It seems like somebody has placed a train carriage on your shoulders. The body becomes heavy, the mind revolts against you and limbs seem unmovable. It’s like you’re caught in heavy rain with dark clouds all around you. It’s freezing, it’s dark, there’s nobody around but the devil has fixed your feet firmly to the ground. You can’t move. You just have to stand there in the dark as icy cold raindrops fall on your head.
I don’t know how else to describe it.
Years later, I understood that I was suffering from depression.
Since I understood what was happening to me, I started reasoning with my mind. I started distracting it and started writing. It was tough, but I decided to deal with it.
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But it wasn’t easy for my wife to deal with it. She thought that I was just making excuses for not doing certain things.
“You don’t want to go to the party because you are not up to it? You seem all right. What is your problem?”
These were some of our regular conversations when I went through those phases. Sometimes it used to get ugly because she would be frustrated that I didn’t want to leave the house. She would be frustrated that I’d be on the bed the whole day wearing my pyjamas and not help her in the kitchen.
She couldn’t fathom why I would take casual leave from office for no apparent reason. I would call in sick even though I seemed perfectly all right.
Those days were difficult and I could see the frustration building up inside her. She wouldn’t understand why I would withdraw into a cocoon on some days, pretending that some tragedy has besieged me. The paradox that confused her the most was seeing me struggle to write five lines during those phases when I usually finish a 300-word article in 15 minutes flat.
On most days I would spot a confused look on her face. She started to try and talk me out of those phases. That helped.
It took me some time to tell her that I didn’t want to be left alone during those phases. I preferred to listen to her and it helped me. Because she would talk about umpteenth subjects of her everyday life and that would give me some inexplicable comfort.
I remember the day when she decided to talk me out of it.
She saw me crying in front of the TV, watching Comedy Central. That day she sat with me with a cup of chai and spoke to me for an hour. She kept speaking till I started participating in the conversation and then she asked me to take her out on a drive.
We went on a drive and then things seemed okay.
In the meantime, one of my former colleagues committed suicide. He was also suffering from acute depression. I think that alarmed my wife.
She started to talk to me even more. Sometimes she would drag me by the hand and ask me to take her out to a movie or a dinner date.
Maybe that’s what I would call love.