“Anxiety-Amnesia”

‘Sun has a sinking feeling every evening, yet it wakes up every morning’. I have lived by this proverb for almost the whole of my adult life. I am what everyone calls, ‘a survivor’. But to be honest, I am a fake. Yes, I am a grown ass woman, who pretends to be under control, taking each day as a blessing, making memories (my phone is loaded with such memorable pictures of everyone else but me). I look for signs and hidden messages in almost everything around me. From a squirrel that ate the bread I baked to the unexpected rain on a hot summer day. I look for positivity, everywhere. Well, that is how I have come this far.

Priya was sitting at the therapist’s office talking, too much. She could hear that voice asking her to slow down. But today that voice had no control over her. And so Priya continued talking….

I think even 1 ‘happy’ day without any breakdowns or small hiccups gives me ‘anxiety- amnesia’. Yes I came up with the absurd term. I recently learned about something called ‘Immune Amnesia’ basically when your body forgets to fight the diseases. Yes, judge me all you want, but I did just recently learned about it. And now I am pretty sure that this is what happens to me. If I have 2 happy days or even 1 happy day which by regular standards is probably a normal day for other people. Then, my mind forgets how to manage anxiety when it shows it very big ugly head and says, “boo”.

I think that is why I am over-careful. Almost about everything. Not to get too happy or excited. Or even too dark. But you know, strange as it may sound, I vividly remember the the most chilly and impenetrably dark period in my life. How I lost track of time or the existence of my own body. It is not a very enlightening journey back from there. Especially when you have travelled through that road more than a few times. Well, at least I am not devoid of feelings, now that would be much worse. Feeling nothing at all. I think I have gotten comfortable with feeling too much now. Any day when it is only happiness I experience, feels like a waste.

Somehow through this dark journey, I was able to build a career and a company of my own. So now I have to stay intact physically and mentally for all those who work with me in the firm.

Honestly, I don’t think I truly ever gave up or just stopped doing anything. Even when I was shattered and broken into a million pieces, I still did all my chores and kept the house and the company running. I did not ever let myself stop except for just that one time.

Priya stops to get up and walk towards the big windows looking out. It is a cloudy day. There is a 75% chance of rain later that evening. Noticing the grey clouds floating in the sky, she continues…

Have you ever seen a bird build a nest? It works really hard to collect fallen twigs and leaves to build a home for its little ones. A warm and cozy shelter that hardly ever withstands a storm. Yet they never stop building. They keep on going. No one can understand how a tiny bird finds strength to fly through the piercing rays of the sun and harsh winds to build and rebuild that nest. What do we really know about them? But unlike animals we have the power of imagination. And so we ‘imagine’ building those houses with the ones we truly love, but rarely get to. Our imagination drives us forward. Because we aspire to have the life we imagined, so we keep going. Whatever the hardships. We somehow believe we deserve what we imagine and with whom we imagine. I think that is why many people around me don’t think I have been depressed all these years. Because I just don’t give up. Like that bird, I keep building and rebuilding myself. But now I am getting tired. I am also out of ideas to how to keep going. Clearly, my imagination is failing me. And talking to you, feels good. I feel relevant somehow.

I am sorry, was that too much talking? Do you want me to stop? Just say it and I will. I promise. But you will have to say it otherwise I will keep going.

The doctor smiled right at her, gesturing Priya to keep talking. It was an odd start but at least there was a start. Looking at how comfortable he got to listening to her rant so quickly, Priya decided to jump right into it and start with the very first one. The most incredible and unusual night of horrors. The night she saw it outside her bedroom window hanging like a broken loosely attached branch on the big banyan tree.

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