Of Thankfulness & Friends

And gratitude. And counting your blessings. There have been times over the last eight months when I have wanted to give up and give in. And throw in the towel and say – “That’s it! Am done, thank you!” But life unfortunately, does not work that way. It eggs you to go on, do the right thing, do the proper thing and get up and face your s***.

Just like so many of my truly lovely friends have. For prioritizing me over work and God knows what else and driving down in the middle of the night to fetch me my favourite tub of ice cream, thank you.

For taking over my house when I didn’t have the strength to have to face one more day, and ordering in food and stocking up the kitchen for me, thank you.

For painting my nails when I didn’t feel like taking care of myself, for dragging me to the parlour to get my eyebrows which had grown to forest levels, trimmed, thank you.

For holding my hand through what seemed like the thousandth anxiety attack over lost school uniforms, thank you.

For booking a table at a pub and asking me to come for a beer, in the middle of the day, and making sure I came and ate a whole bowl of mashed potatoes, and being motherly hens and surrounding me with your love and laughter – thank you.

For looking after Harshitha while I tried to combat yet another deadline, yet another appointment, yet another god-knows-what-now, thank you.

For knowing when I was the saddest, without even having to tell you – for ordering in ice-cream and binge-watching chick-flicks with me, thank you.

For celebrating each holiday with me, making sure am not alone – For Christmas, New Year’s, Sankranthi, Valentine’s – thank you.

For being my family when I had none around  – thank you. Whatever shitty hand life has dealt until now, I sure lucked out when it came to the kind of friends I have around.

 

Of Silence

Most of you who know me in real life know that silence and me do not go hand in hand. We’re poles apart. I’m fidgety and always mostly talking about three different topics at once. To be calm, to actually listen, to be silent – these are things that I could never make my peace with.

I’d fill my silences up. With the T.V. blaring random songs, with music constantly running on the phone if not the T.V. With chatter over the phone if none of these.

These days though, I hardly switch on the T.V. I hardly even touch my phone if not for work – and I really really have started to appreciate the blissful silences in my life.

I used to be scared of silence before, forever scared of thundering footsteps, of doors slamming, of my own voice, losing it’s sweetness and turning into a vile, vindictive screechy one. Of even the sound of a curtain slowly fluttering.

In the midst of typing this post out, the shrill jarring sound of my phone ringing irritated me – and then, I faced the worst fear a mother would wish upon herself – I heard a stranger tell me my daughter’s fainted and is having difficulty breathing.  Everything was on auto pilot then – booking a cab, figuring out the nearest hospital to the school, frantic calls to make sure she’s okay constantly, through this.

And then I sat in the cab, in Bangalore traffic – wanting to somehow transcend time and just appear next to her – see her, and I touched my phone, wanting to call a friend – the thoughts that were spiraling needed to be voiced. But then, I remained silent – kept the phone back and tried to breathe through what seemed like a century but was only ten minutes.

And then I realized silence is not my enemy. Not anymore. Silence is a friend now. It engulfs me and hugs me and comforts me. Tells me there is nothing wrong with the world. Tells me it’s all going to be okay – only if I silence the rambling.

P.S. She fainted because she was too excited talking about her day that she didn’t have lunch. She’s fine now 🙂  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of Anxiety and single motherhood

Before we even begin, yes,  I have anxiety. Like the real, medical, doctor approved one. No, I don’t need a straitjacket. Most days, at least 😛

Jokes apart – I never knew until about a couple of years ago that I had anxiety. I went to a counsellor, spoke about things and I came to terms with it – in phases. It was easier when I was not a single mother, I agree – but in ways more than one it’s helped me that am a mother. I have an anchor, a talisman, a go to, a constant,  that many people dealing with anxiety don’t – a beautiful, clear-headed, confident daughter. And that’s my strength more than anything else. She’s my goal, she’s my reason to want to get out of bed, the reason to want to push myself again, through  what seems like another never-ending day. I look forward more than her to her coming back from school. Yesterday, for the first time in life -because of a thousand other things that were running in my head – I missed her dinner alarm – and the guilt trip that I went on from there, adding to that the anxiety, I felt myself spiraling down so fast I didn’t know what hit me. From waves of feeling like the most incompetent mother in the world, to the point where I thought she didn’t deserve someone as broken as me – it was horrendous. But somewhere, reality hit – and then it took all the strength in the world to come back. For someone who doesn’t understand mental illness, all this might seem trivial, but trust me – the smallest things are the things that hit us the most.

And then it hit me  –  to be able to smile at the crooked teeth and giggle till the tears stream, to be able to touch that warm face, to be able to squeeze that tiny body that once lived in me, to be able to smell the milky breath in the morning hug, to be able to cherish yet another kiss blown, I will come back, always. No matter what. And that knowledge, is enough to power me through another day.

 

 

Another year round the sun, darling

And how you continue to inspire me, to be true to myself. I cannot even begin to imagine how incredibly mundane my life would be if not for you. I cannot think of how life would be if you hadn’t taught me how to say no, be assertive, stand up for my rights – and how you’d always always the the beauty in me – and make me see it too.

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That night on the bar stool at the Trident, when you threw a handful of peanuts at me for me using the word “ugly” to describe how I feel about myself, was the singularly most life-changing conversations I’ve ever had. You teach me to love myself more, every day – and I hope you know how much your presence means to my life. Thank God for you, Sujasha – Happy Birthday!

 

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May you have a day filled with all the laughter and love you deserve and may you always find peace. Shine on, you crazy diamond!

sujasha