The most important lesson I've learned from life is "Make the most of the PRESENT moment". It only took one moment to turn my whole world upside down. Looking back, now I see, I wasn't happy before, and I certainly wasn't happy after that moment. I didn't accept myself for who I was. I literally hated myself. Now I've learned, to a certain extent, to forgive myself, say Hi! to myself, be kind to myself and be my own best friend.
So let me tell you, if you find yourself at the end of the road and when everything seems dark, know that you are not alone, know that there is light somewhere down the line; reach out to kind souls, together you can find that you can shine brighter than any light source and you can find your way out of the darkness.
Read along as I take you to the place I once used to call "Hell". Up until now, I was afraid and ashamed to speak about my mental illness publicly. The word "mental illness" was a scary word for me. All I can say now is, break the stigma...
Growing up, I was physically and mentally abused by my elder brother. I felt helpless and weak. I was afraid to speak when I was with him, because I was afraid that he might start a fight with me. He was waiting to laugh at me or humiliate me at any given circumstance. Because of that, I was weak and scared when I was in school. I didn't have close friends. However, I decided to join the school's scouting group hoping to find good friends and improve myself. It turned out to be a good decision because I found friends of all ages and they were very friendly and kind. I went camping, enjoyed camp fires with fellow scouts, cooked our meals together, swam in the lake, crossed a waterway on a rope, and did so much more.
A few years later, in year 2002, a so called friend (who was not a scout) pushed me from a tall swing. After that, both my hands were broken and I had to go through three surgeries and ayurvedic treatment (left hand is still not fully healed). The pain was unimaginable, but what really pushed me over the edge was the helplessness I felt because I couldn't use both my hands for three months, the lack of social interaction because I had to stay home for nine months till I recovered (because of the aryuvedic medicine), the loneliness I felt, the fear and the hopelessness. I stopped going to school after a few years. When I look back, what I miss the most is being a scout. The thoughts began to repeat themselves. I saw only the negative things others did, the bad, the dark. At the time, I felt like people did this to me and there was no such thing as "good" in the world. I hated the world. To avoid the "world" I stayed in my room, where I felt "safe". (A good doctor explained to me that, that was because my brain has too much dopamine. It's a sign of schizophrenia.)
As the years went by, I got angry at small things, swore at family members, was afraid, and I realized I was sad all the time. Everyone I knew abandoned me except my parents, sister and an amazing and pure soul (this is how I felt at the time, maybe it was my fault for pushing everyone away). He visited me from time to time, even though I didn't talk with him that much. The reason I didn't talk was because I was crushed with fear, sadness, anger towards myself and the world, shame and so on. I felt like I would never get out of that situation, will have to stay forever in my room, will see no other friendly face, will be depressed forever. I felt like I hadn't achieved anything. I felt like a disabled, fat, ugly, worthless piece of trash. "The world didn't need me and everyone will be better off without me". I decided to end it through an overdose. I tried to tie up loose ends before I closed my eyes. The suicide attempt didn't go as planned. I found myself in a hospital. That was my first attempt. Years later I tried to commit suicide again. The second time, I lost consciousness. I only remembered things here and there. After the failed attempts, I was left with shame and guilt.
I found a distraction from my problems; gaming. I got addicted to League of Legends, a Multiplayer Online Battle Arena game. I was good at it. I set myself a goal, "play ranked games, increase the MMR and be someone famous in the game". I wanted to be someone, rather than no one. I would wake up in the morning, sit in front of my PC and play games till late at night. I found some online friends as well. I didn't see them, hear them, only typed through the in-game chat system. I took a risk and told one of my online friends that I had depression and a bit of the situation I was in. He told me how he wanted to be a singer and how an illness damaged his vocal cords. After a long time I felt relieved, because I knew that at least one person wouldn't humiliate me for who I am and that he was going through something difficult as well. I realized there are a few good souls and they can be trusted.
I was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Doctors gave me all kinds of medicines. As they say "trial and error". It is really difficult when they introduce a new drug to the body. But now I know it is needed to control the imbalance of hormones in the brain. And now I'm not afraid to take medication, because I know after a while the body adapts, and it's for my own good. If a doctor recommends you to take medication, don't be afraid or angry or ashamed.
In the beginning of the year 2016 I showed a lot of improvement. I didn't know about society and people and was so naive. I literally grew up in a room. I didn't know what was happening outside of those four concrete walls. I decided to go to a place like a rehabilitation center to learn social skills. Everyone seemed to ignore or criticize me except the group of volunteer workers. They were studying psychology at the time. They were friendly and kind. They didn't judge me. They counseled me. I realized that not only medicine but psychotherapy is necessary to recover as well.
I met a girl who was friendly at the rehab. We shared our experiences about depression. She told me about some dark and horrible things that she had done. I felt sorry for her and I pitied her. I wanted to help her and keep her happy, because I knew what it was like to be depressed. I finally found a good friend. For a person who spent his days in a room for about six years, it was a huge deal. I will not go into detail about her because it hurts to remember her.
I quit the rehab in March 2016. The girl and I had an on again, off again relationship through six months of the year 2016. It was my first love and I truly loved her. At the end of 2016, I hated her. Later, I found out she may have had "Borderline Personality Disorder". I didn't know what it really was but I knew she had mood swings. Dr. Dewaka at CAFS and Theme Institute explained to me why she was behaving like that. I realized it wasn't her fault, it was the illness. He said "she will not recognize true love even if it's right in front of her eyes..."
I was traumatized because of bullying, accident and the relationship I had with her. During these times I've tried to commit suicide four times and ended up in hospitals. I've been called an attention seeker, lazy, stupid, weak, a failure, and so on for surviving a suicide attempt. But I saw the love in my mother's eyes, saw the effort my father made to heal me, the vast kindness of my sister, and my best friend's determination to see me recover from my illness. The lesson I learned from all that is "communication" is the key. When I bottled up my feelings, it only got worse.
Dr. Dewaka helped me see things differently. I got the strength and courage to push myself further. One step at a time I tried new things.
The scab formed thanks to medication and the help of some amazing souls. I realized I needed to take action myself for my recovery. I did my best to stay away from my room, I spoke with good people, didn't use the PC unless it was absolutely necessary and tried to work according to a time table. I recovered from my gaming addiction.
Now I have new hope after a long time. I'm going to find tutorials for Maya on YouTube and complete them, go to class and complete my diploma, go to swimming classes, talk with old friends, won't push people away, go camping again, hold each others hands and sing near the camp fire again, and most importantly live.
"The light at the end of the tunnel is not an illusion. The tunnel is". When I was in the tunnel all I could see was darkness, hopelessness and suffering. But I had a choice; "Stay in the darkness forever?" or "Take positive baby steps towards the light?". You always have the power to cut through the darkness and shine brighter. The happiness you seek is right in front of your eyes. Once you realize this you'll see that "The tunnel is the illusion".
This blog showcase stories, experiences and poems of brave individuals who were willing to share their creative personal thoughts in the hopes of helping another one in need...