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I'm the queen

I was always this kid who aced at everything in life. People termed me talented, elders couldn't stop appreciating me, my friends seemed less happy and rather jealous, juniors were instructed to follow me. I was the queen.

In my college years in Bangalore, I was diagnosed with epilepsy, which went In full bloom to restrict my actions. I trembled, fainted, and welcomed seizures. All these physical difficulties started making me anxious. Heap load of medicines made me drowsy and lazy. The sickness made me realize, every single time, that I was not strong anymore. I could barely perform tasks and my daily chores. I was devastated.

I was always this person with beautiful handwriting, I could barely write now. Back then, I was an artist, but now I couldn't lift my brushes right. I excelled at public speaking, I now fumbled. I started getting all possible grey thoughts, dominating of all, that I was not a queen anymore. I felt useless.

I found it difficult to make new friends, to be in touch with old friends, to talk to anybody and everybody. I felt undeserving to socialize.

My anxiety was enhanced by epilepsy, and things got worse. I couldn't open a water bottle, I couldn't run, walking was a task, dancing and jumping around remained as my past endeavors. I had to eventually stop using public vehicles, swimming, and driving.

I would fall or trip every other day, and people around would just mock or make fun of me. I sensed nobody could really understand me. My mood swings made me extremely dependent on my partner, who never really understood my anxiety. I failed my exams, I was a mess. I remember my last day to the college, I was anemic and worn out. But I had to get the exam fee paid and my projects signed. I made to the street, no energy to even stand on my own. I fell down. I remember being laughed at, and not a single person lending their hand to help. I somehow pushed myself to college, but I was so anxious because of the recent fall that I fainted with a seizure. This was not my first panic attack though.

I started feeling demotivated, empty, and worthless. My glorifying past started haunting me. Yes, I was in my lowest phase. Nothing seemed to excite me, nothing could cheer me. I became an introvert trying hard to fake being an extrovert. I longed my normalcy. I was comfortable being sad. I noticed life had nothing better to offer me. I concluded that people ignored my existence, and it was okay to be dead too. It felt suffocating to lead a life in a sea full of darkness. I started fostering suicidal thoughts.

I took a sabbatical year from college, I needed space to breathe. My parents thankfully did not question my sudden decision for a break. But in reality, I was suffering from major anxiety and depression. Even after quitting college, the dark feelings didn't seem to spare me. In fact, they hugged me tighter. Relatives and society questioned my home arrest. I just wished people kept their mouth shut. My family tried pacifying me, but I hated it. I wanted to be heard, not pitied. I know they loved me, but I was not ready for it.

I started my quest to solve this mystery on my own. I switched from Allopathy to Ayurveda (I'm not claiming Ayurveda is the best, different treatments work differently on different people). I started meditating. It worked some days, other days I would just break down. I spoke to my parents and family on this, consciously not considering their judgments. I was still stuck.

One day a stray cat landed at my house with her little kitten. I was never a cat person. I have always embraced myself as a dog lover. But this time I happened to allow the cat to stay and meow at me. I started spending all my time feeding, playing, and caressing the cats. I started smiling, feeling good, feeling content after around 5 years of darkness. I was not productive, but that did not bother me much now. Eventually, I started organizing and scheduling my days. I did not do much, but I did things on time. I woke up to beautiful sunrises, ate healthily, quit caffeine and dairy, started doing small chores, made early dinners, and put myself to bed by 9.30 pm. My palpitations, breakdowns, and seizures started decreasing. The pace was off a snail, but I was getting better.

I chose pomegranates and beetroots over medicines to boost my hemoglobin. I still drink a glass of beetroot-carrot juice or pomegranate juice every single day. I replaced soaked almonds and raisins over energy supplements. I limited my meat intake and cut down on packaged food.

Most importantly I accepted the fact that I had anxiety and depression, and was willing to come out of it like a queen. I still was a queen, I battled these monsters all alone, all by myself and I'm proud of myself for doing this.

I started journaling my thoughts, my breakdowns, my panic attacks, and I still do. I made myself my only priority. I cut off from people who made me feel insecure and negative, including my partner. I did some research and followed many self-care activities. I slowly started decluttering my dark thoughts. I was smiling more often now.

I have 5 cats currently, self priority is still my mantra, I follow my daily schedules, I still follow most of the self-care activities, I still eat healthily. I have cleared all my back exams and now I'm an architectural graduate. I still have anxiety, I still have breakdowns, but I'm not depressed anymore. I know that I can fight many scary demons bravely and happily. I'm the queen and will continue to be so.

Anybody at any age can fall prey to anxiety and depression. And you can't really reckon what could cause the illness. Self prioritizes and is kind to everybody. Watch your words, it does really make a difference. Stay healthy, stay positive. Help each other.

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