I’m still here.. sane and with enough reasons to smile…


3 days ago i came to an end of 2 semesters in my MS degree. An academic year, 3 months short of a calendar year.
I generally do not ponder over such calendar events. I never realized when i finished my first or the last year in college in undergrad or the same at work. Not once in the 3.8 years i was in the industry before signing up for this higher education. But this one is different.
It is different because the last one year was a test. A tough test that life threw at me. I had this wish of pursuing my higher education and getting my master’s degree in computer science for a couple of years before getting here.. So getting this admission was special. When i got this admission I was in a very happy place in life. I was in love with my work, I was in excited about the education, I was in a good relationship, I was happy.
Then things started to change. They changed a lot, i adjusted, they changed even more. And my personal life was soon a messy mesh. In 2 months time I had gone from a happy go lucky jovial, perpetually laughing guy to a complete nerve wreck.
And to top it, I was very aware of what was coming, life in the US. I had seen so many of my friends live through the tough initial months of loneliness, helplessness, dislike and homesickness. I knew ver well I wasn’t going to be spared. But i had no choice. I had made a choice already. Now i was to live it. I couldn’t make excuses, I couldn’t screw it up, I just couldn’t no matter what it demanded and no matter what I had to go through. I was here to earn a degree, that would stick with me for life. I wouldn’t ever be able to correct it. I wouldn’t have a second shot at it ever!
I was here sitting in my room, looking out of my window staring into darkness and slowly I was getting myself into that spiralling thought of the past and what life had done to me. Of my relationship and how it had messed up and how i had lost a friend to something stupid as love. How I had lost faith, trust, belief. The three things any human wants the most. I wanted a companion, not love, I wanted friendship, not love, I wanted trust, not care. I lost it all for no fault of mine and ended up paying a heavy price, unanswered questions.
Sometimes it’s difficult to accept truth and shut up! Especially when the loss is immeasurable.
I was at war with myself. It was a test of my ability to control my thoughts. To not think one thing and instead thing what i wanted to think. To not enter the whirlpool of thought. To force myself out of that quicksand which was inviting.
I kept fighting it for 2-3 months without ever realizing just how much it was taking away from me. I was losing health like never before. I was having nightmares every single day for the few hours i would sleep. I was losing my sanity. I would go to the toilet and come to my room and sit on my computer and would get up again to go to the toilet. And then would feel a sense of deja vu. I didn’t realize I was doing it twice and that it wasn’t deja vu until it started happening very frequently. I would put a cup of coffee in the microwave for 2 min. After 10-15 min I’d go again and prepare a cup of coffee and will want to place it in the microwave just to see the other cup still in there. This was accentuated by the fact that me and my roommate had similar cups.
I’d eat a slice of bread and ten min later I’d again eat a bread and then feel a sense of deja vu. Stupid as it might sound I was going mad without realizing why, or rather without acknowledging why. My nightmares weren’t ending and i was heavily sleep deprived, losing my hair and my girth.
I finally decided I needed to take a break from the world and cut off from the internet space for a month. My exams were approaching and I wasn’t in sight of what you call preparedness. I switched off my email account and put a vacation notice. I got off FB. I was restricted to my university ID which was known only to my family. I refused to call people or take calls.
Something happened all of a sudden. I got obsessed with eating. I would feel hungry and eat something, anything every 2 hours by the clock. Hunger was driving me nuts. I also realized i had slept for 4 hours on a stretch for the first time in months.
My mind was thinking more what i wanted and less what it wanted. I was spending more time thinking constructive thoughts in the hours i was awake, i.e close to a cumulative 2 hrs of thought in the 16 hrs of being awake. But i was improving. I was working through nights to keep myself up. I was delaying my projects so I could crunch them at the last moment and maximize my no-stupid-thoughts time and concentrate on the project coz of the fear of failing in them.
These were battles with the self. I was the most anti-social I have ever been in my life. I spoke only to my roommates, and my project-mates, a total of 8 people all inclusive.
I wrote the exams and my parents wanted me to come home over the winter and I did. On my way to the college one day towards the end of my exams I realized that I had suffered a lot, through the 3 months, but I was here, able to find enough reason to smile even if it were just looking at the sun come out on a snowy morning. I was here still sane. I was here without having cut or bruised myself, without having given into alcohol, without touching a cigarette or drugs. without having one anything impulsive, without having had a bounce relationship, without having hurt anyone, and most important of all, fought it all without speaking a word of it to a soul. I had passed the first and a very difficult part of the test.
I returned from India and met my school friends and had some good fun, got drunk and blurted shit to my ex. But I was still okay. Then I realized there was only a few people who appreciated someone holding his or her dignity. That most people forget soon. Most people move on soon. Most people don’t get affected. That “To everyone his own” is not just a phrase you say in a conversation. Everyone is actually left to fend for himself or herself.
It also made me realize a very important fact that I had forgotten in living my life with friends that family will stay on with you no matter what. I found my family by my side through all that shit. And not once was I asked about my relationship and how I was dealing with it or where it was headed.
Sometimes all you need is no intervention from your family. For them not to ask you anything, to trust you with your decision to be just there stand by you and watch you. My family did that for me.
The next semester was not easy and yet not as hard as the previous one. But I had made a bad selection of courses. I had not researched enough and endeded up taking 4 courses,3 of which were tough. One of the 3 tough ones was intentional, the others were intended to be easy but turned out to be tougher than expected. A surprise.
I was thrown with another test. A hasty choice that I should’ve not made but I did. This test was hard also because the margin of error was very thin. I couldn’t score less coz I ran the risk of being thrown off the country as per VISA rules. I also had to look for an internship, otherwise I’d be rendered jobless at the end of my degree or lets say fight real real hard for one at the end of my degree.
I did live through some helll, this time more than the last one. I cannot remember the number of nights I didn’t sleep a wink at all. Sleping at 7 in the morning after a full night out and waking up at 10 to go to class. drinking mugs and mugs of coffee to keep myself awake, fighting the urge to sleep.
But then again, here I am still sane, finding a reason to smile, with an internship and a fairly okay gradesheet (so far). I hope not to flunk bad.
I do get nightmares but less now. I still am high on food and I have a ponch. I did lose hair, but now it is long and curly.
I am still here sane, strong and finding enough reasons to smile, even if its seeing a flower bloom. It’s spring and the trees have leaves. I am here.

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2 thoughts on “I’m still here.. sane and with enough reasons to smile…

  1. Glad to hear you hold on through this shit.. You are going to look back on this phase of your life with fondness for yourself for sticking it out!! As cliche as it is the good thing about life is it never ever stays the same. Hope you make sense of everything soon

  2. Thanks Mae.. It helps to know people understand..
    I didn’t want make this one public, but I’d stumbled upon random posts and talks unintentionally which i related to at times and even today do, and they helped at those times. Thought this might help someone know it’s not just them. Most often you end up with that feeling of why me..

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