Grey

It’s been a while since I have read. A novel. A story. I’ve forgotten what it feels like to put my real feet into imaginary shoes. There are days that I crave for words written by others and then there are days that I crave for words written by myself. Sometimes all you want to do is let that imagination run wild, and far.
There’s this thing about black and white pictures. The absence of color. The scope for grey, where nothing is known and yet everything. I could show you one and you could paint the sky green, paint the ground blue, flip the world, immerse yourself in the endless possibilities that are in front of you, no no, around you.
But would you want to do that? Would you want to flip the world? Or yourself? Judging everyone not by their faces, but by their feet, and where does that leave you? Real or imaginary, all feet are the same but the shoes that cover them aren’t, and maybe there’s a mask over that face too.
.
“No person is completely wicked, just as no person is perfect. We are all grey”-from a distant part of the internet.

~ Mahdieh

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Unaimed prompts

/Expanse/

Have you ever seen 
something so beautiful
That it deserved to be shot
In black and white?
When colors could do it no justice.

A flamboyant aura, waiting to be seen.
To be heard.
To be felt.
And maybe, that wait will last forever.

It could be an abstract concept.
Given time it could even unravel the mesh that you’ve placed upon your heart.
And you can finally let yourself..expand.

Expand into the person you’ve always wanted to be
Deserved to be.
Expand into a flower, bloom
Expand into someone who has the “guts” to be cheesy (like I just was?)
Expand the way our universe continues to push its boundaries.
Or even
Expand into nothingness.

 

/Dedication/

Death.
I’ve always been afraid of it
It could be natural
It could be a disease
It could be anything
The cause doesn’t matter
Only the outcome

Disintegrating into nothingness
Memories cease to exist
They slip away
No matter how hard you try to hold on
They slip away like sand through your fingers
And the part that pains me the most? It’s inevitable
Your thoughts more than deserve a decent place to live.
Everybody’s thoughts.
And so, do the thoughts die with you?
Do they live on?
In others? Your family, your children, your friends

Maybe
I hope
We all have a need for individual identity
And ironically
Sometimes forget who we are
This is why our thoughts need
To reside somewhere else too
In a person
Who can remind you, tell you
Who you really are
So, this is dedicated to you, person
For being the chest that every human needs
Both figuratively and literally.
Or chests, if we are lucky enough it could
Be more than one
Usually is.

And when you are gone
They will hold on to your thoughts, remember you
The way you wish to be remembered
And when they are gone
Their chest(s) will remember them
And by extension
You.
So thank you, for being a trove.

 

/TheyToo/

I kept count
56 people
56 souls
56 bodies
Were violated 
Were disrespected
It started slowly like a tap that had just been opened
And then it flowed
Gruesome details
Horrifying occurrences
Scars so clearly visible and so very well hidden
Hidden behind memes and music
Behind happy stories with fairytale endings
Behind smiles so crescent
You could never have fathomed the things that had caused them to turn upside down
They never told their families
They never told their friends
The internet became their confession box
Even though they had done nothing wrong.

Women
Men
Both
None
Different ages
Different nationalities
A new family was born
A family that wrapped its invisible arms around you when you needed it the most.
A family that said “I’ve been there” and actually meant it
A family that did not judge you or blame you

It’s the second day and the tap continues to flow.
Did you know the more you cover a wound, the longer it might take to heal?
This is that wound, or wounds rather
Afraid of being called “attention seekers” many have deleted what took them so much pain to remember.
And guess what? You do need to pay attention, at least this time.

Maybe all this will stop.
All of it.
The world will be our happy place
The dark alleyways, the local trains, the bustling roads
They will be our happy place
It might take years
It might surpass our lifetime
But it will happen.
Because
They too.

 

-Mahdieh

Image Credits: Xyza Cruz Bacani

 

You did good.

You are reading this right now.
This means
You’ve willingly chosen to wake up from a deep slumber that helps you forget.
You’ve moved your muscles, even though they’ve been sore for as long as you remember.
You are most probably reading this and wandering if what I’m about to say has anything to do with this picture. 
It doesn’t. Skies make me happy. Beautiful skies even more. Maybe they are a reminder of how small we all are, and yet so significant.
You can’t help but wonder. Your brain, that beautiful brain of yours, a plethora of neurones and synapses.
All they do is pass signals and establish connections, in a way complete you. You complete you.
This makes you feel a bit better.
And you carry on, as hard as it might seem, you carry on.
And just tell yourself, “I did good today. We did good today”

-Mahdieh

Trap

When you let your mind astray.
Astray back to a time; to a moment.
To a moment when being desolate didn’t seem so bad after all.

When you realise that the same things never truly repeat themselves.
Our tenuous thoughts disseminate into nothingness.
And that’s when…we forget.

And sometimes we don’t forget.
A nebulous glow in the dark. Faded but distinct enough. The thoughts come back. Encircle us.

And we let them. Traps hidden inside traps. If you listen closely enough you can hear them shut. Your thoughts deserve a decent place to live. Lucid.

But just like a midsummer breeze, they deluge into oblivion. Go astray. Lose their path. You are back to where you started.

– Mahdieh

 

In case y’all are interested in viewing the images associated with these: https://www.instagram.com/cheers_anyways/

🙂

Void

We all get encapsulated by nightmares. Awful fist clenching ones that make your heart want to jump right out. But it doesn’t mean you can’t turn them into something beautiful. I woke up, shivering and instead of going back to sleep, decided to pen down the nightmare. Whatever I remembered. However little it was. It needed to get out.

I saw stars
They were beautiful
I took a picture
It looked beautiful
There was something about that picture
The stars
They were telling me something
I didn’t know
There were letters and numbers, a 70 here, a ‘the’ there
I was frozen
I didn’t know what to do
Nobody understood
It was a message, loud and clear, yet I couldn’t understand it
The stars
Wanted to talk
I wanted to listen
I couldn’t
I asked for help
No one came
I looked into the eyes of a stranger that did
She gaped
I looked back at the picture
The stars had disappeared, it was black.

 

-Mahdieh

“Why so anxious”?

You can never hear that enough. What the general population might consider as a meagre process of “freaking out” or “overthinking” is actually a rather more sophisticated version of cogitation. I could go on a rant about how anxiety is perceived to be versus how it really is. What it is really does to you. What it really does to the people around you. But any rudimentary article on the internet will tell you that.
The thought process differs is all. Something as simple as a text that has not been replied to can trigger a plethora of varied emotions. It makes you think things and contemplate scenarios that don’t even exist. The world becomes your specimen and your brain becomes a magnifying glass. There are days when you don’t care at all and then there are days that you care a little bit too much. There is almost never an in-between. It is the fear of losing people that you want to keep close, of losing opportunities that were within your reach, and to some extent, disappointing everybody around you. It’s a vicious cycle.
But then there are moments when you are ecstatic about everything in life. Everything excites you, and your happiness knows no bounds. You feel normal. You get out of bed and put on that happy face and actually mean it. Although statistically speaking, those days are very rare. That happy face will always be there, no doubt, but it isn’t really “happy”. It is a battle that needs to be fought every day, with triggers that need to be and want to be controlled. But as hard as it might be, it’s worth it.
It might sound impossible, but there really are people who care about you and for them it’s worth it. If you are on the receiving end of somebody’s “anxiety attack”, don’t leave. Don’t judge. Just listen. Because once it has passed, they will appreciate you like there’s no tomorrow. Talking is the sole thing that truly helps, so let them talk. Let them vent, because it has to come out, and this is a two-way road because they too will listen when you want them to.
Lastly, constant reassurance is the answer (not really, but close enough). They need to be constantly told that their life is not falling apart and that everything is going to be alright. That they are human and can’t control everything. They can’t help but hope and then break down when it is destroyed. Someone or the other always has it worse, but that does not mean that your pain doesn’t count. You feel what you want to feel, and that is a birthright we are all born with. Additionally, it definitely is nothing to be ashamed of. You will lose many people but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Keep the ones that care and aren’t superficial, and the rest can just see your “happy face”.
​We all have a very limited time assigned to ourselves, so for what it’s worth keep fighting because everything will be alright in the end, it has to be, and honestly, you can never hear that enough either.

 

-Mahdieh

It

Sometimes you tell me, it’s all in my mind.
I tell you it is, it doesn’t have any other place to be.
It tells me I don’t deserve happiness.
It tells me I don’t deserve gratitude.
It tells me that logic can ruin the same emotions that make life what it really is. It doesn’t know that emotions can be worse.
It tells me to remember my past and all the not so great things that came with it.
It tells me to feel guilty for remembering only the bad things about my past.
It tells me that I should appreciate things more.
It tells me to look forward to the future, but
It also asks me to dread it.

It makes me let others dictate the kind of person I am.
It makes me good at being alone.
It makes me feel like I am nothing but torn and twisted insides.
It makes me fall into its traps.
It sometimes, just sometimes, makes me feel so good that I start wondering if its real.
Its real.

Maybe none of us can say who we really are, but it can.
It can, and it will.
And you will believe it.
It makes you laugh without joy, it makes you over-react.
It controls you, but
That doesn’t mean you can’t stop it.
We forget more, and remember less
And whoever said you can forget it,
Doesn’t know it.
But you can try, because that’s the only thing that might make it go away.

 

-Mahdieh

For when your mind refuses to stay afloat.

I’ve been staring at my screen for a long time now, I realize. In a hope that I would find some words to put down a picture of my incomprehensive and absent state of mind. Typing something, erasing it, taking my notebook in my lap to try to scribble something and crossing it all out. What if we could do that in real life, one retrograde step after another? But, yes sure, that would take out the surprise element, the excitement and the shock out of it.
It’s the next day, and my eyes see the same dread of a blank page. This is what it gets down to. Once, the scenario in your head inside is chaotic, and on days like this – ruins. Empty. 
I share this predicament of unintelligible days with almost all of you. The same old “we all have those days.” It’s as good as a phrase today, to my sadness. But it’s these days that carve a question mark in your mind about the effect and consequence of things, whether an eventful past or even, a blank one with nothing stimulating in record. Even the absence of harsh times can make you go insane. I guess because it creates an unsettling distance from the touch of reality.
These are the days when your mind refuses to stay afloat. It sinks into a pseudo-state of melancholy which has a certain gravitational pull that drowns you, that consumes you to the depths that are dark and difficult to get out of. You are drowning even though you’ve been swimming for as long as you remember.  
At this point, I should add in a dramatic pause, the clichéd beginning: This is my story.
It’s like a picture in a frame on the wall when I recount that this has been my state for as long as I can remember. An endless loop of a day, a cycle of waking up-smoking-crying-eating-sleeping-smoking, repeat. Oh, and self-loathing, of course. That’s a sister.
I couldn’t get out of bed on most days. It was like waking up to enter this meaningless state of mind, the way they talk about existential quandary or something. I would sit in the bed with my baseless guilt and it was an ordeal to overcome this feeling. And I didn’t know whether I had reached that stage of being able to overcome it, whether it was the only thing left, or whether there was further slumping into this pit. That nest residing both, the looking for hope and strength, and the premonition of things worsening was the worst stage. I was helpless then. It was like waiting for uncountable wrecks so that its infliction would finally be exhausted and I would be the one standing at the end with only scraping up to the ‘normal’ surface left to do.
I am able to write this because I’ve reached at a stage beyond this mess and I’m somewhat “fine.” But in the following days, I realized it’s undeniable presence in the shadows, lurking, waiting to pounce. I know now that it’s always going to be around, waiting for a vulnerable moment, for a mental relapse.
I am writing this – that means I’m trying to express something in a hope that somebody would relate and I would be helpful if there was such a possibility. But when I recollect the times when I had tried to open up, the common responses made my head turn in disappointment and rather even a tinge of despite and resentment (a tinge doesn’t even begin to cover it up but one can only blame so much).
“It’s just a phase,” “everybody gets depressed,” “you’re just anxious,” “it’s fine, you’re just momentarily bummed out.”
It’s like people are waiting for this stage to finally surface so that their apathy and a general lack of seriousness can be involuntarily reflected in their ignorance and treating it as something ordinary. Well, it is, of course, sad to see that these mental issues are ordinary in 2017. Where are we headed?
But people need to realize that these reactions do absolutely nothing to abate your suffering. And certainly, they do not offer a hand to help you in this twisting road that unfolds before you. If anything, they make things worse. The added guilt. The added loneliness.
The word I’m looking for is “understand.” That’s what was absent. Before entertaining their comments, their stories and their laughs, if only someone could just step into my shoes and understand what I was going through. Understanding is a term that is highly mistaken. Empathy comes later. One cannot truly empathize if he doesn’t understand.
There’s acceptance too, of course. My friends would offer different suggestions, but I never felt that they actually accepted that I was having an awful time. That’s another important ingredient to contribute to what has become a general stigma today against issues of mental health.
Talking about words, the only golden word to get through all this, through life in general, is “endure.” Those hollow-headed days that I’m talking about, they’ve passed, and the noticeable thing was their passing itself.
Time. 
It’s not like you’ll find something of your interest that would instantly make you escape your delirium. You will find it, but not in a day, or a week, or a month, or maybe even years. And my dear daring badass people, endure is what I did.
Over time, you always end up finding company of your true friends. Even to the loneliest, there are some loyal and faithful acquaintances. I cannot ever forget the faces that were around. And to the one reading this, if not anyone else, there are these very words of experience and empathy that can help you vicariously.
It always comes down to time. Get through the day, one day at a time, is what a new friend always says, who is sitting beside my mug of coffee writing this with me, with an ashtray in front. I like the thought. It works.
One last thing that should be carved in gold in your deep philosophical trenches that your mind embodies: just know that it is all temporary. The duration is subjective, but it’ll materialize some day. Just, hold on. There’s a sunrise tomorrow waiting for you. If you’re not a morning person, like this person here, sunsets are always beautiful. It signifies that it has finally ended, it’s over. You can rest.
Whether you’re 21 or 83, there will always be something to look forward to. The dark clouds will be around, definitely, but there’ll be rains too and if you really pay attention, perhaps, you’ll even find a rainbow smiling at you. And then you will smile without sadness.

 

-Yogesh and Mahdieh

Prelude.

This is for all the stricken ones out there.

This is for those who are losing a little bit of themselves everyday and yet gaining even more.

This, right here, is where it comes out in the open.

I started this blog with an aim. For a reason, albeit selfish. I needed a portal. But then I realised, why should I do this alone? What about the rest? What about the ones who have a voice but can’t be heard? This is for them as well.

If there is anything the past two years have taught me, it’s that no two humans are alike. We perceive things differently. We interact differently. We feel differently. This is why “nobody understands”, because nobody can. But for better or for worse, they try. I try.

This is a collaborative outlet. A place where writers come together to peel themselves, layer by layer. And the best part? You can be one too.

-Mahdieh