No one realises it- but its everywhere. From the vast reaches of the cosmos , the stars ,the planets and their moons, to the minuscule orbits of electrons.From every whorl, every eddy in a pond to the wine swirling in a glass. There’s nothing quite as perfect , unending, eternal or constant as an unbroken circle.Its almost enough to convince even a staunch atheist of a greater design , of divine creation.
The wheel of time, the cycle of seasons..even as it changes there’s a sense of constancy to it- reassuring to some but to me its horrifying.
You see, I often feel trapped in a loop of my own design, much like a guinea pig on its wheel- I try and try and even when i realise that i am not moving forward I cant stop; so i keep running.
I wake up every morning with a lot of difficulty; whats new about that I have been asked. No one likes early mornings.But I do, or at least i did. Now its a struggle. Twisting, turning, tired even after 6-7 hours of sleep, having to fight the sheer exhaustion to merely wake up and get up from bed.
Mundane things everyone takes for granted seem like herculean tasks- from brushing my teeth, to taking a bath, forcing myself to do some yoga…its as though I want to sprint but there are weights attached to my ankles…and on bad days, as though they are shackled to the floor.
And then the rational voice in my mind- the one that seems to be getting more and more feeble with each passing day- tells me that I am clinically depressed.That depressed people don’t care about their appearances or even hygiene. And somehow that spurs me on. I had stopped caring about my appearance long ago but to give in , to be a stereotype something deep inside me rebels against it. So I force myself to go through the motions. I cleanse, I moisturize, I apply foundation, lipstick, comb my hair out. No one quite understands why I would care about something so insignificant- my career is non-existent, I have managed to alienate my friends, my love life…well lets not go down that road.But, its overwhelming trying to tackle those- so i focus on something i have control over, something that keeps me grounded when i feel as though I have lost all sense of time and space, so cut off from the outside world that I have forgotten the last time that I had spoken to someone new… or someone old for that matter. Its distressing, feeling as though you are walking on air, like with every step you take , the very ground beneath your feet is getting washed away. For everything to be so surreal that you can’t be quite sure if its real or a waking dream or nightmare that has you trapped.
And then starts the ordeal.People consider a war difficult, but in a war, however gruesome , you know your enemy, you know why- the scariest is the strife in your own head- without knowing why or how; to have conflicting needs- to want something and to crave something diametrically opposite. Freud called it Id and Superego but where is my Ego that’s supposed to mediate?The battle rages on, till everything else fades away into nothingness and the only reality are the voices in your head- one pulling you one way and the other another. Amidst the clamor and the din, its impossible to hear your own voice, your thoughts, your needs and wants. The noise increases till it becomes a buzzing in your head, like static on TV.And all you can think of is to get to safety, someplace quiet where the din would die down, a haven where you would be safe, when you can finally hear our thoughts. And that’s what i endure every time I try to leave my apartment.
The days that i surrender to it, those are truly horrendous- guilt becomes an almost tangible physical force, like chains and the pain weighs upon my chest, and every breath becomes a struggle. Knowing that i failed , yet again , not just myself but everyone who cares about me, everyone who wonders why I couldn’t just make a little more effort, try just a little bit harder, who wonder why its so difficult when i have done the same umpteen times before- its all I can do to curl up in bed bury myself in blankets and try and forget the world.
I don’t know whats worse- the self-pity that makes me want to crawl under a rock and die or the self-loathing that makes me want to cut myself to ribbons and feel the excruciating pain. That’s the thing about pain- people say its bad or that they fear it but pain is like an old dear friend-there’s something akin to ecstasy in it, something sensual and real.. to be able to feel a little less burdened by guilt, a little more connected to reality and sometimes just to feel. It envelopes you in a warm embrace and in its arms you feel secure that it would never abandon you.
But when you are told repeatedly that its self-destructive , that you are a freak and it drives people away , you settle. If you cant feel then you submerge yourself in numbness – pretend you are floating, give in to the sense of detachment. You find solace in other things- that hit of nicotine reaching your lungs and then spreading through your veins, the lightheadedness or the slow warmth of alcohol- warming you from inside, comforting or when the pain becomes so intense that its physical when you feel as though even sobbing and all the tears in the world wouldn’t abate the pain, then it becomes oh so easy to just take a little pill, one that would make all your troubles disappear, lull you into oblivion for a few hours at least.There is respite in ignorance, after all it is said to be bliss.
The worst part though is that sliver of hope that never quite gets extinguished, like this tiny little flame that somehow escapes from the tempest- that whisper inside your head that says tomorrow will be better, that all you have to do is hold on just a little bit longer, that if you have got this far then you oughtn’t give up now. That treacherous little voice that you hate with every fibre of your being and yet want to believe fervently.The one that forces you to wake up the next morning and then repeat- again and again- the cycle unbroken.
You see that’s the truly terrifying part- the circle- eternal, never ending, constant- it seems nigh impossible to break free…