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#MyMannDay – The importance of time in healing me

I was in 7th grade when I got the taste of real depression and loneliness for the first time. Due to some incident took place in school, my best friend and a few others ended up the friendship with me. I tried to reconnect with them but I failed. For the first time, I felt very strange, sad and lonely at the same time, I felt as if I was isolated from everyone. Loneliness made me overthink about negative memories and incidences from the past. I used to overthink for hours straight. It affected my appetite badly. I started eating lesser than usual. My family started noticing that I was becoming mute and wordless and was spending more time alone. Gradually, it became hard for me to trust someone and it seemed like I lost my ability to make new friends, moreover, I was afraid to lose new friends hence I was hesitant to make a move. The isolation, the loneliness was eating me from inside. In the hope that I will have some distraction from my routine, I went to my grandma’s place for a week. But I wad overthinking there as well. I was overthinking about the rumours which I heard about myself in school and was worried about what worst can happen next and whether my mental health can be back to normal or not in the future.

After a few months, the rate of overthinking decreased as maybe my brain was tired of thinking about some negative memory or worrying about ‘what will happen next?’, again and again. I wasn’t a music buff at that time but things started to change when I came across music and songs like ‘Faded’ and ‘who says’ or rather say, songs in general on YouTube. I got lost for a while in the soothing voice of singer(s) and the melodious music. Music was the initial spark of my journey of getting out of depression. Listening to songs, watching music videos helped me to overthink less and cheer up. More importantly, it worked like magic as a good temporary distraction from my depressed and messed up thoughts. I started to feel better than before, although it helped me to forget my loneliness and depression for only a specific temporary period of time only till I had my earplugs on, it counted.

I started to engage more in the activities which made me feel happy and positive like watching a movie, drawing or sketching or listening to music or even a beauty sleep would work. I started to cut off connections with all negative people and places in my life or who made me feel bad about myself and instead I started making every positive and happy moment count. As soon as I stopped being around negative places and people, I noticed that I attracted like-minded people. I got engaged in an unexpected friendship with new almost a dozen like-minded people in school and in my tuition, who are now very close to my heart. I also made a kind friend who was a neighbour of my grandma, to whom I met in every vacation. I also made a bunch of sweet online friends with whom I am still friends. My trust in friendship was alive again and I am happier than before and not depressed anymore.

From my past experiences, I have learnt that it is better to let them go or break the relation if it’s causing more harm than good to me. Even today, I sometimes fight with my friend(s) but now, I don’t overthink about the fight or argument, rather I will be like “jo hoga so dekha jayega” because I’ve understood that overthinking damages my present mental health. I am no more friends with some of my online friends but I’ve learnt to move on because I know, there are many people out there who like me and care for me. I’ve also learnt to enjoy my own company by doing activities like watching a movie, reading books, drawing and even sleeping and I’ve also learnt to say ‘no’ to social meet-ups and outings when I really don’t feel to go out.

Time has played a very important part of this journey of my depression. As time passed, my mental health started to recover gradually.

Whenever something makes me sad or unhappy now, instead of overthinking like before, now I spend time with my close ones or talk with them or else I do anything which helps me to distract my mind from the current situation and relaxes me. Now not only my mental health is restored, but it’s also stronger than ever before. Thanks to all those offensive rumours and broken friendships that made me emotionally stronger and helped me in growing a thicker skin.

Now I’ve got ridden of my depression, it doesn’t mean I am enlightened or always happy. Even today at times I struggle with anxiety and stress issues. I am learning more about mental health and how to keep it healthy, every day, through various resources and most importantly through my daily experiences and I am getting better day by day.

Here are some of my tips which might help if you are going through depression:
1. Leave toxic relationships and people who make you feel bad about yourself.
2. Don’t overthink about your past bad memory/incidence because it’s going to damage your present mental health. Distract yourself by doing any activity which makes you feel good.
3. Don’t pay much attention to negative comments you’ve heard about yourself, it’s unhealthy.
4. Learn to enjoy your own company.
5. Always surround yourself with positive people and places which make you feel happy and special.

-Rupam Malale