I have started to find little tricks, ways to get myself out of situations I feel like I can’t face. “Yaar, gaari naheen hai” (I don’t have the car today),”yaar, ijazat naheen milay gee” (I won’t get permission) are my excuses for not going out with my friends. But the truth is I have nothing to say to them anymore. It feels like the light in the little corner of my brain, where all my thoughts used to originate from, has been snuffed out. There is only darkness there, and when I reach for a thought or a question or something I can say to continue the conversation, my hands grasp nothing but empty air. The awkward pauses are becoming longer, and the jokes fewer. My memory has become weaker too. I learn things and then forget them. A wall seems to have come up in my brain, behind which all of my knowledge hides, and try as I might, I can’t scale it. In exams, I understand the questions, but the answers seem irretrievable. Of course my grades are suffering.
I am exhausted, I feel as if my limbs are made of lead. When I lift my hand, I feel like I am lifting the weight of my thoughts with it. There are little bits and pieces of negative impressions that build up during the day and eventually settle in my bones, making them heavier. These jagged little fragments of thought are unconnected to what is happening around me; even if the sun shines on my life, its warmth seems inaccessible.
My control over my own thoughts has been slipping. The past eighteen months seem like a game of snakes and ladders: me vs. my mind. If one roll of the dice takes me forward, the next will bring me back down again. The descent might be intermittent, but it is progressive. On the other hand, some things seem to have become clearer. I have become much more perceptive of pain in others. I have become more careful that I don’t inflict it. I judge less and try to understand more. Things aren’t black or white anymore, but in gradations of colour, and the more I think about each shade, the better I understand it. I see people as a summation of their experiences now; I understand that my expectations from them are a summation of my own thought processes. An imbalance between expectations and reality has less power over me, and forgiveness is a concept easier to grasp.
If I sit down and think about this new normal of mine: Do I miss laughing with my friends? Yes. Has that laughter been replaced by deeper relationships with a select few of them? Yes. Will I score less on tests now? Definitely, my brain is slower. Does it matter? Not as much as it would have in the past, my focus has settled on things that I find more emotionally and spiritually fulfilling. Am I happier? No. But do I feel like it has softened my edges, polished my thoughts and made me more complete as a person? Yes.