As I'm resocializing and resocia-gayzing rampantly these days, I am posed one question quite frequently - a little too frequently for my comfort.
'I haven't heard from/seen you in ages! How/where have you been Kris?'
My answer always has been in either of two forms. The rather bland and gentle one goes like this — 'I've been up and down a lot, more down than up. But I'm up now!' The more edgy answer intended to hurtle a jaw or two over a cliff goes like this — 'I have been suffering from clinical depression with suicidal tendencies. Thankfully, my friends (boyfriend in particular) and dear therapist (friend) managed to help me out of it. I'm on medications now — anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, and anti-anxiety drugs. I'm much better now. Thanks! Have you ever considered suicide?'
When I say 'up and down', I mean it. I'm suffering from type 2 bipolar disorder bordering on unipolar depression. If it is indeed unipolar, the times when I surface from the depths of depression (to near normalcy) represent the manic phases of bipolarity. Either way, my phrenus is fluctuant. A status message on my office private messenger summed it up nicely — 'Kris is up and down like a BMC-repaired road'.
This weekend was an uncharacteristically typical up and down one for me. Here’s a recap.
Friday night: It was a mad night at a music awards ceremony where I hung out with friends (read superstars and rock icons), got drunk, hit on a my-type-of-hunk singing legend and gave him my number, then got dared to take off my shirt for a Bollywood/rock diva in exchange for her taking her shirt off (this incident got covered in Bombay Times today), and finally retching and throwing up on my way back in the cab and in my apartment, before crashing.
Saturday morning: Woke up with a hangover and bilious gastritis — it was as if my liver was saying 'Get a life, jerk!' Then, for the first time in a year, I welcomed one of my dear office colleagues to my apartment. She was there to give me company during the shooting of a documentary film about openly gay people — the film title 'Engayging Lives' is derived from Here’s Truly. It was supposed to be shot a month ago and I was one of the main characters in the film; well, until my depression destroyed any possibility of me being a part of it. After starting therapy and somewhat stabilizing on it, I had gotten in touch with the charming girls from Sophiya college and they gave me another chance to be a visual part of the film — I'm doing the background score for the film anyway.
Saturday evening: After that, I had a fantastic gig with Shoonyas when we performed as an opening act for Agnee at VJTI college in Matunga. We did a quite remarkable set that was a crazy mix of rock and Bollywood. Three of my dear colleagues from my workplace were there to make the evening special. I can’t believe the support I get from my office - thanks so much! That, however, was the end of the high.
Then, I was set up for a traumatic and humiliating dinner invitation that I would not like to dwell on — apart from a salad that I tossed together, and a few moments clicking two lovers making out, I felt really horrible. My pills were there in the background but the self-flagellation was severe. This must have triggered my insecurities which led to me having an intense argument with Vinokur, which pushed me to the limits of masochistic depression. I could feel myself conjuring up plots and subplots in my mind, each and every step meant to hurt me a little deeper.
Luckily, thanks to just Vinokur, I was rescued once again and we somehow managed to get me to sleep without more mutual trauma! Sleep seems to be one potent douser of my flames.
Sunday morning: I woke up feeling much better and had a nice, long Skype conversation with Vinokur. Intense multi-tasking ensued and I started feeling like my old self — capable and confident. Moreover, I agreed for a date with a rather mysterious person, which I've been procrastinating for months if not years. A walk down the Juhu beach with him and his dog, and a relaxing conversation over tea later laid the background for an interesting prospect.
Sunday evening: After the date, I went to my first GB meet in months — mainly to meet up with the dear aunt of a friend. During the entire meet, I was keying things on my PDA, not speaking unless being specifically asked to. Later, I invited my favorite aunt to be my date for Valentine's Day! On my way back, a series of incidents including self-deprecatory humor, inability to remember the name of the book that I had read (Ellie Wiesel's 'Night'), and a couple of inflammatory FB threads bared everything in me in under half an hour. I knew I was going down to self-created whiplashes from my delusional world, but couldn't stop myself.
Ironically, an FB chat with one of my erstwhile co-residents from the hospital, during which my friend proved how narrow-minded, conservative and rude Indian society could still be vis-á-vis homosexuality and a coming out situation. However, I defended valiantly without losing my calm despite my pride being at stake. This chat made me realize that I'm good after all, and that my return to practicing surgery in the myopic and treacherous environment of the hospital would be difficult if not impossible.
It's amazing how masochistic depression can almost whip you down to nothingness. For those who are suffering from the same, or those who know of people who do, please help yourself and others to overcome this!