Hope in Trying Times
– Kainat Azhar
Like the stain left in a cup of coffee when it is not washed for days.
As a child, I had never liked this color. I loved chocolates but their color I hated.
Brown and blue.
“The sky is blue, God loved this color so that he painted this vast canvas blue; it soothes your eyes”, my mom said once when I showed dislike towards her favorite color.
Brown, blue and red.
Red reminded me of the rose buds and gardens and ladybirds and apples. It was my beloved color.
Days passed by, I grew up. I talked to the moon and told it that one day I would set feet on its surface – it replied to me by shining brightly. Stars and planets became my friends. I inclined to gather knowledge about them and devoured each piece of information like a hungry tiger.
My dislike for those two colors increased and love for red decreased with time.
According to the people around me, I was a weird child. During my childhood and teenage, I had never liked the idea of any activity that included moving my body. I seldom watched television and despised movies. Painting, reading, talking for hours to the people I loved and listening to ghazals with my parents made up the list of things I enjoyed the most.
When I was around 15 – perhaps due to some hormonal imbalance – my tear glands became very active: I used to cry for hours several times a week. My mom hated those crying sessions as apparently there was not any reason for such tantrums. “Those who believe in God, don’t cry for petty reasons or for no reasons”, a family friend told me.
Colors and words and moon and stars were still there, but slowly my mind started giving up on everything. I also became a victim of mental abuse during those days and thus the firm foundations of my depression were laid without anyone releasing what was happening to me.
In 2014, two incidents happened that totally turned my life upside down. First, I fell in love with a tattooed man who seemed to be a personification of moon to me; I felt like a wolf that craved for his very touch and smile. Second, my migraine became frequent. I stopped talking, built an iron cage around my existence where no one could enter without my consent, and lost interest in everything I once loved to do – I was diagnosed with clinical depression.
Today, I know two methods by which my soul cannot get rid of my physical being – achievement I call it, madness my doctors call it. Once a rose colored life has now turned into an amalgam of paler blues and death-inducing browns. Red that symbolized happiness for me has been vanished. I sketch grotesque images on paper and write meaningless poems that are actually an ode to my depression and my personal moon.
Black, Goth, suicidal, maniac or your most haunted dream – you decide what I am.
I dare you.
A big shout out to everyone who is going through depression or who has survived its toxic claws:
I know what you face: I can fully understand why you zip your mouths for days, why you can’t swallow a morsel, your suicidal make up scenarios, your numbness, your inability to sleep for days, the chills you feel in your spine, the anxiety and panic attacks that make you feel vulnerable, the migraines, the nauseas; I have undergone all these, they still visit me in loops.
Just keep breathing.
Someday – maybe not today or tomorrow or after a month – you might feel better; you might turn this depression into something useful. You are strong, you are worth living and you are beautiful. This is just a phase.
We are wired this way and we can’t do anything about it but to give ourselves some time and go for therapy.
I am proud of each one of you. Love and hugs.
Kainat Azhar is a writer and illustrator who has never formally studied the two. She hides behind the mask of a computer science major and is interested in almost everything that does not involve socializing. Her work can be found at Fog Machine, Eunoia Review, Other Terrain Journal and etribune Pakistan. Literature, music and art were the escape routes for her once; now they have become her best pals. She has dedicated her life to them and wants to pursue a career in writing and painting. She secretly teaches math or physics to high school students. She tweets at http://twitter.com/Kainat_Azhar.