Pop (message ring tone)
A: hey?

D : heyy! Sup?

A: hey hi! Sup? What doing?

D : nothing re. Chumma lying on bed.

A: ohhh! No office?

D: ya it’s there… I have to submit some shit that my manager has asked me. But I will do it later.

A: ooh ok.. Hehe… Sooo chumma lying on bed ah? Or watching something?

D: yeah was watching some clips of random English movies on YouTube.. Then kinda fell asleep.

A: aah.. Ok..

D: how are you? How is everyone? Where are you right now?

A: yeah going on. Everyone is fine. At hometown.

D: so you are not in the city? Are you planning to come back anytime?

A: yeah… Have booked my tickets next month.

D: ok cool….

A: hey…

D: yes?

A: Are you free? I wanted to talk

D: yeah… I am free… Regarding?

A: I am not feeling good about myself (deletes the message)

A: lately i don know whats happening to me, i cannot sleep at night and i just cant stop thinking about my future and how i am gonna find a job in this pandemic (deletes the message again)

A: I feel very suicidal… I am not feeling normal.. Even movies, music, animal videos are not helping me to distract my mind. (deletes the message again)

A: I get lot of panic attacks… Just like that. And i really don know how to stop it…. I start getting these negative thoughts which i try to block through breathing or dancing, or just moving my body, i just cannot stop it. In fact it gets bigger and bigger (deletes the message again)

A: I really need some emotional support… Someone who can hear me out and not tell me, ‘its in my mind. I can fight it off’ (deletes the message again)

A: I have lost my appetite… I have stopped doing daily rituals like brushing, bathing, drinking water… I just don’t get up from my bed (deletes the message again)

A: I feel I haven’t done anything or achieved anything. Ppl keep praising me for my so called talents but I don know why I am not able to see them.. Why cant I see them? (deletes again)

A: i wish i was a child and never grew up…. I hate living (deletes again)

A: everybody keeps asking me about my job and future plans and all. I don know what to answer. Its giving me anxiety to the extent that i have to close my eyes and ears (deletes again)

A: am i being dramatic to ask for some emotional support? Why does my spouse always misunderstand me? (deletes again)

A: i am extremely uncomfortable living around so many ppl. I am not used to living like this. I have always lived life on my terms. I feel extremely anxious. And then I am been reminded of where my place is in my new family constantly through subtle taunts and insults… I am losing my mind… (deletes again)

A: i tried telling my problems to C but C told me that i have to adjust and that’s how this things work. This is how life will be hereafter. C has stopped replying to my messages and also I feel I am troubling C.. That’s why i thought of messaging you (deletes again)

A: i don wanna live…. I seriously feel like i am some waste. I don feel like i have achieved something. I feel like a loser. What to do ya… I am unable to stop thinking (deletes again).

What A actually types
A: I miss our college days… I wish there was a way to experience them again. Life was easy na.

D: hehehee… Lol lol.. Yeaahhh…

A: anyways…. Will chat with you later

D: but you wanted to talk right?

A: ohhh thaaaat… I just remembered our college days.. So thought of pinging you.

D: ooh…. Okkkaayyyy… Yeah college days were fun.

A: hmmmm 🙂 🙂

Pop ringtone ends.

This short-story is a guest post by Veena Nair, a former journalist who now dabbles in improvisational theater and is a loving cat-mom to Lulu & Leo.

Note to readers: This write-up only reflects the struggles of those going through difficult times. If you are having trouble opening up to your friends, please speak to a mental health practitioner.