CREATIVE NON-FICTION : The Girl Inside My Head by Srinidhi Srinivasan
This is a story of a person who fell in love with no one but herself. You will never know what love is until you fall in love with yourself, I know it sounds weird but that’s what it’s all about. You will often find me staying back at home curled up in a corner doing my own thing. It's not like I do not enjoy going out in the light. I used to live for the midnight rush until one day the noise of a busy day struck a bone within me. It was like I was living a life which isn’t mine and I felt exposed. There were eyes judging every move I made. I could no longer tolerate whispers, laughter and crowded places. I felt like I was being pulled away from something I loved and had built around me. I felt like a stranger in a place I used to call home. I was a lost young child looking for validation. I felt like my head was always underwater. I felt invisible. Talking to people had become my biggest fear and I started spending time by myself.
I struggled a lot trying to force myself out of this but it never worked. It was like something inside me needed this space and time. It felt like there was someone else inside me who liked confined spaces and fewer voices. I had truck loads of words sitting under my tongue and I couldn’t exactly understand the change I was going through.
I googled a lot and there were signs of anxiety and depression. It all seemed like a dream but I wasn’t actually dreaming. It did seem blurry at times but it never faded.
I hate to say it or maybe I don’t, but I wasn’t always this person who enjoyed my company. I was someone who liked to be on the roads, meet actual people and make friends. I loved how the lights were bright, that it almost burnt my eyes. I liked the sound of people’s presence, the noise, the smell and the air around them. It made me feel wild but it doesn’t now, not anymore. This new space I was building was more like a lonely space with no doors or windows. It's a place you feel safe but also scared because who knows what might come at you.Sometimes it feels like it is only safe until you do not know what’s out there. The day you find out what lies beyond will be the day you forget what safe feels like. It felt harder to communicate and form full sentences, the lesser I got out the darker it became And deeper my thoughts began to form.
I started spending a lot of time by myself. I had so many questions and some random thoughts. My mind cloud was blowing up with so many things. I started observing things more than what it was. I was seeing beyond the usual. I wrote down everything that popped up and it helped me get closer to myself.
I felt more creative and for some reason anxiety wasn’t scary anymore. Spending time with myself wasn’t bad after all. I found magical places inside me. Who would have thought that I was Alice and my wonderland was within me? I drifted apart from most of my friends and became more of an island. Everything that crawled inside my head made me realise that I had a story to tell. It made me mystical. I travelled paths I never heard of. I started drawing and illustrating things I saw mostly in dreams and sometimes in reality and this transition helped me realise who I was beyond all these layers. I did not know if this was normal but I started liking the person I was becoming. Not being social may not be a good thing but it is okay to let your self be. It was quite a war before I realised that some people are just made this way. It doesn’t make you weird or crazy and even if it does it doesn’t matter.
It's okay to find solace in yourself. The word love has a different meaning in everyone’s lives. Most of us spend all our lives looking for love in different forms but sometimes the rarest and the truest form of love is accepting the person who we have become and falling in love with ourselves. After all, Love is love.
About the writer: Srinidhi has just started her career as a software engineer. Srindhi works at her 9-5 job by day and transforms into an artist as night. She loves to write and illustrate and this is what keeps her alive.