The 3am Conundrum

Nights have always held a very special place in my life ever since I was old enough, and brave enough to start sleeping in my own room. I was hardly ever afraid of the dark (except those days when I used to binge watch horror movies and then switch on every light in my room to go to the loo alone at night).

In fact, I used to welcome the darkness, the apparent stillness which the nights used to bring along; that was the time I was truly by myself, grappling with my own thoughts, listening to the million things my heart had to say the whole day, and dealing with the never-ending dilemmas that preoccupied my brain, ranging from things like “What next to do with my career”, or “will I die a spinster with 10 cats and 5 dogs”, to wild knowledge seeking attempts, from “How to grow your hair in less than a week” to “How old is the Earth”. The limits were endless, the possibilities overwhelmingly unending, that is what I always loved about the nights. There is no one to disrupt you from your alone-ness (mind you, I did not use loneliness, as much as the auto-correct dictionary wants me to), you’re welcome to watch The Shawshank Redemption or Minions, Breakfast at Tiffany’s or Teletubbies (some people still like it okay, including moi), there’s no one to judge you for your actions or lack thereof.

However, the nights also bring some hard-hitting realities for us to deal with, all alone. It is something about the darkness that makes us feel alone, and not in a good way. The looming silences can, at times, break you inside, no matter how hard you try for it to not overpower you. You feel like you’re drowning in the melancholia, staring at the ceiling, waiting for each minute to pass so that the moon gives in and lets the sun rise, and the light fills up your room again. That feeling you get at 3am at night, like you’re all alone and the world is up against you. You start to think about all the life choices you made till now, and those which you deeply regret, the ones which never really leave you.

The sheer burst of emotions gives rise to an overarching emptiness, the tears aren’t merely sobs anymore, instead they are silent reminders of how you feel nothing but everything at the same time, a strange, ironic mix of emotions you cannot explain. It’s that time of the night when you realize you’re actually all alone, away from the hustle-bustle of the day, the people around, things which help you distract yourself from coming to terms with this fact.

Nevertheless, the nights also makes me believe that it’s me, my strength which also helps me get through these times, and wake up day after day, willfully fighting the battles I fought the day before. We’re so much more than the sadness, that hollow emptiness that we forget to give ourselves credit for the sheer strength we have to fight our inner demons everyday.

You’re more, much more than those empty voices in your head at 3am. You’re a fighter, and it’ll get better. It almost always does.



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