I want to work, but I want to do something I enjoy. I don’t want to “take up any job because it will help foot the bills.” A lot of people will hate me for saying this. They’ll probably think I’m a vagabond with no real ambition, making doltish statements online. Others will think I’m a privileged, spoilt kid who mooches off his parents and blathers. These people are entitled to their opinions and are partially right. But they don’t understand that my fruitless existence is killing me. I’m like a hermit in a shack; cut away from society. I want people to come to me, but they don’t. I’ve tried reaching out to people, but they shun me. I’m an outcast and a pariah, outside the temple gates, begging for attention. A social leper, a communal weirdo.
Do I make myself a victim? I do, and I hate others who do too. I hate people who incessantly whine about every bloody thing on the planet because I’m a master of it. We should all get over our shit because there are no knights of salvation, defenders of the ‘oppressed,’ or warriors for the ‘suppressed.’ The only hope that fate gives us is ourselves. We’re people in a cave whining about the darkness when the exit is just a few steps away. We don’t walk to it, and then justify not walking to it! We’d rather keep staring at the symbols on the walls and gather knowledge than go out and tell people about what we’ve learned. We don’t grow. We’re emotionally stunted; psychologically damaged and spiritually darkened. Yes, I partially borrowed from Plato, but I don’t care anymore.
I’m sick of living like this. I wake up late; drink ten cups of coffee while I’m smoking twenty cigarettes; intersperse the whole damn thing with reading a book or two, and then write something and sleep. Is this life? People are working in Tobacco farms to provide for their families in another land. Mothers work two jobs to make sure their kids get to eat. People work the most demeaning jobs because they have to survive and here, I am, living out a bourgeois existence; playing damn video games and complaining. I need to stop!
Having said this, I’m going to lay my heart bare and talk about what cripples me. The problem is inner torture. I have no peace. Every day, the scars of childhood abuse burst open, and I bleed. My father tried to kill my mother when I was five. He kept choking her even though she coughed and coughed, and I sat on the floor, helpless. I cried and begged him to stop, and he hit me. Not a day went by in that old house when I didn’t feel like a dog on a leash. He’d listen to my phone conversations. He’d moderate my friend circle. He’d thrash me when he felt like it. I grew up scared and timid. I am still afraid deep within. I haven’t patched things up with him, and we share a complicated relationship, and I doubt I’ll ever find closure.
But that’s not all. There’s mental illness. I never asked for it, but it’s here to stay. There are a huge number of emotions that course through me each day. It’s terrifying. I’m depressed one moment; I’m manic the next; I’m angry, and then I’m apathetic. I’m rarely euthymic. And don’t get me started on the paranoia! An inner storm of the most irrational, discomfiting thoughts makes me anxious and wonder who’s out there to get me. And what makes it more distressing is that I’m a writer. I find it difficult to express myself without wondering if someone will take it the wrong way. Paranoia has led to self-mutilation, suicidal attempts and wars with one or two people who care.
And then there are the intrusive thoughts. They are either blasphemous, judgmental, threatening or absurd. I’ve often wondered if I should sign up for an exorcism because these thoughts make me miserable. I wonder if some priest can strap me to a table and pray the thoughts away. But I know this is my curse; it’s something I’ll have to endure until the day I die.
And then, there are the side-effects of psychiatric medication. I’m on mood stabilizers, antidepressants, anxiolytics and anti-psychotics. They’ve caused life-threatening skin rashes, weight gain, nystagmus, tremors and cravings for addictive substances. And the worst part is that I have to take them though they’re shortening my life span, and making me this rotund, ugly fuck with diabetes and cholesterol. So, think before you call me fat. I don’t even like pork chops!
Finally, there’s stigma. I despise people who judge me because of my past. I did a lot of things when I was manic. But I’ve found a way to control myself. Respect that if you don’t want to respect me! It’s the ‘normal’ people who act all high and righteous. They think being Bipolar involves wielding a scythe and walking around. Ignorant fucks! And then there’s a group who believes that you become what you think, and hence, you must think happy thoughts. “I’m happy! There’s joy in my life! Yay!” They prattle on, and I’m sure they cry themselves to sleep when no one is watching. I also hate self-righteous people. “It’s all a spiritual struggle! I’ve gone through it too!” I’m sure you have bastard; I’m sure. Finally, secular, self-righteous people get on my nerves. “Don’t talk to him; he’s weird.” Go fuck yourself.
I’ll end this by saying that I’ve already talked about my religious fears, and so, I’m not going to bore you with them. I only want to ask you one question. A question I ask myself every day, and one I already answered in this post: Do I make myself a victim?
© Nitin Lalit Murali (2019)