You feel small. Like the fierce woman living inside of you has toned down her element a bit. Actually, quite a bit. And then some more. You curl up all the sprawling, vibrant parts of yourself into a tiny, sorry ball. Or more like, pack them up tight under innumerous folds. One confusing lap after another done in such a way that it could may be take forever to really uncover what it had been like before your nimble fingers chose to handle your own vivacity so precariously.
Yes you do that to yourself. You recognize its red-alert signs and acknowledge it when you see it coming. The collapse. You tear up in the backseat of an Ola while riding home in the night. It just hits you out of nowhere. And you don’t even have the capacity to reason it anymore. So you welcome it rather than try glossing over it with ambiguity or outright denial. You know you are going to break down hard on the balcony floor once you get back home. (You also suddenly try to recall if Chikkamma had cleaned the balcony in the morning. Irrelevant. But relevant. Somehow your brain can simultaneously function on several parallel levels oddly well.) But you let yourself have ‘that’ time. You wilt and shrivel in silence. Or rather with outrageous wails being muffled into the pillow. May be that’s just become one of the survival tools now.
You stay quiet. You try to shrink yourself almost to a point of societal non-existence. Today is just another one of those days when you feel pulverized to the bone. And even ten mounting cups of coffee amount nowhere close to being a saviour.
You leave post-its around the house for selfcare. ‘Buy chocolates.’ ‘Buy that anklet from Instagram.’ ‘Get an organic shampoo.’ Some are just regular-care. ‘Apply aloevera.’ ‘Wash the damn clothes.’ ‘First Dunzo some detergent.’ ‘Drink water.’ ‘Did you drink enough water?’ ‘Get a new toothbrush.’ Because how will you remember all the ordinary and apparently-mediocre stuff in the middle of battling an apocalyptic crisis that is going to hit you unannounced! Again.
You feel happy. Dance-in-the-shower happy. Dump-on-you-the-most-monotonous-shit-at-work-and-you-still-won’t-fret happy. Roll-your-eyes-back-at-the-bus-conductor happy. Try-lipsyncing-to-the-silliest-songs-on-Saavn happy. You can literally feel a weeeeee-heeeee welling up inside you in the office elevator. You walk up to to the coffee machine and actually attempt blowing bubbles through the stirrer into the golden brown magic filling the cup to make odd faces froth up on the surface. Obligatory(?) confession: This is a weird kind of mood. Personal defence: But it doesn’t actually need to affirm to the mainstream, respectably-acknowledged moods out there because there is a whole spectrum of moods and this doesn’t even border on the territory of the most insane ones. Impartial question: Or does it?
You finally manage paying off your credit cards for the month. Though it’s another traumatic thing that you pay your first credit card through your debit card and your second credit card through your first credit card and your rent through the second credit card. Okay, this is vicious. And you know what it is but you still somehow end up just elongating this ugly chain every month. (Urgent note-to-self: Try to accept that taking care of personal finance forms an essential part of selfcare, so may be try to fix that in future. Like NEAR future.)
You feel high. You can almost imagine confetti showers. Or you don’t know what to call it but wild asymptotes of some kind of personal contentment have come crashing into you. Hard. Their wilderness so neck-to-neck with you now that there’s no space left anymore for useless pretence. You can openly be your rawest self. You can finally take an axe to all the dead ends tonight. You can weed out all the toxic things and nurture all the good ones. It is finally being taken care of. Everything. Is. Okay. You-can-safely-pick-up-that-honey-and-milk-tonight-instead-of-the-wine-bottle-and-it-will-still-be-fine-until-morning okay.