How are you?

12: 30 a.m.
I close my eyes, thinking, tonight will be a peaceful one. I’ll escape, even if it’s for the time being, and breathe contentment for a while. I won’t have to deal with the chaos, anymore. It’s all going to be alright. Long before I know it, I’ve dozed off into nothingness.

12:55 a.m.
Is it morning already? But I had just fallen asleep, how can…I check my phone. Damn. Just 25 minutes. A little longer could’ve helped. I toss to the other side of the bed. The dogs are barking outside. I hear them, for a while. They die down, eventually. I look around. The house is emerged in darkness. Everyone is asleep. Well, Maa is. Nayla (my younger sibling) is scrolling through the reels section in Instagram, and couldn’t care less about me. She catches me peeking and rolls to her side of the bed. I sigh.

1:30 a.m.
More than half-an-hour has passed. Why can’t I sleep? I was really tired, today. After all the cooking, dusting and filling up forms, I thought I’d pass out in a blink. I was sure, rather. I’m feeling a little upbeat. I push the blanket off my feet and toss and turn again. Focus. I need to sleep. I need rest. I need peace. Please.

2:00 a.m.
Flashbacks from a few hours ago, come rushing to my head. I can hear my family members laughing and playing with Fluffy (the Spitz we’d adopted), while I sob behind a closed room. Maa has given up on me, since I’m clearly always ‘depressed/anxious’ about something or the other, and she, probably is fed up. She comes in, once in a while, to ask for food, which I irritable decline to have. Conversations have turned into monologues and I’m trying to make my peace with it; obviously failing miserably.
2:30 a.m.
I can literally hear my own heartbeat; it’s beating so fast and loud. It feels like a million miniature drums are playing inside my body and I can, distinctly, feel every beat. I slowly try to take in deep breaths. Doctor had told, they help. I get up and reach out for the water bottle and gulp down as much water as I can. Then, walk over to the basin and splash cold water to my face, neck (front and back) and ears. Its soothing. I feel a little better and get back to bed. Everyone is asleep by now. I try to put the pillow over my head to cover my eyes and ears, but within a few seconds, I feel claustrophobic and jump back up. I think of bringing Maa’s arms and rolling over them. That always helped me sleep, when I was little. But something stopped. The hesitation superseded the will. Tossed and turned, again.

3:15 a.m.
I’m not as bad as they think I am. All my life, I’ve done what they’ve asked/expected me to, and now that I’m struggling, I’ve suddenly become a liability? Have I really turned into an old nag? Is it wrong to expect, someone to stay for you, when you’ve always stayed for them? If they’re disappointed in me, so am I, but why don’t my emotions matter? They might be all over the place, right now but they still exist and crave to be tended to. Fine. I’m hypersensitive and an overthinker.

3:45 a.m.
This isn’t helping. I take out my phone and open Pinterest and search for ‘quotes on depression’. A long string of the same old ones pops up. I keep scrolling. “She’s dangerous when she’s hurt. She can easily hurt everyone around her, but she doesn’t. Instead, she hurts herself.” I smile and download the image. “I’m sorry if I don’t talk too much. It’s already too loud in my head.” I download this one, too and switch over to WhatsApp and change my profile picture to this one. The status below, reads, ‘Leave me be’.

4:15 a.m.
I’ve been listening to a couple of songs from my playlist and tears have been my constant company. I marvel at silently sobbing, I realize. It’s almost morning. I can almost see the fine streaks of light, trying to break through the pitch blackness, through the window. The air is chilly and it feels good against my wet, cold cheeks. I thought I was a survivor, but I think I’ll be remembered as a martyr. Well, if I am remembered at all, that is.

4:45 a.m.
It’s almost dawn, now. I can hear the conches and the temple bells. Some shops are just opening and people have begun their routine morning walks. I sigh, deeply, from the balcony, look up to the sky and whisper, “How long?”

5:00 a.m.
I stare at the four pills on my palm. Two anti-anxiety and two sleeping pills. I contemplate on whether I should go for a third. I look at the medicine strips and my heart makes a wry face at the already depleting stock. I gulp down the four pills and slowly retire to my room, shut the door and creep into bed. I close my eyes, and long before I know it, I’ve slipped into nothingness. This, time, for a little while longer.

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