“Born and brought up in Coimbatore, I had the fortune of a ‘picture- perfect’ family. I could talk to my dad about anything under the sky and not be judged. My father has been my pillar of support in everything that came my way.
I was that happy-go-lucky college student who participated in every activity and was always full of energy. But, deep down, I had my share of fears, challenges and struggles that were more powerful than my talents and blessings at times. I tried sharing it with people around me, but they couldn’t ever relate to or accept that side of mine. In our lives, the people who are the ‘life of the party’ are always expected to be happy. Sadly, that attitude becomes a breeding ground for depression. Because even the happiest people have sorrows and it is perfectly fine to cry yourself to sleep if that makes you feel better. There is no need to stigmatize depression. The only way to deal with it is to embrace who you are and how you feel. Naming your emotions can help bucket them more efficiently and get to the root of the problem.
I went through depression and let it get the better of me, only to hear people say that it is all in my head and someone with a perfect life as mine can’t face these issues. It was all about me having to clear my act and “behave normally” once again. In the showbiz, you can’t be seen shedding a tear unless it’s for the camera and this applies even to small-time actors. The person they’ve seen on screen, on Youtube or heard on the radio is who they wish to see. But there was a certain vacuum and I struggled to find my ground. When I figured that people are not ready to see this side of me, I decided to cut off from them. I drive, live by myself and enjoy my me-time as my therapy time to cope with my depression.
But that is not me, that is not who I am. So, I constantly remind myself that people are nice and need to be trusted, it is situations that force them to act a certain way. This way, life gets a little easy to handle. I have a Paati who has been through hell and faced situations that I wouldn’t wish upon even my biggest enemy. She has lost all faith in people and keeps warning me against trusting strangers, but then, the best people in our lives once started off as strangers!
I believe that every day that we are alive and smiling, we owe it to the society and the people around us. People need to take care of themselves and those around them and the world would turn out to be a better place.
This can be made possible if we raise our children telling them that they need not shy away from expressing their emotions, be it depression or joy. It is important to embrace who you are and live a life that is in line with the value system that you have built. My father once told me how it is easy to live life sans any concern or values, but that would not be you, a person who has certain ideologies and beliefs that you should hold on to. Life would be difficult but will be worth it because you are playing the role of yourself, someone who you know best. The right people will stick by you when you do that and that is when you notice the blessings in your life. That optimism from my father is what has kept me going. This has helped me bounce back every time depression gets the better of me. It might take a few days, weeks or even months for me to bounce back, but I have every time come back when I start counting my blessings. I think the world will become a better place and violence and hatred will reduce significantly if people are allowed to talk about their feelings. Having somebody to lean on and a shoulder to cry on gives hope and helps cope up better with depression and other psychological issues. To me, it would be the Utopian dream world where we are there for each other and care to talk to each other without relying on the gadgets or social media.
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