Empty Vessel

It is always a delight when Mariam Q sends us new posts for us to host. We hope you enjoy her latest piece Empty Vessel


It was a normal day, nothing new. I woke up at the same time, dressed and washed at the same time and made my breakfast at the same time. After my morning routine, I headed to the kitchen to prepare my food. I took out the ingredients and spread them on the table. I reached out for the cabinet to take out my coffee and that was when realisation punched me in the face. Coffee wasn’t my most nor least favourite drink and I only drunk it in certain occasions. These occasions demanded the strong effect of caffeine to keep me tolerant of the dreadful day ahead. Coffee was my day indicator, if I was in a good mood it was tea and vice versa. I gazed at the piled tea boxes, unopened, untouched and dusty. They looked like a miserable bunch. My coffee box, which was only one box, was almost over. I have been drinking coffee for the past month. A month? My inner voice questioned me. That is a long period of facing dreadful days. What happened? Why was I drinking so much coffee? Was I sad…or maybe…depressed?

I am not depressed, my inner voice interjected. There was no such thing as clinically diagnosed to be depressed. It was just a feeling, a tiny phase we went through in life and it could be overcome. All of it was bogus, these mental diseases they categorise. Because they were known, people would think they have a mental disease and whatever the human mind thought, it became.

So I wasn’t clinically or in any way have a depression disease. I was just enormously sad and tormented with frustration, call it being depressed, I wouldn’t care and I wouldn’t consent to such a term. In the midst of all this badness, there was always this small speck of goodness. You won’t be in this situation if there was! My inner voice was so pessimistic. I knew that the road to self-discovery was difficult, rocky with ordeals and might tear me down a few times but if I never tried I will never get to know myself!

So many things to do and so little time! But I can do it, it will be a great day and I will be okay. I will. I will make sure I will be okay. I will not fall into the traps of the so-called depressing mood!

That was what I told myself everyday, on the sunniest day, foggiest day and on the gloomiest day. I’d drag my bedraggled soul from the dumps and walk it away from that glum-ness, glum-ness was not a word…yet I like the ring of it…glum-nessss, and take it to a bit happier mood.

It was a never-ending rollercoaster ride, where there were days were you were high up in the clouds screaming in joy, or going down the track screaming in terror. Emotions were powerful and a person was vulnerable to them.

I decided that today I would drink tea and hope for the best. I poured the aromatic drink into my favourite mug, finished cooking my breakfast and sat in my balcony. I ate and savoured the view I had from my apartment. It was breezy and the wind was playful. The birds chirped, the city was groggily waking up and I thought what a blissful morning.

Then my brain took my thoughts to a field trip of self-realisation. These past days I forgot my goals, my dreams and all in all myself. I was sinking deep into a pit of despair that sucked out my life force, my ability to live life properly and not join the walking dead. I became like an empty vessel. I did everything routine requested me to do but from the inside I was utterly dead. Some things were not worth my energy and time and soon I will be in a rusty armchair, withered with age, bundled between forty cats and regretting the days I spent sulking. A small smile tugged at my lips as I remembered. If dark thoughts were what surrounded me, only the happy ones will save me. I was not completely gone, I was merely basking in the shadows but from now on, I would step out of the dark and rejoice in the light. A famous person once said: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”


I folded the note I wrote to myself a month ago. It was a tiny note I hid in the coffee box, so when I reached the bottom of the box I would find it. I wrote it when I craved coffee for the first time and I thought to myself that more days will come where I will feel down. I might finish the box in a month or so and I decided to write this note to remind me of who I am and what I seek in life. The coffee box was empty and it was time to put the past behind me.

Author: Mariam Q


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