You cannot incubate truth in a petri dish of dishonesty.
The world has grown alarmingly weary of openness.
I am not pointing fingers here. That isn’t what this post is about. No, it’s not about playing the blame game.
Maybe a little, though – oh, well, it’s more of a fact that a confrontation.
Go ahead, say it to somebody. You cannot miss the fear in their eyes, and in the waving off of the matter.
“Why would you have a mental illness? You’re fine!”
Of course you are.
One needs to deal with both hemispheres of people in this situation.
One, the people whom you want to convey your message to. Tell them of your depressing spells, your constant anxiety and the unshakeable apprehension with which you always assume the worst in a situation. They will tell you that everybody goes through them, and sometimes, you are singled out, and told to not worry too much. Yet, you do. You worry, and you cannot think of anything else. You lose track of your priorities. You lose in life. You get hurt. You try and tell them it’s more than a phase, but they cannot deal with the words “mental illness”, can they?
That is because they visualise small white chambers, a sea of drugs and shock therapy. Who’s being extremist now?
This brings me to the next hemisphere of people in the situation.
Depression, anxiety, pain, fear, crippling self-doubt are like a heavy downpour. They characterize the weather – a temporary phenomenon – but never the climate – which is permanent – of your life.
Mental illness is very common. It does not mean you’re mad. It does not mean you need medicinal care.
Trust me. My parents are doctors, and do you know what they primarily ask mental patients -pshh, you’re not a mental patient, relax! – to do?
They ask them to try and step out of it. Even if it doesn’t work, even if the monster keeps pursuing you, make an effort to step out.
You must have read these posts in social media, which ask you to smile – just stretch your muscles for the heck of it, despite the blues – and how that helps ease the sorrow?
Guess what? It does.
In support of the Semicolon Tattoo Movement, I tried voicing my concerns. I’ll be honest, I didn’t get myself a semicolon tattoo, but I – this may make you laugh a little – draw a semicolon in ink, everyday, on my left wrist.
Yes, in plain sight, you’re fine.
When the spells come, it’s very hard to convince yourself that they are not worth it. People around you get sucked into the facade with you, and when you finally emerge, you realize the amount of embarrassment you have caused yourself.
But, for what it’s worth, you’re greater than that. That isn’t what defines you.
The mind which you sometimes loathe, is the same mind that writes poetry, thinks of witty comebacks, makes a thoughtful, elaborate present for your sister’s fifth birthday and draws a route map of places to visit after graduation.
It’s not a taboo. In fact, when you’re in a light mood, think about how a deep shade of blue or a rich hue of red appeal more to the soul.
You are the deep red and the navy blue of the human mind spectrum.
Like other shades, they may not appeal to everybody.
Also, they are not singular strips of split white light. You are not alone.
A wise woman once said, “Why would I rot away in therapy, when I can do a million beautiful things with my madness?”
Trust me, if madness were the way of the world, we would be dripping with surrealist paintings, sneezing Beat poetry, eating Keats and Browning and wearing Pablo Picasso.
Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?
You are not alone!
And, you will be fine.