I turned 13 on April 14th, 1999 in a new school.
I moved to the new school with a group of close friends from my old school and we were in the same class.
So, I wasn’t really alone or unloved.
But when I and them started to grow up, I began finding difficulty connecting.
Yes, there were classmates who were mean spirited, but we all walk through that door; the door of being mistreated, and being the ones mistreating.
However, the reason I met her, my depressed self, was because of my inability to fit in.
I was lonely, even though I was loved.
I spent years trying to connect.
Often times by lying, seldom by being honest.
I lost a lot of people. I am friends still with a few.
They say school is a second home.
I hated both; the first and the 2nd.
Because everyone was at fault and I was sad that nobody understood me.
I know now both sides were at fault and I was sad because I didn’t respect myself enough to understand her.
Sleep was my escape island.
Sleep, and video games.
Art was there.
But I used it to gain.
Just like I used the people who were kind to her.
Just like I used my pain.
I wanted to die.
So many times I said I wanted to die.
I want it all to end.
Now I think back and I wonder if I really wanted that, or was I merely programmed to say those words because it’s a punchline for a feeling which you can’t escape?
My depressed self has been with me ever since the first time I learned people say things they don’t mean, and do things without thinking.
My depressed self took control of me for 10 years and made me a self-absorbed person whose moto is “all-take and give-to-take-more-in-return”.
My depressed self was with me the following 10 years, but neither of us was in control.
I was tired, and so was she.
We sat for long together at the bottom.
We read books and we hated people.
Then we learned to hate books and read people.
Slowly, the hate started fading to black.
The black flashed white in a beautiful thunder.
And rain started falling.
Soon after, there were buds, blooms and fruits.
I write books about people for people now.
Today, she lets me take control.
And a lot of times, she tries to get back on the driver’s seat, but I keep telling her; “at the next stop.”
At the stop sign, I let her take over, but I keep the keys.
She steers the wheel, she honks the horn, she curses at the passing cars and she turns the head lights on and off. But she doesn’t get to drive.
It’s not me and her alone in the world.
I have people on the ride now, and I can’t let her drive me and those around me down the pit again.
I was 13 when I met this depressed self of mine.
I am now 33 and she is still there.
Initially, all I wanted was to take, take and take, thinking it’ll fill the void in me.
But I found the solution in letting it out. Letting it be seen. Letting it go.
Logically, the emptiness in me should get bigger by giving away and not taking in,
But on a closer look, I realized that the void was only a black pile of broken feelings painted over my soul.
Every time I take a piece, I find a lesson, I share the lesson and the pile becomes smaller, even with the new broken bits piling on top.
And while sometimes, I feel like I wouldn’t mind dying any day, in comparison to the teenager who cried wanting to die right freaking then, I find myself looking forward to be older and I pray to be able to still give back.
With her, by my side, watching… impressed that this grumpy lazy old lady had managed to live this far.