Sucked in a Vaccum of Loneliness

I had been feeling a bit ‘meh’ these past few weeks as if I were being sucked in a vacuum of loneliness. Though surrounded by a loving family, a job and friends that kept me busy, I was losing my grip on reality. My world was sinking bit-by-bit. As the days went, it became difficult to get my butt into gear and I lost interest in anything that previously engaged me.

I did not pay any attention to my wellbeing until one morning I woke up with the feeling that I could not be bothered to get out of bed. On the first day I permitted myself a couple extra hours of lie-in, but when hours turned into days, I understood something was not right. Hard as I tried to stay in the present, my mind became overwhelmed by too many thoughts and doubts and I was sucked in the black hole.

Despite all that, I wanted to stay connected with family and friends and relied on social media as a form of communication. Barely out of bed, I got into the habit of checking Facebook posts and WhatsApp messages. I continued with videos on Youtube and TikTok. However, it got too much, because soon enough, I came to despise receiving calls and emails. I believe I was experiencing burnout.

Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head.

I am one of the sensitive people who gets affected by weather conditions, although never been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). On and off I seem to experience a sort of depression. My ideal temperature is around 18-20 degrees Celsius. Anything higher gives me a rash and sun stroke. Anything below 10 degrees, feels like the artic.

In winter months, I always know when it will snow. My knees start to ache, and I feel a permanent chill in my back. Whenever I mention it, my kids roll their eyes. They think it is old wives’ tales, though science has proven that changes in the atmospheric pressure can affect the fluid in our bones. In cold weather, when the fluid decreases, our bones grind against each other and the pressure leads to pain.

We all know sunshine improves our moods and wellbeing. Nevertheless, when we get four seasons in a day or week, the weather can play a trick on our mental health. On Easter day, with a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius, the weather was glorious. While every English man and his dog were bathing in the midday sun, I was the unsociable one who hid within the safety of my home. I preferred venturing out at dawn or dusk. Could one of my ancestors originate from Transylvania?

The next day however, on Easter Monday, the temperature dropped by 10 degrees. A cold front from the Arctic spread across the UK making it feel more like below freezing. In the following days, we would see snow, rain, and wind. Then we were back to high 20s temperatures. With all these fluctuations, my mental state did not know which tune to dance to. I am certain my moodiness, irritability, and tiredness affected those close to me even though they never retaliated.

“It’s okay not to be okay as long as you’re not giving up.”- Karen Salmansohn

I appreciated I would not achieve anything productive if I let myself feel like that. My priority was to get out of that procrastination vacuum. If I did not do something about it, I would continue to suffer in silence and hurt my loved ones in the process. I took it upon myself to find a way to keep distracted and inspired. I set a goal as to what I could achieve. I made a small list while visualizing what I needed to do, at the same time accepting that not all had to be done on the same day. Baby steps.

But by putting my intention on paper, I had taken all those overwhelming thoughts out of my head. Hence, I felt less pressure. I then turned to the only therapy I felt happy with. Dance. I created a new vacuum but this time, full of happiness. Although not a great dancer but when I blared some hip music and gyrated around my kitchen, all fears disappeared. Plus, I did not need any equipment to feed my Fitbit and increase my serotonin level. All in all, it was a win-win.

We can’t always choose the music life plays for us, but we can choose how we dance it.

And God Created Women

It all started with a march that took place in 1908. Thousands of garment workers went on strike, marching through the streets of New York demanding better pay and working condition. Four years later, in 1911, the first International Women’s Day was celebrated.  

Every 8th of March, across the globe, women stand together, fight for the end of discrimination and celebrate those who have achieved economic, social, cultural, and political success.

Yet, in some parts of the world and indeed in many households, women still face discrimination and inequality. While they perform the bulk of household duties, it is often the men who get special credit for the little they do.

My mother did not have a beautiful life. Growing up, I occasionally witnessed her feeling helpless, afraid, and insecure. I did not know why. No one asked, ‘What can I do for you?’. Instead, she was made to feel bad with ‘What’s wrong with you?’.

It is only after learning about myself while exploring areas that stunt me from growth, that I got a glimpse of what would have been my mother’s despair. Through a long emotional process, I have learned to get through the feelings of helplessness and sadness. It is a constant battle, fighting not to be sucked in by the negative energy of others.

Not only was she a wife and mother, but for many years she was the main breadwinner. On top of childcare and household chores, she provided us with basic material needs such as food, shelter, and clothing. She was a proud woman who never asked for help. She portrayed herself as a strong woman when she was probably on the brink of despair. She gave up her independence dedicated her life to the ones she loved.

Why didn’t she challenge the discrimination and inequality she must have felt? Her sole purpose was to love and guide her children and stand behind her husband. She inspired us to go to great lengths to attain our potential. Did she struggle with mental health? I have not a single doubt though she hid it well.

My mother laid the foundation for the person I have become, through her hard work and selflessness. I cannot thank her enough for the love and support over the years; for working so outrageously hard to give me a life worth living. She should have been celebrated every single day, not just on Mother’s Day. She should have been celebrated for being an exceptional woman, a jewel, a rare pearl.

On 14th of March, it is Mother’s Day in the UK. While I will be celebrating the bond that I have with my children, I will also take a moment to think of the one woman who dedicated her life to motherhood. A beautiful soul who was never celebrated as a woman. My role model, my mother.

“Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou

“There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice.” – Michelle Obama

To my mother, the woman God created. Happy Women’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day