Walking Beside Myself

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Story By: Anant Shastri

I was at the ophthalmologist waiting to get my eye exam done. It had been a tiring day. During the exam, the doctor asked if I take any other medications. I said I do. Antipsychotics, antidepressants, and anti-anxiety. She looked at me with glaring eyes and said that I should stop them and try and fix my routine. There is nothing like depression or psychosis and it is just a made-up term.

I was already used to hearing this so it didn't really bother me coming from a big doctor at a reputed hospital. But then what did she know? The degree of discomfort I feel in my body, maybe it is just a game that I am playing with myself. Maybe I am not mad, just lazy. Or maybe this world is unreal only to me. But then what did she know? About the fear, I felt when I was talking to someone and I see their face starting to melt like wax. Or to be followed by shadows be it day or night. Or to become stiff like a stone suddenly while engaged in a conversation with a group of people. Or not being able to look into someone's eyes because you can see them see right inside your head.

My psychiatrist was never able to give me a diagnosis but he feels that it is schizophrenia. So to be on the safer side, he just told me that I have psychosis. He is a good guy, my doctor. Does his job well, listens to me for 10 mins during each visit. He says I am not stable enough yet for therapy so that is something out of the picture.

I am just a normal guy, just with a side that I have to keep hidden from others. But that is okay because I am used to it now. But I say again, I am just a normal guy with normal inconsistent habits. Just like you all, I too shy away from picking up someone's phone call because I don't feel like talking to anyone. Just like you all, I too sing in the bathroom or play air guitar while taking a shower. And just like you all, I too feel sad when things are not going to my comfort. But does that mean that the sadness I feel is depression? Or is depression something different from sadness? Let's leave that for others to decide, not you and me.

I have a few friends. But otherwise, I don’t really talk to anyone much. I keep to myself and stay silent. I enjoy my company because suffering is something that is not shared but rather embraced by being alone. Why bring more sadness into this already sad world? Why damage someone's mind by sharing the scarring thoughts that one has?

As I am writing this, I can feel very deeply each of my experiences that I had where people took advantage of my condition and I was harassed to extents because of which triggering me has become really easy. In this city where I live, you cannot show weakness, you cannot be 'less of a man' because then people point it out. What is wrong if I enjoy reading poetry or smelling flowers? What is wrong if I like to see pictures of baby animals or listening to songs about love? What is wrong? What went wrong? Why is everything wrong? What is all this? But that is okay, because I am used to it now.

The world has not really been my friend. It is like a one sided yet abusive relationship that I cannot get out of. I have contemplated suicide countless time, attempted it a few times but being the coward I am, never was able to go on with it. Guess it is good that I was not able to go on with it. Good for others alteast even if not for me. Good for those who enjoy watching me suffer.

I was in a bus riding my way back home. It was night and I was excited to get back. It was my birthday and I had spent it alone giving myself a treat at the local mall. As I sat on my seat my leg began to shake. I knew it was time. The world started spinning around me as I started to blackout. The voices in my head then began to shout. Oh how loud they were, I can still remember them to this day. The lights started to flicker as I was holding my knees and I went stiff. Like a rock I was stuck to that seat. Everyone I saw down on the road had a demonic face. Like wax statues when they melt in a fire. Someone was howling in the distance and the tinnitus in my brain was piercing my ears. The world finally went black around me and I could not see anything. I knew I had to maintain composure because I was not in my safe space. When it ended, I was exhausted. Drained. The voices, still lingering in the background started to fade away. I got up and left the bus immediately and walked back home the remaining distance. After about an hour, I reached my home and I slept. I slept for 2 whole days only to wake up with intense depression. Crippling me to my bone. It left me with sadness that I could not bring out. I could not cry the sadness out because it seemed like I forgot how to cry.

This is how I spend most of my time, living out life counting the days that go by. Cursing myself that I wasted another day. But then it is okay, because I am used to it now.

When the world was dark and black in my sight

Faith grew in me like a beacon of light

My trust in my God grew anew

I died a death among the chosen few

This world is a platform for those bound in chain

Run in the back-end by the mentally insane

Work so hard just enough to fill their void

Work my friend till this taboo is destroyed

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