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.

BUT CAN I RISK IT ANYMORE?

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.

WHY MUST THINGS BE THIS WAY?

WHY CANNOT I CATCH A BREAK AT LEAST FOR ONCE!

Gaaaaaaah!

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.

Advertisements

Perils of being a closeted attention seeker/Notice me Senpai!!!

Are you someone who normally don’t like attention from people (both in real & digital life) and there are times you crave to be noticed (by certain people(mostly who don’t really know you))? Then we need to meet, hug, and talk.

I mostly hate attention. It freaks me out. But there are times I would go beyond my ethical and moral limits to communicate with people, especially who are not interested in communicating with me. Just like I am feeling right now.

Generally I tweet some of the people (mostly youtubers, artists, and writers) I am huge fan of when I’m feeling like this. And repeatedly check my tweet analytics for a hint if anyone clicked on my tweet or not. It sounds lame and pathetic but that’s what I do.

However, today, to alleviate the pain of this feeling and the subsequent action, I am going to try to figure out WHY ON EARTH I DO THIS! I guess I found something out, while I was writing the previous paragraph and thought would write about that here, but I forgot what it was. I’ll write that down when I remember.

The first logical thing I can think of (w/r to me, not necessarily relevant to others) is, I’m totally not in peace with myself. I mean I am not satisfied with whatever achievement I have, I should have done more (and actually do some coding and not write this bloody blog and crave attention from people who don’t know me). This directly affects my amorous disposition. I’m somewhat incapable of feeling “luuuurv”. I’m often not attracted to people, like most of my peers are. Because mostly I HATE MYSELF TOO MUCH TO LIKE ANYONE ELSE! But sometimes I find tiny specks of reasons to be happy for myself, I allow to love myself a little. In those teensy moments I believe I have reasons to be appreciated, reasons to be attracted to others and have a sudden surge of hope that others (people I appreciate) would find some reason to appreciate my existence as well. Which is totally a stupid thing to think, but I do think that.

The other thing I was thinking, I crave attention when I don’t find interest in doing ANYTHING. ANYTHING includes stuff like reading fanfics, binge watching youtube videos and talking to friends on fayboo. I didn’t even dare including the things I NEED TO DO. Like prepping for GRE, doing some warm ups on HackerRank and so forth. I think I feel so low that I am daft enough for begging some attention from people who have no reason to give me any.

Yup! I remembered! Impostor complex! I often feel like I’m not just a minuscule being who isn’t achieving enough, also whatever shit I’ve seemingly “achieved” I don’t deserve those. To run away from those thoughts I also try to do other “impossible” and stupid things like asking for attention from people who don’t have any reason for giving that. I know it’s bloody pathetic. But if you’re familiar with my blogs, or with patience have read this far, know I totally am. I’m due to pray and workout and SLEEP. And this is what I am doing. If that’s not pathetic I don’t know what is!

GAAAAAAAAAAH!

What if, this blog was another passive-aggressive plea to the senpai people for noticing me?
Maybe it is!
Maybe I am the evil catdogmousehooman whom the world is afraid of.

Bleh.

Of (self) Love and other Demons: V Day Edition

So, it’s St. Valentine’s Day. A well SEO-ed blog could get me some audience I could preach my rants to (for a certain limited period of course). But what do I know about love?

Well, my current life has made the notion of “romantic love” some kind of “lesser mortal enemy” of mine. I think I have already ranted about how much my “well wishing”, “tough love” giving family members (especially the XX chromosome holder ones (in other words, FEMALES)) are trying to make me “settle down” and by that they mean marrying me off to some dude so I can live “happily ever after” (Fuck them (Not the dude, those ladies. They deserve all my rages for the abusive ways they choose to assert their opinions.)), the ways people around me are trying to control my life are devastating me in such a bad way that I am becoming more depressed and less productive each day (Yayy! I’ve started ranting and it isn’t even the second fucking paragraph!).

So, they are like, “We’re all in if you have a romantic interest! We’re no old fashioned conservative people.”

Sure, they aren’t. Why would they be? Emotionally torturing a woman in her mid twenties is totally not an old fashioned conservative thing to do. It is a rather great practice.

Sometimes I wish I could transfigure them all into bulls and hunt them like they do in Mithraism and bathe in their blood. That sounds graphic, but the emotional torture does its own pretty magic.

So, “finding romantic love” has become the only way to avoid a “forced marriage”. Ain’t life beautiful?

And when I think about the fact that they will cut me down into pieces if they knew the truth, it gets worse. I cannot even voice the truth here in fear of life. So, romantic love is a totally lost game for me right now.

And I am hardly someone who can relate to that. That makes me want to write about another kind of love. Self love anyone?

Well, I’m not saying that I don’t receive some love. Actually I do, and I am very grateful for that! Every time I opened up about my problems in public internet space, I have always received love and moral support from strangers whom I will probably never meet (even in social networks), I have received words of support and encouragement from people I look up to. Environment activists, musicians, my favorite authors and most importantly my friends. And occasionally and very rarely (it sounds rather ungrateful, but they need to take the blame for not understanding me even when I tried to communicate and they were adamant to rather hold on to the words and criticisms of “other people” around them) my parents. And also from my little brother. This dude is too young to understand my woes, but he is always there for me.

A human being (even the deranged ones like me) needs some love (no matter how hard I try to deny it) to survive. Not necessarily it has to come from a “romantic interest”. But some love is necessary. Even Voldemort had a strange variety of love, his love for power (well, yes, I know it’s unhealthy in so many levels, but a love is a love). And yes, I ship him with Bellatrix (even though it’s one sided 😛 ). And most importantly, even Voldy the Moldy  loved himself.

And so should I. I believe along with the love I receive from my friends, family and strangers – this self love that I’ve got for myself was (is) critical for my survival. I love myself. And it is so important, and I confess, it is a hard thing to do.

Especially if you are the person you never wanted to be. I never wanted to be a mess I am right now. According to the plan I had for myself when I enrolled in engineering bachelors, I should be doing my PhD right now and at this moment would be crying like a baby while working on my PhD materials and not writing this blog. But clearly I failed myself. And I hate myself for being such a stupid. I was defeated in the first round of “adulthood”!

But still, in the end of the day, I feel like I still have reasons to love myself. I still have something good inside me. A fire. An intention to rise from the ashes and do something productive and even if not like Barry Allen, then slowly working on the mistakes and achieving my goals past deadline.

Hey, this is my life! My ultimate deadlines to fulfill my jobs is the day when I am truly dead. I better cut myself some slacks and give a chance.

I better love myself. Like Hozier sang in Arsonist’s Lullaby. I should not kill the fire inside me. It’s important.

And no matter how hard it is for me to accept my mistakes, if I believe there is some good inside me. I must love myself. Because I deserve it.

So, here’s to love. All kinds of love. The couples, the families, the siblings, the strangers, the icons and idols, the pets and the nature – let’s celebrate the awesomeness of love with all of them. Even if some of them refuse to love you for who you are (well of course as long as you are not harming anyone by “being yourself”),  let’s ignore their negativity and assimilate with the positive vibes the rest to diversify the wounds.

Well, this blog was really incoherent (ain’t that my style?). However, the bottom line is. Never stop loving yourself for the person you are. You might want to change yourself for better, when you truly feel like it. Either way, keep on loving yourself for who you are right now and the good things about yourself for the person who you were in past. Because charity begins at home. And you are your first home.

This one is for love. All kinds of it!

Parting Words (or are they?)

Spoiler from the future: I’m still alive!

I must be really desperate to blog like this. I was getting ready for work, but I just could NOT.

The overwhelming urge of “not existing” is making me confused. I am angry, sad and perplexed. I just want to stop existing right now. I am so mad!

Granted that I have limitations. Granted that I am a huge procrastinator and deserve nothing good. But you must know, I am not okay. I cannot bring myself to do things because I am so winded up and I honestly don’t know how to unwind myself.

I probably deserve stuff like these. I probably deserve hurtful “tough love” from my parents the moment I wake up (late, because I cannot sleep at night). I probably don’t deserve a positive environment that will help me to have believe in myself and not think of impending failure before trying something big and drastic. I probably don’t deserve any of those.

So what can I do? I think I can do a heck lot of things other than crying like a water fountain and blogging about it. But that is what I am doing right now. Even penning down a suicide note would be more productive. Because I feel very strongly to kill myself.

I might as well kill myself, if I cannot defend my rights, if I cannot defend my dignity and if I cannot work hard enough to achieve things  that I want to achieve. Because if I can’t DO WHAT I WANT TO DO, I MIGHT AS WELL NOT EXIST. And being emotionally shattered and all the mental health issues are NO EXCUSES. I was not born with such privileges. Mental healthcare is NOT something that I was ever entitled to. Most women from my country are not. They are achieving what they want. And I am lagging behind. I better stop existing.

I’m not sad because nobody hears my voice. I have accepted that a long ago that my voice does not deserve to be heard. BUT I CANNOT ACCEPT THE FACT THAT I DID NOTHING FRUITFUL TO CHANGE IT.

I concede.

I’m going to work. But I don’t hope to come back. I don’t hope to accomplish my goals. I don’t hope to exist.

I could not do the things I wanted to do.

I could do nothing.

I am a failure. And I will take the blame with me.

Goodbye.

Metal, Mental Illness and Me: The Good, Bad and Ugly of My Existence

I’m not Canadian, I don’t know if it makes sense but in the spirit of , I have a few things to address.

Well if you know me from my previous blogs, you already know that I am a female of mid 20’s from the backwaters of Bangladesh – where mental illness is a worse taboo than it is in the west. Families treat mental illnesses as “excuses” to avoid responsibilities, and sometimes worse, they think that the therapists/doctors are not good enough and will make it worse so they just won’t let the people suffering to seek help. And yes, my family, a fairly educated (both my parents have graduate degrees from top universities of this country) family littered with doctors, engineers, professors and bureaucrats – have the above said dispositions regarding mental health treatment.

I struggled with lots of mental health issues since puberty. I told my parents about it, they ignored it. Complained that I was reading too much stuff “outside my curriculum” and using these newfound knowledge as an excuse for studying the academic stuff less. When I had a serious breakdown (well it’s like dry heaving of mental breakdown, even I could not let myself go all the way and let others know how horrified I was) right after the first two years of high school (we have a serious public exam after 10th grade), my parents were even more convinced that I was “acting”. They were tired of it and gave up on me (yes, again I’m sounding like that whining, ungrateful git of an offspring I do most of the time), saying I’m tarnishing my own future. My relatives have always been sarcastic towards me since I was a child. Because I was far from a submissive child who liked to please others. I had my own set of values since I was very young and it wasn’t something anybody I knew liked. So I was mocked and laughed at for my interest in art. I was discouraged and scorned sometimes for reading “too much” and not being like the other eight years old girls who were really fascinated about the new frilly dress everyone is talking about. I was seriously threatened for wanting to wear pants instead of dresses (like it has changed any better).

In a nutshell, the more I was growing up, the more resentment I accumulated towards my “relatives”. And as I could do nothing about it or release the resentment in any form, I started avoiding them the best I could. I started making myself scarce from them. Now let me tell you one thing, it is really hard to do that in the close knit South Asian families. Especially for females. So, since the end of the high school to this bloody moment, I am the black sheep of the family who is not just an ungrateful and imprudent git, but also someone who wants to avoid all the responsibility by acting like she got some mental illness.

Actually it’s past that part, now they finally admit I have mental illness and it happened because I distanced myself from my family to whom I should have opened up and talked about my problems (if you already have forgotten what happened when I talked about it, then start reading from the beginning).

And since I am a female in mid to late twenties, now they want me to break my hymen and reproduce vehemently. So they are going above and beyond to convince me to present myself to the suitors and get “hitched”. Which is adding another level of painful anxiety to my already questionable mental health situation, because I have very little plan for conjugal life right now and I am very sensitive regarding it. And they are trying to give heavy doses of “tough love” by repeatedly pestering me with this notion. The other Saturday I almost grazed myself with a kitchen knife, I was so mad, when my mother’s brother’s wife (in other word, an aunt of mine) a relatively “progressive minded” eye surgeon, was telling me to give a “nice and sweet photo of mine” because she found a prospective groom for me who lives in Canada and since I want to go abroad for studying, this is a win win situation for me. It was insulting to me in many levels.

Firstly I was very upset for such objectification and felt insulted. Secondly, my relatives, especially female relatives (including my mother) was accusing for being such an ungrateful daughter who is neglecting one of the most important duties of her life to her parents (which is getting raped by a man I barely knew and making the process legal, in other words marriage forced by family, if not using direct muscle forces but poisonous emotional blackmails). Also, they were upsetting me further using my father’s age and how he is always upset that I don’t want to get “hitched”. And if you must know how much I care for my old man, you can take a peek. I am always way to wary for my father’s well being and they use it as a trump card to convince me to do things I would never agree otherwise. Would you believe if I told you that I am crying like a hedgehog (I don’t know if hedgehogs cry or not) while writing this part?

I live in constant fear of failure, which keeps me away from focusing on things I want to do better. I am always too anxious to do something that I actually try and in the end I mess up. I know how much I need some professional help. But I cannot seek it. Because even if I have a job and a degree, I cannot live on my own. Even if I know I have the abilities to do many things, I can’t because I lose motivation and perspective.

AND IF I DID NOT HAVE METAL, YOU MIGHT NEVER HAVE SEEN THIS POST BEING WRITTEN.

Yes. Metal (the music genre) was a source of comfort for me since I graduated from high school. Judas Priest gave me strength. Manowar absorbed my rage. Kalmah gave me perspective. And Megadeth reassured me that I belong.

Yes. Along with books, and a few close friends to confide in, metal has been the most important part of my survival (well so far I have managed). The music absorbed my pains.

Well, I think, while I ranted and whined, I did not focus on what happened to me (yes, this is how I lose focus). I’m trying to illustrate a few.

Many a night, I get scares. All in a sudden I’m dead scared by a premonition of something unpleasant happening to my family (my parents and baby brother) and this eats me inside out. Well it gets worse now. Often I get these unpleasant thoughts while I’m working or even in my evening MBA classes.

I have developed severe trust issues and extreme sensitivities towards my relatives. I feel genuinely vulnerable around them and when I talk about it to them they make it even more miserable for me. I was unable to eat anything for almost 24 hours after that phone call my aunt made and when my mom accused me for being ungrateful.

I also get depressed pretty easily for not getting to accomplish my goals. I cannot put myself together and start trying again with renewed spirit because every time I attempt to start over the previous strings of recent failures hit me like a bus. So I’m in an infinite loop of failure and depression right now. No breaking conditions yet (Until I listen to this (it absorbs some of the darkness)) 😥

I have become the shell of a person I was before. Yes, I take responsibility of letting this happen to me. But even felons get a chance. I surely deserve some professional help. I know my parents are still here for me. And I hope they will understand my struggles, if not today, then sometimes soon. At least I am hoping so. I am hoping really hard that they would finally understand why I cannot stand the other people around me. They would finally understand that I am not making excuses to escape responsibilities.

And I am more than just grateful to the few friends I have who have always been by my side and have listened to laments like this all the time. They give me hope and courage that I am going to survive this. To all the YouTube channels that distract me from these abominable things (gotta write a separate blog to express my gratefulness for these channels again). And also metal music.

Though I am again out of context, I want to appreciate metal once more.

If this was the story of that famous movie, then metal is the good, my mental struggles is the bad and I am the ugly. The movie is still going on. Though I still think I haven’t appreciated how much metal music works as the balm to alleviate the pain I suffer often due to these struggles, I can say one thing, it keeps the ember of hope inside me, the aspirations inside me aflame. Metal is my steppingstone. It reassures me that there are people who also talk about the crises I believe exist, there are people, who, through their music and words, are there to give me the offline moral support I need to get through.

Metal assures that I am not alone, along with my friends.

What more can I ask for from a music genre?

That’s all I’ve got for . Even though I’m not a Canadian, I decided to talk. I decided to open up. Because that’s all I can do. I’m sorry if I grossed you out.