‘ I wish he had spoken up’, ‘he could be saved if he was vocal’ , ‘suicide is cowardly, it’s never an option’….. True. The thing missed out a lot here, is that the people who go through mental issues for a long time, trust me, they DO WANT TO TALK about it. It is of course an easier option than living in one hell of a mental state and killing the same body they’ve been so defensive about all their life.
I’ve been writing about mental health since 2 years now, and I’m sharing one of the most important learning out of this.
A lot of people don’t get this, but suicidal thoughts don’t just come around in an impulse. It’s always lurking around in their heads for a long time. We can’t comment on anyone’s mental health unless we’re aware of what’s been troubling someone so much so that they can’t find a way out in this world of infinite opportunities.
Keep a small circle but a genuine one. The contacts in your phone mean nothing when they don’t have real connection. How many times have you felt like really venting out all your thoughts to someone just for the sake of some peace? Could you do that? Or if there was someone opening up to you, did you listen or straight up started advising and comparing your miseries to theirs? I am not saying you’re responsible for everyone’s mental health (as if we ourselves have any less issues already). But how are we not responsible for our relations?
At some point of time, we need each other. And it isn’t even an impossible task to listen to someone without judging, to just be kind, if nothing else, can we atleast be conscious enough to not make their lives miserable if we can’t make them happy? Pretty doable right?
Let me tell you a story. There was a very artistic swan in the lake. Beautiful, gracious and poetic! It was so good at keeping things to itself that everyone thought it was doing so well in life. now since the swan couldn’t talk to anyone and express its emptiness and deep dark sorrows, it started writing poems that described the dark, depression and loneliness. It was that swan’s only way to express and write it up on a paper. It felt content in doing it because for the swan, this was like screaming out loud in the public in form of ink, so no one could hear and the swan got to scream what it felt. Win win situation.
But soon it got criticized for being so dark, negative; And it’s true, no one wants to be met up more dark things in already dark situations. But it wasn’t about them & that is what they missed out. The swan no longer felt a comfort in venting out, no one likes rejection by their known ones on the most intimate feelings. It stopped venting out through paper, which was it’s only way to communicate. It dried up inside and just got better with pretending, but who knows what happened to it later on. Some say it has now gone cold, some say, ironically, there’s a storm behind that calm waiting for something ‘unexpected’.
But imagine the pain for being criticized by your own people for sharing the feelings that trouble you the most. I’m sure it must have happened with almost all of us, but again, it was bearable to us and hence we’re still alive enough and reading this But for some, a constantly ignored feeling is like a giant monster that hides behind a door feeding on every passing single ill thought, thereby growing bigger and bigger. And then big enough to consume anything and everything.
So there are 2 things here:
1. If you notice such a swan, help it out. Just be there to listen to it’s poem. If you can’t give the right advises, seek professional help for them on their behalf. Trust me, when you’re rejected by your own people, venting out to someone unknown doesn’t even cross the mind even if you’re theoretically aware of it. Please listen to them so they can speak up.
2. If you’re that swan, let me remind you that you are still that graceful and beautiful poet that is precious but your hungry monster doesn’t want you to be aware of that else it will stop getting it’s food. Don’t feed the monster. You may not have anyone to rely on or speak up to. And when the sky is full of dark clouds, silver lining isn’t always visible. But it is true only for that period, hold on. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that there is no way out of a given situation. Hold on. It’s like how you can’t find the things in a dark room but the moment you switch on the lights, damn, what you were looking for is right there in front of you. Wait till the sun comes out and lights are on. AND THE SUN ALWAYS COMES UP!
3. Be there for each other. We are grateful for the beautiful and bountiful things we are blessed with. but sometimes, we kind of lose control of our mind. Sometimes on petty things and sometimes on bigger stuffs. Momentary and impulse negative thoughts are only thoughts, don;t turn it into reality.
4. Don’t blame others if they’re not available for you. Don’t feel ignored. Their availability doesn’t determine your worth. Invest in your art, in the things that you somewhat like if not exactly love doing. Seek professional help without fear of being judged. It’s infact an act of bravery and self-awareness to know the need and take right measures. You’re all you have, and yet, you’re not alone. You will be met with this fact over and over again that someone’s always got your back.
Like while trying out a new recipe, you search for it on youtube, see how the chefs cook that dish and then make it yourself with your own customization nevertheless, same is the logic behind speaking up to the people who’re there for you. You are only asking for a recipe, nothing less, nothing more.
I am here to hear to you when you need to vent out; You can email or dm to me on my account in regards with this. We’re in this together and need each other EQUALLY.
Keep calm, and be there for each other. You don’t have to call and check up on someone everyday, but need to be available enough that when someone tries to reach to you, you are there for them in actual sense and not just in words. 2020 has been a year full if challenges and we are literally reminded everyday of the uncertainty of life; Live and Love while we can do that!
Here are some professional helplines where you can reach out if you want help with the ‘recipe’ :
Sneha Foundation: 044-24640050 (24×7)
iCall: 09152987821 / 02225521111 (Mon-Sat 8am to 10pm)
Vandrevala Foundation: 07304599836 / 7304599837 / 18602662345 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Roshni Helpline : 4066202000
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