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Stepping out of a black hole

I didn’t understand what was going on. I was just constantly tired. I’d seen many doctors. In India and in Canada. All I could tell them was, I am tired. I don’t feel like getting out of bed, I don’t feel like working out. I don’t feel like doing any of the things I enjoyed doing. I hated everyone. I was going through everyday as if my soul was within some other container and I was watching it as the nightmare unfolded.

My dad had been sick for a while. Although medically, it was his heart, his kidneys, his diabetes, his nerves, his blood that were the problems, he had actually been killing himself slowly over the last 20 years, from depression. He’s been pushing all his organs to their limits, in an attempt to see how bad it can get. And he was my best friend.

My business, which defined my identity, wasn’t doing so hot either. Toxic partners, toxic employees, very talented but jaded employees, lack of focus and lack of direction was killing my business. I wasn’t sure when I was going to be paid and I wasn’t sure how to steer the business out of the downward spiral while there were avoidable and unavoidable roadblocks at every step. I worked harder and harder until I just could not.

Personal life was in shambles. Both my boyfriend and I had jumped headfirst into starting our own businesses, without much savings or experience and it was ravaging us. The stress outlined and filled our lives and in a hopeless attempt for self-preservation we tore each other apart. I stayed up past 3am every night, drinking and eating whatever I could lay my eyes on. Scooping peanut butter out of the jar and swirling the spoon in the nutella jar and polishing it off. Guzzling a bottle of wine, followed by more than a few drinks of whiskey, until I could not pour myself a drink any more.

I came back from India, after 2 months of my father, mom and me fighting for his life, leaving him in a state of unimaginable physical and mental pain that we all knew was definitely worse than keeping him alive, and fully knowing that I would not see him any more. Came into work to find 10$ in our company bank account. We had lots of bills to keep the product humming. And the lights turned on. And 7 people to pay. I didn’t have answers for them. I had let everyone down and that’s who I was. Also, so alone.

I was a broken person. Fast forward to after my dad’s death – the single and unanimous biggest loss of my life, business loans from sharks, and then the ongoing pandemic. Business started to look up, our team changed and grew, I got a puppy and in spite of resisting to the idea for a few years, I agreed to try out some happy pills that the doctor prescribed.

It was a sunny day and we were driving down the highway along the water and suddenly a fond memory of us enjoying a drive washed over. I had maintained for the last few years that I didn’t believe long drives, but only in a destination. But the green trees, the shimmering water, the wind in my face, felt so fresh! It had been a few years since I felt anything like that. It had been a few years since I had spoken to some friends and not been extremely aggravated. It had been many years since I had laughed – so much so that I could not recognize the sound of my laughter anymore and it sounded like cacophony.

I understand now that it will take a much longer time to recover but I also see it is possible. I am still tired, some days unable to get out of the couch. Too tired to talk. Reminding myself to focus when I drive. But, I am able to think with clarity some days, able to enjoy a good meal and attend a get together and not abhor it. I can walk my dog and enjoy music, I can laugh and be surprised at the intensity of my own laughter. This is a work in progress.