Show me where it hurts

I know that you aren’t sure why you feel depressed. You try and hide it because you can’t find its source. You fear judgment from others. The ones you know and those you cherish. They won’t understand what you are going through because you don’t either.

So you avoid thinking about it, but it doesn’t go away. Whenever it comes, you feel sick in your stomach. Your press your fingers against both sides of your scalp to assuage the dull quaking in-between. But there is no escape. No crack in the wall through which you can squeeze yourself out.

No hole in the ground you can fall through and disappear for a while.

Watercock, Nellore

Whether in a lungful of air, a mouthful of songs or a fistful of sand, it always tracks you down and wraps itself around you, like creeping vines.

You express it through poems, sketches, songs and love for another. You clean your house. All the nooks and corners. You hope it would dust the cobwebs from your mind. But nothing ever soothes because you aren’t sure where it hurts.

So there you are, without a home in your heart to house the suffering in you. There you sit, sharing inconsolable blinks with the headlights outside.

At times, you feel there is no end to it. That’s when desperation kicks in. You give it fancy names. You create false expectations about the life you want to lead. You tell yourself it is just a void that needs to be filled. And so you take big decisions to change the life you have. A new house. A different job. A wild vacation.

Watercock, Nellore

However despite all the changes you have made, you still feel the same way. No matter how hard you try, you find yourself back to square one even though nobody else sees it that way.

I don’t understand it either. I do know that there is nothing wrong with you. You, as a person, don’t need to be fixed. You may not even need a shoulder to cry upon. Maybe just someone to talk to without the frills of human drama; a person qualified to be a good listener.

Visiting a psychiatric is a social taboo in India – no matter the extent of the problem. It is akin to undergoing trepanation to fix a headache. In fact, the Government Mental Hospital in my city has been the butt of many jokes for years. People still sarcastically refer to this location (Kilpauk) as a buffer zone for those unfit to be a part of society, as though it is an insult to be treated for mental illness.

Watercock, Nellore

Most Indians don’t consider psychiatric counseling as a viable option unless they feel utterly desperate. In so many cases, it is too late by then. Perhaps this is why Indians are experts at sweeping their problems under the carpet. Only that many of us aren’t good at it. We can’t help but notice the lumps. The unfathomable rolls on the carpet of our skin. 

They remind us that everything isn’t okay.

The bird featured in this post is the Watercock – a distinguished member of the Rail / Crake family that keeps to itself most of the time. It is one of the most solitary waterbirds in India.

I spotted it about two years along the Chennai-Nellore highway. I haven’t seen it since.

You don’t
need a storm shelter,
only a warm towel
to dry your hair with.

35 thoughts on “Show me where it hurts

Add yours

  1. Through the darkness
    suffocating smoke
    she takes little steps
    her imprints on the land
    narrating the story
    of her courage.
    The sunlight makes
    silhouette of her smile
    of her little red hat.

    I know I haven’t written is as beautiful as you do. Reading your words, these words just came to my mind. Hope you do not mind.

    Powerful post 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  2. This is so true!
    I personally know a few of those who refuse to get help.
    I think the school counsellor concept has to be enforced in all the schools compulsorily so that the children get a sense of normality in visiting a psychiatrist.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah absolutely, our aversion towards such help has its roots in social conditioning I suppose. Great point about availability of counselling in schools. Enforcement might be an issue because) hey India how you doing?” I still remember the ruckus caused by so many parents when I was in school about sex education classes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Society puts many needless expectations on people. These expectations create conflict, and conflict headaches. I’m sorry to read that it’s taboo to visit a doctor that can help sort these things out. Talking about problems with an uninvolved party really helps to sort out what’s really important from what’s less so. Helps redirect the human being into the human doing.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Our cortex can be both friend and enemy, perhaps simultaneously. Some days I wish I was just instinctive like the green anole. Life is probably so much easier when it’s eat, sex, eat, repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, but to see, and feel, and ENJOY like the anole! But none of pettiness imposed by ‘civilized’ society. By the way, if I hadn’t said it already (I don’t think I did), this was a superbly written piece. You are such a gifted writer, Christy.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Cawww (birdy version of awwww) you are much too kind, it feels humbling hearing from you. Can’t wait to read/see/sit by the meadow and feel your new blog posts. Thanks again Shannon.


      3. I need to get back to writing some substantive posts, Christy, but right now, we are hip-deep in summer and all that goes with it. Very little computing time (a/k/a/ indoors).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey verseherder,

    We once spoke about the removal of blogs. I have moved my destination. Came over to your haunt to tell you about it. Do visit. That’s where I am these days.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love the photography as well as the post. In Japan there is a similar mentality. It is thought to be shameful to receive therapy and the like. It is a sad truth that, hopefully, will disappear with time and progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I wouldn’t have thought so about Japan. Interesting. Here even women smoking, a degree in liberal arts and pre marital sex are matters that society frowns over so hehe. Hopefully, progress comrade.


  6. Your blog actually spoke my mind. I too was depressed back few years and I have suffered humiliation from my own mom saying I am mad. People need more awareness on this topic. Thanks. Couldnt help but reblog such a beautiful post of yours.

    Thanks Bharath for such a wonderful blog post on Mental Health.

    Best Wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so glad I could be of some comfort, Ambika. It is sad to hear about the humiliation but having read your blog (and heard its music), I can assuredly say that you are strong enough to see that the problem isn’t with you.

      Thank you so much for the reblog too. I hope you keep feeling better everyday.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for those comforting words. I strongly advise you to send the write-up to Chicken Soup for Soul Indian Edition.

        A much needed self help article, can help many wounded souls regain confidence in themselves. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s no guarantee that life is supposed to be a “happy” experience, but more evidence that it is a sad and depressing one. There is no one to blame, we are all in the same boat. Instead of fighting depression, I have found sometimes it is most valuable to accept it and sink down into it to the bottom as the Truth of one’s life at the present time. When one accepts it, then sometimes feelings and ideas come up which may give one an idea of what the reason of the depression is, or what one is longing to do that one is not doing, or at least the desire to pursue something else. When one finds some endeavor one really wants to engage in, then ideas of “Am I happy? Am I depressed?” don’t even matter or occur because doing the thing one wants to pursue is more important. Many have said also that one can find the spiritual center within oneself that isn’t subject to depression or loneliness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very well said, comrade! Indeed, it is distraction that brings us depression as much as it does – the means to fight our way out of it. Constructive endeavours, like you say, make irrelevant those matters of anxiety and sadness.

      Liked by 1 person

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