I am not sure whether I believe in God, in many gods, in one lifetime, in many lifetimes, in a divine Universe, in fate, or just in plain old coincidence. The answers to these questions don’t plague me the way they do many others; they simply exist on a plane which I trust will become as clear as it needs to become to me, when it needs to become so, throughout this lifetime.
What I do know is that for whatever reason, Mother India has woven her mysteries into my life from forever. My very first friend was an immigrant to Canada from Punjabi India, and some of my first memories involve eating hot chappatis dipped in spicy pickles on the floor of her red-carpeted living room. The love I have for chappatis has never waned, and I still turn to the warmed bread dripping with ghee when life leaves me decidedly underwhelmed. Perhaps it isn’t surprising that my eternal commitment to India was kneaded into bread.
If I am honest, and I feel that I must be, I am a bit disappointed to find myself once again writing about depression. When I decided to write a blog, I had planned specifically to avoid the topic entirely, partly because it felt a bit too much like work, and partly because I did not want to open myself up too deeply to the world. Writing about travel and yoga offered me the opportunity to present to the world a woman who was free, fun, funny, and adventurous. This seemed ideal. Writing about my experiences of mental illness threatened to reveal to the world the scarred person I try to run away from, and to open me up to a maelstrom of criticism about being self-indulgent, imperfect, and lazy. This didn’t seem as wise.
As usual, the universe had other plans for me, and my anger compelled me to to respond to some of the hateful comments about depression which surfaced in light of the German Wings tragedy a few months back. I feel equally compelled to write about depression again, in response to comments I have heard repeated more and more often recently, both to and about people who are suffering.
Three lines of thinking seem to form the foundation of antipathy towards people who are sick with depression, and I will respond to each in turn.