Between depression and anxiety in Lebanon, so many words are lost!

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Monday 22 August 202203:45 pm
إقرأ باللغة العربية:

في لبنان... بين الكآبة والقلق تضيع الكثير من الكلمات

A week ago, my therapist asked me to visit a psychiatrist who will put me on medications to help adjust my mood swings. I wanted to ask her not to take me in that direction; what would I do if Lebanon suddenly runs out of medication? I might feel better after taking them regularly, but how would I save my then calm self from the wave of mass depression that is hitting us all? Is it better the way it is now?

I have long debated with myself before sharing my thoughts with others, but I have always wanted to consider mental disorders as serious as physical ones. I am going to share the fact that I am not okay the same way we share a certain physical condition with neighbors, relatives and loved ones. Why not…

I am not the only one

Why wouldn’t we share such stories publicly when we know that, today, every person in Lebanon suffers from a mental disorder?

I am writing what my brain can process tonight, in one of Beirut’s bars, alone, amid a large crowd and a lot of chaos. Some friends asked me to join them for the night, but I chose to hide once again behind my depression since I am unable to hang out with friends nor sit alone in my room. Perhaps the tumult around me, despite my solitude, helps me know that I am not the only one and that, at the same time, I am not forced to explain. Perhaps I also know that everybody is like me; we are all suffocating, spending miserable time wrapped in happy photos, empty glasses and loud music.

I am afraid of publishing this article

I am writing this letter to myself. I know that I will read it and that I will be scared that someone else will read it. Someone that will expose my fake happiness, while I am busy with my friends’ news that distract me from what’s happening, or working, or exercising until a discussion brings us back “by mistake” to the reality: the miserable situation we are living.

I know that, by then, I might not recognize myself, for I want to vanish away from these emotions and hide them. I hate this face of mine and don’t want it in my life. I hate my disordered self and the fact that I am unable to love, write, create and sing despite the pressing urge I have to do so.

I want to hide this part of me. I do not know it and hate it. Rare are those who know it. However, I feel that we all want to disappear, together, as if we are waiting for something magical to suddenly get us out of this dark maelstrom –literally– and save us.

I am helpless, but celebrating my small victories

I think of changing my house, my work, or the country I live in. I think of the country that betrays us every day and steals our ability to discover, get to know and develop ourselves. My girlfriend is sad, as I am. My other friend as well. However, he is in denial, as if nothing happened. I know I am not forced to explain to everyone how important mental health is, but this is all I can see. Excuse me I am helpless. I am unable to answer phone calls or explain my psychological barriers to the guy who likes me, but is also disturbed like me. I am unable to dismantle or link my thoughts and unable to enjoy a night out with friends, listen to their discussions and share my feelings. I cannot work on what I am doing to the fullest.

I think of changing my house, my work, or the country I live in. I think of the country that betrays us every day and steals our ability to discover, get to know and develop ourselves. My girlfriend is as sad as I am. My other friends as well

My endurance surprises me. I celebrate it alone with every silly success, every time I wake up, every article I write or every happy moment I struggle to hold on to.

Guilty survivors: survive if you can

My therapist suspects a certain diagnosis, this makes me somehow relaxed. It explains my high productivity despite what I am going through and mitigates the burden that is my uncertainty. I know that I will get used to the situation no matter how hard it was, as usual. However, my country will pay no heed to my effort whenever it wishes to. By doing so, it will sadden my friends, push those by my side away, distract my mother and impede the situation for all of us.

Perhaps it is better to forget everyone else for a moment and give my diagnosis and breakdown time: my incapacity to move or expect a lot of myself during the maelstrom we are all drowning in. Perhaps, I should ignore the guilt I feel towards those sitting near me at the bar whilst I feel indifferent to their tragedies that are similar to mine.

Gibran Khalil Gibran says: “Between what is said and not meant, and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost.” I say to lover - sorry for correcting the quote according to my miserable viewpoint - , “between depression and anxiety, so many words are lost.”

We lose words while trying to dismantle what we and others feel. We become semi-dead, and the guilt of survival worsens with every crisis or explosion, without us knowing that there is no place for survival in this scenario: survive if you can.

Confrontation: a different type of resistance

I never wanted to share my story with anyone, because, young, I have trained myself to hide my problems and real obsessions from everyone. I have always chosen to seek confrontation and to try again. However, despite the unfinished writings I have on my laptop, I choose today to write and share my “defeat”. Perhaps I did not want to succumb to sedatives because they whisper to my ear: defeat.

Today I choose to get defeated: not to answer phone calls, not to justify my absence to friends. I choose to try sedatives without feeling guilty. I choose confrontation instead of resistance in order to add “survival” to my list of small victories

Today I choose to get defeated in a particular way: not to answer phone calls, not to justify my absence to friends, not to explain my sudden happiness. I choose to try sedatives without feeling guilty. I choose confrontation instead of resistance and agility in order to add “survival” to my list of small victories

I choose to write in the bar filled with those surprised by my sudden depression. I look at them and mask my wide smile as if I am confronting them for one time. I write because it is my only way to check up on myself. I write indifferently to the beautiful, impressive, coherent or grammatically correct style. I write and share on social media while it is hard for me to call one friend when things get worse. I write and share out of fear of being vanquished by despair and of losing, one day, the ability to talk.

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