I have had an intense past couple of weeks. Everything is happening so fast and in concurrence that I haven’t had the space to distill them yet.
I wrote a post last week on being chronically depressed and suicidal, and it unexpectedly took off – at current count it has more than 14k+ views and 100+ responses. I wrote it because I was tired of the stigma and the mainstream narratives surrounding mental health. I never really had the opportunity to write it, because I was either afraid to be judged, or I was worried that it may cause some negative repercussions to my employer. I mean, what would investors think of a designer who thinks about killing herself every other day?
Opening up in front of a roomful of people about my mental health gave me the impetus to write that post. I was also tired of people telling me that I don’t look suicidal. I wish I could describe what goes on in my mind every other second, but just because I have learned to present myself as functional does not mean anything. It just means I have learned to cope. Like most of us who suffer in silence. Also, one may be surprised to learn later in life that, some opposing emotions do not belong to the same spectrum. They can exist in parallel.
I am also grateful for this time in my life when I can consciously choose to be independent – at least for a while – so I can pursue efforts like this. It makes me think about how many of us are offering less to the world because our hands are tied for some reason. I am this open and transparent not only because I have the courage to, but because I don’t have to worry about putting anyone else’s life or career at stake. For now.
The liberty to pursue one’s life’s work does not come easy. I have been thinking deeply about a post I had written almost three years ago, on my life’s work. As I type this now, I feel energizingly drained by all the recent conversations I have had – both offline and online – but I have never been more certain about who I am, where I am, and what I should be doing. I am more convinced than ever that my fulfilment comes from intangible labour, and I want my work to be felt, not measured.
So I sit with this paradoxical chaos. Of wanting to be present in every moment and yet being patient enough to know some things just has its own time, of understanding the power of the individual and yet harnessing the power of the collective, that love is about staying and yet letting go, that some of the most invisible things in life are the most visceral.
I think one of the greatest gifts for me, is knowing where I want to be, liking where I am, while knowing I am not dependent on being here, or afraid to leave.