I’ve been ruminating about depression and suicide for a very long time. Far longer than I’d be willing to admit.
Rohith Vemula’s tragic suicide really hit my nerves. I guess you can call it a trigger. It made me reconsider my self-imposed decision to keep my deepest feelings hidden. Let this post be a way out.
I was teary-eyed while I was reading his suicide note. It felt like the letter could’ve been written by me. He spoke about science, stars, nature, Carl Sagan, and writing; all the things even I’m passionate about. The part about feeling empty inside also felt spot on.
“It was always with myself I had problems. I feel a growing gap between my soul and my body.”
“My birth is my fatal accident. I can never recover from my childhood loneliness. The unappreciated child from my past.”
“It has become truly difficult to love without getting hurt.”
“The value of a man was reduced to his immediate identity and nearest possibility.”
I just went through a few of my notes (and my diary), and I can see so much similarity. I can’t say with conviction that it’s the same, and I’d be blatantly lying if I did.
I didn’t knew who Rohith was before I read about his suicide. Nor do I know what experiences he’d been through; the difficulties he’d faced; the discrimination he had to put up with; the frustration to be aware and yet not be able to do something about it.
To think of all humanity as one and yearn for progress, only to be shunned by the same humanity you hold so dear. The feeling of hopelessness; of not being understood; of not belonging anywhere. Perhaps, even feeling lonely. It’s worse than anything you can even imagine.
When existence itself feels so futile, living just becomes a habit. A chore you have to put up with against all your wishes. It just needs a trigger to stop it all.
Thankfully, I discovered Absurdism just in time. It’s holding me together, for now at least. Reading and understanding philosophy helps too.
Happiness is elusive, and when you finally do catch it, it’s illusive.
From my perspective, apart from depression, other major reasons for his suicide were casteism and the lack of justice in our society. I’ve kind of given up discussing these issues, especially online. Not because I don’t want to, but because I’ve been disappointed with the reactions way too many times to even bother now.
It always makes me feel sad and depressed talking about privilege and denied justice.
Reality itself is hard enough, and we have to now put up with bigotry even on the Internet, including the social media.
Sometimes, I just like to move away from all the drama. Ignorance is really a panacea, and so is self-delusion. Unfortunately, we don’t have a reliable ON-OFF switch for real life.
The privileged classes have no idea what mayhem their deliberate ignorance is causing. At one point of time, even I was a part of the same; in some ways, I still am.
I’m not living in poverty. I had and still have access to education. I was born a male. I’m cis-gendered. I’m heterosexual. Socially, I’m highly privileged, despite being a part of the minority religious group here in India.
There’s just so much to do, learn, and share
Too little time and very few who really care.
Still, it’s not that we’ve stopped progressing. We’ve made great strides over the years. But at this very moment, in this instant, everything feels so bleak. Maybe I have to start looking at it from a long-term perspective to feel a bit alright. Maybe.
Where do we go from here? I have no idea. I just hope I get the support I need, and so does everyone who’re in desperate need of it.