Jai Sri Hari dear os.me family. Warm hugs to all of you. I hope everyone is doing fine and learning from Swamiji’s discourses. I have been thinking about it repeatedly. It is time for some frank talks, and I have a lot to say. It is mostly about my struggles and being open about them.
I had published a post before too but, out of impulsion, deleted it minutes later. So, I am redoing it all over again. This post and upcoming posts will cover my struggles, my truth as I saw it, felt it and what changes I have undergone and how. I hope reading this is worthy of your time.
About six years ago, following an ear surgery, I had a major nervous breakdown. I had just passed my high school exams and suddenly the world started looking dry, dark and meaningless. I used to cry again and again and under intense agony tears used to fall from my eyes throughout the day and no one had any clue why.
I used to have bouts of anger, depression and my academic grades were suddenly falling drastically. I used to go out from home and onto the streets out of anger and sadness. I contemplated suicide more than I can remember. I was 15. That was an exceedingly difficult time. My behaviour was nothing short of mad. In fact, the memory of that period is so tumultuous that I cannot recall many of the things as vividly as I generally do.
It was me myself who first figured it out that something was wrong with me, so I went to many doctors specifically, psychiatrists and psychologists. I was given medicines and at that time, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, borderline disorder and depression. I was given a heavy dose of medicines due to which I used to feel very drowsy. The medicines fogged my brain a lot. My memory got hazy, and my cognitive abilities got affected. I used to live in my own world more than usual.
My school life was completely distorted. I could not make any friends in my new school. I used to miss classes. I could not keep up with the school curriculum. My head used to ache, but I had no clue that it was migraine. I had become very lethargic and gained a lot of weight all thanks to the meds. To save my year, I was admitted into a private college. But all this while, I kept struggling with myself. I had nightmares for many years to come (they stopped only a few months back). I was struggling to have a social circle and a group of friends.
Life seemed at a total loss and depression had filled my every cell. I was somehow breathing, somehow surviving my life, and somehow living it, somehow pursuing my studies too. It was all somehow. To add to my troubles, I was hit by asthma. I remember walking down the corridor of the hospital, with tears in my eyes questioning why so many “bad” things were happening to me. I had to go up the stairs to the first floor to meet the psychiatrist and down on the ground floor to meet the doctor for my asthma.
I was shattered. At one end, my over-ambition was making me dream of going to Cambridge University to pursue Theoretical Physics; and here I was, struggling to survive. Moreover, my relationship with my father was not good at all. It never had been.
I had a very inimical relation with my father. He was not there for the family. He was not there for my mother nor me. His behaviour was not at all alright. And it was extremely hard for me personally to live in such a dysfunctional family. It was worse than a usual dysfunctional family. And I had seen all that, all my life growing up. It affected my mental health as I was a sensitive kid.
To add to that, my memory of being sexually, physically and mentally abused for a long time by our house help had stayed with me all through my childhood and adult years. All this coupled with the sense of lack and unfulfilled expectations plunged me into a chaos inside out.
One thing I have realised is that no matter how our parents are; chances are they are the only people who will love us as much as we ourselves do. No other relation comes closer. I could finally understand that no matter how my father behaved in the past, he still loved me in his own way. It was hard to forgive him and see things in a broader perspective but that happened (though after many years and a lot of disharmony).
He was against my mother but with god’s grace my family united for the first time in my life in the past few months. My issues and familial crisis had brought us all spiritually closer to each other.