on mental illness and other rumination on life

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Sharp pangs of hunger hit me! I quickly checked the time on the phone, it was 8:30 pm. Shoot! I had not eaten the whole day, except for a couple of cups of coffee. It seemed a deliberated fast. Having just returned from an amazing trip of my life the other night, I was too tired to prepare myself a decent meal. All I wanted to do was sleep in late and lounge around with Netflix. But I was too devastated to watch Netflix after waking up to the news of the sudden death of Anthony Bourdain.

I first came to know of him through his book, Kitchen Confidential, which has been on my reading list for the longest time. It’s supposedly one of the best books written about screwing up and finding your footing a bit late in life.

It reminds one that it’s never too late to start- to find your passion, a hobby, to exercise, to find a partner/companion, to settle down, to start a family, to travel, to write a book, to do anything in life.

Deeply saddened by his sudden death, I stayed in bed all day watching his show Parts Unknown, grieving the loss of an incredible soul. May his soul rest in peace. Mental illness is for real. Depression is a disease. This article from Joanna Goddard highlights why depression is a disease, not a personality trait and why it’s so important to reach out for help.

 

I’ve had my fair share of fight with this disease. There have been so many dark thoughts and times that I’ve been through, where the meaning of life had seemed all vanity at a certain stage, where darkness and terror of the mind and soul had crisscrossed, where I had felt so hollow and desperately lonely even when I’ve had everything that I’ve ever wanted. A point where I’ve felt so sad and grief-stricken though I was loved and cared the most. Probably, this might be the reason why I’ve not been able to find a footing, all my life I’ve been a wanderer. I’ve never been able to stay in a place for too long, I’ve just moved on and on to never turn back else I shall turn to a pillar of salt like Lot’s wife. But my faith in God, the Almighty has have my heart filled with spirituality and made me realize how precious I am, as a human being, that there’s a purpose of life, of each and every one of us. You are precious and very special! Never hesitate to seek help.

Writing helps me to hold un-to my sanity. My mind is thinking and restless all the time. It’s at peace only when I bleed it down in papers. I’m taking a stroll or eating at a restaurant but my mind is thinking of stories and ideas all the time. Even at 3am, I wake up to write it down, just to take the weight off my shoulders. Reading helps me escape the reality. I feel it’s so important for one to develop a hobby which help us to pursue life meaningfully.

Speaking of thoughts and my restless mind, I quickly jump out of bed, wear a blue windbreaker matching it with my pair of shorts, grab my wallet and head out the door for a quick bite. New York weather can be so strange, it can be chilly all of a sudden in summer without a slight warning. The weather transcends from winter to summer with spring missing in between. The weather is the most talked about thing here, I guess. I’ve never been this obsessed with the weather. Planning a day out? Check the weather. Deciding your outfit? Check the weather. And it’s the most chilly when the sun is out and about. I’ve been duped several times, by this weather! I will never be able to figure out the estranged weather here.

As a new kid on the block, I’m still learning to navigate my ways around here. Craving for dumplings in one of the most diverse boroughs in the city, I look up for the best dumping place near me on the map only to find that it was closing soon for the night. Disappointed, I settle for a large slice of cheese pizza in a small pizza deli nearby my place.

Home to 8.5 million people, New York City is the most densely and diversely populated city in the world. Why have people left their homelands and families to come to the United States? The following picture in Museum of National Archives in Washington DC has the answer.

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As I take a huge bite of the dripping cheese pizza, I look outside the glass window and see a sea of people, mostly South Asian. It feels a lot like being in Jaigoan. This isn’t an exaggeration by any means. Studies show that when emigrants immigrate they opt for places where people of the same ethnicity form a community to feel more welcomed. I still cannot believe that I had the best and the largest sel-roti of my life here for a dollar. At first, I thought it was doughnut. In Boston, it’s just 4 and half Bhutanese, half being my friend’s two and a half year old toddler and we stick together all the time that we have been tagged the ‘Bhutanese delegation’ and our house ‘the Bhutanese house’ at school. It exudes an exotic feeling when someone new you meet say ‘wow! You’re the first Bhutanese I’ve ever met.’

As I munch on the pizza, a bizarre feeling of being an alien cross me – that no one knows me and I do not know anyone here in this concrete jungle. As I quickly down my last bite of the pizza with a sweet grape juice, I leave the $5 bill (Yes! I basically had a $5 dinner ’cause I’m a student on a budget) on the counter and exit the deli walking few blocks down the road, back to my room to ruminate on another episode of life. This long summer break is a start to the writing of my book, perhaps.

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4 thoughts on “on mental illness and other rumination on life

  1. Beautiful piece. I read about Anthony Bourdain and I was like this disease doesn’t spare even the most famous guy on Earth. I could instantly connect and then it brought back flooding memories of my dark days with the disease too. It is a shame that many Bhutanese suffer from this disease but it is hardly talked of. Some get out well but most don’t. I consider myself lucky to have come out of it. I am seriously thinking of doing something in this regard to help our fellow beings.

    Take care and keep writing. I love your flow of writing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you aue!

      It’s true that mental disease will be one of the leading causes of death in the near future and the stigmatization of it not only in Bhutan but also in the developed world is a serious concern. Glad that there’s (i.e you) have serious thoughts on doing something about it. We want more agents of change. Congratulations for coming out of it as a winner.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Just lovely, reminds me of why we are friends! We share the same thoughts and we are going through it together. Always grateful for our friendship❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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