Hard as it is, I am compelled to say
Everything I had managed to keep hidden to this day
Behind a beguiling smile it was much easier to hide
Than to display the tsunami raging inside
Who had the time, who would have understood me
In a world where perception is considered reality..
Benumbed I lumbered from day to day
Existing- ghostlike, not living in any meaningful way..
The world..closing around my throat
Drowning, just drowning in a deep dark moat..
Living in a body that was struggling to survive
With a mind that wanted to stop being alive..
The days went on, off my tongue excuses flew
I said I was exhausted, there was too much to do
I stuck to ailments, or ailments stuck to me
Acknowledging physical pain was easier, definitely
Aimless, directionless, hopeless, I drifted further away
Deeper I sank into the black hole of depression each day
When life seemed like a burden too heavy to bear
When I was at the point I did not really care
When jumping off the proverbial cliff appeared
To be the only solution to my pain, destiny interfered….
That day I was going to jump off a bridge and die
It was a gloomy day, rain poured from the sky
What rescued me was my lifelong disdain
Of getting drenched in the falling rain-
I took refuge in a church nearby
And decided to pray before I could die
I tried to pray but in my benumbed state
No coherent prayer could my mind formulate
Just then I heard a gentle voice asking me
If I had something to confess- it would unburden me
This was a sign from above, and all of a sudden
A deluge opened up, and out poured the hidden
Feelings of despair, depression, hopelessness
The kind priest listened, and understood my distress
Instead of the bridge, to a hospital I was headed
Despite my depression, this was the one place I dreaded
If people knew I was mentally ill, how would they react
Even in my despair I could not bear the ignominy of that..
Yet I surrendered to the priest who accompanied me
I got treated, got the resources I needed desperately
The struggle has not completely gone away
But I am much better than I was, today
One empathetic ear became my lifeline
I consider this intervention divine
Sometimes the difference between
Life and untimely death could mean
Just one person ready to lend an ear
Someone you can confide in without any fear
Today I sit, on the other side
Lending an ear to someone contemplating suicide
I volunteer for a suicide prevention hotline
With this, a purpose I’ve been able to find..
(This poem was prompted by the untimely death by suicide of a young talented Indian actor.)