The day was 20th March 2020 when I finally returned home after meeting a friend. Little did I knew that it was the very last day when I boarded and deboarded the metro or saw any food joints stuffed with people or the very last day when people roamed freely in a crowded place without any mask on their face and sanitizers in hand. None of us was aware of the crisis which we were going to face in the coming months.
CoVID-19 pandemic had already hit China’s Wuhan province in January. Despite the increasing cases in China, people travelled across the world and that’s how people around the globe got infected and cases started to spiral. India reported growth in cases in late March 2020. This was the time when the government announced: “Janta Curfew” on 22nd march followed by a nationwide lockdown which started on the 24th of March and went on for days.
By the beginning of April India started to witness almost 100 cases in a day. Due to this people were forced to sit at their homes. Now for a person like me who had already dealt with issues like anxiety and depression in her past had to face the lockdown which seemed like a mountain full of troubles. A year back I had completely changed as a person, earlier I use to be a carefree, fun-loving, and focused human, however, since 2019 I have been facing problems like anxiety attacks, major mood swings, depression, and suicidal thoughts.
At first, it was a little difficult to even understand that I was dealing with depression and anxiety. One fine day a friend of mine was trying to crack a joke so that it might cheer up my mood but on the contrary, it made me furious and I started yelling at him and that’s when he said that you have changed as a person and there is something wrong.
Gradually things became grim for me, I started experiencing massive mood swings, in the beginning, I thought this is happening because of the premenstrual syndrome as a lot of women go through the same, however, later I realized that these mood swings were there constantly and it was not a part of PMS.
I noticed this drastic change in myself when I completed my graduation and entered the corporate world. The whole year of 2019 went into hunting for jobs and I couldn’t find anything except failure. The failure took a toll on my mental health. Later when 2020 had just begun I somehow gathered the courage to fight against my evil thoughts and headed for a new beginning. Little did I knew that the coming months of 2020 will turn out to be harrowing for me.
At the beginning of the lockdown, everything went smoothly. I was with my parents cherishing each moment and trying to spend as much time with them as I could. However, after 12 – 13 days my anxiety attacks started to kick in. My heartbeat and pulse use to get fast, I could feel a shortage of breath and there was a constant feeling of restlessness. Eventually, I started cutting people out of my life; I avoided calls and texts and gradually became very irritated. Even the slightest of things use to annoy me and made me volatile.
Whenever someone used to call me or drop me a text, it always made me angry and furious. During that period whenever my phone had a beep of notification it forced me to curse people that why do they want to talk to me and give me their rubbish pieces of advice. I wanted someone to “Listen to Me” instead of giving pieces of advice, I wanted people to hear me. Nonetheless, every time somebody called me it was either to give me advice or just to be sarcastic on my situation.
After this, I started overthinking which lead me to suicidal thoughts. I still vividly remember when I use to think that there was no point in living such a wasteful life. Now depression started to crawl and made its way in my life once again. Depression not always depicts sadness or a grumpy mood, a person can be smiling all the time yet feel hollow inside and I was going through the same situation. I always smiled in front of my parents, heard their jokes, helped them in their work but after all these things once I use to enter my room my heart always felt heavy.
Lately, I got converted into this hyper-emotional person who was on a constant roller coaster ride with her mood swings. There was a time when just in a few seconds someone could make me smile and the next moment either I was irritated, angry, or upset.
I still recall those days when I used to sit in my room and stare at the ceiling fan for hours trying to figure out the ways to just end this life as it appeared to be of no use. Out of 7 days in a week I used to get anxiety attack for straight 5 days which included sudden restlessness, fast heartbeat, shortness of breath and a feeling that something is choking me, . These anxiety attacks usually lasted for 15 to 20 minutes. During this time, I had to divert my mind and think of something else so that I don’t focus on the shortage of breath.
These incidents always forced me to think that now it’s enough, I will simply give up as I might not take it anymore. I was in a situation where I wanted to speak it out but somehow kept quiet. There were many such times when I thought of approaching someone to talk about the issue but couldn’t gather the courage to speak it out loud, and this made me feel suffocated every time. Throughout the lockdown, I dealt with these similar episodes.
But we say that there is always a ray of hope hidden at the end of the dusk. For me, that ray was my parents who eventually started to notice the changes in me, on and off they made me understand the value of life, both my parents made me believe that they will hold me every time I fall.
My parents and my close friend did not take my depression as a joke or never judged me for who I am, instead, they pushed me hard to get back on my feet. They always came up with different ideas to help me get out of the situation. Sometimes it would be about exercise, sometimes they would ask me to read books and sometimes they even forced me to speak and keep it all out. People who love us must understand our state of mind because a person going through such a phase can take any drastic measures despite knowing how much precious life is.
Earlier I thought that during this phase of my life there is nobody to talk to but later I realised that my close ones were just a call or text away. It was only me who didn’t want to talk about my problems to anybody. It To think of it was like a mirage to me that someone will understand the pain I am going through, but in reality I had always had the backing of people who loved me even then even now
One thing these episodes taught me was that life has a long road to cover and there will be many U-turns and diversions. It depends on us that how we drive the car called “LIFE”. It also made me realise that “Communication is the key”. It is always good to be vocal about your problems and consider them as problems instead of running away. So, here I am. And I would like to convey this message to everyone out there who might be going through the same situation.
You know what, this phase will pass. You must believe in yourself. Don’t lose hope. There will be sunshine after that night and those rays will hug you so hard that every piece of yours will fit like a puzzle and once again you will feel happy. Here again, I am giving you advice. Just remember one thing. Talk to people. It helps.