The Person: “Hey, how are you?”
Do you want to know how I just am or do you want to know how the depths of my soul feel? Would you want to hear everything that defines me and affects me? I know you’re expecting me to say “I’m fine”. But if I said that, that would be my finest lie. I am not fine. I am not okay. How can I be alright when my demons decide to take refuge, not under my bed, but inside me? They are thriving in me, like parasites, and I let them. They empower me and push me into the depths of negativity, where I feel like I will never reach the surface again. It’s dark down there and I crave to see the light like a blind person yearns for sight. But I can’t; for what pulls me down defines me. Now, would you like to know about that? Are you prepared to see me, hear me and touch me even after knowing my true identity?
Remember the time, when both of us were reliving our childhood like carefree kids by playing on the swings in the park? It was two weeks ago and you told me that I looked so much better when I smiled and laughed and let my hair down. Thank you for the compliment, but that’s such an easy thing for you to say. You chose to stay at my side when I am at my best. You let go off my hand when you saw that I could be different. To be honest, I expected that. Everybody loves the light but nobody wants to be associated with the dark. Like everybody else, you let go off me when the sun set.
These days, the darkness engulfs me with such intensity that I lose my will to even find the tiniest ray of hope. My mind has a tendency to wander into dark places. I try to do things to keep myself occupied. I have to keep going. I can’t stop, because if I do, the darkness could take over. And almost always, it does take over. I close all the doors and let no one in, because the person you know is no longer me. Then, the nightmares advance on me. These nightmares wrap their evil hands around my soul at night. They try to pull me deep within a world that’s ruled by fright. I try to escape the looming shadows. I try… I try… and I try. You associate darkness only with the absence of light. When I told you how darkness can be a paradox, you laughed at me. You thought I was thinking too much, But trust me, I was correct. Darkness is nothing, but then, darkness can be everything. You told me I was being melancholic and that I should get out of it. What do you know about melancholy?
When I confided in you about my anxiety, you asked me to stop being anxious; like there was a switch in my brain that I could flick off. When I told you that my insecurities were taking over me, you told me to stop being insecure, because it wasn’t “valid”. Don’t worry, my friend, because you’re not the only one. According to people, an answer to everything is to “stop”. If only that was so easy. Do you remember the time, when you lost a prominent football match and you were in a temper that could match Satan’s? You were so disappointed and you kept blaming yourself and you were questioning your talent and capability. I gave you a cold beer and your favorite chocolate, and heard you rant and let it all off your chest. Then, I spoke the right and soothing words which helped you and you slept that night with a content smile.
Instead of all that, what if I just told you to get a hold of yourself and stop over-reacting? Would you have liked that?
They say that an idle mind is a devil’s workshop. But on the contrary, a mind that is full to the brim can also be a devil’s workshop. There’s a constant voice in my head that keeps telling me that people will leave, that I am hard to love and difficult to be around. It makes me prone to push people away when I want them to stay. For instance, would you stay, if I actually told you all this?
It is unfortunate that there are so many people around me who are constantly telling me that I am not good enough. They make feel like I do not deserve happiness and that I deserve to be broken. Yes, I am broken; damaged. You won’t believe it but you’re not the only one who broke me and tip-toed around the smithereens, while I tried to fix myself, but in vain. They say broken people are dangerous, because they know how to survive despite hitting the lowest of lows. That is exactly what I am doing right now, surviving; hoping that the light seeps in through the cracks and warms me.
Insecurity: uncertainty or anxiety about oneself, lack of confidence, self-doubt, unstable. Insecurity is a precarious thing. Once it settles down in your mind, it refuses to leave. It nestles down in a comfortable position and keeps giving out unasked for advice like a neighbor aunt.
“She is better than you.”
“He will choose her over you.”
“You are insignificant.”
All of us are hustling through life forgetting that in this hurried process, we are trampling over other people. There is a lot of pushing and shoving to get to what you want. It is the journey that matters, not the destination. We call the people that we’ve trampled as “doormats”, forgetting the fact that we, ourselves have brought them down to that position. We let people walk all over us and we do the same to other people. So, what are you, a trampler or a doormat?
Every morning, I wake up and try to get through the day with a positive outlook. But these positive spirits run askew as I seek refuge in the arms of strangers at night. Yes, strangers, who are like glow-in-the-dark stickers on my ceiling: Temporary and unreal. As temporary as they are, these strangers still have the power to make me question my self-worth. They don’t find faults as they run their hands all over my body, but they find faults as I reveal the secrets hidden in the deep crevices of my mind. You should know; you were a stranger once as well, remember?
And then they run; they run without looking back at me.
They left me behind as I screamed into the night, when the nightmares haunted me. Like a Dementor’s ugly rotten hands, the darkness engulfs me every night and stifles my screams. If only it stifled my thoughts, I would be able to appreciate the bright day and the beautiful sky. But, how would you know? Most importantly, would you care to listen?
The Person: “Are you there? I want to know how you are.”
Me: “I am fine.”