A long time ago, I read somewhere that around 80% of people who take help for their depression, get cured. I was looking for that again and I failed to find it so maybe that’s not true after all. It’s 7:30 I’m having my birthday cake, it’s nice, chocolate, and some white cream stuff. You get the idea, it tastes good. I turned 20.
When I was 10, I came back to Pakistan. It was a reality- check that felt like a slap on my face. All of a sudden the faces were meaner, unfriendly, judgmental about my accent. competitive, I was told to trust no-one everyone wants to get first place, first place was an unheard of concept for me because there were no exams in Canada. But I didn’t mind, I still don’t, though I don’t know why or how, but I find true people, who might hate themselves but at-least are themselves. It took time, changing places when you’re on the cusp of turning 13 is not the best decision in the world. But then again being born isn’t a very good idea either.
We moved back to Pakistan because my grandparents were here. I am glad we did. Because even now every birthday I wait for a phone call from them. I always will. So for me it wasn’t a completely bad decision either. In fact, it wasn’t a bad decision at all. The only bad thing in this story is fate. But this isn’t about the badness.
This is about a realization I had.
Remember the cake I had. There are different kinds of cake. Now some cakes are soft, other cakes are harder to pierce through. Or so it seems. What if all cakes are the same and the bluntness of the knife is to blame? Or maybe different cakes get different knives and some cakes don’t really get knives they get flowers. Some cakes are thrown against a wall because they tasted bad.
Imagine being the last cake.
Except we aren’t cakes, but when the human persona is thrown against the concrete walls of despair and torture, it reacts the same way. It splatters on the ground. What a waste. I’m told the human persona can heal, that we can, if we want, make it again, and learn, learn from the walls, from the ruthlessness of time and learn from our mistakes. But being thrown against a wall really isn’t in our control.
That’s the thing, some of the worst things in our lives were beyond our control. Some of the bad things yet to happen will be beyond our control. Imagine being repeatedly thrown against the wall. Such that you begin to throw yourself at it. That’s what Van Gogh did.
We have been taught to throw ourselves at the wall. We have been taught for decades, or maybe more ,that we deserve to be thrown against walls. That we are sinners, and we should always feel guilty to a God who they say created the wall to begin with. They teach us to cower in fear and then love the ones who keep throwing you. Because you are supposed to love them. You fear the people you love? How can fear and love coexist?
Isn’t it ironic that they teach you to hate and fear the very things they tell you to love? Your parents, your teachers, your God and yourself?
Doesn’t fear hate the atrociousness of love? Love doesn’t listen. Love does as love wants. Love stops us from being thrown against the wall. Fear doesn’t let us get up after we’ve been thrown. Somewhere midway of this tireless routine of walls and throwing, our minuscule amount of self love wants us to stop.
So we ask the same people who brought us here:
‘How do we stop?”
But they don’t know. Making catapults is easier than making hearts. And until every human being has been thrown from every catapult against every wall and out of every building, we won’t know the answer. How do we stop?
I don’t know either. But I do know this.
You’ve been thrown against the wall for years. How long have you given yourself to heal? Not even a week. After three months of university torture, 10 days of relief? After 10 years of dilemmas and heart aches, even one gap year makes us dumber? Think about it.
They say time heals all wounds.
Did we ever get enough time?
Maybe if we had time, the likes of us would grab a seat in the local cafe and devise some strategy against this catapult we call depression. Maybe if the world would stop yelling just once, or if someone would give us ear muffs, or maybe if you let us have the ear muffs we own, maybe we could sit beside the fireplace and write love letters to ourselves.
Why do we expect everything to be fixed by medication as if it were some kind of voodoo magic?
It took time to get you to a stage where you need help, it’s going to take time to get you back on track.
That’s the biggest irony. The fact that you can’t give up in the middle of therapy, even though you are so tired.
You need strength to get help. You need help to get strength.
And you need time.
Call me when you get there, to the finish line. I’ll probably need to be told the same thing then.