I saw a man, walking towards me, very clearly, vividly. I stood there – in silence, shocked. I knew him. But I hadn’t seen him for 2 years now, exactly two years. How could he walk and come right at me?
We’re not in the same city, or country or continent, I think.
But he’s right there, how? I look at the face closely, his eyes staring at me. I can’t take it anymore. I have been scared of him before. He used to stalk me, send me emails, call me from several different numbers, haunt me in every way possible. But I saw him 2 years back, when he was moving. I did receive some anonymous emails during that time. My mind always thought it was him, at a point my mind dreaded opening emails, fearing it might be him.
His presence in any way was, and still is, scary and unpleasant.
But how could I see him again? Why is this happening? I sweat, I’m uncomfortable.
I know I can’t take him. I want to be away from him.
I run, and run and run. Surprisingly there’s no sound, it’s just images. His presence, me running, the birds I see around. Where did the sound go? How can I not hear the bird chirp or the wind blow or his voice that I dread.
This makes me uncomfortable, I sweat. I think, I sweat. I’m confused, definitely.
I see his face again, coming closer.
This time I think I scream, I feel a touch. I am scared, I scream and ask him to go away.
I feel the touch again on my left shoulder, firmer this time. Now I start hearing some sounds, some words, I hear my name.
But wait; it’s a different voice, a familiar voice, a voice I love.
I open my eyes slowly and realise my brother, asking if I’m fine. I say yes.
I see tears down my eyes.
I ask him to go to sleep and I lay awake in bed. I lay awake until I’m tired of it.
It’s a pretty regular night for me.
Most of the time it’s difficult to tell dreams for reality.
But if the dream is affecting my reality so much isn’t it reality too?
What’s real, what’s not? Why is it so confusing? It wasn’t like this before, before I had certain issues with my mental health.
I ask myself sometimes, the bags under my eyes, the confusion in my head, the difficulty trusting people, the fear of making friends; is that something I deserved? Most of the time my mind says NO.
But sometimes when I’m in a reality that might not be real, the answer is different.
That answer makes me question myself again. Do I deserve it?
Does anyone deserve it? And yet again, in the more ‘normally-accepted’ reality, that most people live in; my mind screams NO.
I think it’s a loop. It’s not easy to come out of it.
I guess that’s what mental health disorders can do to you sometimes.
It robs you off your creativity, objectivity and identity. It restricts you from seeing the hope at the other side of the tunnel. It makes you feel worthless at times and guilty of things happening around you.
When you dream, and you wake up and you have no idea about what’s real and what’s not. Those hallucinations, they are scary, when you have to double check each and every thing (because you can’t tell between reality and perceptions).
Sometimes even when you know you are sleeping, it’s so vivid that your brain gets confused, if it’s real or not? And you have to wake up each and every time something bad happens in the dream.
It leads to insomnia, it leads to tiredness, confusion between dream and reality.
It always makes me wonder how complex is our brain? And are we doing enough for mental health?
To anyone reading this and struggling with any mental health issues, I have a message for you:
“You are more than a disorder. You are an individual filled with ideas and energy. Don’t let that go to waste.
We don’t try to cure cancer on our own, nor should we try to battle mental health disorders on our own. To quote one of Robin Williams’ movie personas, “You’ll have bad times, but it’ll always wake you up to the good stuff you weren’t paying attention to.”
Everyone’s life has value, and mental illness does not diminish this. Please seek support and speak up if you are not feeling OK, and let’s build a resilient network where everyone feels safe.“