Dear depressed self,
I met you nearly two years ago, during the toughest semester of my college life. I barely knew you then. I saw you here and then, fleetingly. At that time, I did not know that we would end up getting to know each other so well and how it was going to change my life forever. As I write this two years later, there is a sense of calm within me. I wish I didn’t meet you but I don’t regret that I did.
I broke up with my girlfriend, my best friend at the beginning of that semester. The last semester had already been tough but I had managed it well. Vacations were lonely as I was interning at an MNC, staying with relatives whom I barely knew (don’t get me wrong, they are amazing people!!). Towards the end, she broke it off, saying that there wasn’t enough time we could give to each other – fair enough. I didn’t mind, I needed some peace for my own good too. College began and so did the parties and drinking and smoking up. Initially, it was to celebrate my “single life” with my friends but soon it became a way to cope with the stress of academics. Around the same time, my ex went through traumatic experiences because of which she wanted to come back but I refused. I was enjoying my freedom and I did not want anything which came between that. But at the same time, the pain that she was going through tore through me like nothing before. As the semester drew to a close, I had become addicted to marijuana and cigarettes. My father suffered a heart attack at this time which came as a huge shock for me. It took a while for that to sink in and again I relied on smoking up to get me through that phase. I had my first nervous breakdown during exams where I called my dad and said that I can’t do this, I’m going to fail everything. Semester ended soon after that and I decided to take a break from internships. I knew I was going to fail at least two subjects and I needed to prepare for the repeats. I went back home, thinking I’ll relax and recharge but the opposite happened. You had replaced me. I cannot point out exactly when the switch took place but I wasn’t the same anymore. I was lonely but I didn’t like talking to others at the same time. I tried gymming, learning how to drive, taking up online courses but didn’t last very long in anything. I missed the relaxed feel after smoking up and took too much stress. Stress about things which I could do absolutely nothing about and for those things which I could, I didn’t have the motivation. The only silver lining was that I got back with my girlfriend and suddenly I had my best friend back. But there was a problem, she was my best friend, not yours. Something had changed, my behaviour became more private and my comfort zone shrank. I could no longer share things like I used to before. I guess I was afraid of being judged, being left again but I didn’t want to lose out on that “relaxed, happy feeling” again. As time passed by, I often got conflicted between our two wants. I wanted to spend time with her, be happy with her and make her happy as well but you wanted to remain inside that “comfort zone”. You and I, we often fought with her, but that happens in any relationship. Then the unthinkable happened. I won’t go into details, both of us know it too well by now but that was when I gave up. I quit. I handed the reins over to you and withdrew myself, like a Pokemon going inside his Pokeball. You started to built walls around us, not wanting to get hurt again. Our self-worth, loyalty and everything we believed in had taken a hit. I wanted to have faith, have trust but you convinced me every time why that wasn’t the right thing to do. I struggled to break free from those walls. She was calling out for me, but you kept pushing me back, again and again. The only way I knew was to come clean but then again you imbibed this fear in me that if I did, you would leave. Weakness is not a trait which attracts but it is extremely necessary to make you stronger. I didn’t know this back then. But I could see how hard she was trying and that motivated me bit by bit. I wanted to break down those walls, I wanted to break free but you had other plans. You convinced me again that you were a fall-back option that could be relied upon while everyone else who loved me couldn’t be trusted completely. And to you I lost everyone I care about – family, her, friends and myself. I was trying hard to break free but I didn’t know how to break those walls and how to get rid of you. It was only after she left that we came face to face for the first time.
You made me lose everything that was precious to me but not anymore. Not anymore. I know you well now and I know how toxic you are. You’re a Dementor. I’m practising my Patronus and you’ll be gone soon. The things I lost to you, they may not come back no matter how much I want them too. It is unreasonable to expect people to forget how you treat them – actions matter in the end but I will try as long as I can till one of us breaks down or moves on. You don’t control me anymore, it’s my time now. My parents know about you, and she knows about you (even though she isn’t with me anymore) and you have nowhere to hide now. You cannot hide from my light. It was important to know you but you cannot stay. It’s time to leave.