Sunday, September 20, 2015

A rainbow after rain

One easy thing my brain (what's known as a 'jerkbrain' in Awkward Army circles) reverts to is telling me when I am depressed is that no one loves or likes me. (After ten years of being with him, even my depressed brain can't tell me that the Guy doesn't love me, so he's usually excluded from this and it becomes no one else loves me.)

It's my birthday next week, and the Guy told me a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to celebrate on Saturday evening (which was yesterday). Sure, I said, and asked him what we would do. He said he had planned something and I was to be dressed and ready to go out at six p.m.

So I was. I assumed we would go out somewhere for drinks and dinner. The doorbell rang as I was getting ready, and I heard voices - a woman talking to the Guy. I waited for a while (I am notoriously introverted and anti-social and had no wish to meet who I assumed was our landlady or a nosy neighbor, though I felt slight qualms at leaving the Guy to face her alone).

When the Guy finally opened the door... it was two of my friends, one whom I hadn't seen in years and another a new friend. I was getting a surprise party.

Even then I had no idea of the extent of the surprise. But as we sat and talked inside, and enjoyed the lovely weather with the breeze flowing in through the open window, the doorbell rang several more times. The Guy, in the meanwhile, brought in dish after dish of food, all of which he had made himself. Apart from the cake -- which was ordered specially: gluten free, dairy free cake is so rare that I now have cake only a couple of times a year.

And even apart from all the effort the Guy went to -- I was so pleased that friends, and friends I don't see often! -- participated in this conspiracy to make me happy. And somehow, our friends, who were all strangers to each other, got along famously and there was lots of laughter and inappropriate jokes.

And just now, I read this: on the 'weaponization of positivity' in Harry Potter:
As a profoundly depressed person, i often feel myself scrounging for happy memories and clutching them close; i find myself grasping for laughter in the dark.
And the next time I'm depressed, these are memories I will turn to. 

Wednesday, September 02, 2015


Funny thing about depression -- it's difficult to recognize it until you are out of it. (Or rather, until I'm out of it. It goes without saying that everything I describe here is about how I felt, and others may have very different experiences.)

I have been depressed for the last couple of years. Shutting down my startup and letting go of the dreams. Moving to Bombay -- I love Bombay, but this meant leaving the flat we'd lived in for five years, which had been home to me unlike any other place I'd ever lived in. It meant leaving behind most of the few friends I had, and moving to a place where I had none, and as an introvert, making new friends, especially new friends outside of work, is a difficult, terrifying thing. And since both the Guy and I were in grief, mourning what we had lost, we couldn't lean on each other for help.

Several times in the last few years, I thought, oh I'm not depressed anymore. But I still didn't feel quite normal, quite happy, for extended periods. It wasn't until last week that I finally felt, for the first time in weeks, genuinely optimistic.
And I know I'll still have difficult days, and the sinking feeling in my stomach will return, but I'm hoping it will be only occasional, and not something I have to live with all the time.