Getting back on track – Part 1

For close to 8 months now, I have been struggling with mild depression. I had been going through a rough relationship patch, work life was hectic and there was little that I had been doing besides worrying about how stale my life was.

I have tried to pull back from that state: in January, I went to Pondicherry with some friends, in February bought my parents a new washing machine, in April I was taking part in NaNoWriMo and won it. Some of these things made me happy. But only marginally.

My work is usually hectic. Until the timings change happened (1-10 PM IST), I used to rush to office at around 9.30 AM and come back around 10.30 PM. All my day seemed to be consumed in that. After I returned from work, I refused to go to sleep right away – because I wanted to think about something other than my work. So I watched something or the other on my phone. This resulted in a vicious cycle wherein I slept late and woke up tired and rushed to kitchen to make lunch and then rushed to office to take an on-site call. I was angry at myself, then I was angry at my teammates for not being on time at work. I was throwing tantrums. Basically, it was all going downhill.

When I came to Bangalore in the last half of 2015, I didn’t imagine that two years down the line I would be writing this post. Back in the day, my only worry was to find a place to stay at a reasonable price and start to pay off the student loan and do it consistently. Thankfully, I have been able to do that. I also helped out a lot with things at home (financially). These made me happy, but perhaps not enough.

The only root cause that made me so weak is my relationship, it consumed my entire being. I was heavily invested in this relationship – had planned out what the future could be. When you are far away from your loved ones, you often miss the void that distance creates between you. You fail to see the fissures and cracks that are created everyday. One day, suddenly, you wake up to see the deep chasm and wonder how did you ever get there.

This is what happened to me. The person in concern stopped communicating to me entirely. He was active on his social media and I am sure in every other aspect of his life, but I simply could not get him to talk to me.

We spoke on and off – ever enough to convince me that the cracks were getting repaired. I feigned an imaginary break up, hoping it would make him notice. It didn’t.

I think we are too broken.

Meanwhile, I was sleeping even late, waking up around 10 AM and then hurrying to get ready for office. You’d think that the timing change at office would promote some good things back at home. Instead, things were as worse as they could perhaps get.

As I write this today, I am still not out of the depressed phase. But I am perhaps at a point in time when things are starting to look better. I spoke about the issues in my life to plenty of people (even had a mild breakdown at office), spoke to a cousin who I had not interacted in years. Talking about it helped. I was trying to hold onto any new tactic that I could find from people, to mend my broken life.

Today, I am consciously trying to change some things in life:

  1. No matter what happens, get to bed by 12: Haven’t  been entirely successful every day in this, but my bed time has definitely improved
  2. Wake up early: around 8-8.30ish for the last few days
  3. Do half an hour of yoga and meditation
  4. Not skip breakfast – With the help of my cousin, I am trying out multiple changes to my breakfast (Earlier, because of waking up early, I was missing it entirely or making do with the 12 PM brunch)
  5. Meet with people on weekends – Keep busy

These are simple changes, but at first they were hard to implement. Now, I am easing into it. It helps that I had always been a disciplined kid – always waking up early in the morning. In fact, that I was not waking up early was what was frustrating me the most, as if I was dealing with my depression by staying in bed)

I have been doing this only for 3 days now, but there’s already a positive feedback that I can feel. I am looking forward to waking up every morning, to experience something new. I still need to decide how to fill my morning space.

If you have been reading this far, thank you! Depression is not an easy thing to deal with. It takes strong willpower to get anywhere. I will be posting more on this space, as I deal with everyday life and return to being the person I used to be. Until then, thanks for being part of my journey!

 

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About Arpita

Arpita Pramanick is a little, young woman with a bright face (who'd rather not look directly into a stranger's eye) you'll find walking on the corridors of Mu Sigma, Inc. She tells herself she wants to be a properly published writer (by which she means she wants to be published from the likes of Penguin), but isn't really so sincere about writing everyday. So if you see her, tell her to go write. She'll love you for doing that!
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22 Responses to Getting back on track – Part 1

  1. writingbolt says:

    If I may speak from experience, you ARE harming yourself if you 1) deny yourself adequate sleep every night and 2) try to maintain a long-distance relationship in which you do not spend enough time with your partner every month. Though, everyone varies in the need for such contact. But, SLEEP! You need more sleep, apparently. But, maybe you have already corrected this problem with your five easy step plan.

    When I was in high school, sleep was sacrificed to fear and late nights of slow homework/study. I had little motivation to do homework and nothing to balance it. I had no friends, no social life. All I had was school and couldn’t figure how to juggle anything else. I had to do my best, and I had to ace every class. I eventually became suicidal until the worst in professional help made me angry enough to fight for my own survival (and turn my back on professional help/modern medicine).

    When I started working, I would come home from work, again, without a social life, and try to get my mind off the emptiness of life with some private entertainment. I’d stay up late doing stupid stuff on the computer and lose sleep only to suffer the next morning. Yet, I could not come home from work and do anything else. Nor could I go right to bed. Only in recent years have I realized what time I was wasting and what sleep I lacked.

    I also have learned the importance of diet and watching what I eat as it can effect mood, health, etc. I’ve done minor research in Ayurveda medicine/health and art therapy.

    I used to dabble in yoga. I tried Tai Chi for about a week or two before I got tired of trying to master the pattern. I did keep practicing the warm up exercises, though. I have not been good at meditation or breathing exercises. I may not be disciplined enough or so starved for companionship that I wish I had, at least, a meditation partner.

    That “keeping busy” task often rattles me. I don’t do well with planning a full schedule. And, while there are people I can talk to, I expect them to only tell me what I “should be doing” versus actually spending time with me. And, that bothers me enough that I avoid making phone calls. I send out occasional emails to see how some people are doing. I rarely get responses…which is also discouraging. I used to send out so many holiday cards and letters and get nothing back.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Hi there! I guess we are in similar space right now. I know how frustrating it can be to not have many people to connect to. On an average the only calls that I get in a day are from my mom and brother. What I have done to remedy this taking effort to call people personally and follow up. It’s painful in the beginning, because you don’t feel like doing something for someone when there’s nothing that’s coming back to you. Sometimes we need other people to do things for us, but I guess to even start that cycle we need to do the ground work ourselves. For example in my case, getting in touch with my cousin helped greatly. I made the first attempt at contact. Now we message every other day – I update her on my diet patterns, she sends me feedback.

      Of course what works for me might not work for you. But it might be worth an effort. I wish you best!

      Like

      • writingbolt says:

        But, you say you have some kind of friends; right? Are they friends you feel comfortable “hanging out” with or just people you occasionally talk with?

        I made the calls…or, wrote letters, emails, etc. I didn’t feel confident enough to actually use a phone. And, when I did, either I didn’t remember/have a phone number or the other person wouldn’t respond… There’s a lousy story to one of those no-callers. Eventually, I stopped writing as many letters, making as many holiday e-cards and sending emails. I really wanted someone to reach out to ME for once and not be a scam/threat or someone I had to “pull teeth” with.

        My family is very poor at staying in touch with family and better at connecting with strangers. Yet, they are not much help with making and keeping friends. We have little contact with relatives, and relatives seem put off or unwilling to contact us…maybe because certain family members don’t open pathways.

        I went to a rare reunion some years back and tried to make connections. But, in my desperate state of mind, I guess I asked too much of people that had only met me once. And, the one person I thought I might connect with fell into ill health. Too little too late, so to speak.

        Diet updates? Sounds like something a scientist and lab rat do.

        Like

  2. writingbolt says:

    Oh, and as for the long distance relationship, I lost about a decade of my life chasing people far from home online. I spent time with people from about 50 countries around the world, talking in chat rooms and via email. It would last a few months at most before the person disappeared for some reason. The rare ones might last a few years and convince me they were going to make an effort to do more with me. But, the bottom fell out and left me lost and alone. I gradually gave up such pursuits, though I still keep a tiny window of hope open (if for no other reason than I still crave companions of other cultures).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      I know the feeling. Relationship-wise, I am still at a rock bottom and in fact, not even sure if I am ready for one. But for now, I am focusing on getting myself back to what I used to be – an optimistic person who believed good things could happen in life to the present pessimistic one, for whom nothing seems worthy to live life for.

      Like

      • writingbolt says:

        When people say things like “not ready for” and “you haven’t met the right people yet,” I get mad. Who is to say we are not ready or haven’t met good people? Those are just phrases to shoo away heavy thinking. They do not resolve the problem. And, for all we know, we are ready, and the right person will show up tomorrow.

        I don’t think I can go back to the quiet, moral, naive self I was years ago. I’ve been through too much crap. I can get to shades of optimism and still joke around. But, there’s lots of cynicism and distrust in the mix. I’m almost as cautious as I was as a sheltered kid, but I will not be as naive.

        If nothing seems worth living for, remember this: Live to serve and make others happy. If you die tomorrow, make your last effort one that makes someone you respect happy. Then, when you die, you served a greater good, or, the good of someone who needed you. I think some people die when they can no longer do any good or have served their time, whether that’s punishment/jail time or service time. And, those of us who remain are here for some purpose we have yet to learn. If we do ourselves in, if we end our lives now, we won’t get any closer to fulfilling our bigger purpose. So, if nothing else, I am doing what I can to make those I feel able and willing to help have better lives. I’d do charity work if I trusted the charity and didn’t suffer such social anxiety, if I had a trusted friend to work with, too, perhaps.

        Like

      • writingbolt says:

        Feel free to email me if you’d like to discuss this situation more personally. Maybe we can find a sort of friendship and learn from each other.

        Like

  3. Balaka says:

    Hi darling…I read your entire post thoroughly…I know how depression puts you in a vicious cycle..I battled depression many a times…Even now I am on and off it…don’t give too much importance to a single relationship…have patience…if things are supposed to work out..it will or else it is better to let go…often letting go is the best thing to do…my hugs to you…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry to hear you’ve been going through such a rough patch. Depression is affecting more and more people nowadays. It’s the hectic pace of life, work pressures, relationships, and the whole race against everyone which doesn’t seem to be getting any easier. Hang in there, this too shall pass. It’s a good thing you’ve bee able to see it for what it is and are trying to make small but significant changes. Eating on time, waking up early, meditation, meeting people etc will keep you physically and mentally healthy. And you always have us with you, cheering for you to succeed. Keep writing too. Sending lots of reassuring and comforting hugs. 🙂

    Like

  5. Norma says:

    Depression is a vicious cycle and the first step might be small when you know and say and make an effort to move out and away from it. I think that matters a lot. Arpita, now that you’ve decided keep on it and I hope things will become better for you soon. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thanks for stopping by Norma! I have been feeling much more positive, since. Hopefully, I can be the person I used to be from 2 years back over the course of the next few months.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Cheer up Arpita. You are doing good in your new schedule implementation. Let go what is not worthy of you. Continue yoga, meditation. It will definitely help. Hope all will be well soon dear. Lots of love to you.

    Like

  7. Mayur says:

    Second shift join na…….
    Same problems here, i working in genral shift. After 9 pm i lost my al energy, work load and next day routine work.
    When we will meet our relative, friend?

    Like

  8. Belinda O says:

    So sorry you’re dealing with this — I’ve faced depression for a good portion of my life, and it can be a challenge. Bad relationships will do a number on you. If you can, take a break for awhile and get a sense of yourself, a sense of your own strength. Take care!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thanks Belinda! With the changes that I have started incorporating in my life, I have already started feeling somewhat better. I think I should get back to being who I was before the new year comes. 🙂

      Like

  9. Pingback: Getting back on track – Part 2 | Scribbles@Arpita

  10. Sangbad says:

    Fight and the journey will lead to a beautiful place…ekta notun nijeke khuje pabe…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes depression is a beast! It robs people of their life sometimes if not confronted. On a positive note it is defeatable. Some by therepy and others with coping strategies. May you keep fighting! There is a way to fullfillment.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thanks for dropping by. I am doing much better now. The exercising and the meeting people over weekends helped. Primarily what I try is to remain connected to people, share my fears. That makes a difference.

      Like

  12. Really glad to hear your doing much better now. Yes staying connected and exercising do help. Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

    Like

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