By: Anagha Vinay
The purple vintage lights fade in and out of your vision, or maybe you are blacking out, drunk. Is the world spinning? The people next to you look oddly proportioned, like with those protruding teeth and crooked noses. They stare with their purple eyeballs and hardly distinguishable pupils, huge, into yours. Why are humans ambitious? You do not know the answer. You do not even know how to hold your flute glass. It slips most professionally between the grip of your tender fingers and falls.
The Lo-Fi mood of the room is greatly interrupted, but drinkers go back to drinking, unlike the world going back to its business. Maybe the gentleman interested in you, who has been staring at you for the past twenty minutes, gets you another glass, of course, with the refill of champagne. The bartender takes an extra interest in cleaning up the mess, at least for his own sake.
The glass shatters. Maybe it can be put back together, glued. But it shatters, aloud. It smashes hard against the ground. One moment upon its brim rested the kissing lips of a drunkard. The next, it was broken, right through where it was kissed. But it’s glass, it can be broken. It is made of stuff that is meant to be broken. Handle with care, they say. Because it’s glass. Unlike human minds. Unlike humans.
Humans are not meant to be broken, not fragile, not weak. And to not be weak, we are not to experience emotions, we are not to crumble to them, or succumb to them. We are made of better stuff, aren’t we? Stuff that cannot be broken.
Mental health is something to be dealt with as much care as, if not more than, physical health. To have a healthy mind is to have a healthy body. People do have breakdowns. You. Me. We all do. I heard the aunty in the house adjacent to mine once tell her son, arre boys don’t cry. And he stopped crying. Crying is a very woke and well-mannered distress signal, unlike what the society whispered in that aunty’s ears. Unhappiness is a part of the journey of life, but what you do not deserve is to believe that it is a punishment infringed upon you. It is okay to feel like the only soldier left after a lost war. But the real war may not even have begun.
It is, as essential, to do your mind and mood, as much as you do your hair and nails. Mental health is looked down upon and frowned upon, with an inexplicable amount of stigma somehow associated with it. In this corporate world, where machines commence operating at the specified office hours, drone, monotonous, rat, where was happiness lost? Mental health care does not revolve around sending 200 volts into the signals and systems at our dendrites. Mental health revolves around making sure you are okay and that you take care of yourself.
Mental health disorders can range from anything, such as mood and anxiety, to even personality disorders. We can be late to recognize the symptoms and patterns in our behavior that elucidate the rooting of a disorder. Are you anxious? Have you been dealing with some trauma, carrying the weight of it all on your shoulders alone? No, that’s where you believe wrong. You aren’t alone. You are trodding in the darkness, the unlit tunnel, drenched in the shadows, yours and the jagged walls’. But you are not alone. You only need a matchstick to set the whole box on fire. You only need a matchstick to set a forest on fire. You only need the same matchstick to ignite the night sky with bright and cheerful fireworks. You only need that same matchstick you light up your path, and look around, to find that you are not alone. It was a dark road downtown, but it was not an isolated road.
Leonard Cohen wisely quotes, “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” It is a difficult path laid with stones and hurdles. You ebb if you flow. You stumble if you walk. But you rise up again. You rise up from the ground, and you can rise up only after a fall.
Meanwhile, if you gain back your mildest senses in the purple-tinted room, take the other glass of champagne offered to you and be at peace.