Sweeping Monsters Off: A Thank Yoo Note

Like many people struggling with mental illness of different forms, I want to express my gratitude to Mr. John Green. This one will be very personal and words will appear that are not “appropriate” for everyone. Feel free to stop reading. (If anyone is actually reading of course).

Let me share what I just did prior to writing this blog. This is 3:47 am local time (when this line is written). And just before getting to this blog I dropped a huge brick of words in Paul Green’s Twitter message box. I feel ashamed of doing that, but I though I might just let another people know I AM NOT OKAY.

BECAUSE I WAS HAVING ANOTHER WAVE OF INVASIVE THOUGHTS. The most unpleasant one, the one I dread all the bloody time, the one that never leaves me alone. The one that bared it’s teeth to me IRL. When my dad had cardiac complications, had to be in ER and went through a surgery. It scarred me for life. And being the firstborn, I had to keep a straight face the whole time, not letting the world know what was going inside my head.

I have other issues as well, since 9th grade, thanks to all the pestering, as I was accused for the crime every South Asian parent/ family loathes, becoming a teenager, which set different standards for me (wearing traditional clothes, no crew cuts, being as feminine as Donald Trump’s Grandmother) which I could never accept, of course I went through (and still going) shitstorms from the people in my family. I’ve started having complications, disguised as fears, I tried to tell the adults around me, and they thought I was just trying to make up an excuse for my moderate grades (“perks” of being born in an over achieving middle class family, where every adult is a straight A student, coming all the way with very fewer resources than I was provided). And later, when it got bigger, the mode of their accusation “evolved”. If only heavy metal didn’t exist, I would be gone. I assure you that.

And now the thought spirals attack me at the most random times. And when they do, I do things that the “thing” inside me tells me to do, just to get things right. Like I SLAP MY LEFT CHEEK. LIKE EXCHANGING THE BAD BUZZES FOR A SMALL AMOUNT OF PHYSICAL PAIN. I chant religious scripture, I abstain from things I love to do. Just FYI, I’m rushing typing this blog because I’m not going to do anything creative after the prayer calling for morning prayer is performed, and this no creativity ban is up till 9:00 am.

Why? Because, the night/day one of my uncles passed away, I was writing poetry.

I don’t listen to Dance of the Dead, a favorite Iron Maiden song of mine, anymore. Because, my paternal grandmother passed away on the day I was last listening to it. I fear to turn off lights, because the last two times I did, my uncle and maternal grandfather passed away the day after. I don’t know how this one came to me, but I am a total slave to it. I’ve stopped wearing each item of clothing that I wore on the day any of my loved ones passed away. I just cannot bear wearing those. BELIEVE ME, I KNOW THESE STUFF ARE WRONG.


The answer is no. I just can’t. The fears rule my rationale against my will.

Do you know I don’t pleasure myself for the same reason? When I shared it with a friend of mine that I don’t do that, she was like, “Oh of course, you’re a religious woman, you sure won’t!”

Despite telling her, she couldn’t understand, it wasn’t the “religion”, it was the “FEAR” of “bad things that might happen” kept me away from doing that. These thoughts drive me crazy, these thoughts can overpower me so bad that it tears me up.

I wish there was a Dr. Singh for me. I could never have one! And now if I seek help, it would make my dad worry, I know that CANNOT be a reason for seeking professional help, but these “social” factors will be more against me right now that any times before.

I never thought I would read about a person who gets hit by such waves of worrying thoughts. I could access the fears of Aza Holmes. Those are overpowering. Once I watched a movie called An Invisible Sign. Where the main protagonist gave up things she loved to right the wrongs that were happening to people around her, more precisely, she “sacrificed” things she loved to ease off the pains her dad was going through. I knew there are people who try their best to control things that are beyond them by doing things that aren’t helping anybody. Some of us bite the soap bars, some of us drink hand sanitizers, some of us slap our left cheek and don’t turn lights off.

Not that we don’t know these are silly. We just know, if we don’t do this, WORSE THINGS MAY HAPPEN. And we aren’t ready for the worse things. We don’t want those to happen.

I am really sorry Paul, but I thought if I blabbered things to you, at least one more people will know there is something NOT RIGHT. I’m just being all Hansel-y and Gretel-y, leaving trail of foods to trace my way back. The question is, WHERE EXACTLY?

There’s no way back for me from this scary spiral my mind is stuck in. I don’t see a light when they attack. I don’t know how I am going to survive this. I have lost focus on most things. My GRE is on 18th December, and I haven’t started preparing properly YET! I have a college application to finish. I have work, I have studies. And I am losing focus on everything as the fear is getting stronger with time.




However, thank you John Green, for telling us Aza’s story. It resonated with many of ours. Now we can give a copy of this book to people and let them know what actually many of us go through when we “act strange” or don’t want to do things that are completely “normal”. Sometimes fictions are “stronger” than truth.

P.S: Shoutout to Paul Green, here is his blog. It’s really cool.


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