The Great Indian Depression
It's been a while, I sit writing one story then the next few lines, I am stuck with another one. I just can't move forward as if there is a traffic block of letters in front of me. Usually the so-called 'Block' will happen if you run out of words or you are sinking in a pile of ideas where you are lost, thinking of which one to write. I feel I fall into the latter for a change wherein often I had encountered the first scenario.
I have a ton of things to write about. I consider current affairs but then I don't want to be stamped as an anti-national and proceed to dungeons. I could write about my own life which is again equal to a suicidal attempt. No no no! Next comes books, plants, children, Covid, love, kings and queens, feathered friends, finger licking food... the list goes on and on. Then I end up writing none. What a dilemma! This is how we humans are right? We have millions of thoughts running parallely through our mind and head while we are stuck at no where, unable to choose between brain and heart. So, finally I've decided to talk about us, people, and their emotions. I hope this doesn't end quite emotionally.
The 'Me' inside 'Me'...
She called me on a cloudy evening while I was chilling with my coffee on the balcony, observing the crows on the branches of a nearby tree. Why are they sitting on this tree and watching me and my family all the time? I wondered. Something quirky. Looks like a family to me - crow mom, crow dad and two crow kids. Might be our ancestors who came to safeguard us from evil eyes. The mobile cried at the same moment when I was about to make a fake 'caw' sound to communicate with the family. Anyways, I can postpone this conversation to tomorrow as well. They are not going to go anywhere until the babies become teenagers. But this one calls me once in a blue moon. So let's communicate with her first, I thought. It's been months ever since we have spoken. There are these people whom you can throw yourself to even after years and years as if you have just spoken yesterday. She is one of them for me. We knew each other for more than a decade. As usual we began the conversation.
"Hey, you know what...! Me... residing in me is talking to me about me"-
Is she in trans?!
"oy oy what's happening? You too fell for him!??" I gasped.
"Not yet, apparently his words of wisdom have come true in my case. Listen... all these days it was me talking to myself. But now, there is a third me inside me talking to both the 'me's ! You know, earlier any issue happened the second me used to advise and suggested alternatives and we used to resolve somehow. I was at peace at the end of the day. Now the third me has arisen and it's a total mess. Whatever we both say she wouldn't agree. I am confused and going mad. Am I really crazy?? Just wanted to check if you have encountered this phenomenon at any point of time!"
After listening to her I felt like I was also going crazy! Because at times I too had these multiple personalities peeping at me from the backstage of my mind. Reminded me of Vikram's 'Anyan' film. One person with multiple personalities living inside. I am sure most of us especially, those who are in their mid 30's would. They call it a midlife crisis it seems!
Another friend texted me saying she feels sad for no reason, always stressed. She can sleep well but when she wakes up it feels like someone has put a huge rock on her heart. Is this depression? What could I say!
I am neither a medical person, nor an expert in psychology. But I am a psychology enthusiast and always have been doing my own research on these topics. Unfortunately in India, there is no concept called 'Mental Health'. People hesitate to discuss it, even if they do, the society will rather give them a tag - "ohh paagal hein/ ithiri vattundu/ athu oru loosu etc (he/she is mad) ".
So we feel it is better to normalize our negative feelings and we keep suppressing them deep inside. We bury them deep inside our hearts so that they don't peep outside and make any noise.
That won't work for a longer period of time. The volcano has to burst somehow in the long run. Something lit in my brain. Yes! I got the key. The crows; my mind connected the dots. The key is 'Communication'.
I told her, "look, you need to open up to someone at some point. Do not let it burst, rather let it pour. Pour your feelings, talk to someone. Choose the fourth me from outside and the other 'me's will disappear automatically. At least for that reason I could anticipate more calls from you!" I giggled.
I guess the pouring technique works for most. It is like decluttering your mind. You allow yourself to flow without any inhibitions, expectations. You just need a good listener. You being the radio and they being the listener. So, choose wisely. World has a deficit of this kind. Hope it is working for her as we have a lot more conversations nowadays and she doesn't mention her 'Anyans' anymore.
The Positive Era
Be positive is the most seen flashy quote in the last few years. People have become too positive that even their RTPCR test results turn positive nowadays. Oh! Come on, just kidding. We are sinking ourselves into the deep positivity trench that even a bit of negativity can shatter us. We do not want to see negativity anywhere around us where we are living in a world full of negativities. We are dreaming of an ideal world, ideal people, ideal thoughts which is a mere dream. They tell us to ignore the negative people wherein we are sharing one roof with them! They might be our family, colleagues or neighbours. How will you avoid them on a daily basis? I have seen people living in a bubble. The positive wave has been hit so hard. We are unable to distinguish between real negative and false negative. In the name of positivity what is really happening? You know what is positive but you don't see that much around you. On a daily basis at home, office, college you see a lot of negativity. As per the positivity experts your parents, kins and acquaintances are all negativity bombs. Now you are not happy because you want to get rid of all this negativity. They say stay away from negative people which is practically not possible for you. As a result you are always in a sad and confused state. You are losing your real happiness. You are spending all your energy to fight with negative people or to make them understand. You were doing far better before the positive era. This is what it means "too much of anything is not good".
Why do you think our new generation has taken suicide so lightly? Even for a small worry they choose to flee away from life. Fight or flight- they don't know to choose wisely, when to fight and when to fly. They are scared to face the challenges, risks. Instead of telling them to stay away from negativity we should teach them how to handle negativity. Unfortunately, from the time a child is born to schooling they preach about perfect parenting, perfect teaching. We endorse good mental health of the child by affirming each day that they are special and unique. Think about it, after all these special treatment when they become adults is the world going to give them the same treatment? Just take an example at work. Will their boss/colleagues be going to give them a special, unique or equal kind of approach? Is their life and society going to be non-judgemental? No, never. In any of our human history there is no society who were supportive enough. There will always be derogatory and pejorative remarks. We can make people handle this chaos only by exposure. If you are keeping your child in a bubble with least interactions and always pampering then he/she will be least exposed to negativity therefore most fragile. Absolutely, experience matters. We learn from our experiences. This doesn't mean that you need to send your children to the war-front. It means let them learn how to handle criticisms, how to handle judgmentalism.
Rather than preaching about positivity, help them to get along, help them to be happy in small things. Teach them gratitude, teach them compassion, teach them generosity, teach them to handle real bullies, teach them to be bold not rude(nowadays bold means rude!), teach them to be independent yet sociable. This will help them to survive in future.
See what happened to one of my friends recently. She was a positivity bomb. She wanted to think positive, see positive, listen positive, breath positive... Oh my! She posted positive posts from morning to night. She will tell us, "You know, always surround yourself with positive people. Think positive, that will give you positive energy in life." She declared herself as the official brand ambassador of positivity. And then I met her after a while, everything changed. The real story unfolded. She was sinking in depression. I was shocked. Due to the surge of positivity in mind yet the lack of positivity around herself she started to feel negative. Whatever her parents, relatives, colleagues say she could sense negativity only. She was suffocated, stressed and didn't know how to avoid her own family and friends. She had undergone counseling and was prescribed antidepressants. Now, she has understood one thing that it is not possible to eradicate negativity from your life but it is possible to wisely manage it. She knows her parents love her abundantly, apparently their old way of handling things and traditional thoughts were not going hand in hand with hers. She understands the issue very much now and learnt to handle it slowly. There is no point in fighting, instead try ignoring the comments not their love and care.
Hope it made some sense. Mental health is as important as physical health and too much positivity is also not so good for your mental health is what I learnt. So to all the positivity experts please educate us how to handle negativity rather than just saying surround yourself with positive people. I am afraid we don't have so much positivity left in this world to surround ourselves with, else we might have to create bio bubbles to live in. Because each person has their own positives and negatives. How many of you are sure about yourself being positive to everyone at all the instances? Not so sure, right? It is the same for all. Like us, they too have two sides. Accept it and be grateful, happiness will follow.
Be an optimist not a positivity bomb.