June 17 — July 7.
That is how long I was unwell. That is how much time I spent fighting both physical and mental health issues. That is how much time I spent in bed writhing in pain, while trying to gain some control over my mind as well.
I reached out for help. I have always believed not to be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. With my health issues, I have learnt to leave my pride aside when it comes to seeking help.
We always have that one person who we instantly go to when we need someone beside us. I had one too. I had been blessed enough to have his constant, nearly round-the-clock presence in my life for the last many, many months. Needless to say, I got too used to it.
Bad habit. Dirty addiction.
I had got too used to this person’s presence in my life. And so, naturally, I wanted the person to be beside my bed, holding my hand, while I struggled to get out of bed in pain.
But this person could not handle it. A hundred fights over the last many months had got him to believe that he was responsible for my state — mental and physical. The person was getting affected by my suffering. And he left.
Just when I needed him the most.
I continued to reach out for help. I called seven helplines. None answered (I don’t blame them. It was a Saturday night when he left without looking back. Most don’t operate on weekends). I sought attention from long-lost friends, family, even strangers. I cried when I had to go out for meetings but I was home alone, and in pain, unable to change clothes. Unable to wear my shoes. Unable to lock the door.
Then on Sunday, I moved to a new house with my sister. It is a huge apartment outside the city, very airy, very spacious, filled with light. As I stood in the big balcony, drinking a cup of garam chai, I realized the very important lesson I had learned over these last two weeks.
Happiness is home made. It’s in a cup of steaming hot tea. It’s between the lines of your favorite book. It’s in watering the single plant you have at home. It’s in your old school friend’s phone call making fun of your hospital visits and still making you laugh. It’s in Mum’s unconditional love, keeping awake for nights to the end just to make sure you’re asleep.
Days have gone by since we have spoken properly. I know it will be weeks before I can ask to see his face again. It will be months before I will be invited to hang at his place. Or probably never.
The best part is, I got cold-shouldered by his friends too, people I’ve never met. It was obviously essential for him to broadcast how I was a pathetic loser in love. It hardly matters right? When the only thing you know about these friends is (insert full story in mind) how they acted out during their personal fights. Better still, he has found someone else to spend his weekends with!
These last few weeks taught me some more lessons.
- The only friends you have are the oldest ones (school friends) who have stood by you continuously through thick and thin. They are the ones who will remain by your side in sickness and in health. Few are blessed to make such good friends even in the professional life.
- Do not be ashamed to ask for help when you need it. But ask the right one.
- Ego, anger and dishonesty kills relationships. Gain control over anger. Be honest. Be a kind and loving person. Forgive and forget. Move on.
- No matter how far you go away, the underlying feelings never go away. I know we still immensely care for each other.
But next time things go awry with my health, I know who not to call for help.