one million people commit suicide annually and for every person who dies, 20 more people unsuccessfully attempt to kill themselves. In short, very many people are in dire need of help.

Being a time of transition and big decision making, we in our twenties are more susceptible to depression. Every day we are met with choices to make, people to meet or let go. Its crossroad after crossroad. And more often than not it feels like we are alone in it or we are just doing it wrong. In all these, fear becomes a constant companion. We fear that we won’t get that job that we have dreamt of or that we won’t be better versions of our parents. Or we will end up with the people that we feared to or worse still, be so afraid of ending up alone that we don’t let go of the sketchy partners. This accompanied by our need to compare ourselves with our peers leads to a constant feeling of discouragement and despair and in no time we become half the people we used to be.

You may never know what breaks you. To some it’s failing academically. Some is losing someone. Some, like me, love issues. And so on. The story is always different. But all have one thing in common: that asking for help would sometimes make the difference between life and death.in such times its okay for someone else to carry you, hold your hand and lead you to the light. To save you from yourself.

One of the most invaluable piece of advice that I received at the time was in Claire Bennigan`s words.  That grief is a suitcase that sits at the bottom of your bed, and no matter what, without failure, you have to pick it up every day, take it with you. Some days it will be filed with rocks, and you don’t think you can carry it, and then other days, light as a feather. Looking back this was so true. The reality is you are there (down and low).And no matter how much you deny it, it won’t help it go away. But I know what does.Talk.It doesn’t have to be a shrink. Even that person you go to when you want a good laugh. Just make sure you talking it out. It’s not easy, but so is leaving behind your loved ones in heartache either.

Its Just A Bad Day,Not A Bad Life!

86849-Its Just A Bad Day,Not A Bad Life

I think some days come straight from hell. And mostly, they appear just after you thought things are going well; your business or side hustle is growing, your family is happy, your love life couldn’t be better. Then poof -you suddenly having a terrible day; you get informed that your tax filling wasn’t successful so that’s a penalty incurred (yea perks of being a twenty something is that you have to know how to do your own taxes),, you get mugged,you lose a prospective client,your boyfriend is not replying your texts and things aren’t  just looking up. It just can’t stop.

You start to worry.A lot.You feel like losing your head, not forgetting your temper.It starts to feel like nobody cares, `well they are having their own bad day anyway.’ You feel alone and start to question a lot of things in your life.And soon, fear just takes over.You fear that the life you thought you were making for yourself is just far fetched and not forthcoming.You fear you are on the wrong path and all you are doing somehow doesn’t count.But you can`t let it show,something about acting like an adult.You fear you not acting adult enough(if there’s anything like that)And not knowing it,this fear is what holds us back from our tomorrow and slowly by slowly you tag along a lot of negativity with you.

I think that’s where we go wrong-letting today’s fears take away tomorrow’s  joy.Its okay not to know how to file your taxes.Its not your fault that you got mugged.And maybe that client  just wasn’t right from the word go.So find a way to shake off the bad streak and move on .Talk it out.Just because we have got into the dreaded adult world does not mean we can`t speak out.It’s not easy being like a duck; calm on the outside but paddling like hell in the inside. It’s even harder to ask for help but I find talking about a bad day with someone who gets you, really helpful. Someone that will remind you that one day you will sit back, remember this day and laugh about it.

What I’ve learned to remind myself is that this too shall pass. Today’s trouble will one day seem like a small hitch not so long from now.There will be more days to go through,good or bad. And I’ll be wondering what the heck I was worried about. Why did I let a beautiful sunset pass me by just because the day wasn’t going as I wanted it to. Or why did I miss an opportunity to put a smile across a stranger`s face. Or why did I not stop by the mirror and stare back at the lovely reflection and just take it all in (I would have said fall in love with myself but you’d call it narcissism right?)

Stop and smell the roses. We tend to lose sight of all the good things during our bad days.Sit back and reflect on how far you’ve come,the challenges you have endured and how much that means to you.You will soon realize your life has nothing to do with it.So the next time you having a bad day just remind yourself,its just a bad day,not a bad life!

Love and Love,

El

Grown and Twenty:5 Things Nobody Told Me About Being A Twenty Something

1675434bce6007daf73d6762ff53b6e8

It didn’t hit me that I was in my twenties till I was almost two years into it(okay stop figuring out my age now).At first this wave of panic and insecurity came over me and the `You growing old’ voice in my head just got louder. Then my usual `Breathe in it’s gonna be okay attitude took over. Over the days I`ve been piling up the `okay I didn’t know that moments’ and I hope you can relate with some of them.

                                                         

 That I Won`t Have it Figured it Out

Anyone who made timeline lists in their teens? I was one of them. I came across it the other day and boy I should be so far from where I am now. I don’t know whether it was a craze or just one of those OCD moments .At times it scares me to see that I haven’t figured out almost half of what was in there. It makes me freak out about the future. But I have learnt that it’s okay to be where I am as long as am taking steps to be where I want to be. One of my favorite reads Buddhism for Beginners also has my favorite quote, Everything right now is as it should be. So take a breather, work to become better than you were yesterday and don’t pressure yourself with would have and could have.

That How I Look Really Matters

I have always been the basic, very laid back kinda person when it comes to how I look. I mean good sweatpants and a hoodie any day. But growing up, I have realized the need to be taken more seriously, to get people to listen to what I have to say. It all boils down to the first impression. And now am more aware of how I look, what I portray to others about myself. Time for all those excuses (I don’t have time’. ‘looking good is a lot of money‘) is long gone. A healthy body not only shows commitment and discipline but also someone who takes care of themselves. That’s a plus, not just in business but also in your love life. Get moving, spruce up your wardrobe and eat healthy.

That My Network is My Net Worth.

I have grown up an introvert. Many people would disagree with that but that’s a story of another day. I am not afraid of meeting new people and making friends. I just love my little space, filled with all things me and no, don’t call me self-absorbed. But I am still coming into terms with the sad reality that this little space won`t get me so far.Getting to know and maintain friendships with the right kind of people is a skill that all twenty somethings need to learn and appreciate. You may find that just getting to know one person takes your business or your personal life to a whole new level .So go for the next wedding, conference,expo or social event you get a chance to be invited to. Even if you don’t learn anything, at least meet someone or two.

To Read a Little

Relax. I am not talking about the long dreary books the system made us read. (Though some were quite interesting).When is the last time you picked a newspaper or a business journal and actually read it with a purpose? And hey am not talking about the pull out pages with images of hot curvy models or gossip for headlines. Getting to know what issues are affecting the nation or how the shilling is performing won`t hurt much. On the contrary it goes a long way in helping aspects of your life such as your next big interview or business pitch. Needless to say men who sound intelligent suddenly seem so attractive. Just saying.

That Obsessive Comparison Disorder will bite me once in a while

I remember in high school being asked to come with a stipulated amount of junk food. And err they were not concerned about the inches on my waistline but `to make us feel equal’. To me, that’s the worst thinking you can ever entitle a growing adult to. A few years down the line, it hits them hard that this is a playground for the haves and have not’s. They will lose friends along the way simply because they can`t compete with them socially and  as a result, they will find themselves keeping up with the joneses.Spending more than you can afford to compete with others will soon leave you feeling frustrated and less equal. The truth is that when you begin to accept and become aware of where you are in life is when you really become yourself. You understand that it doesn’t mean you are undeserving of any love or incapable of achieving whatever it is you want. You are just at different places. And that is okay.

Love and Love,

El

Thinking Out Loud

dear-God

I thought of writing you a letter, everyone does need one every now and then. But then again, I wish you lived next door and over a cup of coffee we would chat like friends forever. I’d ask you what you started this for, why you let it happen. I’d ask you the little questions that Google can’t answer. Like did you mean for the giraffe to look that way or was it an accident. Or more disturbing, how did you know you were God? Are you really invisible or is it just a trick?

Sometimes I wonder would it be different if i knew how you looked like, what phone you use or what cologne you wear. You see, over here such things make you a friend. I would also like to know how you feel about Thomas Edison. He stole your idea, right? I would be jealous if credit was given to someone else for something i did. Why didn’t you copyright the things you made? Didn’t you want to get recognized because that seems to be what everyone is chasing where I’m from?

Do you ever get lonely, in need of a friend? I do. I watch from a far the happiness of good friendships. If you were here, maybe we would click, support the same team and tease each other over boring lectures. And slowly I would come for sleepovers and mom would bake you cookies. But I wonder what would happen after our first fight. Would you hide the sunlight from me or worse, make it rain on my date? I bet, you would make my crush hate me or give me pimples in the wake of my first big interview.

Do you laugh like me; heartily and with little manners? Especially looking down from the comfort of heaven. Do you watch us little piece of drama, like paper marionettes living a script on time-bomb, ignorant of almost everything that you know. I would. Flash a grin and puff my collars. But then again, I guess that’s why am here, not there.

For now, all I have is the sunset, the sunrise and the moonlight to paint a picture of all the answers I want. I just wish you would tweet, it would be much easier.

Yours truly,

Wandering Thoughts.