I had been under severe tension as I was unable to secure a seat in a good college despite having a decent rank as a General category student in India. I was losing my mind, as with each time new cut-off lists were being released, I was losing out on my desired streams and colleges by mere ranking differences in orders of tens or at times a few hundreds.
With each passing day, my emotional equanimity kept vitiating as I began to turn petulant and cantankerous. And, this had now begun to cause troubles in the family as well. My rage was at an all-time peak causing distress for the helpless mother and father who had no clue about what could make me feel better. It was so because I felt irritated about everything happening around me, good or bad.
Then I began to take the blame on myself for everything wrong going on in the family. If father would be stressed for some reason, I would assume it’s because I have failed him by not being able to secure a seat in a prestigious IIT. If Maa would be tensed or irritated, I would again conjecture that it was all because I had not been the son they had dreamed of having.
Therefore, I had begun to coax myself into believing that I was the root cause for everything awful around me. Result? I began self-loathing and ultimately took to punish myself physically. I would hit my right fist’s knuckles into the wall so hard that the several walls back at home still have the imprints of my fingers over them despite several years passing by.
And, the thrust of those blows used to be of such intensity that there have been incidences when I have been left with swollen and bleeding knuckles. Maa, would cry that she simply wasn’t able to fathom the reasoning for what was making me take such vile actions. She would make me promise that I won’t hurt me like that again every time I did so. And, over and over again, I would break that promise and end up with bruised fists.
Often I would just sit beside the doors or in the bathrooms and cry incessantly with the same tape playing into my head- “You have failed your parents, and have only been a pathetic son to what they otherwise deserved.” And, this exacerbated my state way down south and each passing day my emotional resolve kept hitting a new nadir.
Slowly, even they began to get irritated by this disturbed dynamics of the house. Excessively, discombobulated and tensed, they began to chide my actions and tell me to get my shit together. And, that despite being no intentional fault on their part only ruined the order further. With them taking to scold me for my ill-behaviour, my mind began to play another tape now- “No one understands your pain and guilt. And, everyone hates you for you have been a stigma to them all the time.”
With that tape embedding deep into my grey matter, I had completely hit the rock bottom with all my resolve broken into a myriad smithereens. I had begun to feel completely isolated. I remember calling myself a liability on those noble souls who had invested years of love, money and dreams into me and expected so much out of me. And, especially being the only son, I felt even scathing about the fact that I had destroyed the only possibility to a better future my parents had.
Therefore, the words like positivity, hope and goodness and love began to gather dust in my dictionary and the words depicting malevolent traits like anger, profanity, abuse, self-hurt, hopelessness and gloom et cetera began to embolden. Everything good happening around me would then displease me for I would wonder, “Why does my life not have that goodness!”
And, thereby jealousy also began to factor into burden my balance further. As a resort to temporal reliefs, I took to using profanity on a regular affair, and would often call out most of the abuses on self, looking into the mirror deep into my own eyes. My knuckles had by then become much stronger and won’t give me much pain much. And, therefore I had now also begun to run my arm into the wall hurting my entire right arm. And, that way, I was simply gestating a single mindset in every corner of my heart, head and body- Destruct and demolish.
Eventually, then, there came a day when shit would break through the roof. Cut-offs for another renowned College, BITS Pilani were released that evening and I had not made the cut. I was at my maternal uncle’s house at that time. Just after apprising Maa of my successive failure, I went over to the guest room of their house which was rarely used, and I got into its closet. And, sitting there in the dark, I began to pinch the skin of my left forearm with grown nails of the fingers on right hand.
I was sweating, crying and cursing myself all through in that closet. And, at the same instance, I was also grinding my nails into my skin. I was under pain but my mind would not allow me to stop. And, this grisly affair went on for over an hour and a half until suddenly, searching for me all over, my maternal uncle reached the guest room. He heard my sobbing from the closet and opened the door to find me almost about to faint.
It will be four years this May 23rd since that horrendous episode took place at their house. My left forehand still has a few marks of where I had pressed my nails too hard into the skin. The ring finger on my right hand still has a scar of one time when it began to bleed after being rammed too hard into the wall. And, most importantly, I will always have blot-filled memories of self which I am no more related to in any metric.
What is it like to undergo depression?
For an individual, it’s a pain like none other. It’s biting, chilling, grisly and scathing all at the same time. And, those words are not meant to be metaphorical as they stand for the horrendous reality I was living through, a glimpse of which has been shared above. And, as far as the family, friends and other dear ones are concerned, for them it’s hell.
I hope that sums up the perspective for the reader.