Has anyone maybe a friend or a colleague or even a cousin told you that you’re depressed? It might sound bizarre but small instances people randomly or casually telling you about your state of mind can leave a long-lasting effect. Even any second person around us seem to a be a psychiatrist giving life advice. Everyone seems to have an opinion about your life and how you should live.
More than you realize you will find your opinion colored by one of these “random” people. The “know-it-all” will continuously be an interference. If you don’t stop them at the right time, they can harm you in more ways than one.
This is a tale of several “know-it-alls” who made me believe I was depressed. Before I start telling you my story you should know who I am?
Hey! I am Rhea a middle-class girl from Delhi whose boyfriend (for 6 years) was getting married because they belonged to different caste and different religions. I knew this guy ever since I started college because I met him through a mutual friend. He was a well-groomed guy from a small town who struggled with refined English. He stayed with his friends but then rented a flat for himself so we could spend some time together. It all started when we met through mutual friends and at that very instant, we clicked. We ate dinner and then spoke for more than 4 hours without even saying.
Suddenly it was more than six years that we were dating. We were too happy and satisfied with each other. Suddenly it was a beautiful dinner date when he got on his knees and asked me to marry him. It was an utter shock to me because he had always told me that he wanted to marry in his caste. His parents were weak hearted, and they knew that speaking to me was not an option (even I understood it). But still I tried, tried my best, but that did happen. I talked to my parents about, and so did he.
We still tried with our heart’s content and tried more than ever to convince my parents, but alas that did not happen. Both our parents were equally adamant that their kin cannot be “polluted.” We live in a society where we are thinking of inhabiting the mod, finding life on another planet but convincing our parents for an inter-caste relationship was the most prominent hurdle that we were faced with.
It was indeed a dilemma and we both tried equally hard but failed. We both decided to let it go after two years of long struggle and one family member from each side in the hospital. We met for one final time to let it all go. By now we were called the cruelest kids, the one our parents should be ashamed of or even killed had they know we would turn out like this. When I met him at a cafe near the hospital my uncle was admitted in, his eyes were red so were mine. He did not say a word, neither did I. We had cried or tried to explain ourselves so much in the last two years that the only thing we did was sat in silence. An hour of complete silence and a goodbye hug was all we had when we left.
From there began an eternal struggle of my life and one incident will follow another. Shortly after I heard he lost a family member due to a cardiac arrest and quite naturally we were blamed for it. That was the last nail in the coffin, and it was a done and dusted story, or I thought it was.
My best friend and my brother made every possible effort to ensure I did not get the news of his marriage, but alas! such news always comes out. My parents blackmailed him to get married and after all the trauma he was going through, he eventually did. Obvious we did not have any contacts but 8 years is not less so things use to keep popping up. Be it Facebook memories or familiar restaurant waiters or old library books with his name everything made me a part of that life which I was trying to run away from.
My colleagues and other relatives labeled me depressed because I hardly spoke to anyone or made any effort to socialize. Everyone I met told me on a regular basis that I am depressed. It was a prefix or suffix that came along my name so it was either “Depressed Rhea” or “Rhea Depressed”. Even though I had left the one person I truly loved for my family even they did not care much about my existence suddenly. Although all these incidents should have bothered me. But I did not seem to care in the beginning but gradually without realizing I became one of them and started believing that I am actually in fact depressed.
With that, I stopped all social interactions, even the bare minimum that I was doing. I completely started to keep things to myself and hardly spoke a word. My best friend and my brother would not agree to the rather popular opinion of me being depressed. I was asked to join therapy and I did because at this point it did not matter. I the first couple of sessions my therapist told me that the label of depression was too heavy and it was a burden that I was trying to carry. He wanted me to throw it off and try something called “mindfulness”.
Honestly, I did not believe in meditation or anything associated with it. But the concept of letting go and living in the moment that mindfulness taught appealed to me on several levels. Slowly after three long years, I started taking control of my life, even though I had lost three long years I stopped regretting. It made me a stronger person. It made me realize that just because people around you tell you that you are depressed, it does not mean that you are. It is just a phase that you need to cross in life; not everything happens according to” your plan.” The only thing you can do is try, but the rest is all for you to accept and move on.
Not many of us can let of go of things, or situations that bind us but with a strong concept of mindfulness, you will be in a position to be in the moment and make most out of it. Even though that story did not work out I did get a grip on my life and am running my own business today. It did take time but I recently got engaged and am quite happy now. The moment we stop believing in ourselves trouble begins. We have to keep our hopes high and headstrong. For all such situations that we try but cannot control, we need to remember that it is all in the past, so get up and get going.