Lost and found- the story of a comeback

During my childhood I spent a lot of time exploring my creative side- whether it was discovering new people or what lies across the world through books, or dancing, participating in sports, playing dress up following instructions from the Childcraft books, which was my Google at that time (I made a pretty good ghost and pirate with an eye-patch and all) and trying DIY crafts with my sister- We once made Spongebob and a girlfriend for him. Muma disliked the fact that we used dishwashing sponge for this. We, on the other hand carried them around even to school until they disappeared under mysterious circumstances one day. I had also created an imaginary country inhabited mostly by cats and the national colour was purple… but let’s not get into that, okay? It might need a whole different post.

I believed that even something like a doll or a chair has a story of its own. I wanted to hear that story and bring life into everything around me. I had once watched a Disney cartoon where broken dolls that nobody wanted were thrown away and they got together, mended each other and became whole again. This cartoon moved me and I said to myself that I would never abandon my art, dolls or books. I designed a doll house where no doll was left out, even the broken ones. I spent elaborate amounts of time making tiny foods, tiny gadgets, and with grandma’s help- clothes and upholstery. This became such a hit that friends from school would come home just to see the tiny world I created, sometimes asking me to make something for them too.

The three shelves are three floors of a ‘mansion’, each Barbie has a different career and the dolls are always in action. There’s even a staircase, garden and pond (not featured in this picture)

This was all fun and games but as I grew up, I began to understand what a vital role imagination and a creative spirit plays in life.   Without it, I don’t know who I would have been. Time slipped by and as we all do, I expanded my horizons but still carried inside me the world I had created, letting it mold other aspects of life. Then came the most daunting life changing event- my spinal cord injury that happened 10 years ago. Although a lot of positivity came out of it, that took time. In the beginning I did not know how to process the situation. I did not understand what a huge turn life was about to take.

While I was trying to find myself again there were a lot of naysayers around me in the form of friends, relatives and random strangers. This was harder than the physical healing I had to go through. Putting it bluntly, to the world a disability means the end of you. You can’t really blame people for thinking that way. We have grown up with a set of fixed beliefs and rarely dare to question them or move beyond them. But I didn’t know this then. Low whispers, indirect and even direct remarks on how my life is ruined now that I can’t walk, how I would never be able to do anything worthy, or what a herculean task it was going to be from now on slowly began to get to me.

It never happened immediately of course, but soon I began to believe the said and unsaid words and accept them as my new identity. Was this who I was now? If many say so, perhaps I was. These thoughts made me wonder what the point of trying even was anymore. Why finish my studies, why be creative, why have dreams, why exist? I didn’t deserve it all. And then I did what I thought I never would- abandoned my creativity. One by one, I got rid of my art, my writing, the dolls that had become a collection in memory of my childhood fantastical worlds, and everything else that made me who I loved to be. I went spiraling into an abyss and it was cold. For a very long time, it was cold.

I kept it all inside, and couldn’t find a way out until one day for some reason I picked up a paintbrush and just let it do the talking. Maybe I would feel something again? The end result was the state of my mind at that time, and no matter how it turned out, it made me feel alive.

This is that painting and it had been hidden away for a long time until I finally had the courage to post it online a couple of years ago.

It reminded me of the feeling I had locked away, thrown the key into a stormy ocean and forgotten. But you can’t really lock away something that’s innately you for too long. It finds its way back to you. That bit of life was like a golden rope thrown into that pit calling out to me to hold on to it and get up. An uphill climb, it wasn’t easy but it was adventurous and there was no turning back. I went on to finish my graduation that I had put on hold, try new things, and just live the way I want to, doing everything I was told would never be possible. I welcomed colour back into my life, adorned my room with the art I had left behind, brought in dolls, gave them quirky personalities and stories, books and everything that inspires me. Isn’t it said that you become what you believe? It finally made sense to me. I made a choice to stop digging because,

Rock bottom is when you stop digging

So, I could either keep digging (do that if you are ‘Dig Dug’), or climb out to see the sky. Naysayers will always be there, no matter what you do. You can either believe them or yourself. Looking back I am glad I chose to hold on when my mind was screaming at me to give up. Today, I want to live for the little and big moments that come every single day, be my truest self and see the full circle of rainbow.

Barbie's comeback
After giving away all of my Barbie dolls long back, I finally got myself one recently, because why not? Time for a new adventure, who knows Barbie might inspire another story for another day.

This post is part of Blogchatter Half Marathon and Cause A Chatter – Mental Health Talks

24 Comments Add yours

  1. Deepti Menon says:

    Leha, your “golden rope thrown I to the pit” is like a panacea for all those who have reached the end of their tether and need a reason to hope. Beautifully written! Thank you for sharing your poignant story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thanks Deepti for your lovely words.

      Like

  2. Suchita says:

    Ah the barbie makes an entry. I recently found my teddy bear – the only one I had any sentimental attachment to and even though it was 6 pm, it felt like the day was done because I had other things to think about. Your story, as always, is inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thank you Suchita. Barbie was very eager to flaunt her outfit and bag 😛
      What’s your teddy’s name? So nice finding something like that after long. Maybe he/she can star in one of your stories.

      Like

      1. Suchita says:

        No name. Just a really pretty teddy bear 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. purbajune says:

    Your story is so inspiring, Leha. You have the capability to inspire plenty of people. You are a warrior queen.
    The painting is so beautiful.
    And I loved it that you bought a new Barbie.
    Much love and light ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      That is so sweet, thanks Purba. Right back at you ❤

      Like

  4. ritecontent says:

    This is so deeply personal Leha. You are so creative! Thank you for sharing it and perhaps helping and inspiring someone else.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Am so glad, thanks Brinda. I hope it gives someone hope too 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. pratikshya2 says:

    I loved that quote – The rock bottom is when you stop digging.. so true and you are such an inspiring example..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thank you very much 🙂

      Like

  6. Yes you truly have come back leha. and glad you are back… You are an inspiration. While reading I was looking into your eyes…I could see so much of calmness. There is so much to learn from you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thanks so much Swati

      Like

  7. Harjeet Kaur says:

    More power to you girl….never bother about what others say….Just do what you like to do. The painting actually speaks out. I could feel your emotions. Keep your creativity alive. You know what..even I bought Childcraft set of books for my daughter. I still have them and now my grandson reads them. Hugs and God Bless you

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Yayy, another Childcraft lover 🙂 Thank you for your kind words, Harjeet. God bless you too.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Tarang says:

    Your story is so inspiring, Leha. And your writing is so soothing and uplifting. Thank you for sharing! More power to you. Stay well. 💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thank you very much. Am glad you found it soothing 🙂

      Like

  9. I had goosebumps literally reading it. You inspire me Leha and I wish nothing but the very best to you in life. May you always smile and create masterpieces. More power to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thanks so much for your encouragement Chinmayee 🙂

      Like

  10. Pr@Gun says:

    Inspiring and creative power puff girl. You are one talented barbie yourself, dear. Beautiful painting and a great post. Much power to you, stay strong, and smiling always.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thank you so much. Power puff girl, that’s such a lovely compliment 🙂

      Like

  11. Geethica says:

    Yes, you are what you think. You have been so powerful with your colours and words, Leha. Wish you luck for the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Leha says:

      Thank you so much Geethica 🙂

      Like

Leave a Reply to Leha Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s