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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Emotional Hara-kiri

First, a little rambling about my own life. I had my mid-semester last week and that kept me fairly busy. We have our Spring break this week, but I have continued to update my task-list. Reading WSJ everyday tops the lineup, as usual. There are several other things I need to take care of, but let me spare you the pain of having to delve into the many woes and ecstasies of a Graduate student, and share with you the sense of déjà vu I experienced as a passive observer.

Last Sunday, I had dozed off in the afternoon still holding my Economics textbook in my hand, when I woke up suddenly with my room mate's cell phone's incessant ringing. She picked up and said "Hell...o" drowsily. Apparently, she too had fallen asleep while studying for the exams.

I knew instinctively who had called and what it was all about. It was a friend of hers I had met some days ago. Mentioning the names or describing the situation is superfluous here and it should more than suffice to say that she had a break up recently.

Heart-aches. How many of us are really fortunate or wise enough not to let those happen to us? And how many of us can really own up to the fact that we had said "forever" a little too soon? For most people, it is easier to admit that they are in a wrong job than it is to admit that they are in a wrong relation. Why do we shy away from the fact that we have been mistaken?

In Economics, there is a term 'sunken cost' - a cost that has already been paid and cannot be recovered; the failure to ignore which causes people to make irrational decisions. Is it then the sunken cost, the time and emotion we have invested in a certain relation, that manacles us from letting go? Even when we know it is time to?

I am not advocating aggressive egocentrism where you tend to believe that you are the center of the universe and the sun goes around to please your senses and bow to your existence. But I think it is important to have a nominal sense of dignity. You should know when the other person is treating you like a piece of shit (Excuse my French) and have the courage to admit it to yourself.

On occasions such as these, thinking is a waste of time. Excessive contemplation does nothing to protect your self-esteem. On the contrary, it spirals you down to the dungeons of depression. You can't always know why the other person is behaving so strangely. (lack of more socially acceptable word) You might, at the most, ask for a rational explanation. If he or she is verbally challenged and has an emotional quotient in negative integers, then he/she might not oblige. But then why should you care for someone who doesn't give a twopence worth damn to your feelings?

I agree that it is very difficult to let go. And more often than not, it is owing to the silly superstition that you secretly nurture: you will never find someone better/ bigger/richer.. whatever. Nonsense! Nothing is sillier than having self-imposed limitations. Not only your deserve a better companion but you deserve a better 'you' too. Why exist as an emotional wreck? Why live to die every day?

It's time to rediscover yourself after a break-up. More so, if the fault lies in you. Life is too short for happiness and love. No point wasting it being sad about the indifference served to you by someone. And now, I will say the much clichéd one-liner: What you seek might be just around the corner. Just give yourself a chance to live a better life. Stop the emotional hara-kiri. Trust me, life gives you what you want from it.

The Broken Heart Syndrome is a real clinical condition, also known as stress cardiomyopathy, stress-induced cardiomyopathy or apical ballooning syndrome.

First described by Japanese doctors in 1991, the condition was originally called takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Takotsubo is a type of pot used by Japanese fishermen to capture octopuses. When doctors take images of a person who’s experiencing broken heart syndrome, part of his or her heart resembles the pot, and hence the name.

There is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium (the muscle of the heart). Because this weakening can be triggered by emotional stress, such as the death of a loved one, the condition is also known as broken heart syndrome.


Munmun said...

Thanks! Again a great post: but I liked it more, because I could connect greatly. :)
It gives me a lot of courage to look forward to life. :)

Bubbles of FireWhiskey said...

i used to shy away from admitting that i said forever too soon... not so anymore... i think i was lucky to have had the experiences that i did... it set me off on a journey of becoming the person that i want to be rather than what i was born with... i guess am rambling here as well... will come back when i am more coherent... but lemme know if i made sense...

Sam said...

well said!!
the reason i believe that people never want to own up to a failed relationship is probably the reluctance to accept owns faileure in judgement.. i guess that's how they'd look at it... and that's the reaosn why when the couple coudl have broken off as friends they end up parting on anything but a good note!!

candid diary said...

Well, some octopus-like people enjoy entering Tako-tsubo and remaining there – without realising that they can turn around and go out of the trap. You might have seen some people who even refuse help to bring them out of the figurative Tako-tsubo.
Well thought of and well written post!!!

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zoxcleb said...

spoken like someone with true experience....

Aditya said...

Very well written.

I guess quite a few would be able to talk a bit about this subject (though ideally they would not have wished for it).

I guess coming out of a breakup is a touch easier when it was a relationship gone bad, or if the other person was behaving in an unacceptable way consistently. But if, one wanted the relationship to continue, and still it had to end, it does become more difficult.

"Is it then the sunken cost, the time and emotion we have invested in a certain relation, that manacles us from letting go?"

IMHO yes, the sunken cost in terms of emotions, is what makes it difficult from letting go, especially it was the second case of one wanting the relationship to go on.

"And more often than not, it is owing to the silly superstition that you secretly nurture: you will never find someone better/ bigger/richer.. whatever."

You put it across perfectly. :-). But what if, whatever == more compatible?

At the end of it, if the person is a strong character, (s)he would bounce back sooner than later.

Wishing your friend more happier and better times ahead.

p.s. Sticky post?

Still Searching said...

Haha! Not that I'm going through a break-up, but this is jst what I needed to hear, and have been telling myself these past few days!

Some nice changes in your blog template.. btw, you know the slideshow? I instantly knew the last one was taken in the US, even though there is nothing in the background to suggest I recognize Boston... its just the way you look and dress has changed, just a wee bit! :))

Aparna Kar said...

@Still Searching
:) Yeah, I wouldn't be dressed like an Eskimo in India for sure :D It was cold in Boston this winter.

Aparna Kar said...

Bingo ! You have hit the bull's eye with "whatever= more compatible". The concept of 'the one' is over-hyped. What we are truly seeking is only a way to love ourselves more. A relation should be valued for not what it gives us, but what it helps us become. Every person we come across transforms us in some way- even a beggar on the street. (In fact, I'm thinking of the man at Park Street station who creates mesmerizing music with his guitar)

My take on a successful relation is that which helps us become the best we can be (reflected more than once in my previous posts) And that can be anyone: a teacher, a parent, a friend or a lover.

It is very difficult to say how or why we fall in love. In fact, I doubt its existence in the real world, though the manifestations are many. We can feel it like the invisible wind blowing on our face, gamboling with our hair- sometimes gentle and teasing, at times aggressively obsessive or simply irritating.

If I ask you how big is the universe, you'd probably say "infinite", though it's not a proven fact. It's what you believe (from theories etc). Love is like that. You believe that you are loved or in love with someone. If you are fortunate, your belief strengthens with time, if you are not-so-fortunate you are proven wrong. But there's nothing to be ashamed of it then.

Though I speak with detachment, I know it would have been difficult for me to cope with such an emotional crisis too. But it simply pains me to see that a girl about my age, who deserves happiness (I believe everyone does) is weeping away her prime years and wasting the time that will never come back. I have ranted for long. Now' I'll drink some water :D

Aparna Kar said...

You bet ! Seen a lot and heard about quite a few :D

Aparna Kar said...

@candid diary
Sometimes, they need help to come out. Thanks for your appreciation :)

Aparna Kar said...

Hmm. Valid point. I agree.

Aparna Kar said...

I couldn't have said it better: i think i was lucky to have had the experiences that i did... it set me off on a journey of becoming the person that i want to be
That's the only way to look at it. Wish more people were like you. One of my friends has gone into perpetual mourning after his break-up; wish I could tell him how fortunate he is to be able to begin afresh.

Aparna Kar said...

Thank you for your continuing patronage. If even one person could read and identify with the post, I'd have felt that my words have not been a waste. Thanks for being the first person to say so. I really appreciate your courage and strength to own up to it. Also, I'd like to quote my current gtalk status message here: "My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there." Wish you all the best.

Sam said...

"My interest is in the future because I am going to spend the rest of my life there."

Makes perfect sense!!!

Munmun said...

Loved the quote in your gtalk status!

rOhit said...

Well, no 'gyaan' from my side. You've already received many.

About the post I'd just say-
Profound and very true thoughts!

Nice Blog! :)

atrayee said...

I just stumbled across your blog and realised this is just what I wanted to hear. Thank you!!

LAVI said...

nice blog....

but suddenly noticed that this blog is dated april 16th 2008 :D how is that possible?????????

Aparna Kar said...

Oops! Sorry, my mistake. I had it saved as a draft for a while and changed the date to display the day I published it and put 04/16/2008 instead of 03/16/2008. Thanks for pointing out. It's weird, yeah :D

Anonymous said...

You Continue To Amaze Me

-Bad Wulf

saikat said...

nice post....keep showing the light and come online once in a while *mad*

Aparna Kar said...

heh heh.. sorry.. I'll give u a call sometime soon to update u. Btw, DIM became an omelet yesterday :D

Aparna Kar said...

@Bad Wulf
Why.. I 'd never know ...

Aparna Kar said...

Gee..Thanks :)

Aparna Kar said...

Keep stumbling.. u never know what u might come across :)

Matangi Mawley said...

tht was a very well written post!

Iris said...

"I've found almost everything ever written about love to be true. Shakespeare said "Journeys end in lovers meeting." What an extraordinary thought. Personally, I have not experienced anything remotely close to that, but I am more than willing to believe Shakespeare had. I suppose I think about love more than anyone really should. I am constantly amazed by its sheer power to alter and define our lives. It was Shakespeare who also said "love is blind". Now that is something I know to be true. For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love. Of that I am an expert. Most love stories are about people who fall in love with each other. But what about the rest of us? What about our stories, those of us who fall in love alone? We are the victims of the one sided affair. We are the cursed of the loved ones. We are the unloved ones, the walking wounded. The handicapped without the advantage of a great parking space! Yes, you are looking at one such individual. And I have willingly loved that man for over three miserable years! The absolute worst years of my life! The worst Christmas', the worst Birthday's, New Years Eve's brought in by tears and valium. These years that I have been in love have been the darkest days of my life. All because I've been cursed by being in love with a man who does not and will not love me back. Oh god, just the sight of him! Heart pounding! Throat thickening! Absolutely can't swallow! All the usual symptoms."