#Soliloquy – All In a Day’s Work

I pull my hair up in one swift motion

I guess a messy bun is what I’m going with today

I shrug my shoulders

and immediately squat down

cross-legged I sit

I blink

I blink again

from behind my specs

I blink once more

there, the haze has cleared out now

I can see

bu wait,

what was it that I was going to do?

It must be the summer heat

mercury clocked at 46 degree celsius today

must be why my memory and mind are acting all funky

I give myself a whack

on the back of my head

there! that should do it

think, good woman, think!

but the harder it try

the more evasive becomes the reply

argh..fine..

it’ll come to me when it comes to me

For now, let’s get some rest

I get up

clear some space on my bed by shuffling my clothes and books around

Oh, nice! a cookie!

nomnomnom

my tummy gives a satisfied rumble

as I plop my head on a pillow

ah! time for some sleep

or wait

what is it

there’s a thought

tugging at the back of my mind

a nagging feeling

quite urgent it seems

what is it

come on

I just got to bed

Will you please

get out of my head!

uh-oh

here it is

I have a poem to finish.

I guess its time so say

b-bye dear sleep.

 

For more poetry, please click here. Please don’t forget to leave your thoughts and comments down below, I’d be delighted to get a feedback. Thank you for reading!

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Love,

Varnika.

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Don’t Worry, Be Happy

As I walk along the streets of my city, I see faces abound. Regardless of all their differences, I see them share a commonality. They all wear a harrowed, tensed and worried expression. It baffles me to see the time, energy and effort we waste in worrying over things beyond our control, since worrying in such cases can do no good. It saddens me to see people worrying over things that might very well be in their control – wouldn’t it do more good to expend effort into working towards solving the problem rather than worrying over it?

Now, I’m not religious by any stretch of imagination. However, I did study at at a catholic convent school and can sing hymns even in my sleep, if needed. A few words from one of those hymns learned during those wonderful, childhood years leap to mind in the hope that they might provide motivation, perspective or even some mood upliftment and, thereby, dispense with some of the worry doing the rounds.

Here goes nothing…

Do not worry over what to eat, what to wear or put upon your feet. Trust and pray, go do your best today. Then leave it in the hands of the Lord.

The lilies in the field, they do not spin or weave, yet Solomon was not arrayed like one of these.

The birds in the air, they do not sow or reap, yet God tends to them like a shepherd tends his sheep.

If you believe in a higher power, I needn’t say anymore. If you don’t, let me draw your attention to the lines “go do your best today”. Isn’t that all that we can actually do? Do your best, reap the results. Even if the benefits aren’t much, one would be able to sleep at night with the satisfaction that there was nothing more he could have done. Have faith in yourself. Trust your abilities. Push yourself and get ahead in life. Work towards what you want. When worry tries to knock you down, say “not today”. Live a happier life. Live a fuller life.

On a parting note, I’d like to leave you all a link to a wonderful song called Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin. It’s had a permanent spot on my playlist since I was a kid. It’s bound to lift your mood in its own funny, peppy way. Give it a listen! And a very happy Monday to you all! (Sorry for making it a motivational one).

The downside of Walter Mitty (Mental Health Awareness #4)

We have all come to know and love the harrowed, milequetoast of a man by the name of Walter Mitty. Be it through Ben Stiller’s portrayal of him in the movie or through the written word of James Thurber, we have all taken an unusual amount of delight in his escapades from the real world, especially from the browbeating of his overbearing wife.
For the uninitiated, Walter Mitty was an avid daydreamer to the extent that he hallucinationed about his daydreams. From a war-time pilot, to a world renowned surgeon, to a roguishly carefree murderer, Walter Mitty became all, albeit in his own mind. He  took no time in creating an Imaginary, idealized, heroic persona of his meek self at the slightest of emotional triggers.

We have all laughed at his antics. We have also sympathised with the poor chap when he invariably got pulled out of his reveries just seconds before his moment of glory. Yet, behind this obsessive facet of the character lurks a deeper, important issue.

It is imperative to not overlook the fact that his daydreams were vivid with great detailing, idealized, to the extent that in them he became the exact opposite of himself, and, lastly, lengthy. Furthermore, on reading between the lines, it becomes quite easy to see that he was a depressed, lonely soul, isolated from most wordly and social interactions.

This isolation and substitution of social interactions with daydreams portraying a glorified sense of self is what I want to bring to your attention today. Coined as Maladaptive Daydreaming (MD), this mental illness has highly debilitating effects on sufferers. Spending hours at a stretch inside a dream, while real life continues, people ailing from MD lose their grasp on reality. While inside a dream, they are oblivious to the passage of time in the real world. They might also not be able to identify their emotional triggers and not be prepared to face them, thereby spiralling into dreams at the most unexpected of times. There have been instances of patients who’ve kept on walking till their feet bled because they’d started daydreaming and did not realise how long it had been. Thus, in effect, it is quite easy to lose oneself if you’re suffering from MD.

This is precisely why it is necessary to spread awareness about this Mental Health issue so that affected persons or their well-wishers can get the required help. I believe every person is beautiful in his or her own right and no one should have to feel so down in the dumps that they have to end up imagining a better version of themselves, a better life for themselves, better friends, better job, better everything rather than actually working towards it. Let us make sure no one gets subjected to such abject misery.

(This is post is a part of my regular feature on Mental Health Awareness. I have previously written on the importance of disseminating awareness on mental health issues here, on depression here, on anxiety here and on self doubt here. If you like and support my efforts in this venture, please share and spread the word. I shall be eternally grateful for this act of kindness on your part. Thank you 🙂 )

Look! Do you see? (Mental Health Awareness #3)

“Look! Do you see?”
He asked as he turned her to face the mirror and removed his hand from over her eyes.

Perplexed, she gazed up and down. It was just her, as she usually was.

“Do you see how beautiful you are?”

He asked her while holding her from behind.
That’s when she realised what he was trying to do.

Every time he called her beautiful, she’d smile a condescending smile. Of course, she knew better. He was blinded with love, but she, she could see. All her imperfections, all of her flaws.

Every time he admired her confidence, she could only manage a smirk. Pfft, it’s all a facade. She’s always a nervous wreck inside.

Every time he complimented her intelligence, she’d just absently nod along. Second guessing her every decision, thought and action was second nature to her by now.

Every time he’d be left flummoxed. Wondering how an amazing person could be so crippled with self doubt.
He’d call her resplendent, radiant, ethereal and hoped that she’d believe. She’d only hug him back and hoped he’d stop speaking.

Every word of praise just made her feel like an imposter. She knew of all her failings. She was never worthy enough, she could never deserve enough, she was not bold enough, she was not smart enough, what she did wasn’t enough, she was just never enough. She was never enough.
“Look!” She cried, as she turned away from the mirror. “Don’t you see?”
(This post is a part of my regular feature on Mental Health Awareness. Self doubt, coupled with anxiety, eats away at the very core of a person. They may look confident and poised and, yet, be riddled with the worst of fears, with the least of confidence and the most of undeservedness. I am trying to do my best in spreading the word about mental health issues to break the taboo surrounding them. The aim is to help people recognise warning bells and seek proper help for themselves or their loved ones. If my efforts strike a chord with you, please spread awareness around you as well.

I’m also providing links to my previous posts hereinbelow:

  1. The importance of spreading Mental Health Awareness 
  2. My personal experience with depression – In all things beautiful
  3. My perspective on anxiety – Where do you go to, my lovely?

Thank you)

 

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Where do you go to, my lovely? (Mental Health Awareness #2)

Where do you go to my lovely?

When you’re alone in your bed.

Won’t you tell me the thoughts that surround you?

I want to look inside your head.


As the haunting tones of the song wore on,

I thought if someone really knew,

What it was like to be,

A victim of your own mind?

A prison of your own making, where you’re eternally entrapped.
Can anyone really comprehend what it’s like

To have a mind that never rests?

During the day or at ungodly hours

The wheels, they keep on turning.

Till you go crazy trying to calm down

A mind that’s always churning.
Your eyes turn red and swollen, your body goes all slack.

Because sleep, the rest for the weary, oh, sleep is something you dearly lack.
You think of this and you think of that,

Of things long gone,

And the ones yet to come

Or even of what may go wrong.

What if, what if, the questions go on

But the irony is, one has nary a clue

Of answers to them

Because there can possibly be none.
Do you comprehend what it’s like,

To live in all pervading anxiousness?

There’s an inner voice that doesn’t stop speaking.

Some people say it’s best to ignore it.

But I wish they could see

How it’s the only one I can hear.

I know of nothing except it,

For my anxiety is my guiding light

How do I function bereft of it?
So, now do you know what it’s like

To be a victim of your own mind?

 

(P.S. :This is a part of my regular series on spreading mental health awareness. To read more on it or to spread the word, please click here. To read my previous post on a struggle with depression, click here.

Also, the song quoted in the beginning is a personal favourite and comes highly recommended so I’m sharing the link here. Enjoy!)

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Mental Health Awareness Post (Regular Feature #1)

Hello, everyone!
We can change the world, one word at a time. On this note, today, I’m going to do my bit by spreading awareness about mental health issues. I may not be qualified enough to decipher the intricacies of functionings of the human mind. However, I’m acutely aware that mental illnesses are still considered taboo in our society.

No one recognises, addresses, discusses or resdresses these problems. Yet, you’d be  surprised to know that mental illness is not a dirty secret to be always kept under wraps.

I have previously written about my experience and learning from my struggles with depression. There are many more such ailments like anxiety, insomnia, obsessive compulsive disorder, post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, disassociative identity disorder, even kleptomania, to name a few.

Surprisingly enough, these conditions can be plaguing even the most, to be politically correct, “normal” of people around us. Outwardly, they might appear to have a handle on everything while inwardly they may be falling apart.

The irony of the situation is that these, unlike severe forms of cancer, AIDS, etc, are either curable or controllable for the most part. It is only the lack of awareness about them or the fear of facing social stigma that prevents us from seeking help.

So, I urge you to not take your mental health lightly. You are not crazy. It does not matter what the world says as long as you have a healthy mind and body, am I right? Your problem might be small, manageable by way of counselling; big, requiring therapy; or severe, requiring intensive therapy and medications. Yet, no problem, big or small, should be left unattended. Get it checked, get it treated. It is way more important than fretting over a pimple on your face, for sure!

I also urge each and every one of you to look around your for signs of mental problems in the people around you. Read up on mental health. Learn to read and recognise the signs. See if a person is only an introvert or is cutting himself off from society. Then, wherever possible, reach out and provide assistance. Let the person feel like they matter. Give them the encouragement to get the help they so badly need.

Mens sana in corpore sano – a healthy mind in a healthy body…let this be your motto.

Also, if this post strikes a chord with you, then please keep an eye out for this space. I shall endeavour my very best to provide as much information as I can on this issue on a regular basis. Next up will be my take on Maladaptive Daydreaming and its implications. Meanwhile, this post will shed some light on this malady.

To read my previous post on a personal struggle with depression, please read In all things beautiful.

Thank you for your time!

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