Wednesday, August 24, 2005


They say about 7 million women in the US are suffering from depression and that one out of every five women can expect to develop depression at some point in her life. They also say depression most frequently affects women between the ages of 25 and 44. Does that put me at a greater risk of being depressed? It sure does. Does that mean I am depressed? Probably not. But the statistics are scary enough and they scare me.

Do I have any reason to be depressed? Of course not. I’ve been loved and nurtured all my life, I live and love and enjoy life, I have a husband who loves me, parents who are proud of me, friends who care for me, a past that I cherish, a present that is worth every moment and a future that holds promise. Yet, somewhere in between the narrow crevices of my life are failures and disappointments that remind me of things that I wanted and did not get, of dreams that I had and could not realize, of hopes and aspirations that I tried to live up to and could not reach high enough. Does that make me a success or a failure?

There’s a saying that goes "Reach for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars". But what if you wanted a piece of the moon and nothing else would fit the bill? Worse still, what if you wanted to give someone you love a piece of the moon and only ended up getting a star. Would that be alright? You could say, that’s not bad, you did get a star, and it’s bright and shiny and looks kind of like a diamond. But it still isn’t the moon, is it? And you could try and try and try to reach for the moon, but what if you cannot reach high enough? What if no matter how hard you tried, the moon was still out of reach and you could never reach it? You could say, well you tried hard and that’s good enough. But it isn’t. You still could not give the person you love the one thing that would have made a difference. Does that qualify you as a failure? Or would you still claim that it was a success since you ended up getting the star?

We all grow up with dreams, with hopes and aspirations. We want, we demand so much out of life. We have big dreams, major goals. Kind of like big rocks that we put into a glass jar and fill up to the brim. And then we have these other aspirations, kind of like sand that we can pour into the glass jar even when it has been filled up with rocks and still find room for so much sand. It’s those space filling sandy dreams that fill our life and make it whole. And when they start running out there is very little that is left holding your life together. When we look at someone’s life from outside we only tend to see the jar with the big rocks. We never realize how much sand they are holding in between the rocks and how much the sand means to making life hold together. That is the essence of life. And that is what makes life worth living.



Blogger Point 5 said...

hey grt post...I really like the sand & rock ananlogy....had never thought of things in that way.....

2:44 PM  
Blogger Rohan Kumar said...

Really nice to see u back and blogging as onlu can. If I were anyone connected to u I wouldnt be the least concerned abt u seeking the moon and falling short for they have already probably seeked their moon and succeeded by gettting you as their shining star (or moon since u r so stuck up upon it :) )

12:02 AM  
Blogger That Girl said...

i go through phases of depression ... its usually when im alone for more thana few days ata time.. GRR

3:47 AM  
Blogger sinusoidally said...

Hey's been a while since I visited your site. As usual a beautiful entry but I don't completely agree with it. In an ideal world if everyone had thoughts and a sense of achievement similar to yours psychiatry would cease to exist as a profession.

Yes, there are millions of people who suffer from depression in this world. The few that I have seen in my very limited clinical experience never had a home or a life like you described. They have seen their parents arrested multiple times in front of their eyes, or as children were sexually abused at every single foster home they were thrown at or never went to school because their parents didn't push them or were beaten mercilessly and starved or have been wanting to die because there is nothing good to live for since they were five years old and this list of unthinkalbles could could go on till my eyes start to water. They don't appreciate what it means to have any achievements because they were never appreciated for any.

The point that I am trying to make is that even though people like you and me could fill our vase of huge stones with sands there are people who just don't know what it means. They never had a father or a mother figure (in spite of having biological parents) that ever told them the meaning of filling sand in between the crevices. We as people who are fortunate enough to appreciate things in our life can't just assume that if all those millions of people who suffer from depression did the same would have a healthy outcome. Similary a few pills of Lexapro or Prozac can't replace that lost part of childhood or adulthood.

I in no way mean to say that your analogy is wrong. Like I said, it is beauiful but it oversimplifies and undermines a disease that is far more complicated than it appears to be.

9:39 AM  
Blogger Rimi said...

i don't really think you were out to analyse depression, did you m? hmm...thought not. nice to see you posting again. and yes, the thought scares me sometimes too...

10:27 AM  
Blogger jaded said...

you did scare me at first, remind me of alll the exact things i am scared about..then of course you had a comforting word....good post, liked it.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Kumari said...

A very beautiful post...but sometimes i am scared of a huge jug of water washing away all those sands and leaving them as just crevices...empty and longing.

Time to pack my bags and leave the country before i become one of the 7 million :D

1:51 PM  
Blogger Ratna said...

In the end it really doesn't matter if you got moon or a star. The process will keep one out of depression. Nice post :)

1:38 AM  
Blogger Priya said...

Lovely post right after my heart. Scary how most of our lives appear the same, especially after marriage. A tale of some unrealised dreams, some hopeless hopes and some aspirations gone astray. How we are forever trying to "reach for the moon" by being the perfect housewife, wife, mother,colleague and what not, and most of the time end up with just a few stars on the report card.
But hey, no way are we failures, and no reason to be depressed. Coz at least we're great jugglers who can shlep the rocks, fill the sand, traipse the tightrope and still dare to dream.
Once again, beautiful post, M.

5:24 AM  
Blogger J. Alfred Prufrock said...

You could try getting out of Virginia.
Or even the USA.

Buy a schloss in Austria. Live on blinis and beer.


7:25 AM  
Blogger Arindam said...

hey - loved the "Reach for the moon, even if you miss you will land among the stars".

4:04 PM  
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12:36 AM  

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