Realising and then accepting I was gay was one of the toughest things I have ever done. In a span of 5-6 years I went from being completely ashamed of myself to wanting to shout it from the mountain tops. I think the years of hiding ‘my secret’ and being untrue to myself finally came to a head when I went through severe depression and became suicidal. Luckily, I survived through that and have now matured into someone who is utterly and totally at peace with herself and looking excitedly at the future to see what it has in store for me.
I’m going to mention a few things that have helped get through this hard phase of mine, in the hopes that it might help someone else.
1) Don’t give up: There’s a beautiful saying, “After the darkest night comes the brightest dawn” . I was lucky enough to stumble onto this wonderful piece of wisdom at the onset of my most horrible years. I have clung onto that with everything I had and it has seen me through to the other side. It is a matter of holding on with everything you have and more and riding the storm. It will get better.
2) My Faith: The grace of God saved me from committing suicide. Slowly but surely I started to place my trust in the Almighty and was able to save myself from insanity. Whatever you believe in, Ram or Allah or Jesus or Nature or anything else, stick with it. Don’t let go of it just because you are having a hard time. Faith in something is better than no faith at all.
3) Find someplace to hibernate: One of the first things I did,was to move back home to the safety and comfort of my folk’s place. There is nothing like being somewhere, that gives you security and peace and warmth. And then hibernate. I would imagine I was a bear and that all the I had to do was sleep and eat and sleep again. And that’s what I did. For 3 months I did not leave my house other than very occasionally. I slept most of the time . I did feel like a bum, but I realised that my body, mind, soul and spirit needed it.
4) Try and look to the future: No matter how bad or dark or depressing the present is, it will not be the same way in the next month or year. It is very difficult to put ourselves in a positive frame of mind, but that’s what we must try to do. Positive thoughts and actions are so essential to help us move on and get through what we are going through right now.
5) Cheer yourself up: It is human nature to expect other people to cheer you up when you’re down. But for how long. Make an effort to get better yourself. Exercise, watch a dozen comedies,read a book, meditate, pray. Do whatever needs to be done to get yourself out of that sad and hopeless frame of mind. You are your own master. So act like it.
I hope this helps. Is there anything else that, you dear readers, have done that has helped? Do leave us a comment and let us know.
Orinam editors’ note: This is one of a series of articles on Orinam that discuss living and coping with depression. Also see Vinodhan’s essays Storms Without Warnings and Spells and Charms. For readers who would like to learn more about coping with depression, a guide on mental health for LGBT people developed by Ireland’s Health Service Executive mental health project is available here. Additional resources are being developed by Orinam and will soon be available here.