Still, I Rise, commentary by Parika Bhatli at
Dan Meyers

Still, I Rise

Still, I Rise

written by: Parika Bhatli



Hey, folks, I hope you are doing good. I hope that you are taking care of your health both physically and mentally. Many of you may wonder what this blog is about or why is she still trying to write blogs since she has won the battle against depression. Well, to be honest, yes, I have won, but I have a long way to go. My mission since the start was to end the stigma behind depression, make it normal to talk about it and make sure no one goes into this deep black hole because I do know what it’s like to be on that side. So it’s a long road to take, and I won’t stop unless the stigma against depression is eliminated. Today, my blog will talk about the most important things that are being ignored/neglected. These are anxiety, emotions and how one feels. Yup, I am touching down the most common topics here which are neglected, so please read them carefully and if you relate at any point. I am right here. To begin with, the word anxiety in itself is scary. There are many kinds of anxiety, a few of them are anxiety before going out, anxiety before taking that final step, anxiety when something is going smoothly in life, etc. But then there is one hidden anxiety that makes your mind heavy, you have that tingling sensation in your body, or when anxiety gets worse, your left arm starts paining. This one is the dangerous one, how do I know? Because I have been there. I know what it’s like to have an anxiety or panic attack. I know very well how they disturb your daily routine. Having an anxiety or panic attack is worse because if one is not aware of it, it pretty much seems like a heart-attack (no kidding). When someone is having an anxiety attack, one’s life seems upside down. He/she doesn’t know what to do or how to approach that pain. Well, the first and foremost step is to hold your left arm and just try to breathe. Breathe in and out for about 5–10 minutes and then have some water. Of course, there are prescribed SOS available for them if things go out of hand, but first, you need to be aware of what’s happening to you. Because then only you can tell your therapist, and he/she can guide you further in the case of panic attacks, it depends upon person to person. For me, when I used to get panic attacks, the thing that affected me the most was my breath. I was not able to breathe, it took me sometimes 15–20 minutes to get back to normal. But those 20 minutes were the worst because whenever it happened, I almost felt as if I was dying, or I wouldn’t be able to make it. But that’s not the case, you can’t die from a panic attack (yes, it took me a while to understand this). Panic attacks come (as per my experience) when your overthinking exceeds your limit to think or when that small trigger becomes huge. For me, triggers were a few words that I was not able to hear or take in. Also, when I was under clinical depression, too many people around made me anxious, and my panic attack would form, and eventually, I would go breathless. Thankfully, with time, I was able to cope up and identify my triggers and areas that might cause an attack, but then I did not avoid them, I accepted them, faced them gradually and worked on them. I completely understand the fact that it’s easier to read them and somehow accept them, but it’s tough when one goes through them. But then here is a twist, how did I overcome them? I am also a normal human being like you, I don’t have special powers to beat those attacks. Everyone out there has this one power which they tend to forget, and that’s your will to fight the god damn thing down. That inner voice keeps on pushing you whenever you think you have given up. That’s the strongest tool one has. We tend to forget that, but then there are people (including me) who are there for you to make you realise what you might have forgotten. These attacks are tough to handle but then all you need to do is be aware of what is happening to you, accept it, not neglect it and eventually seek help. There is no shame in taking therapy. It’s for your good. Seek help, it’s right there. The next most important thing one needs to focus on is how one feels. It might include feelings and emotions like anger, fear, sadness, disgust and loneliness. Emotions are an essential part of who you are, but they can be messy, complicated, and downright confusing sometimes. Emotions can be complicated. Some might feel intense, while others seem mild in comparison. You might feel conflicting emotions at any given time. But emotions can serve a purpose, even when they’re negative. Instead of trying to change the emotions you experience, consider how you react to them. It’s usually the reactions that create challenges, not the emotions themselves. Similarly, feelings don’t try to kill you, even the painful ones. Anxiety is a feeling grown too large. A feeling that has grown aggressive and dangerous. You’re responsible for its consequences. But you’re not responsible for causing it. You’re not morally at fault for it. For me, sadness and loneliness are a part of me, especially since the moment I was under depression. It affects my mood badly. There are still times when I just cry before going to bed because I feel way too lonely. I feel as if there is no one to understand me. I get so god damn lonely and sad and filled with regrets some days it overwhelms me. I can’t help it, and I can’t stop it. Sometimes it hurts, but I’m learning to breathe deep through it and keep walking. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. To comfort my own heart when I wake up sad. To find small bits of friendship in a crowd full of strangers. To find a small moment of joy in a blue sky, on a trip somewhere not so far away or a long walk early in the morning. No one will come riding on a white horse and take all your worries away. You have to save yourself, little by little, day by day. Take care of your body. Find something to work on. Something that makes you excited, something you want to learn. Get yourself some books and read them, take yourself out for dinner. Dress up for no one but you and simply feel nice. It’s a lovely feeling to feel pretty/handsome. You don’t need anyone to confirm it. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I am slowly building myself a home with things I like. Colours that calm me down, a plan to follow when things get dark, a few people I try to treat right. I don’t sometimes, but I intend to do so. I’m learning. I’m learning to make things nice for myself. I’m learning to save myself. I’m trying, as I always will. And so can you. Always remember the fact that — You don’t have to be positive all the time. It’s perfectly okay to feel sad, angry, annoyed, frustrated, scared and anxious. Having feelings does not make you a negative person. It makes you human. Here, sharing also plays an important role. It’s as simple as if you don’t tell someone you like, then how will the other person get to know that you do? Sometimes it needs more than actions to convey what you want from the other side. If you feel helpless, alone, lonely, scared, then share. Just get up, talk to your family/loved ones about what exactly you are feeling and with their help try to figure out the why/how of it. And then seek help. But first, you need to share. I am still learning this, there are days when I keep things to myself, and eventually one day it comes out as an outburst, but till the time it isn’t out, my whole week/days are super sad and cranky. So please, start speaking out, venting out and keep sharing about what and how you feel. It’s very important because you cannot always win a fight on your own, sometimes you need other people to help guide you on what’s best for you. Finally, it’s your fight, but sharing makes it a little easier to fight, I am not a professional, but I am a messenger who is there to listen, help and guide based on my experience with clinical depression. I have been through that road, so when I say I can understand, I do. All I can say is, you may be currently living in the shadowy world of an unstable sense of self, anxiety or fear, DO NOT QUIT. Keep moving forward, keep reaching out. I have been where you are now, and I promise you that freedom lies on the other side of fear Mental health is important for everyone. So know that if you’re facing a mental health challenge, you are not alone! The only advice I’d give to somebody that’s silently struggling is, you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to struggle in silence. You can be un-silent. You can live well with a mental health condition as long as you open up to somebody about it because you must share your experience with people so that you can get the help that you need. You are not alone.
Ending this blog by a quote – “More than anything, my wish for you is this: That when your awful darkest days come, you will know you’re not alone. The pain will tell you to keep quiet, but that’s a lie. Life is fragile and we all break in different ways. I hope you know you can be honest. I hope you know that you can ask for help. It is positively okay to ask for help. It simply means you’re human. Help is real and it is possible; people find it every day.” ― Jamie Tworkowski
Take care, hugs from afar. See you next time.

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