Dichotomy Of My Identity: I Am A Survivor


Pain is an inexplicable thing.

Not physical pain.

Pain, that has sprawled itself like the mythological 3-headed dog deep in the recesses of our mind palaces.

It lolls around idly, bobbing its treble heads in unison, in that vast expanse on most days.

Snaking its way to spaces it’s forbidden to enter.

Peeping into unnumbered doors.

Turning on rusting light switches playfully.

Scraping the gathering dust with its bloodied nails.

Blowing the dust mites into the musty air in devilish glee.

Coughing until it bends over and retches.

Casting drunken glances at missing names on beautifully carved doors.

Cursing the unmentionables that lie beyond the curved trellis.

Barking furiously at the innocent tender shoots sprouting unexpectedly, quietly announcing newborn changes.

Growling madly at the flowers mushrooming persistently like weeds at the far end of a sandy beach lined with swaying coconut trees where lies that forgotten proposal waiting to be washed away any time soon.

Roaring at the high gates it cannot jump over, forgetting it is but a dog, never once arriving at an understanding that having 3 heads doesn’t make it a lion.

Dripping drool, it makes its way past long corridors lined with unsung ballads of Life; for their lyrics haven’t been committed to memory yet.

Stopping at water stations wondering what fertile fields of memories, they irrigate…any chance the trickle could be turned off?

Crushing the tiny fruits of hard labored nostalgia.

Uprooting the fresh roots of memories that always seem to suffer miscarriage.

Aborting the embryo of reminiscence.

Never still, forever dancing to a requiem.

Until out of the blue it spots a circle of red.

Reclining cozily, it awaits.

Celebration of a complete wipe out of a hard life’s earnings is on the a la carte menu.

An orgy with death of a timeline is the priced pickle to be relished.

And the dessert?

A blank memory palace to be built from the ground up.

Sown with seeds of revulsion for the self.

Irrigated with blood of yore.

Hexed with incantations of hatred.

Rained upon by wars bringing plagues of gut-wrenching self loathing.

Burnt by forest fires filling its air with putrefying disgust.

Waiting for a harvest of Depression and it’s still-borns’; they always crop up like gorgeous wild hyacinth.

~Part 3 in the series questioning my Identity.

We all fight our own avatars of the fabled 3-legged dog in our everyday lives.

Invisible pain in our minds that cannot be measured or described.

Yet it weighs us down with its incessant spinning of yardage upon yardage of narratives blurring the lines between reality and illusion.

My humble avatar is Depression.

It’s a nagging itch that endures…

One day I go to bed with a wide smile, grateful for having lived the best day of my life. Then it so happens that suddenly I wake up the next, to find myself heavy with an invisible boulder tied to my mind. And I know where it will take me by the end of the day, sometimes as soon as noon. The doorsteps of Death.

An inviting ledge. A tantalizingly shiny blade. An exquisitely sharp scissor. A noose…err no, my twisted mind is not so much a noose fan! Its too much work before and after.

Sometimes the cold, biting feel is like a song of my childhood. I know the lyrics. I know the melody. The rise and fall of the strings. Where the lone flute introduces itself. The wailing notes of the piano. The mighty roar of the electric guitar. The end.

I know it all because my body owns it now. Its defences kick in when its time.

Sometimes it feels like bad, loveless sex and you have no idea how grateful I am for it because it never ends with a tsunamic orgasm. Well, the day it does, I would jump off a ledge now, wouldn’t I?

So I have learnt to wear it like my favorite pair of old blue frayed jeans. It fits like skin. It holds me with a rare inhuman fondness.

But I know I can’t be too kind to it. I can’t get addicted to it. I know I can’t fall in love with its conditions that are implied in scathing murmurs. I can’t succumb to its growing fatal demands.

I try the new age mantra of detachment. But I only reach a state where I am fully aware but often struggling to detach.

When it begins to tighten my mental cords, slinging up a noose to life seems too right. Not a noose per-se but you get the gist.

I am forced to go all guns blazing to a war that’s not my choosing.

I end up with cuts and wounds to my psyche, adding up to an already overflowing collection of souvenirs from equally barbaric previous wars.

I have a family that dotes on me, friends who find me awesome and a man who genuinely cares and accepts the wreaking ball within me. In your eyes, I have it all.

Yet, Depression is a part of my identity.

I don’t wear it with pride but in all humility I accord it a comfortable status in the grand scheme of my everyday life. Its that uninvited guest without a return ticket I have learnt to put up with.

At a time when the whole world is crumbling by its own weight and forced to melt into itself by an unknown pathogen, my mind goes sometimes in an overdrive; what with the onslaught of apocalyptic news and mania, throwing up a nihilistic, existential question of what’s the entire point of living anyway! Rather give up now than give in to an invisible virus, for gods-sake!

But like everything in the Universe, I know my depression comes with an expiry date. It passes on. It always has. It always will.

It’s a burden bestowed by my mind on me like Atlas was condemned to carry the world on his back by Zeus.

Not even by a stretch am I a Titan like the mythical Greek, but I am a Survivor and my fight with Depression is an all important facet of Who I Am and Who I will Become every tomorrow I am blessed to wake up to.


6 thoughts on “Dichotomy Of My Identity: I Am A Survivor

  1. This…

    This whole post resonates inside me with a ferocity that perhaps comes from that feeling of being understood. That someone knows of the Cerberus that lives in the dark recesses of our mind.

    That someone knows that feeling of loss when you forget special once in a lifetime moments that you believed you’ll never forget.

    That someone knows that eventually he has to be sent back to his master. Back to where he came from, even though he may find his way back.

    Perhaps this creature resides in everyone we know, but for the ones brave enough to confront its existence, they’re the ones who have the power to save themselves. More power to you Lalitha.

    I cannot thank you enough for this!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Abhi, I had to take all these hours to reply to you because I needed this time for myself.

      To revel in the joy that someone else out there actually understands me.

      That someone knows the creature by name that has laid waste to innumerable innocent men, women and children who couldn’t deal with the ferocity and wrath of the silent monster within.

      That the war must go on…

      Thank you Abhi. I can’t thank you enough as well.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Totally
    …. its perfectly put. An uninvited guest with no return ticket. I share your sentiments. Its always there. Like a shadow comes goes but never really goes forever.
    Sometimes I have questioned my mind. Why it goes back and sinks into the dark abyss of depression. It stops someone like me on my tracks.
    You have painted the clear picture and even given it heads. I have seen how it crushed that which blossoms in our minds and condemns the good to the darkness.
    This poem need to be discussed in a support group or book club. There’s a lot to decode especially from the persona’s perspective

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The word Depression is very sensitive. I know how much a person can suffer with this. Every situation around you changes n you feel you are lost in a paradise. Don’t be lost with this dear. God is with you always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jess. Thank you for always keeping the faith in me and in God’s might and power. Thank you for being on the other side, always listening and always encouraging to see the light.


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