Ramadan 2017: Moon Boots for the Brain

This is late.

I logged into the allthingswordy email account for the first time this year. In December this new friend I met through my first post on the new vamped up site had emailed me.

She wants to be pen pals. We possibly had two conversations. She wants to be pen pals. I am warm all over.

Someone told me they’re scared to be happy. That person makes my heart warm. We tried to cheer them up. Cheering people up feels like sadness.

Every time I eat with my family or with my friends I feel like crying. Or throwing up. Or both.

Sadness feels like throwing up.

This week I cried sad tears for the first time in a very long time. I was angry at myself for crying. I tried to stop. I caught myself trying to stop and then I cried some more because I hadn’t been able to cry sad tears in so long.

And yet I’m burning inside today, too.

The man at the counter looked at me. He paused. He asked me, do you know what this is for? I said yes. Confident. I don’t think I’d ever sounded so much like a little kid before.

Moon boots, medical orthopaedic boots, are those cast things you put on your foot if you’ve broken your leg or ankle. Nobody with a broken leg would be like “sorry doc, I’ll just use my natural foot without the cast and wait for it to heal”. That person would be so impaired for so long and the bone might not even heal properly.

It’s best to take them in the morning because they make you stay awake.

He gave it to me like he didn’t want to. Like I truly was a kid and he was reluctant.

And she said that once the six sessions have been over I’ll be going for longer-term.

Um. I read a book a long time ago called Twin Truths. It fucked me up.

Some of my friends have gone through this. Actually, quite a lot of them have both. And. And it turns out that this is a pretty common habit in our community. A la Twin Truths is an insidious feature of our community, it seems. It’s happening now. It’s happened before. It’s going to happen in the future. And I know what it feels like very very well. I can’t prevent it. I can’t prevent it. I can’t prevent it.

I don’t want to live in this world knowing this please.

Today I hugged my uncle for the first time in so long I don’t remember the last and he was going to cry. He squished his face up and I told him he was strong and he told me don’t worry your uncle will get through this. And he told me again don’t worry your uncle will get through this.

And my dad played with the baby and he fed her. And he said she was so cute. Mum didn’t know what sauce was in her signature pasta sauce. She asked me hey Mahima what was that sauce I put in that pasta last time we made it for your uncle. The only sauce that made that pasta so good and distinctive from all the other pasta dishes. She didn’t know.

I really don’t want children. I think I’ll adopt. I’m a kid, thinking about this. And I was washing up and thinking that my father is so old and so sad and the world is so bad. He said the little baby was so cute.

Whenever I am not sleeping it is the worst. I can’t breathe. And all I want to do is scream and wail. As dramatic as that sounds.

I remember when they left and acting normal was such a routine and mundane and distracting thing that didn’t distract at all. I remember all my diary accounts after that, still obsessed with “getting Mahima back” and “this is my new routine to accomplish all my goals”. I remember the few times I would get real, even with myself, I would long for something to stop making it so painful to act normal.

I thought that something was to forget emotions completely and when I cried earlier on in the week I saw that I was trying to numb myself all over again. It’s painful either way.

It’s like if I bring a kid into this world even though I don’t want to do that at all because this world is hell and I’m having a hard time coping with its hellishness and I do that. I go through all that shit for them. And one of them is dead and the other doesn’t even know who I am anymore? How the fuck would that be worth it?

And I can’t breathe because sometimes it’s so tempting to make it stop. I don’t prefer either way, but if the only people keeping me alive are other people then fuck them.

My aunt came over and gave me lots of food. She called today. “You’re getting A*s in all your papers, right?” And a friend really really wants them. And it hurts inside. The untruth of wanting them too, knowing the desire to succeed like that is but a ghost or a dream. And the sadness or brokenness or bitterness or something you have to swallow and you don’t want to swallow it down when you say “I want A*s too” and knowing how impossible it is now and how not impossible it was before back when you were alive.

My friend, teacher, ex-boss called me. I hadn’t talked to her since February. She called me her diamond once upon a time. She took me in as her daughter once upon a time. I’ve moved house, received university offers and firmed one, have taken driving lessons since February.

And today I realised that even if I have the words or I look for the words to express my sadness. Some people don’t have those words. They resort to dubious and laughable metaphors that seem wholly cliched and dramatic and emo. It is an emotion. And sometimes they don’t know how to say it for what it is like the way we throw words like racism and feminism around and around they throw around words like panic attacks, anxiety, depression. And imagine having to tell one’s Bengali parents you are suffering from panic attacks anxiety depression they wouldn’t know what that means for you or for the world.

My goodreads reading challenge states that I have read eleven books this year and am fifty one books behind schedule.

Another friend started a “meme” group chat. It’s dead. I wonder how dead it would have been had I done what I would usually do which is to act as a certain type in the group. It makes it easier for others to be more comfortable around me if I do that. I goof around, usually. They know I’m intelligent or they know that I like deep conversations but most of all my role is the goof. I didn’t.

My headache has lasted since two Fridays ago. Sometimes it feels really bad, other times it’s in the background. A few times in the beginning I was not able to sleep because of how bad it was and how useless painkillers were. And someone called it a migraine. And I thought about language and about emotion. What vocabulary we use to express emotion and mental feeling, and how not only do those specific feelings vary from person to person – but much in the same way we experience colours and can never ever know if we all see them the same as the other person (is your green my purple? how would we know we are thinking colours differently? your orange has always been your orange has always been my yellow) – we can’t know what feelings feel like for other people. And I call my migraines headaches. And my panic attacks are “not doing anything for a bit while I wait for my heartbeat to calm down”.

I know I am allowed to feel. And that probably my feelings are a lot more justified then I think. I know that and yet I’m so sad about the hand I’ve been dealt with and I’m even sadder because life hasn’t been so bad to me at all. And I don’t know how I can say the latter part of that statement without being deeply offended because actually what the fuck is this world I don’t want to live here.

Apparently depression is not a deadness of the brain. When you have major depressive disorder the nerve cells in your brain are making way too many connections. Suddenly it is much more difficult – or at least slower – doing mundane things because instead of simply going about your life your brain is thinking about so many other things too. And numbness comes with dealing with that overload. That makes sense.

So the way antidepressants work, or at least the one I’m taking, is that it blocks some of the connections between the nerve cells in my brain so that it’s easier for me to think.

The NHS website was a lot softer than the Wikipedia. The NHS one said that it would make me feel like myself again, and the Wikipedia one said that one of the side effects is emotional apathy.

It won’t take over my brain.

Apparently I am “obviously” intelligent. Not sarcastic but literal. I sound intelligent, or I must because from the first session the therapist was able to glean that. And last week she told me that she thinks it’s a good idea to consider meds because I clearly did have ambitions once upon a time and it would be a pity not reaching them – or not gaining the satisfaction from reaching them – because of this.

My favourite post on tumblr is one where the title is “beat your depression” and the writing underneath is “beat it with a fucking broom beat it into the fucking ground die die die”.



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