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A JOURNEY FROM SELF-DESTRUCTION TO DISCOVERING ONESELF

Sanjana Sen

“We’ll make it work Advik, please don’t leave. I need you. Please stay. . .”
Just when she thought he is in front of her, she woke up from her dream. She looked here and there but no, Advik wasn’t there. It was 2 AM in the night; she opened her WhatsApp, checked his display picture and started crying.
SAIRA – the girl who deeply loved Advik but couldn’t get the same kind of love back.

Flashback:
Saira and Advik’s love story wasn’t an ordinary one. Those who knew the two of them, knew that they can never fall for each other because they were poles apart but against all odds, they did. Saira’s innocence and uncomplicated nature blew Advik’s mind. All the girls were attracted to Advik’s charming personality, looks and his richness but it was only Saira who looked beyond these things, discovered the real person within him and finally fell for him. Advik loved Saira’s simplicity and with each day, his love for her kept increasing.

They were in their second year of college when they fell for each other and by the end of their Bachelor degree, they passed out with flying colours and with the “Cutest couple” tag! Advik even introduced Saira in his family and they all loved her very much. Saira’s parents were in London working on a project and they had to be there for atleast 2 years so they could not meet Advik in person but they spoke to him on skype and liked him too. Everything was going great until one day, Advik broke the news of him going to Delhi for a year for an office project. Saira felt extremely happy for his professional growth but felt sad that he will not be around her. Nevertheless, that year passed in an eye blink as they both slogged hard at their respective work fields.

Soon after Advik’s return from Delhi, their relationship started experiencing a rough patch. He started fighting on small-small things, started getting mad at her if she called him during his working hours, taunted her if she was upset on him and so on and so forth. Saira was literally harassed for no reason yet she kept her calm thinking that maybe he is having a tough time in office and needs someone to free him from that stress. One day, she called him for dinner and planned a surprise for him. She wanted to gift him a watch that he had long seen in a mall and wanted to buy it but couldn’t due to money constraints. She was excited to see his reaction but as soon as he entered the restaurant, he sat down and quickly started to say, “I am sorry Saira but this relationship has to end here. I am in love with someone else and I am convinced to get settled with her. We’ve had a great journey together and I really wish for your success and a great life. All this while I was purposely fighting with you thinking that you yourself will end this but your goodness and patience kept making me feel guilty and so I am here today, directly calling off this relationship. I respect our differences and I agree that more than me, you have invested in this relationship but now that I’ve got someone with similar thinking, I think it’s better to be with such a person rather than being with a dissimilar person and later get divorced. Hope you understand. Really sorry” and he left. A 5 year old relationship ended just like that!

Present day:
It has been more than a year to their breakup but Saira is still depressed, deranged, demented and broken. Her work life is going great as she is another person altogether at work and also because she loves her work but when she is alone, away from work, she is just a soulless body with no emotions. Saira’s parents are still in UK for another project and mostly stayed there only for their work.

Saira used to check Advik’s profile on every social media just to know about his life; she even tried to talk to him umpteen times but never got a proper response from him. She started living in pretendence; pretended to be normal, pretended to be happy, pretended to be involved in people and their talks but in real, she was dead inside. Saira was an occasional drinker but in past 6 months, whenever she drank, she over consumed it. After getting drunk, she would revisit her pictures with him and cry till she fell asleep. Sometimes she even puked and got fever due to over drinking. This was her so called “new life”. After almost one and a half years, she still couldn’t move on and there, Advik got engaged!

She knew this would happen someday but knowing and seeing it for real is not the same. Her head started aching, her mind was fucked up, she was feeling empty inside but at the same time, she wanted to get rid of his memories thinking that if he doesn’t care then even she shouldn’t. She was restless and wanted to do something in order to divert her mind but didn’t know what exactly to do. After some time, she abruptly went to the kitchen, took a knife and made two three cuts on her wrist. And finally, her pain emerging from the engagement news diverted towards the pain emerging from the cut.

That weekend, when she met her friends, they noticed the bandage on her wrist. Everyone knew for sure that it was self-harm but no one said anything to her at that point. Niharika insisted to stay with Saira for a few days as she understood that she was slowly moving towards self-destruction. When she reached Saira’s place, she saw that her place was all messed up and her thinking towards Saira became more sanguine. A girl who was so disciplined was now least bothered about her environment and life.

Saira knew he had fallen out of love with her, she knew that he is now engaged and will get married soon, she knew he stopped caring about her long back yet she was not able to forget him whereas he very easily moved on in his life. She doesn’t love him anymore because the essence of love is trust and togetherness, which was long lost; but she is still weak and vulnerable and this fact has now started irritating her. She soon developed anger issues and started losing her cool on small-small things. She didn’t trust anyone, forget getting attached to them. She stayed away from all kind of cheesy talks and sometimes, even gave her piece of mind to the cheese talkers! Saira was a changed person now but this change wasn’t a healthy one.

Her friends, especially Niharika were making sure that she doesn’t indulge in any kind of self-harm. They would keep reminding her that she is important and loved by all of them. One day, while returning home after clubbing, she saw a girl standing at a bus stop, crying profusely. She seemed to be from a good family. Saira stopped by her to know why she was crying and waiting at a bus stop with a luggage at 1 AM in the night. After speaking to her, she got to know that the girl (Seema) was living with her boyfriend, they were to get engaged soon but that night she caught him red handed with another girl and rather than being sorry, her boyfriend very casually told her that he was about to tell her that he cannot get engaged to her as he has fallen for this girl. He asked her to stay at his place till she found a new place for herself but she immediately moved out and now, she has nowhere to go.

Saira was furious on the guy but felt sympathetic to her and relatable too. She quickly offered her to stay with her till she finds a new house. After reaching home, Saira made sure she feels at ease and asked her to rest. Next day when she saw Seema, she was scared. Her eyes were swollen, she looked fatigue and pale and also had fever. Seema refused to eat anything and kept calling her “boyfriend” who he didn’t care to answer. This reminded Saira about how, even she tried contacting Advik and he didn’t give a damn about it. Looking at Seema’s condition, she understood what Niharika and her other friends might have and are going through seeing her in this condition and how unknowingly she has slowly gone towards self-destruction.

She went to her room and told Niharika that she wanted to come out of her depression and also wanted to get Seema out of her depression and sadness. And for this, she needed to consult a Counsellor. Niharika was extremely happy that Saira atleast accepted and took this step. Without wasting a single moment, they found a good Counsellor online and booked an appointment.
Their first session was stressful as they had to narrate everything from the scratch to the Counsellor but slowly-slowly, the therapies and sessions helped Saira and Seema to come out of their depression and look around the world positively! They realised that making someone their world doesn’t mean that the actual world doesn’t exists. If someone has hurt you, someone else will heal you too. If someone has left you, someone else will hold your hand. We often give too much love to others but forget to save a little for ourselves and that’s why people walk all over us so easily. If you don’t trust your worth, why anyone else will?

EPILOGUE
Self-destruction, depression, dementia – all these are a part of mental illness and if not acknowledged or treated at the right time, it can lead to many other ailments and disorders and sometimes, might be a reason of suicide too. People may wonder, how a breakup lead to such madness. Well, every person has their own level of tolerance and emotional quotient; a small thing for you might be an important thing for the other person. We are no one to judge or question anybody’s emotional quotient but if we can contribute a bit also in helping them to deal with their problem, then we shouldn’t think twice about it.
There are people who urge others to talk about their depression and once they do, they are only the ones judging them. Please understand, we are not here to judge. We are here to help. Counselling is possible only when the person seeking help comes forward and ask for it; and it takes a lot of courage to seek that help.

Saira wasn’t reluctant to seek counselling but she understood the need only when she saw Seema going through that same pain. She realised how she has gone towards self-destruction when Seema refused to eat even when her health was deteriorating. Mental Health is like that. You may know what is right or wrong yet you wouldn’t care because at that moment, you just need some peace. And this definition of peace differs from person to person. For one, it may mean to get drunk and fall asleep; for another it may mean to go on a solo trip; for another it may mean self-harm; for another it may mean to leave the city and so on and so forth. Therefore, stop judging and start helping.
YOU MATTER. YOU DESERVE TO BE LOVED. YOU DESERVE TO BE RESPECTED. YOU DESERVE TO LIVE, HAPPILY.


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