“I can wipe away all your history”, the kind person said.
“What do you mean?” I asked
“You will have no memory of the tragic events in the days gone by. I am asking you to sell me your demons”, offered the kind person
“No thank you! My demons are not for sale”
Once upon a time, I would have gladly accepted this offer, more like, I would have given anything in the world to get rid of my demons. Now, I would not give them up. Not for love, not for anything, not ever.
Why am I making such bold statements?
Going as far back in time as I can, I do not remember a period my being not being permanently inhabited by my demons. I was 7 when the first one latched onto me. It came to me as a spider. The second’s visitation coincided with my 13th year on earth. Since then, they exponentially multiplied, changed appearances, created havoc in my life. Beginning at the end of the last year and slowly creeping into this year, my demons had taken over my life completely. I was alive but my soul had moved beyond where neither the living live nor the dying die. I was stuck.
It is an understatement if I say that I had tried every technique in every book and video that I came across to fast track my healing journey. I had done more than everything. From solo trips into nature to surrounding myself with people to listening to sufferings to painting to reading to buying books to writing letters, notes, stories upon letters, notes, stories to meditation to swimming to planning my day to the last minute to busying myself in work to drugs to alcohol to suicide attempts to sleeping pills to self-harm to asking for help and being labeled ‘dependent’ to even praying to a God – you name it, I had done it. While I was doing all this, I was trying extremely hard to force my demons to go back into the closet which was very silly of me because they were as large as a 14 storied building and would not have fit in a 6 feet closet.
My focus was on being happy. My focus was on to feel happiness again. My focus was on to heal quickly. My focus was on to get rid of my demons once and for all.
On the other hand, my demons had a different story. They wanted to be understood. They wanted me to stop shutting them in the closet. They wanted me to acknowledge them and confront them head on. They smelled my fear. They saw the reflection of the disgust I felt towards them.
I was not ready for them because I was drifting away from myself.
I was suspended in the abyss somewhere, descending into, what felt like a bottomless pit.
Eventually, I hit the rock bottom. Oh! The sweet pleasures of hitting the bottom and the promises of rising again. No sarcasm implied here. I had been there multiple times and I know until I do not hit the bottom, I do not get up.
As soon as I hit the bottom, I knew that my fears had taken wings and have flown to where they came from. I was not afraid of death. Not of consequences. Nothing.
And, I was finally happy. I was happy because I knew I could not fall down any further and everything I do from here onwards will be just climbing back up again into the world which had been lost on me.
Now, before I started on my joyous climb back up again, I had to talk with my demons. And what better place to meet them than the darkness of the abyss where they reside?
As soon as I called upon them, they began to appear, much smaller in size compared to the last time I had seen them. Their reduced shape was a direct result of my resolution to confront them.
I started to read. I read Being and nothingness, I read being and time, I read Camus and I read Simon, I listened to them with the precision of passing a thread through a tiny needle and I held onto every word, I savoured it and then I painted, I painted until my back ached, until I could recognize blindfolded the color of the paints from their smell and then I wrote, I wrote about the hurts, the past, the future, the poetry about a broken heart and I went and attempted at fixing the broken relationships around me. With every word that I read, with ever brush stroke on the canvas, with every word that I wrote and with every person that I confronted, my demons grew smaller in size.
I began to forgive myself, I fell in love with Camus, the same kind that I had felt for Rumi but much more powerful, I began to move on and I understood that without my demons I would not have been able to do any of this. That without my demons I would not have had such a rich and colorful life. That without my demons I would not have learnt to forgive others. That without my demons I would not have been able to tune into the sufferings of others despite my own sufferings. That without my demons I would not have been able to sail in a storm. That without my demons I would not have made the tough decisions that I had made in my life. That without my demons I would not have been able to love the way I love. That without my demons, I would have been incomplete. That without my demons, my life would have had no essence. That without my demons, I would not have achieved solitude. That without my demons, I would not have accepted the indifference of the world. And that without my demons my life would have been an empty vessel. That without my demons my being would have been meaningless and that without my demons I would not have survived the onslaught of whatever life had thrown at me up to now.
Today, my storm has exhausted itself and I have lingered at the lightless bottom of my abyss for a little longer. But, I am not afraid anymore. I am not afraid of the dark and I am not afraid of my past. I have been a fighter all along and I intend to fight until there is no more fight left in me.
In a corner, I see all my demons hurdled together; I see they are tired, I see they are very small now. They know that I know who they are. They know that I know what feeds them. They know that I have learnt to deal with them now. They know that I have held the mirror up high in my face and I have faced myself. I know that they know that I am in charge now.
And they also know that they are not for sale. They never will be.
P.S. As I had been writing this, I met with a friend who had the same views about her demons. I think that was a sign 🙂