September 08, 2016

The Changing Colours: Blue

September is and will always be one of my favourite months because it often brings me a change of seasons. I'm not sure whether I will see the green leaves turn to yellow-reddish soon, but I know I have been looking forward to seeing them for almost two years now. The time when I can wear layers of light clothes without sweating or freezing. The time when I can open my room's window without getting bitten by insects or the cold air. The time when the streets look effortlessly wonderful with different colours: maroon, yellow, brown, or gold. Seasons and colours. In a glance, they both look similar. Some people say seasons and colours have the power to influence our emotions. But for me, they are two different things. The changing of seasons is actually something normal. Something that has been proven scientifically. Seasons change because the Earth's axis is tilted - at least, that is what scientists say. But what about the changing colours of our lives? Have you ever thought about it? Why there are such colours in our lives that suddenly appeared - and even reappeared. Even psychologists have not yet found the precise reasons. The reasons why sometimes we feel blue, and suddenly it turns to purple, red, green, grey, black, or white.

If you have never thought, realised, and even gave a damn about it, then good for you. I wish I could be like you. Someone who doesn't have this high level of sensitivity to realise and think deeply about every single change that happens to herself. Someone who doesn't easily absorb energy and feel everything around her. Someone who doesn't write. Because only if I was that kind of person that I wouldn't waste my time thinking about some things that are beyond my capacity to control. I wouldn't be easily bothered with some colours that life has given to me. I wouldn't have made the effort to write here to satisfy my own self. Because it took me more than years to realise, months to think, days to convey, and maybe a lifetime; to completely understand the answer.


I remember when I was a little girl, if my friends asked me about my favourite colour, without no doubt I would say "baby blue" or "that type of blue, like the colour of the sky". I don't know why, but just by seeing that colour was enough to give me this warmth that I couldn't find in other colours. Maybe because I used to love it too much, I accidentally took some part of the colour to my heart, without knowing the meaning behind it. Maybe because of that, I have periodically found myself in situations when all colours give way to only one single colour. And that colour was and still is blue. Whether when I’m being surrounded with many people I know or only a few. Whether when I’m in the midst of a proud achievement or a big problem. Whether when I’m in a relationship or single. Whether when I’m living in the city I was born in or one that I have only been in for months. Whether when I’feeling healthy or sick. Whether when I’m unknown or known. Whether when I’m being trapped in the same circles or when I step out of those circles that are my comfort zone. Whether when I’m in a middle of life crisis or confidence. This colour has appeared under these - and more - circumstances. But now I find it a bit tragic by the time I realise that my favourite colour has apparently been associated with something negative. They say blue represents the feeling of depression, unwell, down, and other feelings that are associated with being unhappy. Even in the movie 'Inside Out', the character of Sadness is unabashedly blue.


When the blue appears, I would hardly get enough good sleep. I often found myself waking up in the middle of the night. Sometimes it's followed by this severe anxiety wrapping me from the inside. When the blue appears, I feel powerless. More often than not, there is also a mixture of nausea, dizziness, and ache in my back once I wake up in the morning. When the blue appears, I feel like I'm not good enough. It would be a few hours until I can stop blaming myself when I made a small mistake. When the blue appears, I want to get away from as many people as I can. All I want is just to stay inside my room, live in my own world, and leave my phone on airplane mode. When the blue appears, I no longer get so much excitement from things that are supposed to make me happy. A cup of warm milk tea. Working on my research. Attending concerts of my favourite singers. Reading good books. A bar of chocolate. Public park. Cycling through the city. Fresh veggies and fruits.  Conversation with old friends. Listening to favourite songs. Riding roller coasters. Evening run. Writing down my thoughts. Dress up. Watching movies. Staying and working at home. Gardening with local community garden. Hang out with my new friends. Cooking new recipes. Taking and editing photos. Planning something exciting. Taking warm shower. Traveling to new places. Buying something nice. Browsing for beautiful pictures on Instagram. When the blue appears, there is no way to completely shake it off, not even with praying, crying, taking a deep breath, sleeping, screaming, laughing, exercising, smiling. They can only change the blue into different shades. Sometimes navy. Sometimes indigo. Sometimes azure. Sometimes sapphire. Sometimes cobalt. But nothing was able to completely change it to other colours. 


It's neither anger nor sadness. Neither jealousy nor hate. Neither regret nor dissatisfaction. All I have felt is certainly something else. Something strange that’s been residing deep down inside my heart. Something that drags me down into the darkness and take all the colours I have. I finally googled it. And what came up was more than five million results. Some of these say I might face something called depression. But depression is a very strong and dreadful word that I have never imagined I could ever associate with. Why would I get depressed? There is no single reason I should be one of those people who get affected by it. A minute after that, I suddenly remembered I was asking the same questions to myself a few months ago. The time when I read my friend's blog. She felt like she was depressed, but everybody kept telling her she wasn't. I did the same thing. 

It has been two months since I have this colour with me. But I am no longer too much bothered by it. Maybe because I’finally aware that there are reasons behind it, which somehow makes me relieved. My family keeps ensuring me that I am not depressed, especially my little sister who had been staying here at the time when the blue started to appear and engulf me. And my little brother who has studied about this subject and is soon to be a psychologist. They both told me that I do not look like a person who is suffering from depression. And they were right, it isn't depression. Although my doctor says that the nausea I’ve been having during the past few weeks was been triggered by stress. That day, I realised one thing: I was the one who kept denying that there are particular variables that have long annoyed me since the first time this colour has dominated my days. Disappointment that is caused by expectation. Isolation that is caused by unfamiliarity. Anxiety that is caused by procrastination and disorganisation. Guilt that is caused by imbalance. Pain that is caused by unfinished business. Fear that is caused by excessive worrying and too much assumption. Last but not least, the presence of another colour. Grey. 

2 comments:

  1. Salam kenal, Mbak Zu, aku Fibri. Kalau nggak salah ngitung sih, kayanya kita seumuran, hehe. Tapi sekarang aku masih berusaha buat lulus master sedangkan mbak udah jadi dosen :D
    Aku nggak sengaja mampir ke blog mbak waktu baca postingan mbak tentang S3 yang ditulis setahun lalu. Dari situ aku merasa, kita punya pola pikir yang mirip. Aku kemudian lanjut baca ke tulisann mbak yg lain dan aku cengar-cengir baca tulisan mbak yg ini.
    kenapa? hehe, karena persis sama aku. Di usia yg sama, dengan kegelisahan yang sama. Aku juga suka warna biru dari kecil, entah kenapa (walaupun sekarang aku mulai cenderung suka warna oranye sunset). Dan, aku pun pernah merasakan apa yang mbak rasakan, persis kaya di tulisan ini. Waktu aku penasaran dan akhirnya googling, aku juga "dinyatakan" depresi. Bahkan, aku menyangka aku punya kepribadian bipolar karena mood-ku bisa berubah cepat dan drastis karena hal sepele *serem kan, hehe. Tapi aku nggak mau menyerah dengan hipotesa itu (masa iya aku separah itu *pikirku). Aku teringat kalau di ilmu psikologi, banyak teori yang menggolongkan orang menjadi berbagai karakter (mis. MBTI). Akhirnya, aku mencoba teori apapun yang aku temukan untuk mengetes sebenarnya aku termasuk golongan apa *buat verifikasi aku normal atau nggak, haha* Dan alhamdulillah, aku normal kok. Tapi, memang dengan kepribadian yang, yaah, sedikit kompleks, dan terkadang orang dengan jenis sepertiku (mungkin kita) populasinya memang sedikit di dunia ini (jadi wajar aja kalau sometimes merasa seperti alien nyasar di bumi hehe). Dari sini, sedikit demi sedikit pertanyaanku terjawab (kalau di tulisan mbak dibahasakan dengan "the blue") dan aku semakin memahami "orang dengan karakter seperti apa aku ini".
    Aku jadi penasaran, mbak lahir bulan apa ya? Apa Juli? Golongan darah apa? Apa A? Kalau iya, ya, mari terima diri kita yang apa adanya seperti ini. Hehehe. Karena kalau memang sudah berurusan dengan sifat dasar, itu memang sulit. Terkadang bahkan memang dari struktur biologisnya memang sudah seperti itu (misal, aku pernah baca artikel kenapa orang introvert itu "introvert" karena memang proporsi otak orang introvert dengan ekstrovert memang berbeda sehingga jumlah hormon dan pola pengelolaan informasinya juga berbeda). Dan banyak lagi kajian2 psikologi lainnya yang bisa menjelaskan bahwa sebenarnya kita tidak aneh, tidak sakit, hanya memang mungkin "pencilan" :) Efeknya, aku jadi bisa lebih menerima diriku sendiri dan lebih tenang. Mungkin rasa tertekan itu muncul bukan dari hal eksternal, tapi bisa jadi karena kita ternyata masih kurang memahami diri kita sendiri, karakter kita, konsekuensi dari kelebihan dan kekurangan kita. Kalau dasarnya hormon kita emang lebih banyak menghasilkan "the blue" misalnya, langkah pertama mungkin dengan menerima dengan lapang dada selanjutnya menyiasati agar tidak merugikan diri sendiri atau orang lain. Karena setelah sekian lama aku bergulat dengan "the blue" ini, dan merutuki kehadirannya, rasanya malah semakin berat. *duh kalau diterusin bisa panjang ni, hehe, maaf ya mbak.
    Sejujurnya, saya senang ternyata saya merasa nggak sendiri.
    Keren mbak tulisannya. Semoga someday bisa ketemu langsung dan ngobrol2 :)
    Ganbatte kudasai. Maaf kalau panjang banget ini, hehe

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