I had forgotten what happiness felt like. How a heart fills up with elation. How it expresses emotions with a smile that makes your eyes gleam, followed by tears.
I had forgotten what contentment felt like. Days of toil and heaps of sweat, awarded with results beyond expectations.
I had forgotten what faith felt like. The strength in your bones, the fire in your flesh and the rush in your head that materialize to both happiness and contentment. Thus, making you a better friend, a better human being.

So, I came up with a theory of my own, “Our lives revolve around Acceptance”.
The Oxford dictionary defines ‘acceptance’ as, “the action of consenting to receive or undertake something offered”.
The moment you can absorb this definition as an individual, who wants to embark upon a new journey, you’ll see the difference you always wanted to.

I was one of the lucky ones.
After having survived a long term illness and the depression it brought along, the only thing that helped me get out of that swamp was this word.
I had seen myself at my weakest, physically and emotionally. I had experienced moments of acute body ache; moments when I would faint because of excessive retching; moments when I would try to step out of the bed, put my weight on my feet and would crumple to the ground like a piece of paper; moments when the strong odor of sulfur would surround my senses; moments of photo sensitivity; moments of sitting in the scorching heat on summer afternoons, feeling the heat burn every inch of my skin but bearing it with all my grit; moments of going to the hospital every alternate day to get a shot; moments when the nurses would tell me that there was no space left to inject on my behind and that I would have to bear the pain from bleeding; moments of seeing my hair fall out with every stroke of the brush and thus, getting them chopped off; moments of being with my thoughts, thoughts that comprised of scheduled medicine routines, getting X-rays, CT-scans, blood tests, sputum tests, LFTs(Liver Function Tests) and doctor visits; moments when my brain wouldn’t allow me to study, even reading for pleasure seemed a far fetched dream; moments when I had to make plans based on my medicine routine; moments when I stopped conversing with the outside world so as not to reflect my sad little life on anyone; moments of lying in the bed, browsing my mind to find something to think, to do, something that would lessen the pain; moments of feeling shame, looking at the mirror; moments when every second passed like an hour and every hour, like a day; moments of incessant sobbing; moments of deep sleep that felt so warm that I never wanted to wake up to the misery and moments when my heart gave up on me and I, on myself.
I had never, in my wildest dreams imagined that I would go through a life changing journey in my early twenties.

Now, it had been a year since I got better. I had gained 8 kgs, I had pink in my cheeks, my hair grew out, my legs had enough strength to go for jogs and my arms were strong enough to lift my cousin’s baby. But my head wasn’t yet out of it, those images of myself would come screaming back at me every now and then. Not only did it reflect in my behavior but in my studies. I tried to work my brain but it wouldn’t function how I wanted it to. Helplessness and restlessness started building up, nothing seemed to please me, neither my favorite food, neither my favorite books, neither my favorite jewelry, neither meeting friends, nothing.
To battle this, I kept reading articles on depression and basically searched for ways to keep myself happy. And this constant thirst, only brought to me to one conclusion, that I wasn’t depressed because of what had happened or because of what I had experienced but because, I had not accepted it.
Now, there is a difference between living it and accepting it. I had to explain myself that it was over, the hard part was over. I had to convince myself that I was not as weak as I considered myself to be, I was strong enough to have fought the atrocities and come out as a champion. I had to start believing that I had it in me to battle the worse and be my true self.
And gradually, I saw myself move on, from all the pain, all the suffering.
Of course, following a complete diet routine, exercising, conversing with the outside world (physical and virtual) contributed to my improvement.
But I could do the aforementioned only with acceptance.

Accepting myself for who I was made me realize how hard I was being on myself. How I was not ready to accept my flaws and live with them. How not giving myself enough credit, made me unhappy. And this is what I want to tell anyone who is reading this, stop judging yourself too much, stop hating yourself and stop doing what you don’t want to. Because when your head and heart don’t align, your soul becomes restless.
So, start trusting your instincts, start believing in what your heart says, start giving yourself a smile before you leave for work, start embracing your odds and polishing them, start loving yourself, start citing reasons, start putting yourself out of harm’s way and most importantly, start telling yourself that you are the best version of YOU.

~K.  (कृतिका)