Diary Entry: That Dark Place


Dear diary,

I have started sucking pretty badly in singing. I was ashamed to hear my own recording today when I tried. I cant blame the karaoke app. Or can I?!

Anyway, I’m dwelling in my dark place where I have a lot of stuff going on inside my head but too little going outside it. I lie in bed all day, wasting precious time and doing absolutely nothing. I need an escape from Lahore-it’s very essential these days. I don’t want to go home because of all the marriage talk mum tries to do with me every single time I go back. I mean, how hard is it to understand that I don’t want to get married to engineers employed somewhere in the middle east? Or that I don’t want to get married, period!

Sometimes, when I’m in a very perceptive mood, one thought crosses my mind. What if, my history of always falling for the wrong people is the reason of my aversion? Would I ever be able to move on with my life? Or would I keep looking towards those friends of mine who actually got married and their lives after marriage didn’t turn “Oh-so-well”? And then there’s one very stupidly disturbing thought-I don’t want to grow up!

I’m serious! I don’t. And in my mind, marriage brings responsibilities and it means that now you have to be a grown up and handle kids of your own. Don’t get me wrong, I love babies and would love to have one or two of my own some day but for now, I wish to accomplish something in life. I want to be an independent female before I tie the knot.

Oh, and not to forget, I need to be able to like some person enough to be able to persuade my stupid mind to actually want to marry him. And believe me, I would raise all hell if I have to, just to get to know the person who gets to marry me-if he gets to marry me.

Anyway, marriage isn’t the real reason of my writing today. I’ve hit a writer’s block and I’ve stopped updating my novel. There are just too many scenarios bugging me, keeping me restless and pinching me but whenever I try to pen them down, or in this case, type, I hit a blockage. I don’t know how long it would last and why I keep thinking of dark stuff. I need to cool off. Need a distraction. Something to drag me back to my original track. Perhaps a trip to Islamabad….. (Yeah, I wish! But mum never permits :/ )

My desperation for a change of scenario has resulted in my withdrawal from people and frustration. I want to bite people’s heads off when they try to talk to me. I want to yell at them for no reason and I’m just hating them for not understanding. My palpitations are back but even after ma’am suggested me to go see a doctor, I told her I don’t want to. I have started acting out with the people I love and after doing that, I feel guilty. So this self-destruction mode isn’t helping me at ALL!

I’m hoping that writing about it now, would lessen the intensity of insanity I’m experiencing these day because I don’t know what else to do.

 

P.S: And no, I still don’t wanna go to the doctor :/

Diary Entry: Blunders


Dear Diary,

Never again would I ever be the moderator of another official program in my life.

*huff!!!*

I mean, seriously, the pressure, the blunders, the anxiety…….. That’s simply too much!

In case you are wondering what happened, well, I was asked to be the moderator for a workshop organized by the faculty of Social Sciences in our university today, because our “usual” moderator had to go out of station. The anxiety started building up yesterday evening when I thought about actually doing the deed.  But I spent the whole time recording a voice-over for a video that my little cousin was making for a competition in her college. I had the basic structure and the event schedule provided to me yesterday but my mind didn’t feel fresh enough to rehearse, by the time I finished recording. So I simply ignored the urge to practice (a decision that by the way I am glad to have made now.)

My day today, started with running towards the auditorium because I was 3 minutes late as the bus wasn’t on time. But turned out that i was 7-12 minutes early anyway. Anyway, the starting was a little jittery but I survived through most of the day by rushing to refill my water bottle again and again during the times when the speakers were lecturing and then announcing the next speaker. Half of the time was spent giving introductions and the other half of the time was spent calling out the designations and names of important people of the university, like the dean, the registrar, the acting vice chancellor. Not to mention the repeated changes in the sequence of events and my hurried scrolls on my diary to remember those changes.

But that wasn’t enough. The closing ceremony was yet an even bigger disaster, waiting to happen. As I came on stage to announce the names of the resource persons and the organizing committee members for the reception of their respective shields and certificates, a teacher and the dean kept bugging me with new names or information every second which confused me so much. I guess, some accidents are bound to happen. So there I was, publicly humiliating myself by mixing the names and designations of who should present the next shield to whom. And to top it off, I didn’t know the name of our acting vice chancellor or even the registrar (thanks to me being an antisocial moron who doesn’t give a damn to whatever is happening around her) and I might even get chastised for it later. But I’m glad, the nightmare is over!

Never again!!!

And the most disappointing part of today was that I couldn’t be attentive during the whole speaker’s session and it was related to Qualitative research- my research is a qualitative one as well. Oh, and my head of department didn’t come today so that was very discouraging as well. But I’ve told her that I hate her for not coming today, even though, we both know that’s not true!

And right now, I feel like- either drinking a big mug of tea or sleeping for years without being disturbed! *rolling my eyes* (Like that’s gonna happen -_- )

Mayn, I’m tired!

*yawns*

The Need, the Struggle, the Block!


A quote by D.W Winnicott is stuck in my mind right now. He stated, and I couldn’t agree more that “Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide.” But when I try to analyze my own self through this criteria, I keep feeling that I have this need, deep inside to communicate. I didn’t use the word desire. I said “need.” Because, it sure feels like a need.

Yesterday, I had an interesting conversation with my teacher who said that I hide. I’m not very “talky, talky.” And to that I replied, I share but nobody listens. Is it not what happens all around us? Don’t you think that the need to say stuff and not being able to get it off your chest is one of the major reason that people sometimes snap?! Being a Clinical Psychology student, I have witnessed the struggle. Hell, I have struggled with this all my life and I still am struggling with the concept every day. At the end of the day, my mind keeps telling me, nobody cares and nobody listens so why bother?! And thus, a “Quiet-Me” comes into existence.

But if we stop for a minute, to listen to someone, who wishes to share something that may be very moot or pointless for us but very precious or important for the other person, then we might help in reducing the exponential increases in Psychological problems.

It takes courage for a person to reach out and voice their inner feelings. Believe me, I know the struggle! And sometimes, the person voicing those feelings doesn’t even need for you to give them a solution to their problem. They are merely in search of an attentive ear. Our Dean, today asked what could be done to reduce stress or anxiety or depression from our society. One very easy solution came into my mind. Talking less, Listening more! So why not Listen?!

And then comes the point where people don’t know how to differentiate between hearing and listening. We go out, there are multiple voices that our mind registers. Some of them we concentrate on and some of them we get so used to that we simply ignore or don’t think to be a big deal. That’s hearing. Listening on the other hand involves a little bit more effort from our brain. It requires attention and understanding or at least an attempt on understanding whatever is being said. That being said, Listen to people if they come to you for help. If you don’t, they might just block you out, never to try to be close with anyone again.

A little effort on our part can save a lot of lives!

 

The Monster in Shadows


Dumb name, I know! That’s why it’s a temporary one for the book I have started to write. I don’t know if I should call it a book or not. Yup, I’m still drowning in self doubt as always. But this is an internal fight. I keep doubting myself and yet I keep doing whatever stuff I doubt myself in.

Seems I’m not the only one who keeps doubting themselves. It seems to be a disease in my family. I’m not sure about my elder brother but my little brother and little sister keep doubting themselves. I know they can do the stuff they think they can’t do but they don’t know it.

My case is a little similar but a little different too. Deep down, I damn well know that there is nothing that I can’t do, that I put my mind to but doubting myself throughout the journey and self torment is kind of my thing. I hate it but I do it anyway.

I’ve been trying to think for an appropriate title for my novel but as of yet, I’ve failed miserably, hence this crappy name. I’ve updated the second chapter but it’s a short one since all my attempts at researching an area for the setting of my story have further confused me. I want my setting to be some part of England but I’ve never been outside of my own country so it’s hard to familiarize myself with the stuff of a foreign country through virtual aids only.

Another hindrance is that the story-line has been teasing, tormenting and keeping me awake at nights but I have not been able to think things through. I was just in a hurry to get things out of me as keeping them inside is a burden sometimes. The result- I’ve not thought about the details inside the plot. Which means that I will have to make up the details as I move along but move things in the direction that my plot wants me to take.

I’m not gonna back down though. I’ve started too many projects in the past and left them mid-way, but not this one. I’m going to force myself to complete this one. No matter how crappy the story goes. No matter how much of a failure it proves to be( or not).

Because, the monsters inside my head won’t rest until I have shot every single one of them.

 

Diary Entry: Super-Psyched!!!


Dear Diary,

I have started writing my first ever novel. I’m super excited. I asked my little brother for help and he gave me one of his pictures for the cover of my novel and I love it! I wasn’t sure what to name it so I just named it “The Monster in Shadows.” And instead of using my real name, I have chosen a pen name for the book. It’s EnKay Elle- Yeah, that’s kinda cooler than my actual name even though its made up of the initials of my name 😀

Anyway, I’m sharing the link to the first chapter of my novel here (Hey! I can’t help it!!!)

https://www.wattpad.com/story/103060703-the-monster-in-shadows

Do give it a read and you know, constructive criticism is always welcome!

Anyway, I should get going. I have to work on my proposal( Yup, I totally stayed up last night, writing the first chapter of my novel, instead of working on my Proposal, which is due tomorrow.)

*Shruggin’*

I really can’t help it! The story was bothering me inside my head. There is so much time I can hold my internal urges before they start controlling me. So, I gave in and poured some of the words out.

I should really, really, really go!

Until next time…..

Ciao

Diary Entry: In a Big Mess Again


Dear Diary,

I’m in a big mess again, not that anybody really cares!

I think I’m suffering from binge-season-watching disorder :/ And it’s stopping me from working on my research proposal. which is due very very soon. One more thing that has been bugging me is not being able to think a suitable title/ name for my novel. I have the story inside my head, waiting, ever so impatiently, to get out. But my lack of creativity when comes to titles, is giving me a hard time. Plus, I’ve decided, I want to snap a picture myself or take help from my little brother for the cover, as he’s an amazing- emerging photographer. So there’s that!

Oh, by the way, ever since I changed my laptop, whenever I write as, it gets written as an “ass.” I try to proofread the stuff I post but if some day by some mistake it remains unchanged, well, I warned you in advance 😀

I need a big push to write my research proposal. I’ve been delaying it for 10 days, watching different seasons and movies :/

By the way, Victorious is one awesome season. Seeing them, I want to write my own songs and compose music, even though I don’t know how to write a song or play a musical instrument. Yup, I’ve been crazy in the past slightly. The status has been changed to “completely, utterly” crazy.

I really need to work on that stupid proposal!!!

Arghhh, grrrrr!!!!

Somebody save meeeeeeeeee!!!!

 

 

 

Somewhere in Time


“Sometimes, a teacher learns from a student; a healer is healed by the wounded; darkness nurses the light in its very heart. And sometimes, imperfection saves your life…….”
She was a piece of work, that one. She talked in cryptic words with a playful smile on her lips and her eyes full of mischief. She knew how to dodge a bullet with mere words. You would end up being so frustrated after talking to her because her every answer was a riddle in itself and I was nowhere near solving any of the old ones, let alone the new ones piling up.
I was a curious soul and she knew it. She knew she had a great deal of power over me. I was supposed to be treating her but instead, she knew me more than I could say about knowing her. But I never gave up. She had to have some buttons that I could press, to make her talk. I just had to figure out a way to stumble upon one, even if by mistake. A fraction of a moment when she didn’t have her wits about her….. I was looking for a loop hole, a slip up. But it seemed as if she was invincible….
Running was one of my most favourite activities. I would go jogging, at dawn, every day. I loved the rush of adrenaline in my veins. Everything moving in a blur past me when I ran….. That was my happy place; a place where I went every single time after meeting her, to clear my head, to calm my nerves and to get rid of surplus energy, coursing through my body.
“You can run but you can’t escape.” I heard her voice behind me one morning as I passed an old Oak tree, standing proud and erect at the rear end of the park. I often ran through the thick woods where most people didn’t even dare to go. Her, being there, was weird. The place was always deserted, partly the reason that I ran there every day.
Hearing her voice, I came to an abrupt halt. I turned around to see her beautiful face but instead my gaze landed upon a pair of haunted, empty eyes and pursed lips. It felt as if I had accidentally hit another dimension, an alternate reality. In my 26 years in that town, I had never seen her face wiped off of that refreshing smile. She seemed as if she was about to collapse. I stepped closer to catch her, anticipating her possible fall.
“What are you doing here, in the middle of nowhere?” I asked.
“Walk with me…..?!” She half asked half ordered me, completely ignoring my question, like she always did.
I fell into steps beside her. She looked fragile.
“What are you so afraid of? Isn’t that the question you once asked me?” She recollected one of our previous, futile talks. Without waiting for an answer, she continued, “Let me answer that for you today. I…. I think I’m afraid of everything. But most of all, I’m afraid of my unfed mind, devouring my soul. I’m afraid of being a prisoner forever. I’m afraid of myself.”
I was speechless for a moment. I mean, I had spent countless hours trying to get into her head, trying to get her to talk to me only to get the answers that never made any sense. What changed now? Why did she, all of a sudden, decide that she wanted to talk?
“You know, you are still not making any sense.” I replied, a little on the edge. When it came to her, I always tended to run low on patience. I wanted immediate gratification, direct answers. I could and would surely even tolerate bluntness, if it meant solving the puzzle that she was.
A faint, ghost of a smile played on her lips. “You know, for a shrink, you are quite an impatient one.” I ran my hand through my hair and closed my eyes, a habit I picked up over time. Her smile grew, seeing my obvious impatience.
“You are not going to make it any easier, are you?” I asked, exasperated.
“I don’t plan to.” She replied, still in a cheeky mood. I sighed.
We walked in a complete silence, save the rustling of the leaves around. Her home was adjacent to the park. I could almost sense that our talk was over by the time we neared her doorsteps. But as she slowly climbed her stairs, she turned towards me and said, “It’s almost time!”
“Time for what?” I asked. She stayed quiet. “Time for what?” I asked again.
“Soon.” She said.
“Soon….? Soon, what?” I almost silently begged her not to leave me hanging there, as she opened her front door. “Patience my dear, patience!”
She smiled again as she turned, that smile not reaching her eyes. She entered her home and closed the door behind her.
This time, I wasn’t only frustrated, I was angry and scared. A smile on a face as white as death was enough to rattle someone. But I was more afraid of what her words might mean. They had an aura of danger about them. My insides kept shouting, trying, to be heard, over her every word that was playing on an infinite loop inside my head. She seemed sick but still she held strong. Anyone would have called her stupid but I had a feeling that she knew what she was doing and I was just too dumb to figure it out quick enough.
She first came to me after her folks died in a car accident a year ago. She wasn’t the first disturbed person that I had encountered but she was definitely the first one who didn’t look the part. She came voluntarily to the sessions, always on time and never missed even a single one. She would sit for an hour, saying very little or sometimes, nothing at all. I always did most of the talking, asking her questions which were mostly answered by her silence and sometimes with words that were plain English but somehow, I always failed to understand.
Whenever I would ask her why she was here when she didn’t feel like talking very much, she would reply with a serious face that she liked it here. What was it that she liked, still beats me. And then she would go on and say “Some people are just not meant to be caged….. You know, one of these days you’ll get really tired but nobody will care. You try too hard, you know…….”
Or she would sometimes bombard me with questions. With her, I never knew what was coming next……
I woke up with a start, the very next morning, my eyes, still a little groggy from staying up late last night, trying to figure out what she meant yesterday. I barely heard the faint knock on my front door over my thudding heart. One look at the clock and my whole body went limp for a bit. I should have been up and jogging, about half an hour ago. I cursed under my breath as I peeled away the sheets from my body, for a moment, forgetting the pounding on my door that woke me up in the first place.
Rubbing my eyes, I hurriedly walked towards my door. It was already March but the mornings were still pretty chilly around here. Whoever was out there, had a good chance of freezing to death. I opened the door and my arms barely caught her before her knees hit the floor. I was fully awake, that very instant.
“What the hell do you think you are doing? Are you trying to kill yourself?” I hissed, darkly, anger seeping into my blood, and me, barely controlling it from oozing out.
“I waited for you. You didn’t come to the park today. I had to see you!” She replied, her voice a mere whisper, her eyes pleading, silently, to be heard. Seeing her face, my rage went out the window.
Her rosy cheeks had been completely replaced by a lime, papery thin skin. It was as if she had aged decades in a single week.
She was in no condition to walk so I carried her to the couch in my living room. Her breaths were shallow, her hands, freezing cold. I put a quilt over her tiny body and said “I’ll be back in a jiffy.” But as I was about to go into my kitchenette to whip up some hot cocoa with cream, she grabbed a hold of my sleeve and stopped me, saying “There’s no time.”
I stopped in my tracks, that nagging feeling from yesterday, returning with full force. “You need to be warm.” I said, reluctant, by this time, to leave her side.
“No, I need to give you this.” She took out a diary from an inside pocket of her jacket. “For once, you should be glad. I listened to what you said. I kept a journal.” She continued. “You’ll get your answers now. At least some of them….”
A tear escaped her eye and was followed by several more. Internally, I slapped myself out of my shell-shocked state, sat by her side and put my arms around her.
“You know, it’s so hard to put up a brave face when there is nothing left inside of you, when you are just an empty shell.” She broke down, in my arms.
“People see that composed face and they think that nothing can shake you, you are invincible. That gives them the illusion of being entitled to hurt you. Because you are brave, nothing can break you down or tear you up. But they are wrong. Oh God! They are so, so wrong!!!” She sobbed.
For once in my life, she and I were on the same page. I heard her, I understood her and I felt for her. All this time, she had been trying to give a face to the courage itself. It’s hardly possible for me not to admire her strength. Life does have a twisted, ironic sense of humor.
“But it’s time…… It’s time for me to bury the demons I have fought my entire life. I have battled for so long, I’m tired. I don’t want to fight anymore.”
I held her tighter in my arms. It felt as if she was saying good bye. But the truth is, I didn’t want to let her go. Yes, she drove me insane but over the time, I had come to love that feeling.
From a distance, I had known her ever since she was born. I knew she was strong, like her parents but I never knew how much pain she hid under that mesmerizing smile. I never guessed how much damage her parents’ death did to her. She was like a beacon of light, at the heart of darkness. A small voice that refused to be denied an audience.
She closed her eyes as I wiped tears from her cheek. Her face turned into my palm, as if, savoring the warmth. She sighed, her lips curving into a faint smile before her body went limp. For a moment I thought she was asleep, she seemed so peaceful. But her body slowly turned colder. What happened next, is a chunk of darkness; a blur. A significant part of my morning, completely gone….. Forgotten, unregistered by a grieving mind.
It seems I was on auto pilot mode that day, after she died in my arms. Her funeral passed in a haze. Apparently, she had isolated herself from the world after her family died and she was closest to me in the whole town so I was supposed to recite her eulogy. I don’t know what I said. I think I must have stood there in complete silence. Then I must have broken down in front of the entire town because she taught me that it was okay to cry through the pain sometimes and get over it. There’s no shame in it; that it was okay to not be a hero all the time; that if bursting into tears healed the hole in your heart and saved you from an eternity of misery, then being imperfect wasn’t so bad after all. For this imperfection, this tiny moment of weakness, this window of respite was what made us stronger in the end.
The moment I got back home, I sat by the couch, on the carpet and opened her journal.
The first page read:
‘Some day, the visits to the doc won’t be enough. My mind is already overwhelming me, on daily basis. It’s hard, really hard, not to cry every waking moment. When I go for the sessions, I don’t know why, but I feel calmer, even though the doc keeps complaining that I don’t talk much. I think she is the reason that I’m still grounded. She talks funny and always keeps asking me questions. I answer her every question but I guess, I do it in my head…..’
Another entry said:
‘I can feel it coming. It’s almost time to be free. The freedom I have longed for, so much, my whole life. How can someone force someone to be a prisoner? It’s barbaric. It’s inhumane…..’
The next page consisted of a single sentence only.
‘Some entities are just wild and not meant to be caged.’
I could sense a theme, a pattern in most of the journal entries. Another one read:
‘The hole inside me has grown wider. It’s consuming me. I don’t know how much longer I can hold onto this dear life. I think my crazy mind would be the death of me.’
‘Okay, the train just crossed the ‘weird-ville’ to ‘deadly town’, I thought to myself.
I kept reading. Honestly, I couldn’t stop at this point.
‘Every bird is meant to fly. My time will come soon….’
Again with the metaphors. She was mysterious, even in death.
The next entry was composed of two short sentences.
‘I’m sick. I’m ready….’
I was saved from a severe headache that was slowly building, by the next entry.
‘Dear doc, I’ve never been great with good-byes. I never got the chance to say that to my family. So I’m making sure the history doesn’t repeat itself this time. I’ve been sick for quite some time now. But my sickness is the key to my dungeon. This body….. It has been holding me back. I have always felt as if I was being held captive, against my will. But that’s gonna change, soon! I know I owe you some answers, hence this entry. You have been a real help, even when you thought you weren’t and even when you didn’t know it.
I have always known that I was wild. I was meant to be out in the open. Nothing helped to drown this voice inside me. You are lucky doc. You run and escape from everything for a moment. But no matter what I did, I couldn’t reach my happy place. Finally, it’s time for me to move on to my happy place. This might be the last time I write in here.
My death will be my salvation and I will embrace it with open arms. And dear doc, when the time comes, you need to let the bird fly. With a wide smile, say your good bye!
And then the next page, adorned with her last few words. The words I would never forget….
“Sometimes, a teacher learns from a student; a healer is healed by the wounded; darkness nurses the light in its very heart. And sometimes, imperfection saves your life………..”