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.
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.
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!
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!
Someone once told me to try and build a life I don’t need a vacation from. Slowly, I am getting there, I’d like to think. Waking up in the morning at six, to this view. To a sleep-addled daughter that wants to only curl up for five more minutes. The peace that reigns for five minutes before the school run begins. I breathe in her strawberry sweet hair, and while I run my fingers I realize there is sand that she somehow manages to get into her hair. I cringe inwardly for a moment, but then I think of the freedom she has now, to play in the sand, in the dirt, her knees scraped, yet again, and I am thankful for the dirty clothes she comes back in. I’d much rather have this life, than a spick and span one, any day.
As some of you might know, for reasons best left un-talked about, I am a single mother now. People keep asking me if it has made any difference to my life. While I agree that it does affect my life logistically as a single mother, but otherwise, it’s just another day in the mental household.
So please, stop with the irritating questions already. I do not have the time or the patience to explain my life decisions to you or yours.
Everything is easier without the added tension of dealing with your decision making with another adult. So if you’re genuinely concerned, ask me if you can help in any way. If not, just sit back and keep your judgy fingers to yourself, thankyouverymuch.
This is for you, my darling. You will understand someday when you’re all grown up why I needed to do this. You will know that this is for the better. Your peace and your mental health are of the utmost importance to me and that is primarily the reason why I did what I did. I hope some day we sit down together and talk about this, but until then, I promise – I will do whatever it takes to make your life only better from now on.
“You know what the saddest part of this life is?” she asks, eyes bright and open.
“Do you know what the time is?” he grumbles, patting her back to sleep.
“I don’t care. The saddest part of life is that we spend half of it worrying about inconsequential things.”
“And you chose to wake me up to tell me that, at 3. A.M.”
“No, I chose to wake you up because I was missing you.”
“I was right here.”
“You know what I mean. I had this epiphany and I had to share it before I forgot.”
“And I know you’re going to take some time, do you mind if I light a cigarette?”
“neki aur pooch pooch? Why do you ask stupid questions? So I realized how I got this mark on my arm. I had walked into a tree branch on my evening walk. And I realized there was something on the tree. It was a mattress. Some soul is going to treat a tree like his home and am stressing about pointless things!”
“It took you a bump in the arm instead of the head, but am glad you get it. Now can we go back to sleep? There’s this brilliant woman who I want to hold and fall asleep next to.” he smiles as he tucks her back into his arms.