Well here we are, the second last day of the worst year of my life.
(Wah kya drama hai!)
The interesting thing is that as I typed those words I though, no MinCat, surely it wasn’t that bad! I mean look at the past two months!
Yeah the past two months. Much has happened. But let me start at the beginning.
But first, since by the time I finished this post I realised it was too long, allow me to post the highlights up here.
I broke the depression. I won. I actually won. I can now get upset without cowering in fear that it might trigger a crazy fall into the abyss. I can be sad and it’s ok. It is grief, it is depression in proportion to circumstance. IT GETS OVER. I cannot articulate the feeling of liberation this gives me. IT. GETS. OVER.
I met some amazing people: Second Me, The Marathoner, 2B1M and The Writing Twins. Other beloved friends resurged into my daily life: The Hag and her husband The Loud One, and Jholagirl and her husband Jeetu. And still others have cocooned me in love and support: Kutti, The Wise One, The Poo, The Knight, The Bride.
The Knight and I have reached a stable place. Our relationship has run the whole gamut this year, and we might not be as close as we used to be; I don’t need him as desperately as I did; but we are good friends.
TDI (I have renamed The Flake again. Yeah yeah sorry. Tall Dark and Intense is most appropriate, and also then I don’t need to change it every time there’s a behavioural modification. Plus The Bride agrees hee.) and I are friends. Good friends. Friends who can and will last. I know he cares about me and he is no longer scared of my feelings for him.
Work is going well. I have tried to make it the point of my life but I don’t think I will ever be that person.
CB no longer bothers me.
I no longer feel the need to be extra nice to everyone. As Shrink says, make it your mantra: Not. My. Problem.
I have made my peace with being single. I know what I want and I know I might never get it and that’s ok. I know I can live this life I have.
And now for the in-depth analysis.
This year began bearable. My dear friend Chotu and his annoying friends came to stay, and Appa spent a month with me in Delhi. The Knight and I were at the blissful height of our frielationship and TDI and I were in a good place and friendship. I think I might have been in denial of the depth of feelings even. By the end of January however, things had begun to fall apart. Jaipur was dreadful, with my sobbing most days, feeling no camaraderie with FC, HATING HATING HATING CB and then being treated unprofessionally and shamefully by him. Kutti was also there and held my hand through some of it, which probably contributed to us deciding to move in together in February. I came back from Jaipur at 1030pm, having driven 7 hours, 3 in 1st and 2nd gear, only to fin my key wouldn’t work. Greebo was mewing piteously and trying to grab my feet under the door. I had no words. I remember lying in Kutti’s bed and sobbing to The Knight–why does EVERYTHING have to go wrong! He was rather unsympathetic too–unusual for him at the time–and didn’t even offer to come and help me break back into my house. Fortunately there was another friend I had at the time who lived right by who found someone to climb into my balcony and open the door from the inside. The nice thing in January, aside form Chotu’s visit of course, was meeting Second Me.
February was dismal too. I’d been in therapy a month or so. I wasn’t making superb progress, but hello one month. In the middle of February The Knight called one day and said the frielationship was over, he wanted to go serious with this one girl. I was gibbering in shock, and even foolishly called Scoo for help and got lecture–in which she made excellent points but really it wasn’t the time. It was 2am though and I couldn’t call my mother, and definitely couldn’t say that this boy who had been in my boyfriend space wanted out just as I had begun to trust that I had not been an utter idiot letting it get that far. I then called Mungi too I think. It was a bad week. Month. Heh. Meanwhile I’d been discovering more and more the intensity of my feelings for TDI, which I must admit I saw with part dismay and part hope, because really he did behave like he had feelings for me too. He also had his toxic girlfriend though, and seemed to want to try. And then Greebo ran away. And never came back. But February was also when Kutti and I found the dream house. Imagine, finding your perfect flat in just 4 tries in Delhi! Then Kutti was panicking about getting the lease signed while the owner was travelling and then I was but finally it was all done and we moved. with a WHOLE TRUCK of stuff. Jesus. We have too much stuff!
The first week of March passed in unpacking and rearranging and getting the pump fixed and whatnot. TDI now lived across the street and the Poo not very far away. March was miserable too, but not for anything I can pick out specifically. But you know, scoot on back and reread the posts heh. TDI didn’t help of course by being hot and cold and confused and mixed signally and a bad friend.
In April, I finally confronted TDI and told him what was wrong with how he’d been treating me and it wasn’t cool. And he said he was sorry he’d been flaky but he’d had a good reason; he’d applied for this job and was worried about it. Now he’d got it and he was moving to Bombay. I was poleaxed by this of course because he was going to leave what would I do???? Then we had a 40 hour long insanely drunken party in my house, and at one point I told him how I felt. Obliquely of course and when we were both drunk enough for plausible deniability, which the fucker actually uses unless he’s half a bottle of whiskey down*. I asked him if he knew why I was this upset about him leaving and he said of course he did he wasn’t an idiot. Then I went and cried for a few hours. I did that a lot this year actually, especially when alcohol and TDI were involved. But when it was all over and done with I just couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t deal. I actually ran off home for two weeks. I was a little more at peace while there. Alongside all this of course I was dealing with the sudden and unbearable distance between The Knight and me. And he was getting annoyed by my neediness. So I took a break from him too when I went home because it was a safe space for me to try and learn to not need him so much.
May was a blur. I was trying to hurt less, to care less. I had dinner with TDI’s mum and loved her. He flaked on me CONSTANTLY. His friend The Marathoner moved to his flat. TDI would visit Delhi and keep saying he wanted to see me and then ditch on flimsy excuses. (I actually asked half-bottle-down TDI about this and he admitted it was true.) Eventually I just broke and told TDI to go to hell. And then cried for hours of course. I also began my tradition of having people throw parties in my house in May. SM threw her birthday party and I had a ridiculously good time. So FC threw his in June and I had even more fun.
And then it was June. June seemed to get a little better. I was less awash in misery, but I wouldn’t say I was ok. I was always fighting the drop into the abyss. (Such drama no? But it’s the only thing that comes close to describing the sheer terror!) TDI had reappeared in my life because I’d taken The Marathoner shopping for many things to set up house, and he invited me over to his house for thank you drinks, and casually threw in after I agreed that TDI would be there. My Spanish friend R was staying with us at the time and she came with me for moral support. TDI was his aggressive obnoxious best. Every single thing I said he’d attack. I was slightly horrified and worried about him. So I worked up the nerve to call him one day and ask if he was ok. We had a stilted five minute chat where he told me he was and that was that. June was also the month I met 2B1M (also known as 2J1J 2 jism 1 jaan because hello we’re in daaaali). I didn’t know it at the time but that was when it was all going to start getting better. Which of course I can only say with hindsight, because at the time, though we got along like mad, I wasn’t to know that she would really become that friend I have desperately needed in my daily life, the person with the unconditional love and support, the friend who is FAMILY, who did for me what I did for other people.**
July was the birthday month. I felt like I could try for the very first time in ages to have a birthday party. That has been neatly covered of course. I felt like I had community, a place, like I belonged for the first time since early 2011. And I was DROWNING in work. I barely had time to breathe. The Knight drama had disappeared and while I missed him I found that it was good for me to not be constantly upset about him. And my niece was born! That was a good day. Guggles as I like to call her has gigantic eyes, hair that stands on end endlessly, poops rarely and voluminously and keeps us all on tenterhooks because she’s in such a hurry to grow up.
August I headed off the to US. It was good. The Knight had something bad happen to him so I asked if he was ok and he replied with unstinting apology for fighting and told me how much missed me. That was good too, that our friendship could wake up like that.
September I came back, and was breathless with work and suchlike. TDI took to calling me when I was in town and making a point of coming to see me. I was doing all right. Still desperately holing the doors shut against the demons but they weren’t thrashing around too violently.
And then came October. October was a bad month. It was a month with 7 drinks and 4 meltdowns. Of living minute to minute in expectation of despair and tears. Of wanting to give up–no not suicidal thoughts but just, enough is enough. I was in talks with the rents about another sabbatical back home near the end of the month when suddenly the fog lifted. Slowly, imperceptibly even, the demons began to die away. I remember telling people in excitement, IT’S BEEN A WHOLE WEEK SINCE I’VE BEEN SAD! I’M ACTUALLY HAPPY! And then it became ten days. And then it became 2 weeks. And now it has been more than two months. Two whole months that I have been whole and happy, content and dare I say it optimistic. Which is why it is hard to say it has been the worst year of my life. October also came with two new friends. The writing twins, as I like to think of them, were two more people in the mould of 2B1M. (They need separate names, and I’m toying with Castor and Pollux, but who is which?) People who treated me like I treated them, right from the start. We even played a game about how they’d need to win ten points from me to get invited to JLF parties. And they played along. They made plans with me and kept them. They insisted we hang out and NOT talk about the book, and then actually did it. They were accepting and understanding of me when I said listen I give too much too soon so wait. ok? I’m not saying you’re going to exploit me, but I need to wait before I leap in. I need to do this for my own sanity. They gave me faith in my own judgement again. And to some extent in other people too, especially of the male species.
Now November had two big things of note happen. One, I went on a road trip with the Writing Twins and their friends. We drove up to a village near Ranikhet and spent two mad mad MAD days there and drove back. It was transcendental. I have been wanted to travel more since I moved to Delhi, but I’ve never had the company. And what company! So relaxed, so comfortable, so easygoing. It was also notable because I snapped at Castor and Pollux, one for refusing to repsect my fear of ghosty things after dark and the other for talking on the phone while driving on the highway. Why notable? Because it meant on some level I was ok with them not seeing me as always sweet and nice and kind and thoughtful. (Actually the fuckers call me evil. Imagine! ME!) And then, later that month, TDI came to hang out when another friend was visiting from NY, I shall call her Serendipity for how we became friends, and we had a ridiculously long, open, honest conversation about him and me and how I felt and what he did and suchlike. Suffice to say he apologised for handling April badly and I managed to say ‘I’ve been in love with you for a year’ with no dramatic results or expectations! Our friendship healed a lot. Oh wait, there’s a third notable thing in November–no two more. The third was the release of MW’s book–FINALLY!!!–amid much drama and stress of course. And the fourth was my finally, finally, FINALLY decoupling from CB. I don’t know how I did it; I think it came from the same place as my ability to talk in a non-charged manner with TDI about how I felt, but I just let CB go. Now he’s just an occasionally unprofessional colleague and the guy that Second Me is unfortunately (for her most of all) involved with.
And December has been happy and content. Hammock naps, visits from sundry people, a wildly successful, extremely alcoholic joint Christmas party with The Marathoner, a blissful holiday week at home, the wedding of OF’s brother and now, finally, a superb ending to the year, a mellow dinner party with the people I love.
*This particular trait of his has brought me to the point where I tell him I want to have this conversation with half-bottle-down TDI not sober TDI.
**Allow me to give you one small example. Now I have a car and I drive it most places I go. I give people lifts and so on all the time. It’s fine, it’s on my way. But 2B1M is the only person EVER who will insist on paying for parking, and once in a month put some petrol in the car. She’s the only person I know who thinks like me–it’s going to cost me money anyway if I take an auto let me contribute.