I was heading towards the kitchen to find out what more should I buy for really cooking up, when I found him seating at the corner of the studio, near the verandah, his laptop in-front of him, but he, himself playing some stupid game.
I was really worried now. He was there, never moved a while since morning as early as 7.00 AM, and now it was 1.00 PM in the afternoon. Not a single movement. I had given him his coffee in the morning, and that was too, only half finished. Whenever I passed by in between, he was there, in the same position, either staring out of the glass door, or at the tablet. Now I suddenly felt, have I failed? Was it the wrong way I tried? Am I so useless to do anything? He is still there……
(8th October, 2015)
“Sanjay, what is it that is constantly troubling you? Please let me know, I am here to help you”, to this, what he replied (though after a long ignorant silence, interposed with some ‘hmm’ and ‘hunh’, when I insisted too much) just left me even more curious, and despaired-
“Everything is just finishing slowly, I am doing some bad work, they will no longer entertain this bullshit…the entire industry will just collapse…we will no longer be happy together…. this life is no longer worth it…………..what silly things you are asking me as what you will cook………..please do what you feel like, don’t bother me, as food will soon go in the drain………..Chinmaya, I need to call Chinmaya………….the customer will blow us off…I am a bullshit….I am just wasting my time……………”
He was uttering a series of incoherent ideas, which just portrayed one thing, i.e. negativity.
He suddenly raised from his work couch, and bashed himself into the bed, covering his face, saying that his head was paining, and he wanted sleep, when I knew, that his working hours (from home) were still on.
(10th November, 2015)
It was my garbage disposal day, and I was about taking up every bit and piece of scratches from the entire house, when I found screwed up pieces of empty paper lying outside his room (and they were many in number). Well, as I have always been a conservative sort of a person, I rushed in saying, “why are you wasting these papers, wasting wasting all the time”, and to my surprise, he never fought back with agitation or vehemence against this……just kept quiet, looking out of the window panes…. “what are you staring at? I am talking to you”, I said, only to hear a “hmm” from him.
I was really agitated, I wondered whether, all these IT workers are equally unmindful, I kept mumbling things, so that he could overhear them, I felt he was ignoring me, just not listening, not bothering to answer, just rubbish!
(13th November, 2015)
“what kind of coffee is this??? Can’t you even make a decent coffee for me???”, Sanjay, picked up the cup and bashed it on the floor, in retaliation of a small argument we were having on a character in the TV serial. He pushed aside and was heading towards the door to just exit the house, when I constantly trying to block his way, so he just went inside and put himself inside bed, with his head covered.
This was very strange, Sanjay has never been an angry person, he never reacted harsh even at the worst fights. I used to shout during arguments, but he always kept calm, but since sometime now, I was seeing a different side in his personality, and I was afraid, the symptoms were identifiable, since I have been through the same, during a certain period of my life.
(14th November, 2015)
‘……. depression makes a person lethargic, you don’t wish to wake up, you don’t wish to do anything constructive………. a person either eats too much or quits food……….. sudden motions of crying can occur…….’, I had psychology as my 2nd minor subject in my graduation syllabus, and I had an un-defining interest towards the theories. Today I am going through the lessons again. 2008-2010 had been the period of depression in my life, during which my life was reduced to half, I never wished to wake up, I never wished to move from a place, I spoke rudely, as rudely as I could with my mom, my mind was blank, except for one fixative thought, that I was helpless, everything was over. And now, I was seeing the same things happening with my dear husband. I could analyse that Sanjay is suffering from a lack of self-worth. He feels that he is wasting his time, not doing his job properly, not doing any constructive study (though it had nothing to do with his office performance, he got appreciated every day for his leading abilities), but it is his thought, that whatever he is doing is useless, and this is leading to depression. And because he does not want to face anything, he prefers sleeping most of the time in the day. Small discussions often lead to a big fight now. He keeps venting out his frustrations and agitations in these heated discussions. I want to help him.
(16th November, 2015)
“Sanjay, wake up darling, look outside, such a beautiful sunny morning today, let’s go out, take a walk”. Sanjay was unwilling though, but I insisted him with a steaming cup of beaten coffee.
We went out, we walked for a while near the riverbank which is trodden by the maple ducks, behind our condominium.
“Dear, I know you are worried these days, but you know something, whatever I may say, when I am angry, but I believe in my heart, that you are the best man, the best husband on earth… Sanjay, I love you, you are important to me, your life is important to me, I am learning from you every day…..”
He looked at me with admiration and started… “you know, I don’t know, what is happening to me these days, I feel I am wasting everything, I am not studying new things, in our industry, this lag can cost us enormously, I am not updating myself, and that is a crime.. but I do not even feel the urge to do it, I feel everything is finished within me”.
I listened to him calmly, he spoke for one and half hours at a stretch, after a long long time, sitting on a bench near the brook, ducks quacking sometimes, in the otherwise silent area. He was speaking his mind, and I was happy.
A person in depression needs to be listened. I knew, if I had to help him, I need to be a blank wall first, on which he will project his mind. A depressed person wants to share, needs to be heard, and when he gets a small support from a loved one, he wants to speak. This surge of emotions is very important for a depressed person, because, if the negativity is not let out the thoughts, it might become a serious problem, and turn the person towards suicidal attempts.
(25th November 2015)
I have started spending more time with him, he sometimes, doesn’t want to reply, but I insist that he speaks with me, I speak with him on good things, about his childhood stories in school, or mine. We have started watching movies together oftener, he loves the sci-fi thrillers in English, and I try to enjoy them with him.
Sometimes he bursts out at me, disturbed, but I do not react back, for I know, I cannot take his words personally. He needs to be cured, it is his depression, not him.
(25th December, 2015)
“Let’s call our friends for dinner tonight”, I proposed. I was shocked and amazed, that he agreed, because since long, he preferred to be left alone, but today it was different. He really enjoyed being with friends in the past, I knew it, and a get together on Christmas could be a moment of celebration, which could make him happy and lively.
It is important to create more celebrating events, to engage people who are suffering from depression.
After the lovely dinner, and hilarious discussions, I felt that Sanjay was really laughing, it’s been a century as if, that I have seen him cheering (he had always been a humorous person though), I felt happy. That night, before going to bed, I said, “dear, I am always there with you, never feel yourself alone.”
(25th January 2016)
There is no point, consoling a person in depression with words like “look on the bright side”, “count your blessings” etc. these “muft ka gyaan”, never helps. Even the Deepika Padukone videos won’t help a depressed person rejuvenate with the assurance, that if a celebrity can be depressed, I can be depressed too, rather, it will pass off more negativity into the depressed person, because depression is contagious too. :/
(13th Feb., 2016)
………. While I was about to give up hope, Sanjay came up to me, with a smile he said, “I want my Valentine gift in advance, what is there for me this year?”… “yes I know I have spoilt your surprise, but that is how I am, you know”, he was once again speaking like before, I felt happy. “you have been through my tough time, you took all the bad words from my side with patience, and today I have learnt to appreciate myself…”, Sanjay was saying these words, and I was feeling in my mind ‘yes yes of course, I am great you know‘ because the sense of joy that was ongoing in me, was beyond explanation.Then he surprised me with a bouquet of flowers, my best valentine day gift ever.
It is very important to be patient with a loved one who is in depression. At times, maybe we can’t really help, but trying is important before it turns very serious. During this phase, I have also realized, that it is important to keep yourself strong, and firm in your intention, because the sense of depression in your partner can also pull you down. If you find you cannot cure him/her, convince him for medical therapy from a specialist.