Running with Questions

Let me just say it out loud to myself.

I have no idea where I am headed or what I am meant to do.

I sketch. Write. That is all what I know.

Sometimes, it just helps to say it. You keep repeating it to yourself in your mind. And your mind just goes on playing a film of all the bad luck your cluelessness is bringing to you. And all you can do is drown with this thought haunting you day in and day out.

But when you write it or say it with all the firmness, it might just feel as if you are ready to tackle this storm.

To tell you a little about me, I suffer from anxiety. Panic attacks for me sometimes become something like a tussle between life and death. It is that real for me. And I lost my father six years ago when I was nineteen years old.

Since that day, I did everything that came my way. I did not sit and plan out or charted out a career path. It was all about finding peace and if that also meant, getting a job in his office, I was quite alright with that too. In fact at that point of time, that goal was driving me. It helped me not lose my sanity. But I had not realised that I was just digging a hole for myself.

At that point the decision to escape in multiple internships than deal with the trauma of losing him suddenly seemed like an easy choice to make.

And then my years just passed with multiple internships to my credit, juggling it all with my studies etc. At 22 or 23, big words like ‘career’ don’t make a hasty appearance.

This word will take its time to come till your doorsteps. It brings with itself a batallion of questions. These are weapons of different intensities meant to poke you at all the right places. The injuries might make you want to sit down and not get up or maybe rise after a long period of sitting down. In my case, maybe it is the second scenario.

The thing is my anxiety also started sucking my power to think. It created a comfort zone for me, which was made of tears, fright, panic attacks etc…It actually seemed like a soft cushion when doubt struck. And now when my counsellor asks me to think about my life ahead or what I want to do, I can only envision a blank space. Maybe because all this while I have gone with the flow. Maybe I have never known what it is to sit and have that talk with your parent.

When I thought of writing this piece, I had imagined that I will be rummaging through all the doubts within me and find an answer beneath that pile. But yet again, I wrote the question while the answer is still somewhere waiting to be found; hoping that I don’t fall in the trap of running with questions than embracing answers.

Gumption

2015 taught me survival. If I had a pair of wings, I found them in 2015. With every heartbreak, loss, missed opportunities, I started losing sight of these wings and maybe, even the gumption. This year, I experienced fear in its entirety. I understood what it was to flirt with danger and then the eventual retreat into the comfort zone of anxiety. I tried to find company who could anchor me with conversations, but just realised that I was digging the hole deeper.

I was inviting an unwanted element who was as broken as I and maybe had the right intentions but was just over imposing wishes on me. The fall would have hurt more because it was a descent without having any accomplishment to my name. He had seemed like the ‘perfect’ guy. 27. In the armed forces. Well-read. However, his over-bearing nature proved to be a warning to the person who could be. Doing things for me without my consent and trying to be a ‘wonderful friend’ but freaking me out nonetheless.

It was in 2015 that I understood what was coming to terms with. I had lost my father six years ago. The trauma of which continued to haunt me all these years. Me being me, I resorted to escapism, which got me on the thresholds of anxiety. Losing my dad to a cardiac arrest while I was alone at home with him affected me, but this year I was finally able to accept it. With acceptance, the hurtful essence around a memory floats into oblivion. What remains is the memory, but with also a coating of a happy moment with that person.

This year I learnt what it was to be in the dumps when it comes to mental health. It was this year I realised that just like your physical health, even mental health needs its fair share of attention. How lightly we take our mental health; Not realising the havoc that will spread in our life if our mind is not functioning properly. Suffering from anxiety accelerated my journey towards falling into the cliff of depression, but sometimes, all you need is an anchor.  It can be a person or memories, and in my case, sketching. It became as important as breathing.

Often we identify our anchors and sometimes, we miss out the ones or the one, who always stands by our side no matter what. You will tell that person how bad you are and how he deserves someone better and all he will say is that you are his strongest emotional support. You will find him to be your ‘Lumos’ and you will be his ‘Expecto Patronum.’

This year I finally saw what any place outside my comfort zone looks like. The walk towards getting there is not easy but once you are there, you will never want to look back into that zone. It limited you and probably even kept your wings in the closet. Through my novel, I met the free person I yearn to be. Maybe I might never meet this goal, but I am happy that I got to meet her in these pages. No matter how many negative adjectives I use to describe my novel, it does not really take away the fact that I met an extension of me.

I understood what it was to let go. Let go memories and even friends. Maybe they are just characters in your story and not friends, if you have to let go of them. For the real ones will stick to you. It is a myth that you are a good person if you keep all your relations together. In doing this, you will forget the one you have with yourself. And that is the most important one. So you are a better person if you work on the relation with yourself. The rest eventually falls into place.

This year, I found peace in my own company. I felt that satisfaction, which was long gone. I felt the gumption flow in my veins all over again. I realised what a Phoenix would feel after it rose from its ashes. I am no Fawkes. But this year I have understood the significance around a New Year. Irrespective of any loss or any hardship, losing gumption is the biggest loss ever. But there is no feeling like finding it and starting afresh, one moment at a time.