Rum and Coke.

alcoholic final

I promised all of you that over the course of the next two weeks I will post about me and the kind of life I’ve had so that the people who read and comment know the kind of person they’re sharing a piece of themselves with. If you have not read it yet, you can read it here.

Here goes another piece of me.

As always,

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And Love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“It’s been around 4 and a half years since I’ve been drinking. My relationship with alcohol has been rocky to say the least. I know I am just 21. I know I am but young and have miles to go. But this has happened. And it’s real. For me, it is.

Before I begin I wanted to explain the simple difference between an alcoholic and someone who just drinks. An alcoholic does not know when to stop. He/she turns to alcohol for everything that goes down in their lives, however big or small. One glass turns into two and before you know it you’re puking your guts out to make space for more.

Do not get me wrong. I love alcohol. I remember one night when I mixed my sleep medication with booze, I just curled up next to my mother and I told her, “Maa, I do not think I can live without it. I am just not me.” I was crying profusely and I was a month sober before this. Withdrawals are real. They happen. You just don’t know how bad they can get.

Yes, I am only 21.

Alcohol just makes me lose myself. To be honest, it helps me open up. Not anymore, though. But that is why and how it all started. It started in school. During my first year of college, I would drink a quarter of rum and be done. Then came second year. A quarter turned into litres. I hate blaming others for my mistakes, but to a certain extent I have to accept the fact that things at home were bothering me. Things that I can’t share because it’s not really my story.

I have this habit of blaming myself. I did kind of blame myself for it all. Even when my sister had THE accident, I blamed myself. She fell from the fourth floor if you’re wondering. But that’s not the point.

Alcohol became my answer for everything. Then came the sleepless nights. Then the auditory hallucinations. Visual hallucinations. Pills. Mixing them with alcohol. This vicious cycle ended with me downing 16 pills when I was around 3-4 litres of alcohol down. I wanted to kill myself because it was just too much. The nightmares, the lifestyle, panic attacks, insomnia, continuous intoxication. I’ve hurt so many people in the process and I’ve been really glad to have such people who’ve stuck with me no matter what.

You know how they say you’ll know your real friends when you’re down and broken? They were right. You do.

I will not lie. After that incident, my parents were so patient and helpful it was really touching. I’ve been blessed with a brilliant family. They do not understand me. And at the same time even though they would not show it, I know who to turn to when things go south. I totally understood why they wanted to send me to a rehab. But they didn’t. Do not worry.

I still drink. Alcoholics anonymous is useless by the way. If you ever wish to seek their help, DON’T. Doctors won’t help you either. They’ll not understand and more often than not you’ll just use your pills to mellow yourself down.

How did I get better? I didn’t. I still can and would drink litres of alcohol. But I know when to stop. I do know. As phony as it sounds, I do. I know there are certain times I should drink and certain times I shouldn’t. That separates me from my old self.

I am not an alcoholic. Maybe I am. But I do not think it still has as much power over me.

Why did I write this today?

Because I am going to drink today.

Thank you.”

*****

-Aitijya Sarkar

PS- For any post contributions, email us at- thewallandus@gmail.com.

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Sleep. Peace.

Dreams Reality
So a friend of mine recently told me that for a person who does not know me, for them it will be difficult to trust me. They probably want to share something, but they’re hesitant because they do not know who they are sharing it with. This got me thinking.

So, The Wall is all about pain and memories and sharing. It’s the idea that no matter who you are, what you think, what you feel, whatever you’re going through and whatever you’ve gone through, you are not alone. There is someone else out there who has gone through the same or is going through the same. It’s about letting that person know that they are not alone.

So here I am. Over the next couple of weeks, I will tell you about me. So that you can connect and know the kind of person I am. I am not much of a sharer but I will try, because there is nothing I’ve believed in more than I believe in the idea behind The Wall. No one deserves to be alone.

As always,

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And Love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“Sleep has become a bit of a problem lately. It’s difficult to explain, but I will try my best. The condition that has been plaguing me for quite some time now is something known as panic induced night terrors. It’s basically nightmares accompanied by a panic attack.

What happens is that I do not understand the difference between a dream and reality. The dreams are so complex and real it feels like the things that are happening in my dream are all real. For example, if I am drowning in my dream I think I am drowning for real, and then I start gasping for breath. So someone at that moment has to wake me up, because I do not realize it is actually a dream. If I am still sleeping, I feel like I am about to die, because in reality I actually am, since I’ve been out of breath for almost about a minute.

Funny as it sounds, that pretty much sums it up.

It’s been happening for a year now. Initially it started off with one or maybe even two in a week. Then their intensity increased to three or four each week and they became more complex with time.

Then came a time, when it became very very regular. That is when my mind started fearing sleep. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they suffer from insomnia. But, that moment, when I was just too scared to go to sleep, that is when I realized the gravity of it all. At one point, I did not sleep for 5 days straight. I am not even kidding here. Not one hour of sleep.

It was funny how I told my family about it. Because think about it, sleep? Really?

I’ve been to five doctors since. I’ve been prescribed 12 different pills, and bought more than 200 of them. That made it worse. These pills, they just f*** your mind up. I started having auditory hallucinations, visual hallucinations and so much more. I started abusing my medication to escape all of it. They mellowed me down and gave a happy high. My brain was stressed. My body was stressed and I was just plain tired. I thought I was losing my mind and I wanted to check myself into a psychiatric facility.

What was my response?

I turned to alcohol as always. I don’t want to talk about alcohol too much today because alcohol has always had a love-hate relationship with me. So SHE deserves a separate post altogether.

I am not better. These things still happen. Maybe not every day or as often but they do. I stopped any form of medication, because I don’t believe in them. It has always been difficult to explain all of this but I hope whoever reads this understands or tries to. My dreams are so complex you will not understand how weird and real they are.

So that’s about it. Why I wrote this today?

Because yesterday was a bad night.

Thank you.”

*****

– Aitijya Sarkar

PS- For any post contributions, email us at- thewallandus@gmail.com

Home.

Home

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“Home.

What is it? Does it define us? Is it really important?

I’ve been plagued by these questions for some time now.

My story started in Kolkata, West Bengal. I was born and brought up here. All my firsts, starting from learning to talk, learning to stand, learning to write, learning to understand the world and its people, every first started here. This place, out of thousand other places became the reason for my existence.

How could a place so small become so important? The point of this post is to find an answer to that.

When I started thinking about this question, one recurring answer came to mind, my family. This place does have something that no other place in this world has, my family. It is my family that roots me to this place. My brother says “You never give up on your family.” Indeed! What I have learnt is that when everything else ends, it is our family that stays. Family never leaves, never judges and never hates. It has always been the only static in my life.

I believe everything is built on a foundation. A tree will not survive the storm if it did not have strong, firm roots to hold it still. A building will not survive gravity unless it has those iron rods to give it foundation. A relationship will not mature if it did not have the foundation of love, mutual respect and trust. An artist can never dream and create if he does not have the foundation of his imagination.

Foundation.

Family gives foundation. The courage to fight the world, to stand up for yourself, to chase your dreams, to learn to feel, to learn to love, to learn to trust, to learn to laugh, to learn to share pain. The basis for your existence becomes your family. The air to give flight to the wild creature buried deep inside your heart. It becomes the roots for one’s tree of life to expand and branch out.

It is a family that makes a building made of bricks, a home. A place to go back to when all else fails. A place to run and to hide.

A home.”

*****

– Aishwariya Sarkar

Just Be There.

The pain

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“I was talking to my friend the other day, about death. We were talking about how both of us had never seen someone close to us go away, and how much it would affect us. We spoke about how even though some people might not be very close to us, their presence did actually affect us.

Their loss was going to be something we wouldn’t be able to handle and how even though everything was going to be so difficult, death was inevitable at the end of the day. During this conversation, my friend shared this incident with me, which really kept me thinking. Here’s what she said.

Oh, one of my friends almost killed herself once. That’s something.

My friend was bright and cheerful the night before she showed me the scars across her wrists. First it was like ‘Ah, maybe she’s going through an emo phase’ but then she showed them to me again and I saw how deep they were. She wasn’t trying to let go of her pain, she wanted to end it. I spent most of the day away from her, simply because I didn’t know what to do. How can you say ‘It’s going to be okay’ to someone whose pain you can’t comprehend.

She had everything. Loving parents, brother, the best of clothes, best of phones, school President within a week of her joining. But yeah, she was hurting. Slowly, people started to move away from her, called her dramatic but I couldn’t wrap my head around that either. It was so clear that she needed someone. So I guess my way of fighting the idea of one of my best friends trying to leave this world was simply staying with her.

No, I wasn’t the one who’d be there and talk her out of her actions. I wasn’t the one who’d even give her advice. None of us could possibly offer that. But yeah, she found comfort in the fact that there was someone there beside her, even if she wasn’t doing anything. It’s pretty hard to imagine the things people go through. But yeah, you can’t just let them succumb to it.

After she told me about this, I asked her if that girl was fine. She said she’d cut off from everyone and in her own space she was probably fine. I wanted to know what exactly the girl was going through. What had happened to her? My friend replied that she just kind of gave up depending on people and started focusing solely on herself and what she had to do to have a good life. She would study all night and only talk to people once boards were done. But now, she’s in a great college which is just one of the many that she got into.

I thought a lot about it after we had the conversation.

I was glad to know that my friend thought that way. I was proud of how she understood that girl, even though it must have been difficult to do so. We spoke more on this issue again. And my friend told me how she might not be a good consoler but when someone’s down she does feel for them and at times it’s good to give people space. And I think that’s actually true. At times, it’s okay to not give a shoulder to cry upon. But the fact that you’re there matters the most. Your presence matters.”

*****

-Ginelle

Live. Learn. Let Go.

 

Live. Learn. Let Go.

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“Friendship. What actually goes into this relationship?

You get to choose who you want to share it with and those people then become a major part of your life. On the surface, the reason for your choice is pretty simple. You like similar things, like movies, music, food, sitcoms, etc.
Or you may like or hate the same people.

But more often than not, it has more to do with a connect that you feel with an individual, a connection you can’t control.
A connection that forms the entire foundation of this relationship.

So what happens when over a period of time, this connection slowly starts breaking, chipping away the foundation with it until you’re left with nothing but a corpse of what you once had? What do you do then?

Do you try to revive it? Do you burn it for good?

I’ve struggled with these two questions for the longest time in my life. Not because I didn’t know which one to choose, but because I knew my choice and realized that I had known it for a long time too.

I was just afraid to make it. Looking back now I realize how stupid and unnecessary that fear was.

Recently, I read a post that my friend had written on being alone and appreciating yourself. She is someone who never fails to inspire me. The post got me thinking. Because being alone in life has been one of my biggest fears since I can remember. I don’t really know when, but along with my friends, I started doubting myself too.

Was I really too irritating? Do I sound annoying all the time? Was I the one who was the problem? Because after all, so many of them couldn’t be wrong.

I don’t think I gave these little problems and fights with them much thought, until one fine day, my so called friends sat me down, and began listing off everything that was wrong with me, one by one.

That day I hated myself so much that I couldn’t even look at my reflection.

It took me days to realize, that I was not the problem. And that I shouldn’t let others make me feel bad about myself.

Sure I am not perfect. I’m still not, but who is? It doesn’t mean I should have to listen to how much the people I considered friends didn’t like me.

My struggle with self doubt began from there and never quite ended to be honest. The 12 year old that I was, I didn’t speak to these friends for a few weeks before my fear of being left alone bought us back on speaking terms.

They were 12 too, so I can’t quite hold it against them, but when I look back, I can’t believe how much I let their words get to me.

When school ended and it was time to finally part ways, a shift from my old house came as an icing on the cake. And as much I feared it, I loved the idea of going to a different new college, alone. I got the wonderful opportunity to re-invent myself without the judging glares and behind the back whispers that seemed to follow me everywhere in an all girls’ school.

I grew as a person and realized that I had spent a major part of my school life being the girl I had never wanted to be- Who didn’t speak out, who was afraid of being alone and hated.

It wasn’t their fault though. As much as I’d like to blame them, I won’t, because even though we started this friendship together and on the same page, we got lost among the years that followed and went different ways eventually.

We changed, for our own reasons and maybe even for the better.

We stopped understanding and relating to each other and we just disappeared from each other’s life.

I held on longer than I should’ve, and eventually I realized that all I did was hurt myself.

When people change, they do it for themselves. Instead of trying to change them back, you just have to let them go. That’s the only way you both can grow.

I learnt that, only, after facing my fear of losing people and being alone. Trust me, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

I still talk to these friends, but I no longer hold any grudge, anger- or expectations from them. I no longer feel the need to be included when I’m with them and I respect them for who they’ve become.

I’ve learnt that holding on to bad memories only makes your present worse creating more sad memories for you.

So live, learn, forgive and try as hard as you can to forget.

Because, there are a thousand more beautiful memories out there- waiting for you to make them happen.”

*****

-Dayita Panicker

Perfection? No, thanks.

I don't want a -perfect- body. I don't want a -perfect- soul. I am more than content being a Creep and a Weirdo.
Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****
I want a perfect body, I want a perfect soul.
But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo,
And I don’t belong here.
– Radiohead (Creep)

Perfection…such an ambiguous word.

According to the dictionary,

“Free from flaw or defect in condition or quality.”

But as a human, isn’t being perfect a fault unto itself? Isn’t it those little quirks of our own character, those little blemishes on our skin, that gives us an identity of our own- that makes us memorable?

Anything that does not conform to society’s norms of “acceptable” is deemed as faulty, weird and ugly. If you are short, they call you a Midget. If you are tall, they will call you a Flagpole? If you’re pale, they’ll call you a Ghoul. Once you get a tan to please them, you become ugly for some reason.

If you speak fluently or have a good sense of humour, you end up being called Whiny, Noisy, Boisterous or just Lame. If you keep to yourself, you become Uptight and Arrogant.

If you enjoy studying, they ridicule you by calling you a nerd. They are surprisingly certain that all you are capable of is mugging up books. If your interests lie outside academics, you become Dumb and Useless.

If you are conventionally ‘beautiful’, you invoke the green monster in others and immediately get stereotyped- Shallow, Bimbo, Superficial.

If not, well, there is an abundance of sneering and jeering and irrelevant name-calling awaiting you every day.

Whilst striving for physical perfection, we lose our sense of belonging- be it in school, or among our friends and family. How can we ever ‘belong’ when all we ever do is compare ourselves to others, get jealous or let our self-esteem take a hit?

A Perfect Soul?

I was once under the delusion that every soul is perfect. That every shade of black or white or grey was beautiful. Growing up taught me otherwise.

Being “pure” and “selfless”- these seem to be the criteria for Perfection. Anything that isn’t pure and translucent becomes a flaw by default.

I lie. I tell my father “I am fine, I am happy”, when actually, I feel like howling out my grief.

I do it to alleviate my father’s worries for me. I do it to reassure him. But I am a liar. I am an evil person, am I not? That speck of black tarnishes my could-have-been-perfect soul. Doesn’t it?

I see my “perfect” sister going about bullying her peers, acting like she owns the world. I get angry. I get so, so angry. And this too makes my soul flawed, no?

So, if you are looking for perfection my friend, you won’t find it here.

When I tried to blend in, I inadvertently stood out and got told off for it. So now I actively aim for non-conformity.

I don’t want a “perfect” body. I don’t want a “perfect” soul. I am more than content being a Creep and a Weirdo.

*****

– Anamitra

Perspectives.

Perspective

So everyone has a different way of looking at life. How one person would behave in a particular occasion would mostly be different from the person next to you.

Celebrating this very idea, over the course of the next two weeks, our posts would reflect people and their perspectives on life.

As always,

Read.

Listen.

Understand. And love.

We’re here. And we care.

*****

“Amidst a population whose demand for morals and common sense transcend the thirst for adventure, I have to pat myself on the back to have had absolutely no regrets with what I have been through so far in the past 18 years of my young life.

As a preschool kid, I’ve been in the good books of the teachers, having been categorized to be a smart kid since I was 3. I learnt the Alphabet and the Numbers with relative ease. I was agile and brave, according to my teacher. To be honest, the only thing I remember about preschool is sitting on her lap and playing minesweeper, Pacman and pinball on her desktop. I was partially dyslexic: I wrote an inverted S, N, and sometimes confused F for E, V for U, M for W, among others. Over the years, I learnt the common man’s way to write but I still write an inverted N while writing a H-  but, it doesn’t matter.

I am from a mediocre Bengali family who has had their tough times through debts, having to swap homes for survival. This has honestly made me tough, but to really strengthen myself, I needed to grow up. I was too young back then.

Time passed and I grew up with losses and wins, both physically as well as mentally. As my days in my hometown are numbered, I think I’m succumbing to my emotions that do not want me gone from this city. My batch mates have excelled in their endeavours and so have I, considering my only enterprise was to have fun in everything I did. I seldom did something I did not like. I ran away from school numerous times sometimes in a friend’s car-boot. I smoke weed pretty often and I do not regret having started it so early. I smoke, I drink. I do not party or go clubbing, but rather spend my time away from semi-naked people dancing until they regurgitate the booze. I love wandering around, sometimes sober… but mostly stoned or drunk.

This was all about me and what I do. Now, it is more about what I think, what my perspective holds true for me.

Life in general produces some moments of utter remorse. Your loved ones pass away, you lose your favourite “something”, heartbreaks, ailments, among numerous other issues. Life, too gives us some equally blissful times. For instance, a new love, a new undertaking, a new milestone, etc. Everything holds true the dynamic equilibrium of positivity and negativity. Every loss is a gain in experience and every gain is a base to exploit and overpower the limitations to reach new milestones and unlock new levels. On a personal note, I believe the only way to achieve it is first finding satisfaction and then using it to ones desire unleashing the potential of one’s physical self. Believe in quotations, civilize the mind but savage the body, live in the moment, test yourself, take risks. That’s how I learnt what are the things I’m good at.

Let me list my ideals of looking forward and remembering to rewind:

(Adages, Quotes, Phrases)

A: Appreciate whatever you have.

B: Be Positive.

C: Carpe Diem.

D: Dance like the floor is on fire.

E: Everything happens for a reason.

F: “For man is a giddy thing, and this is my conclusion”

G: Greet those you despise with more comfort than the ones you love.

H: “How soon is now?”

I: “If we sat in a circle and confessed our sins, we’d laugh at each other for the lack of originality.”

J: Just do it.

K: Kings and Pawns belong to the same chess set.

L: Live, don’t pretend to survive.

M: Make every moment count.

N: Never say Never.

O: “Out beyond the ideas of right and wrong doing, there is a field. I will meet you there. When our soul lies on that grass, the world would be too full to talk about; ideas, language, even the phrase each other would not make sense.”

P: “Put my head under a pillow and let the quiet put things where they are supposed to.”

Q: Quantize your emotions.

R: Record all your memories.

S: Stars cannot shine without Darkness.

T: Treat obstacles like adversities.

U: Unicorns are real, they just look different in reality.

V: “Vicariously, I watch while the whole world die.”

W: “We accept the love we think we deserve.”

X: “X-Men are a metaphor of acceptance; they have sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them.”

Y: “Your love makes me strong, your hate makes me unstoppable.”

Z: Zzzzz…”

*****

– Anonymous.