call me

I’ve always been fascinated with words. As a child, when I listened to songs, I focused on the lyrics, and I wrote some of my favourite ones down. After some time, I tried to write my own using the tunes from pre-existing songs. Then these imitations turned into creations. And songs turned into poems and poems into stories and finally a novel.

In between then and now, I found out much more about the sanctity, and comfort, of words. I discovered that I could relate to most of the characters in the novels I read. Later when I was diagnosed with a mood disorder, it started to make sense. For every mood, I was a different person; things I liked changed, my whole personality changed. A little insight about mood disorders; the person afflicted cannot control the timing and severity of their moods, and that prevented me from being consistent. There were haphazard patterns of school attendance, sleeping, eating, but all through that (except in very rare, severe cases) I could always read and relate to the characters. And for a person unaware of what is happening inside their head all the time, it was a form of reassurance, unattainable from most other sources of solace.

Later in life, I found things got bad for everybody. Moods, and people, changed as life got more severe. And when things got bad for my friends, it was only words that I could employ to get them out before it was too late for them.

But all of this is not to say that words cannot hurt you. They can. Oh and they do. Words designed to prey on your fears and insecurities, words that make you lose faith in everything you think you are. When I realized that that had been happening to me, I ran from people saying those things. To keep the words from hurting me, I made myself believe I didn’t care and became distant. The various anti-depressants and mood stabilizers helped of course. I blocked the memories out, and soon I couldn’t remember much of anything. The memories are still there I believe; just locked up. And so, the recovery began. After two years, I was finally off the medication. Beyond this now, is the constant struggle not to relapse.

I found new people in old friends when I talked to them again. And they have kept me grounded in reality, strengthening me. I might have scars but I am not in love with self destruction. Instead, I forever hope for better days. In the harsh, cruel world of the young, it can become difficult to see myself for who I am. I use words to fight my demons and understand that I am in this with a lot of other people. Together, we have fought domestic violence, cancer, guilt placed by parents, delusions, opinions, rumors, dengue fever, asthma, a father’s death, after effects of chemo therapy, buckets and buckets of pain, bad grades, bad friends, bad luck. And with words as our stairways, we bring each other back from the edge of the roof. With words as our ropes, we pull each other out of the holes we dig ourselves. With words as our net, we don’t let the water in our lungs make us give up. Instead, they bring us up for air.

Because, I know now, there is so much here to live for.