Losing yourself into the woods seems beautiful. It is spectacular when you get drenched in the pure water that is descending from the dark emerald leaves of the giant trees. You travel the route ahead not knowing what lies beyond, under the warmth of the sunshine that paves the way by shedding light, at times, even in the darkest of shadows in this wild place called life.

And then in light of Almighty, voluntarily or involuntarily you get thrown into this deep pit. Unbeknownst to you, there you are. All alone. All by yourself. That chirping sound of birds, that promptly running water of the stream, that fragrance in the air, all seem to be gone or taken away. And when people smell the fragrance and you can’t, you are labeled an oaf. You try. You try extremely hard to assimilate all the happenings that led you there when you had EVERYTHING you need to have to have a smooth peregrination. And therein that pit, The Dark Night rises. In between the flusters causing you to convince the world around you for no reason you forget to love yourself. To care for yourself.

As the turn of recent events has made us think, rethink, comprehend and contemplate to have the cognizant of mental health, scores of common people, renowned personalities, not just the filthy rich but even the middle class have discussed, tweeted, and posted about how necessary and important it is to seek professional help, if in need. I wish to recount my horrible story too. The dreadful days of my soon to he 20 years old life. The two years at my Pre University college, or said differently, classes 11th and 12th got me all drained. That is the pressure that all, literally ALL THE TEENAGERS give through. Do you know what they say? Few have this ‘inherent ability’ to go through these numerous formulae, mathematical and chemical equations. Only and only the capable ones can do that. Others, or in those mighty and degrading professors’ words, only the ‘intelligent kid’ or that Sharmaji ka beta or Chatur from the acclaimed 2009 film 3 idiots can do that. Others can’t. They simply can’t.

I was this heavily vulnerable kid who was cocooned within the comfort of her pampering parents. I hadn’t yet stepped out of that shell. And when I did I didn’t have the slightest of the idea that my regular classes in the place (read college) where I put myself in, would all be about letting each other down, insulting, hurling abuses, and even in the worst scenario causing the social isolation of that student. I couldn’t get great grades. And I don’t blame them. It was totally my mistake. Because every time I sat down to study, I would remember how guilty I ought to be. For letting my parents down, for letting few “only-to-ask-your-marks” relatives down. I felt sad. Extremely sad. The unhappiness struck me like a thunderbolt. And to an extent, it wasn’t just sadness. Or unhappiness. I would roam around the campus for no reason, dying within, faking at a smile at those who really cared. I would lock myself in for hours in my room, wouldn’t come out, wouldn’t eat anything, had tears rolling down my cheeks ALL THE TIME. I once wept so hard in the middle of the night, I went to the bathroom only to come out all fatigued and having suicidal ideation in the morning.

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The daily dose of mortification given to me by lecturers and classmates(not all), the social isolation that caused due to regular low grades, the terming that I was ‘unintelligent’ finally took a toll and I realized that it wasn’t just sadness. It wasn’t just unhappiness. It was a DEPRESSION. There! Am I weak? Well, up to you to be judgmental and not understand what this is about or to sympathize with and provide support to millions of such. Now few might undoubtedly question how can that be? Isn’t depression something that is internal? Well, it is internal. BUT IT CAN BE CAUSED BY SEVERAL EXTERNAL FACTORS TOO! Constant bullying, deliberate social isolation, just providing discouraging and destructive criticism to that person, many like that.

Not that I didn’t seek professional help fearing judgment. My parents are extremely supportive. They still are. Though I realized it was too late to do so. But guess what? It wasn’t. The class 12th results weren’t as expected but now I realize that I was not just a failure. BUT A PROUD FAILURE. But I am a fighter too. Fighter of this invisible disease-depression. Even at nineteen, I am constantly reminded to swallow the Cipralex tablet every night before I go to bed. (Yeah, I am a professional forgetful creature).

There I was climbing the rope thrown into the lit to help me get out of it. And the clear vision engulfed my eyes and I could see it. See The Ray of Hope amidst all this misery. So? Here’s the moral: Depression is real. It is okay not to be okay. IT DOESN’T SIGNIFY THAT YOU ARE WEAK. Heed to professional help, if you need to. There’s nothing wrong. It isn’t sinful to do so. You know, we should just take just a step forward to spread a little kindness and respect, despite the differences. It can be as simple as smiling at someone who you come across regularly. And be a little more grateful to all your loved ones for simply loving you! And as for Sushant, may his soul rest in peace. Let’s not forget there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

About the Author –

Varada Hegde, an undergraduate student of Bachelor of Computer Applications at Rani Chennama University, writes about mental health and has a keen interest in writing and has been doing poetry for quite some time.

Varada Hegde recently participated in a national level writing competition called “Penlightenment” which was arranged by the nonprofit organization- Rehana’s Dreams, which is run by the students of National Law University Jodhpur, in which she secured an honorary mention.

As for her achievements and accomplishments, she definitely has a lot to do( of course she cant name each and every achievement since 2nd grade) and is a budding and an aspiring writer still developing and discovering writing and is looking for opportunities to tell stories.

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