Tag Archives: happiness

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, 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 – that’s who I was. Also, so alone.

I was a broken person. Fast forward to after my dad’s death – the single and unanimously 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 feeling of tranquil satisfaction 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 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.

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Dealing with death.

My father passed away over a year ago and although I’m no expert in death, I have learned a lot about having your most dearest person leave you and how you can never be ready. I want to tell you how it goes.

The first couple weeks went by quickly, in disbelief (although I thought I was fully prepared). Making lists of things that needed done. Lists of things that changed. And lists of things that you could never do again, like hear his voice. Questions that could never be answered, like, what do you think of this new business idea or this new biriyani place. The next few months dragged on as the chores got done and reality sunk in. Every memory, date, thought, food, music, small and big, corroded me down just a little more. Nothing had ever come close to the hopeless melancholy that leeched in and recoloured my soul. I started challenging time to prove it’s healing powers. That forgotten friend, that hobby I quit, time does heal, right? It’s unbelievable how long it takes to accept how everlasting death is, though. Everyday ends with the crumbling awareness that I won’t hear from him, again, today, or tomorrow.

The next year, I counted each month, surprised how I survived 3 months without talking to my dad, 4 months without discussing that random new philosophy I’m adopting, 5 months without sharing my fears, 6 months without cracking a joke at him, 7 months without fighting with him, 8 months without sharing that new whiskey I found, 9 months without telling him that business was doing better, 10 months without getting his opinion on my life’s next steps! Jealous on Fathers day, feigning indifference in his birthday. Afraid how my mother is surviving this.  And after a year passed by, I realized all the research I has scoured saying that you “get over the death of a close one” within a year, is a complete lie. I listen to his favourite songs and cry in the shower. Sometimes I take an extra drink of whiskey and imagine his guilty pride smiling down at me. Other times I wish he visits my dreams. At times of desperation, I hope he haunts me.

I look around and see so many deaths. Such an ubiquitous affair and yet, the world doles out much indifference.  20 die in mass shooting. 200 die in earthquake. 2000 kids die of starvation. While I stuff my face and read the news, gawking at the numbers and how it’s politicized. The broken families, left irreparable. Hearts that will now bleed, forever, never be whole again.

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