Depression: The flaw in love
4th July 1975
My older brother and I had been chatting with my parents, and we were talking about Himal Kaka, my dad’s younger brother, who died in a road traffic accident many years ago. My brother and I never knew much about Himal kaka, he was just a name to us, and so somehow we got to thinking about the people we knew who had died and how they died, and soon our short list led us to Grandma. We sat in the couch of our guest room, as we talked with our parents, feeling very adult, talking about the dead people we knew.
“How did Grandma die?” I asked.
“Yeah, I think I know”, said my brother.
“How? How? Ummm accident?”, I queried.
“Nah. She had a stroke. Right papa?” my brother then quickly glanced at my father.
“She didn’t have a stroke,” papa said.
“Then, how?” I asked, confused.
“She took her own life”, papa answered.
This sentence, as gentle as he must have wanted it to sound to our ears, was horrifying for both of us, me and my brother. This was definitely new information.
My papa’s eyes then had welled up with tears.
“What?” we asked, on the brink of figuring out what he meant.
“Why?” one of us asked. We were little kids reluctantly asking to find more.
“She was in a lot of pain,” he said, “She had terrible pain, and she couldn’t take it anymore.”
“How did she do it?” I was the one who asked.
There was silence.
“Go, sleep,” he said.
He probably wondered that was enough for him to say to an eleven-year-old, me and thirteen years old, my brother. And something about the way he said it made it clear that the conversation was now over.
And ever since then I used to wonder, why did my grandmother die? What pain did she have that led her death? My grandmother had a beautiful family. My grandfather as per what I’ve heard from my parents was one of the kindest, loving and caring soul. So, that meant he would have loved her with all his heart. She had loving children, loving grandchildren. I don’t know what caused her to believe that killing herself was the only answer to her problems.
Suicide is like that. It scars those it leaves behind; Open, festering wounds. It’s the most terrible kind of permanence that exists.
8th June 2008
It has become a struggle against myself to continue living. Everything moves around me as if in fast motion.
I look myself in the mirror. I broke that glass on the table, took a piece and kept it on my wrist. I cut my wrist and blood started oozing out. With every drop of blood that hit the floor, I felt my suffering lessen. I heard voices inside me that said, “c’mon, the sooner, the better. Cut more and you’ll be free from the suffering.”
As I was about to cut deep, a soft voice rang out in the quiet room,
“Mommy. Where are you?”
I was confused. I was confused between the voices in my head that forced me to cut my wrist deep and my heart which urged me to stop it and go and meet my daughter.
“Mommy” the voice drifts up the stairs.
I asked to myself, “Am I doing right?”
Somewhere deep down, I knew my daughter needed me. My heart won and immediately I replied, “Coming, baba”.
I knew my daughter shouldn’t see me this way so I rushed to the bathroom, washed my hands, applied a bandage over my wrist and went downstairs.
“Mommy, why did you take so long? Where were you? Anyways, see what I brought for you. A mother’s day card. Happy mother’s day mommy!” my daughter handed me a card.
I hugged my daughter and I cried. I knew I couldn’t do it for my daughter. I was doing wrong.
“Why are you crying, mommy? You didn’t like the drawing I made, is it?”
Meanwhile, my doorbell rings. I opened the door. My dad walked in. I couldn’t hold my tears and I cried.
“What’s wrong Choru?” my dad asked me in a soft voice.
I showed him my wrist.
And that was it. My dad took me to hospital, the doctors said I had depression and gave me medication.
The day when I finally got help and began to feel like a human again. Since then, I was able to reflect honestly on my achievements and the paths I have taken.
7th March, 2017
I was cleaning my shelves. There was a red dusty photo album. As I opened it, I saw my grandmother’s picture holding my father. She must have been in her fifties then. She looked beautiful in that red sari, her curly hair, brown eyes.
Today, looking at my grandmothers’ picture I realize that my grandmothers’ story could me mine. But thankfully I was saved. Depression is a secret that one has. It is so exhausting and takes so much from your life.
And this world is still a beautiful place worth the struggle.
Question and Answer with Suju
1. Tell us more about you.
I am a 3rd-year medical student at Kathmandu Medical College. I love writing and public speaking.
2. What was your thought when you apply to Wordism competition?
I just thought of giving it a try and as this was my first time writing a story, it feels great that your writing has been appreciated.
3. What are your dreams and aspiration?
I aspire to be a better person than what I was yesterday.
4. Anything you want to say who is reading this!
As I’ve written a story about depression, I just want to tell people that we need to talk about mental health issues. Mental health problems are considered as a taboo in our society but it’s high time we remove this stigma related to mental health issues.
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