Salvaging Sanity

I wonder how did I get in the habit of writing letters… nobody.

Words following words, messages stacking across the pages in the form of letters – addressed to someone other than myself but no one in particular. I have written incessantly as if it’s epistolary pleading to a being of questionable existence. Tantalizing words kept spreading their tendrils all over my body, tightening its grip, choking, suffocating me until I learned to contain them. Ironically, it’s an internal battle which seldom surfaces on my outer appearance. Amidst the intermittent pangs of insanity, they seemed the only reasonable action to salvage my fading sanity.


I first thought of this post 9 months ago, sometime around the beginning of this year. Of course, that didn’t happen.  I couldn’t bring myself to write it because like a perceptible change in time that is a new year, you also want the new you – one who sheds off the burden, peels off the past that engulfs him. Well, things don’t work that way. The more you keep your it bottled, the stronger this concoction gets and it becomes increasingly harder to get rid of it until you set it free – whatever your way of doing that may be. Also, things don’t automatically become alright when you shift through this concept of time like traversing blocks of a human construct. It has to be made ok through conscious reconciliation.

The past two years felt like the toughest years of my life. This was also the time when some major changes happened – the people, the environment, the game – all of it were new. There were definitely good things that kept the light of fight alive. And a major weapon I had was to write it all down. I didn’t have anyone who could have listened patiently (it’s really tough man!) and I doubt if I would have done away with no writing at all even if I had. Believe me, I tried telling it. I did try hard.

It may have been the very first post this year on the blog – either this or ‘The Culture of Extremes‘ that still lies incomplete in my ever-growing drafts. But I couldn’t bring myself to give it a definite form. It was obscure, abstract and way more personal. And then it changed. Yes. Like any perishable item kept unpreserved over a significant period of time, this post also underwent an irreversible transformation. It didn’t remain the written account of the past two years. Instead, it became about this one.

Subconsciously, I had kept recording the moments of my insanity, moment of sinking thoughts and the instances when I felt I was imploding with the churning force of matter, in the personal notes on my phone. This is what it culminated to.

I know it’s totally haphazard. As much as I would have liked to recollect those moments with considerable accuracy, I have either forgotten them or outgrown them. I don’t exactly remember as to which thought, in particular, triggered each of these separate sentences. So I went discrete, even to myself and noted just the fleeting feeling of the moment. This way, it would also seem relatable to the reader even though the context might vary. Also, it has been presented verbatim in chronological order for the most part as was noted in those instances besides few grammatical corrections. Different paragraphs have been separated by the horizontal line.

Moments of Insanity

This withers my heart into a thousand pieces – insignificant bits of innocence slain by the cruelty of circumstances. Time, renewing everything I have held so dearly, keeping me bound in Saudade, drifting into the void, tied up – not moving, just living, just being. I bear this weight that is crushing my soul, pulling me down into the abyss of despair, teary eyes and shrinking heart, silent cries and shrieking screams from the pain I’m in. I wonder what could have I done differently.

I don’t know when it changed from imaginative to impulsive writing. When did my thumb start driving my mind instead of the other way round?

All my posts have been more of pushing out facts than voicing my thoughts and opinions. And this bugs me as a writer. What makes my writing different?

Sometimes, I can feel the chemical reactions happening inside my body. I’m not kidding. I could feel my feelings being affected in a mechanized predictable way.

All the impulsive decisions I have ever taken or maybe all the decisions I have ever taken have impulsively felt wrong. It happens just after the things go out of my control. The deed is done and it is to be decided whether it was right or wrong. But in that infinitesimal moment, it has felt wrong. Not the most optimum one for sure. And then I have chased my life making that decision correct. It has taken time for me to be at a position when I can say with surety that whatever I did was right.

My troubling dreams are so deeply rooted in the reality that I don’t know if it actually happened or were mere projections in my mind. They are becoming indistinguishable from real possibilities.

Frequently, I have been getting these stress hits, especially at night when all I think about are career prospects, my family and the direction life is heading to. It happens mostly late at night. I suddenly wake up and have a hard time sleeping. During the day, I can dissuade these feelings by getting involved in something that takes my mind off the situation but at night, when all is blank like the darkness that surrounds me and I am finally at the bed, inactive, all these thoughts come rushing in.

Looking inwards to probe my fundamental flaws, I see that I take a leap on trusting people more than what they deserve and that has eventually left my heartbroken. This optimistic heart of mine doesn’t refuse to give up and it is very much hopeful that someday it will find someone who appreciates my core values.

I listen to so many life-changing stuff – I read them in books, I get them for free during intellectually stimulating conversations and by listening to people who are smarter than me, people who possess much more life experience. And in those moments, I seem to grasp the meaning of it. I question myself about the characteristics of those habits, introspect my behavior in daily life and if I see the discrepancy, I decide how am I going to change from tomorrow. But when I try to remember those stuff on a random day when I feel uninspired or my actions let me down, I hardly seem to recall any of it. There is nothing but obscurity that prevails and the thoughts are miscible fluids than chunks of consolidated solids. I wonder what was the meaning of giving all those time to those activities? Does it amount to anything? Like it’s said about knowledge, I think, inspiration also works in the hindsight.

Does it matter? I have been asking this a lot lately, not in the act of play but in the afterthoughts.

There are instances when you realize that you are not in your senses. You can very well sense it – weird, isn’t it? And although you feel like making the situation better, you unintentionally keep making it worse. You seem to have no control and what comes out of your mouth adds fuel to the fire. While the intentions might have been very much the opposite, your actions further sabotage the dynamics.

What is it? What am I doing? This just doesn’t stop. One after the other, it keeps on coming. The same thing. The same stuff. Repetition. Loop whose end is not within my sight. How long will it continue? How long would I have to keep going through the tedious process again and again? Even though I’m progressing, all the work seems futile because it’s no longer discernible. It takes a toll on me mentally, seeping into my veins, clogging up my neurons, putting a mental haze in front of my eyes.

I am tired of telling people to do something or to act in a way derived from my own experience but they go ahead and do whatever they want to anyway, with total disregard to my feelings. As if I don’t matter at all. Am I so insignificant?

I feel like the concept of love evades me. I don’t even know what is it anymore? For a better part of life, I have believed in it diligently but then the circumstances sometimes dwindle even your core beliefs. It feels like trying to hold onto a fistful of sand, slowly dripping out of the crevices. But I keep wishing that I would hold onto at least one grain. How do I restore, reinstate this belief which is the fundamental reason for my existence?

Hold me close and hold me fast,

The magic spell you cast, 

La vi en rose;

Give your heart and soul to me

And life will always be

La vi en rose.

Salvaging Sanity

As of this moment, when the situation seems stable and I look back with a clear mind on everything I wrote above, I recall some of the actions that helped me cope up with them effectively. Consider this to be the sequel of everything I had mentioned in my ‘Lessons in Failing‘ post. The difference is that this post is more concerned about external factors while it was more about personal shortcomings in ‘Lessons in Failing’.

First of all, it’s decluttering and detachment. In the moments of insanity, we get so much entangled with the problem, fog our mind with all sorts of bubbling thoughts that we hardly see the solution lying in vicinity. It’s important to know what’s the most important thing to deal with at any particular moment. We fool ourselves when we think we can handle multiple things at once. The concurrent mental processes only divide the resources, so it’s essential to eliminate things that are not part of the pressing problem at hand. Keep them in dormant mode for a while till this one is resolved.

The ability to practice rationality is the highest of virtues. To be able to communicate (and be understood just as well) and to understand things from an objective perspective makes everything a whole lot easier. This is tougher than you realize, I’m telling you.

Also, calm the heck down. Things inevitably get worse when we get restless. Hence, request (if there are people involved) to leave it up to you if you are the one to solve it. Ignore things that prevent you from exercising that calmness. Breathe. It’s weird to think about how often do we forget to take deep breaths and think things through.

Identify things that excite you. Things that give you strength when you need it. Things that show you the vision of a better tomorrow. It has to be something larger than life. Yes. For once in life, devote yourself in pursuance of a goal that feels extremely hard to reach yet it gets you stoked every single day. For example, my fascination with space has always helped me in putting things into perspective which is basically making it insignificantly small and hence solvable.

The right people will eventually come. You will have discussions you always wanted. You will laugh and scream and gasp in awe. Things will start to fall in place, maybe not all of them because it’s a never-ending battle but that’s ok. This is me saying from the other side.

Just remember, if you find yourself in the valley, keep going because there is a peak too. And after that peak, maybe you would descend into another valley so that you return to exploring the depths again. Being at the peak for long may blind you because then all ridges, plains, and valleys merge into one. The mantra of ‘everything in moderation‘ is very much applicable everywhere.

And then there would be this one person who will make it all worth it. All the pain, all the struggles, all the fights, all the mysteries & crazy coincidences would confluence to place you at this juncture you will forever be grateful for. It would be a lot easier then onwards because then you would have someone by your side you can call a companion. You would be understood for who you truly have been. You would realize that you were not insane in thinking this way or believing in things that you always have believed in because sanity is not statistical.

Things will make more sense, actions would have more meanings and all these would be possible if you just keep going. It may take years but you have to keep moving patiently. Stagnation is crippling. It’s like putting a fence around yourself. You may call it your happy place but then you have restricted the things to come to you as much as you have stopped reaching out to them. Move because you can.

Author’s Note – This is my 100th post on this blog. Yep! It’s a century. It took me 6 years to reach here. It’s been a crazy journey so far and feels like I’m just getting started. For the next venture, I would like to take more risks in terms of things I write about, put forth my bold views and take up challenges that give greater value to my writing. Let’s see how it pans out. Till the next time, godspeed! 🚀