There are times when the life feels terribly hopeless and there looks no way out of the darkness. When demons are dancing inside my head and all I feel like is screaming to shut them up. Pain and misery seems forever lounging on my neck and it feels that I will just burnout in no time and nobody would care! Such moments are spectacular because they become much more important than the happy moments of life.

What do I do when I am low? What makes me bounce back?

There are multiple things sometimes it is music other times talking to my friends or closed ones. But mostly what works for me is the books. Books are my best friends, they pep me up, they show me a mirror and they influence my thought process in a big way. I have been a self-help freak since ages. That was the section of a bookstore where I would spend my time. I love to go over positive thinking stuff, change my perspective, and think from different views. Every book that I have read has changed me in a certain way. Sometimes the change might have been detrimental too but I may not have realized it at that point of time.

Books influence me in a big way. Once I was reading a fiction novel and was very impressed with the protagonist of the story. But mid of the story, she started to have financial trouble. I went so much into the character that I started to look at my financial situation very negatively and almost even argued with my husband over it. Well, yes. That’s me – I can relate to books to that extent.

Recently, I was going through a dark period yet again. The situation was such as I was feeling that a great injustice has been done to me from inside but from the outside I was compelling myself to show a positive image of the situation. Believing that whatever happens, happens for good and there is always something good hidden in a situation – I was always trying to look for the silver lining of this dark cloud hovering over my head. What happened was my head became a pressure cooker. I had put on unnecessary pressure of being good to others and ignore my internal feelings of anger and guilt. I was putting on a mask and at one point of time I felt that all my internal organs are going to burst out of pressure.

I got hold of a book whose title sounded really interesting. I read a few reviews of the book and felt that this was the one that I needed now. The book is called “The subtle art of not giving ****” (Language alert!). This book started doing something to me or I should say – my mind started doing something to me under the influence of this book. By the way, I am still reading it.

Every day during my commute to work I would open my Kindle and indulge into this book. First day after reading some part of this book – I became aware of the unnecessary pressure that I have made in my head. I am perfectly imperfect and there is nothing wrong in being wrong, guilty, frustrated and angry. I realized the world is full of pain and misery and I just need to hug my pain instead of running away from it. This realization made me feel very relieved. I felt as if a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I gave up all the positive thinking for once and felt relieved. I accepted that I was in pain and I need to make it explicit to myself.

Second day of reading this book, I started to feel angry. All the internal feeling which were subdued now came out very strongly. I felt angry at every person in my life. I felt angry at every incident where my right was denied to me. I still continued to read and felt even angrier. At one point of time, I felt that maybe my choice of the book was wrong – but no it wasn’t wrong. I needed somebody to show me the mirror and that’s exactly what this book was doing for me. A part of me also felt excited to see what might come up next. What other emotions will this book trigger inside me? I did not express my anger to anyone, I just became quite and maybe calmer from outside. People asked me why I looked tired and stressed, and I told them it was nothing. It was not nothing – it was a lot going on in my head. The pressure from the pressure cooker was slowly getting released and I made sure that it was controlled release. I started being more vocal in not accepting nonsense from people just because I wanted to be a good person.

This anger phase continued for a couple of days. A couple of days later, the next phase came which I would call a phase of responsibility. This is the phase that I am in right now and I am still to complete the book – I don’t know what is coming up next. But this phase of responsibility makes me realize that I am responsible for the situation I am in. It might not be my fault but I am definitely responsible for it. It is good phase to be in. I am not suppressing my pain anymore, it needed to be acknowledged and I did so. I am being true to myself in being straight to people and yet I know that whatever choices I am making today, I am solely responsible for it.

I love this book. I love it in a way that I also hate it at times. I hate it for slapping me on my face so bad. I hate it for showing me the mirror and making me realize that I look horrible (at least to myself). Some books influence you for life. For me, almost every book I read influences me for a very long time. Sometimes I read and re-read till I can memorize it.

If it weren’t for these pieces of printed paper that are full of wisdom – I don’t know how I would gather enough energy to carry on.