Musings: Kindness

I know I haven’t blogged for the longest time and I owe it to those you who check in here on a regular basis at least an explanation as to what happened. Besides the fact that I was struggling to find a balance between work and life, shifting into a new city and being completely on my own – the other reason would be my continued tryst with mental health.

You know before I moved, my therapist gave the most valuable piece of advice. She told me that was it was completely okay to break down at times and not be okay. She said we are so focused on getting past our issues that we never stop to think what might be the root cause of it. I remember when I had been dragged to see her. I was so annoyed with everyone in my life. It took me a long time to understand that therapy was not a bad thing and not as big a taboo as everyone made it out to be. I remember talking to a friend whose younger brother was going through a tough time. When I recommend she take him to see a therapist, she all but shouted at how she wouldn’t be able to deal with the fact that her brother wasn’t normal.

I also remember narrowing my eyes at her and finally telling the first person in my life that I went to therapy on a regular basis. That we were still trying to find out what had been the root cause of my depression. Of course sometimes there is no cause for it. It is a mental health illness after all. Someone with the most perfect life on paper might be the most severely depressed person. And most people don’t like talking about it because of the fear of what other people might think.

Coming back to what I was originally talking about. I tried to get up on Sunday and write, but I couldn’t put even one single word on paper. I was convinced that I had lost my ability to write. Because when you’re at your lowest the voices in your head tend to get crueller. And I was on the verge of the worst breakdown I would have had after moving to Mumbai – when my phone rang. It was a colleague who just wanted help with something. He doesn’t know this but that one phone call and the momentary distraction from my pain helped. 

Mental health has never been an easy thing to talk about. And I believe most of us don’t talk about it because we are scared of being labelled as attention seekers or of people laughing at our problems. (Believe me I have had to deal with both.) But it is important to find your own tribe: people who understand you and are there for you, while you work through your issues and recover.

Please remember that it is okay not to be okay and it is okay for you to take as much time as you need to deal with however you might be feeling. There are no quick fixes and there is no snapping out of it. And finally, please be kind to others. You have no idea what kind of battles they might be fighting in their lives and in their heads. I honestly don’t know which one is worse.

#ChooseKindness – It doesn’t cost a thing.


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