Depression & The Demons — Tiptoed into my life | Part I

December of 2014 had started off as a very hectic month. It was hectic in terms of work pressure and massive opportunities knocking at the door. My start-up had now become three years old. It was stable. But, as with any growing company, it was expanding faster than I could handle. From a measly five employees’ start-up, I had now gone up to twenty five. I was looking forward to hiring thirty more. I had already taken up another office. Different contractors were engaged to ensure that the office was ready in time. I was pushing for an inauguration on the 2nd of January, 2015.

Just a few months back, I had finally started living with my then girlfriend of six years. It had been a long and arduous relationship. Distance was a huge issue. But, we had made it work. With my business stabilized, it was time for her to join me. She quit her job and moved in with me. Life was amazing.

Then came the shocker. A series of events in very quick succession resulted in a fiasco that I couldn’t contain. I had a partner who got married a month earlier. He could not take the newfound risks. He bailed on me at the first hints of trouble. Together we could have handled it. Alone, I couldn’t. I tried hard. Eventually, I was set to lose everything. It took one very powerful and rich client, a bit of bad timing and all of three weeks to lose everything that I had. I could have still salvaged the situation. But, my girlfriend started having issues.

She was important to me. We had been virtually together for years and finally we were getting to be really together, as well as looking forward to getting married, in the not too distant future. There was no way, I could have neglected her. Part of her problems was the fact, that she had moved into a completely different state. She had quit her job and she didn’t have much friends to talk to. I was busy like crazy. She was feeling lonely. I understood. I was at a juncture where I had to choose between business and her. I chose her. Money could come later. She was important to me.

So, everything ended in March 2015. Instead of the sprawling new office, I shutdown my old office. We did not have just employees at my company. We were one big family. All of us shed tears and bid adieu one last time. In our hearts, we all knew that we would get back together someday. I locked our house, packed our stuff and came back to my old city. The loss of the business was just starting to set in. I had promised my girlfriend that we would have a plush wedding around May. But, this was March and I had lost everything. I only had her. That was enough for me, for us really. After all we were in love? Weren’t we? I had shared my bliss with her, now was time to share my grief with her. She was the perfect person!

The plan was simple. I had achieved it all once, I would do it again. Basically, repeat my formula for success. Meet the investors who had always known me and trusted me. Meet the business associates that were close to me and were eager to help. Meet the old clients. Everything was planned. I wanted to take a month off. I had been working non-stop through my twenties. I just wanted one month of romancing my girlfriend. I just wanted one month to unwind. Nothing was hidden from her. She knew that we would just have the basics for a while. May be until a year. But, once I was back up and running, I would again treat her to the good life that I had treated her to, always. So, the month flashed by. I started working on an old idea. I was building a prototype for showcasing to prospective investors. The prototype was taking longer than what I had originally thought. My girlfriend really wanted the wedding. But, there was no way, I could afford it. So, she proposed that we get married at the courthouse. We could always have the big event later. May be in a year, when I was back at my old financial capabilities.

We got married on the 31st of July 2015. It was a low-key affair. My parents were there and a couple of friends. Everybody knew my girlfriend as long as I had known her. They all knew her through my eyes. So, they all were equally in awe of her, as I was. Finally, we were married! After seven years of promises, dreams and being in love, we were officially married. She was mine and I was hers. That was it! Now, things were supposed to be even simpler. I go repeat my success. She takes care of the house. Once, I am stable, she would go looking for a job. She proposed this plan. I agreed because nothing seemed better.

Prior to my marriage, my parents had noticed that my then girlfriend was getting bored staying in the house. So, my father had gotten her a job. She was overjoyed. Finally, she could find work without having to even try for it. I was happy because she was happy. I was extremely happy. It was a dream. A happy wife, road to recovery… Nothing could be better.

Out of the blue, she got a call from a very good organization. She had applied for the job about a year and half back. That was even before, we had started staying together. They had now called because of an urgent opening. They were offering a $100 more than what she was getting at the job which my father had gotten her. But, there was a catch. The job required that she moves to a new location which is approximately a thousand miles from our home. There was no way in hell, she would accept it, right? Wrong!

I have never been one to interfere in anyone’s life, let alone my wife’s. I hate the very thought of laying down my wishes upon someone else. And above all, a relationship works best when there is a sense of partnership. So, I congratulated her and let her decide. She decided that she should go. That was a dream job for her, even her parents coaxed her into it. My parents are idealistic people. They acknowledged the fact that this job was a good job. It was with the local government, guaranteed employment until she retires, good housing and moderately good pay. It was a good job. But, should have taken it? That was for her to decide.

I had been successful at business. Once my business had stabilized, I earned enough to be able to afford a private jet. I have had always shared my best times with her. I lived and worked across four continents. Whether I was in Prague or in San Francisco, I had always met her once a month. She was part of that life. She knew what I was capable of. All I needed was a bit of time. But, I guess, seeing that I could lose it all so fast, she must have had second thoughts. So, she left. We had officially gotten married on the 31st of July 2015, after seven years of courtship. She left on the 8th of September, 2015. One month and eight days — that was my marriage! I had gone to see her off at the airport.

What would I have not given to see her beautiful face beside me, always?

As she walked in through the gates, she turned back once, to look at me. I saw her. In that instant I knew, why I was in love. She was beautiful. She was an Angel, my Angel. A voice inside my head kept reminding me of what I was losing. I did nothing. I smiled and waved back. What would I have not given to see her beautiful face beside me, always? Everything. That was the problem, I had nothing.

She had to sign a contract to get the job. The contract ensured that she couldn’t leave for the next two years. We kept talking on the phone. Never did I once mention, how I felt. I continuously encouraged her, supported her. I knew that it must have been very difficult for her to adjust to a new place without friends. I continued being her emotional support through the year. She slowly started making friends. She became popular. And I knew that she could now finally be happy. I knew that it was time for the inevitable. I knew that it was over.

At the end of it all, what did I get? At the end of it all, what did I lose? I am a programmer. Brutal logical reasoning is my profession. I couldn’t let myself down with miscalculations. I didn’t. I computed my balance sheet. It was pretty evenly balanced. I had absolutely nothing left. I was at zero. Zero is good. It means that you need to start. I had to start over.