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Not Depressed…Just Melancholic

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Melancholy.  That much celebrated emotion of poets, bards and writers. That very same state of mind that evokes the deepest of sentiments that spill over and create art that transcends time, culture, and every other tangible wall. I fancy melancholic. It is definitely more palatable than depressed, don’t you think? Like a fancy mental state not requiring the 3 Ps – Prozac, a psychiatrist and psychological counseling. The hard part is to convince people that I’m simply in a melancholic mood and on the verge of penning my next bestseller. I really doubt Van Gogh or Hemingway cared a hoot for what people thought of them. Busy as they were creating art and literature. So these days I don’t give a damn either. You can pronounce me depressed, given your limited understanding of an artistic persona and you probably weren’t around when I was really depressed. I’m no where close to that now. I do have some days when I find it hard to get out of bed but I always find the strength to pull myself out of it.

So keep your eyes peeled for one helluva novel, poetry that pulls at your heart strings and other artistic outpourings from me. Just hope I can hold on to the melancholy long enough. Some days it’s just gone and other days it hangs around like a blanket obstructing the sun. Wish I could bottle some of it for days when I need a muse injected with a dose of sadness.

I don’t fancy putting on a smiling face and pretending everything is ok. It seems fake and unauthentic to me. That doesn’t mean you need to lament and share your sob stories with all. Nor does it mean that you should wallow in your woes. When you are not happy inside, the unhappiness spills out somehow. You are not really addressing it and so it stays there under the surface. You don’t have to say a word but people sense it and soak up some of it. After a point being around such people becomes unbearable.

It’s ok to feel sad and it’s ok to ask for what you need. I’m not going to burst into song and giggle my way through the day just because that is how you want me to behave. I might sing when I feel up to it or laugh at a joke that my kids made up. I give myself permission to be happy or melancholic and I don’t need you to judge me. I’m trying my best just like everyone else is and I need you to respect that. And maybe you’d be happy in the same circumstances but I’m not because I have higher standards! I don’t need to conform to your views of how I should live my life. You can keep going on like a hamster on a wheel, shoving everything down and pretending to be righteous. Excuse me for not joining your rat race and for stepping aside to do something more meaningful. For having the courage to say, this is not working for me and for looking for something better.

So the next time you see me and I’m not really grinning from ear to ear do yourself a favor and leave. I might be on the brink of a creative endeavor and I don’t need any naysayers to rain on my parade.

Damayanti Chandrasekhar  loves yoga, baking and the Tao. She has a Masters degree in journalism and her other interests include reading, travelling and playing agony aunt via her blog www.punctuatelife.com

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