“If you don’t tell your own story, someone else will tell it for you.”
If there is one thing I have learned in the last two months, it is that its essential to have your own story out there in your own words. People have biases and perceptions of their own which aren’t always based in facts. In such a situation, an ambiguous situation will be met with pre-conceived notions of the issue.
As I got to talking about my past experience of clinical depression with my parents, I came to realize the completely unfounded rumors that have been doing the rounds ever since it became public knowledge that I am struggling from clinical depression and actively suicidal. These rumors while not aimed at me, blamed people who were completely innocent for what I was going through. I was being portrayed as the powerless victim of my circumstances while the world around me and the people in it conspired to make my life more miserable every day.
When I first heard these revelations, I was saddened and yet, angry. I felt anger. How dare these people tell stories about me without knowing the truth? How dare they portray me as something I am not, and blame others for something they didn’t do? I knew I had to do something about it. This was my life, my own story but not my words.
Whenever the topic of my experiences with depression has come up, I have been a tad bit shy of going into the details. There is this apprehension within me of what I will find if I start digging into my past and recounting everything that had happened. It was only recently that I realized, my coyness with my past was being used as fuel for the rumor mills. I guess it is human nature that when people are bereft of any answers, they make up answers of their own.
The human psyche finds it more convenient to build a narrative in itself than to suspend the state of belief and not have an opinion on something.
I can tolerate this no more.
It is time that I dug into my past and came to terms with it once and for all. So far I have been sharing small anecdotes or very few experiences that I had but now I will share everything that happened at that time. The people in my social surroundings, unknown to me have been telling fairy tales of my past. It is time to replace these fables with the stone cold truth.
I am writing a new book. A book that even I have been trying to avoid for the longest time. A memoir of those 2 years. Every detail, every thing I felt, everything I did and everything that was done to me.
I will be honest. This is a very scary thing for me to do. The past books and projects I have done have been analytical accounts of mental health and psychology. This one will be personal. You will get an insight into my mind. The scariest part is that I will get an insight into my mind.
It was sheer luck that I managed to live through that period of my life. Think what would have happened if I wasn’t their to tell the truth? People would have made up their own stories and blamed others in my life for something that wasn’t their fault.
I don’t want people taking advantage of the things I have chosen to keep to myself anymore. Made-up stories are something that I need to put an end to. I want to take control of my own story once and for all.
After all, as I said, if I don’t tell my own story, someone else will do it for me; and they will do it with their own perceptions, their own limited information and their own biases.
This book will be my story in my words.