She probably doesn’t know. I can’t remember if I ever told her. I used to be content with being a mole. Staring at the ceiling for hours on end, keeping my thoughts and my thoughts about my thoughts to myself.
One content mole.
I did not see anything wrong with self harm. It was logical. I thought something, I thought about what I thought, I felt something and I needed an outlet. Sometimes writing would suffice, sometimes drawing, listening to music, and when none of it worked self-harm did.
I was growing.
But I was growing inwards.
I was growing deeper, and instead of achieving some sort of nirvana, I was feeling more. I was feeling too much. Pain.
Crawling out, one day, I heard that self – harm is not cool. I wondered why, crawled back in, contemplated and it made sense. So what do I do when it all gets too much, I decided, I’d interact with people.
It’s funny, this was about 15 years ago.
I gave people a chance and never looked back. I thought, I = depression. When I felt like people failed me, I would correct myself and decide that I failed myself. I needed to be smarter, wiser, better. I learnt so much, I grew differently. I learnt that being by myself did not have to turn into a depressive cycle. There’s work-life balance, and there’s social-individual life balance.
I’m still figuring out the latter.
She doesn’t know that, she doesn’t need to know that.
Christmas was eventful because, presents. Birthdays were bigger because, well presents also. They were better because they were just about each one of us.
And cake. So much cake. Food in general.
Food was a thing for us, wasn’t it?
Ice creams, chocolates, baklava, jalebis and laddus.
What were we celebrating when there were no obvious reasons to celebrate?
Success and the proximity of one’s dreams, lingering so close, around that corner?
I’d linger and take a right around that corner. I found chaos and contradiction behind the closed doors and four walls. Candles got blown, balloons burst, and the cello tape couldn’t hold the streamers up. The masking tape would pull the paint off.
I’d linger into the alleys where you would have nothing to give me. Where they would have nothing to offer.
Self – hate.
Now, 23 years away from the most evocative memory, I realize that I’ll take all the love you can give me or nothing at all.