Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Alcohol is bad for you. Alcoholism can ruin your life. Alcohol changes who you are, it's addictive, it's dangerous.

We've heard it before. In different ways, from different people. In movies, in books. Yes, there are those media outlets which glorify alcohol and its effects, but that's a topic for another day.

What you will never be told, is how alcoholism affects the people around you. How addiction is not something that exists in a microcosm of you and your problems, but how it can insidiously and thoroughly permeate every aspect of the lives of the people closest to you. Your family, your friends.

They don't tell you how when you live with a person who struggles with alcoholism, family or friend, it changes your life. It affects you in ways you can't even recognise or identify.

They don't tell you the long monologue that will play in your head the first time you are offered a drink. The intense thought and analysis that goes into the decision to just take a glass and take a sip, even if it is in the most trusted of company. And they don't even say that it happens every time and that eventually, though you get better at drowning it out, it will never go away.

They don't tell you about the way you read obsessively about addiction, just to see whether you can become an addict too. About how you read all the studies which talk about it being genetic and about nature vs nurture, just because you are so scared that you'll become one, just because it runs in your family.

They don't tell you how early on you are faced with a choice. Either to take in the things you see around you and use them as an excuse forever or to use them as an example of what you never want from your life. And how you will wrestle with that choice constantly.

They don't say how sometimes living with addiction around you makes you grow up too soon. And also how it can make you want to hold on to every childlike thing in your life because growing up means too much possibility of pain.

They don't tell you how you instantly get on guard when anyone around you is drinking. How you suddenly feel like you have to be the responsible one. About how you can become judgemental and argumentative but how you can't completely explain that it comes only from a place of concern. About how social drinking makes you anxious because somehow you didn't know that people could actually have fun with alcohol around. And how long it will take you realize that but that tiny nugget of fear in your head will never disappear. How that fear isn't even something you can articulate and how you will never stop wrestling with it.

They don't tell you how you question anything anyone says to you when there is alcohol around. How you scoff at it being liquid courage. How you can't trust because you have heard the worst things come out of a person's mouth just because they were drunk. How you question the authenticity of something that comes from chemical influence. How you don't even trust yourself when you have had something to drink.

They don't say that it might take you years to ever be in a comfortable enough place to drink with your closest friends.

They don't say how terrified you are of drinking alone even if it is in the comfort of your own home. Even if it is just a glass of wine with dinner. How it becomes reckless and wrong to enjoy yourself even in the privacy of your most secure place.

They won't tell you how to deal with the crushing guilt that comes from not being able to forgive. How you punish yourself for being a bad person. About how you don't deserved anything because you are too small-minded to move on.

They don't teach you how to forgive yourself for being angry and hurt. To forgive yourself your hate.

People don't talk about these things.

So yes, alcoholism is bad and you need to be careful. Not because you will be affected. But because you can leave wounds that never heal.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Love is ugly, deformed, cruel.

If you’re looking for niceties and some epiphanic piece of revealing life advice that will help you solve your love life, close this page and move on to the quotes section of Pinterest, or any number of those self-help websites that would do a much better job of it. This is not for you.

What this is, is a seemingly verbose piece of vehemence that is revealing, yes, if only in the way that it will remind you how much better off you are not subjecting yourself to the slow, extremely painful torture that is romantic love.

There is no one you can blame for your love life but yourself. You might curse at the vagaries of fate and the twists of chance that led you to the moment that you decided to “be in love”, but you were the one who chose the path you are presently on and so there there is no one else you can curse for your life. You are the master of your own misery, the creator of your own shitty existence.

Love happens and then everything goes down shit street.

Love lifts you up with a kind of joy that absolutely nothing else in this world can give. It also brings you down to crash so hard that parts of your body that you didn’t even know existed will start to physically ache.

It will teach you the intense pleasure of the smallest moments and the intense pain of the big ones.

It will make you want to bare yourself naked to your love, show him/her every part of yourself. Then it will remind you exactly why you shouldn’t. Exactly why you need to protect them from you.

It will tell you to drop your masks, your acts and then laugh when you collapse into yourself when you do, only so that you can then learn make more intricate ones and get better at holding them up.

Love doesn’t kill you, but it doesn’t let you live either. It’s like that dialogue from an old Bollywood movie, “Main usko liquid oxygen mein rakhoonga. Liquid use jeene nahi dega aur oxygen use marne nahi dega.”

It changes you, the person you are, the person you thought you were, the person you want to be. It constantly destroys and rebuilds you. Painfully, from the inside out.

It is the kind of maddening paradox that can allow you to be the best and worst person you have ever been all at the same time.

It is an addiction of the worst kind, that to a person, a feeling. Much harder to give up than any physical addiction.

Love is the worst illusion, leading you to believe in happy endings, making you hope. All it is doing is making it more difficult to wake up to reality, every single day.

It is all-consuming. It burns all it touches. All-powerful.

It cannot be expressed. It cannot be summarised. It cannot be explained. But it makes you want to try. It seeks release while negating all forms of release.

It brings out the base in you. The jealousy, hate and anger you can otherwise control. It whispers seductively in your ear and screams in your head.

Borrowing from one of my favourite musicians, love is like slow dancing in a burning room. Knowing the end is near, that everyone leaves, that people change and go away, but leaving you with no option but to stay.

Love is dirty, ugly, base.

Love is death.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sometimes when something is forcibly taken away from you, it's a way to start afresh. To discover again, to create again. Because you would never have been able to do it yourself. The universe had to do something, something out of your control, to make it happen. And it's a way to put things in perspective, reevaluate and start from scratch all over again.

Bullshit.

It's a horrible feeling. When something you've invested your time and patience in is just gone. When the memories that you were so scared of forgetting, the things you hoarded and cared for and loved, just vanish. Something that is a part of who you are, an essential part of the tiny things that make you exactly the person you are today, is lost, there is no way to get it back. There is no starting afresh and putting things in perspective. There is anger, sadness, a sense of hopelessness and just emptiness where once a bit of you rested.

Those pieces are never coming back and don't listen to those people who tell you that it's okay because it isn't.

They'll tell you, "at least you didn't lose something more. The rest is still there." And that only makes it worse.

When you are broken, you can't be thankful for what's left. Yes, it's the smart, logical, sane thing to do. And yes, you will eventually move on, because humans are adaptable and they are constantly learning.

But those missing pieces will never come back. You'll just probably build around those holes.

Don't let people tell you that those things don't matter. That they aren't important. You decide what you care for and what defines you. And only you know how much it hurts.

So grieve. Mourn. Cry. And rebel against the unfairness of it all.

Those people will never understand.

But you know. You remember.

Your missing pieces deserve it.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Three Little Pigs

My mother used to read me the story of the Three Little Pigs when I was a kid. It was one of my favourite stories. I remembered every sentence and would do the whole huff and puff bit every single time it came. I am told I was extremely amusing when I did it.

I was thinking about the story today. About the last pig's brick house and how the wolf huffed and puffed with all his might but he couldn't blow the house down.

I feel like this year, I have been that wolf. Not in the "I want the pig because pigs equal bacon" way. But in the way that I feel like I have had a brick house inside me. Full of negativity and hurt and anger and jealousy and just a lot of darkness. And I have been huffing and puffing against this physical heaviness and have constantly been failing. The load seems a little lighter sometimes, and it feels like maybe I'm just a little closer to destroying it, and I do a little happy Chandler dance, but then the weight returns, just like before.

It's gotten more and more difficult to keep huffing and puffing. And it's not like anyone can help me with it either. The wolf never did have help. The house gets bigger every day and heavier and just that much more painful. I feel like letting it crush me, because it would be so much easier. I wouldn't have to huff and puff anymore. At least I wouldn't be constantly breathless and tired and sad.

I don't even know why I keep going, to be honest. Huff and puff and huff some more.

Remember how the story of Three Little Pigs ended? The wolf dies a horrible painful death.

I sure hope that's not how my story ends.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Rein it in

Rein it in.

Dial it back.

Tone it down.

The world needs none of your effervescence, ebullience, enthusiasm.

It's the age of 140-character expressions, single-sentence status updates, check-ins, emoticons, grammatically incorrect text messages.

Practise your serious face in front of the mirror every day. Indifference is a good look to aim for.

Try an ironic smile. It's all the rage now. Oh and make sure, no teeth. Smiles which light up your eyes will make you look deranged, so must be avoided at all costs.

Keep your emotions in check. No one appreciates your excitement. It isn't fashionable.

Do not rage and rant. It makes you look ugly. And it makes you look like you care enough for something for it to let it affect you. Caring is unnecessary. And tantrums are unflattering.

Do not cry or show sadness to anyone. Use your pillow, the shower. Any sign of vulnerability is an immediate turn off. It shows a lack of depth of character and an inability to show constraint. No one has time for your drama. No one gives a tiny rat's arse.

Effusive declarations of love will serve for immediate and harsh judgement. Expressing desire, passion, love or even fondness is stupid and childish and will be treated as such. It immediately scares people away.

Hide your emotions. Anything that appears human will be treated as weak. Lock it in. Fold all of it in on itself over and over and over again till it becomes a tiny little rolled up ball of emotion which you can swallow and digest. Locking them up into chests in the dark corners of your brain should also help. Apathy is the aim. Self-preservation is the name of the game.

Tone it down.

Dial it back.

Rein it in.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Flashes

Some things just sneak up on you. Taking you completely unaware. You could be merrily traipsing through life with not a care in the world. Till kablamo!

A memory you thought you had forgotten trips you up. Or you learn something ugly about someone you thought you knew. Or there is some new horror that your mind has decided to unleash on you.

Flashes.

Momentary. Yet enough to leave you breathless and powerless.

Like a giant sucker-punch that life deals you. Right between the eyes. Leaving you with a broken and bloody nose, tears streaming down your face, completely disoriented. And all you can do is curl up into a ball, waiting for the blood and tears to dry and for the image to dissipate, so that you can go back to living.

Just one flash.

That's all it takes for everything to go to hell.

One memory, one word, one look, one moment.

Life is pretty unfair that way. Especially the sheer simplicity of it.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Be who you are

Be who you are. And do not apologise for it.
Accept who you are. And do not apologise for it.
They say it like it's the easiest thing.
Repeat it like a mantra.
Be who you are. Who you are.

What if I know who I am is all wrong.
Not because they say it is.
Because I think it is, believe it is.
Because I know better.

I know the darkness, the light.
The ugly. I see the warts, the scars.
I feel the broken bones badly mended. That creak when I move. The wounds that are still bleeding and raw.
The filth and the disease inside.
Ugly.

What if I am the reason my relationships fit so badly.
I do too much, expect too little.
What if I am the reason we fight, the reason we unravel.
And I keep picking at the loose threads, making it worse.

We condemn the murderers, the thieves, the rapists.
We say they should not exist.
That they should atone, apologise, change, even die.
When maybe that is who they are.

We pass judgement
From pedestals built on hypocrisy and preconception
From our thrones of shit polished to look like gold
And in the same breath we say
Be who you are. And don't apologise for it.
Be who you are.

What if I am the thief, stealing moments that aren't mine
The liar, living under multiple masks, making appropriate conversation, saying everything right, face on, face off.
The murderer, killing a future that could be
The rapist, looting and plundering the soul of another in search of my own missing pieces.

When the mirror shows me wrong
When the principles I supposedly should stand by are ruining what I hold most dear
When this intelligence I pride myself on is eating me up from the inside
When my anxiety repeats to me how I deserve nothing, no one
When I lie down in the mud so everyone can walk over me
When I give and give while the world continues to take.

That is who I am.

Stuffing pouring out of my insides
A typhoon wreaking havoc in my brain
Words leaking out of my fingers
Bleeding ink and broken dreams
The spectres of my could-have-beens, should-have-beens, will-never-be my permanent companions.

That is who am.

How do I not apologise for it.