How many punches can someone take? Not literal ones or okay as a metaphor let’s say literal ones. How many can one take? There is a limit to it, right? One is bound to fall and feel the pain. Such is life, some would say. However, why is life so unfair to some people? Some face a lot more punches from life than others. Some people learn to overcome it, some glorify pain and some just don’t know what to do with it. If you check the definition of pain “sadness that you feel when something bad has happened”, it hardly covers the depth of the word. “Something bad”, it feels so meager. Pain comes with dark and annoying thoughts, pain comes with a feeling of failure and loss, pain comes with someone else’s sadness, pain comes with someone else’s happiness too, pain makes us act out, pain comes with helplessness. A word that describes so many terrifying things cannot have a simple definition.
There is no rulebook on how to deal with pain. Mental health is the worst affected when you are in pain. If you think about this logically, mental health is what needs to be attended to, whether you are in pain or not. You must seek a therapist, you must speak to people who will listen and who you think might help. This is all very easily said but application? Not so easy. One who experiences pain does not always think logically and they cannot be expected to think straight. Yes, talking to someone helps but they might not wish to talk to anyone. When in pain, everything can seem like a task and it drains you physically and mentally, so to additionally explain someone else why and what happened can be a huge task. When you add this to the fact that someone has had to face this particular punch from life multiple times, you cannot imagine the pain this can cause. I have read it how they explain in books, pain so deep that it cannot be described.
It’s really difficult to know this and yet to just let people be because that is what they wish. It is also incredibly selfish in a way that we want to know and help just so we can cure our anxiety about them. If you have done your best but somehow feel that there is something you have missed and some resentment from the other side, even then we need to let people be. Yes, you care but that is secondary. Yes, you love them but that too is secondary. Everything is secondary to what the person who is in pain wants. That resentment against you can be solved when they are in a better frame of mind, since there is so much love, you must wait. Sometimes, all you can do is wait. Be on standby silently and wait for them to return.
Would like to end with a slight tweak in one of my most favorite quotes, “What do we say to the darkness? Not today”
Is there something termed as “too much empathy?” I personally thought no term such as this exists, but when I checked on it I was surprised that it does exist. First things first, why did I check on this at all? There are some people I, sometimes, find myself unable to step in shoes of. I mean I cannot imagine doing what they do or what they have done. Looks like, I should not have to. So empathy means understanding what other person is going through and being able to gauge what they need and also be able to understand why they need it. It can be a gut that tells you or your understanding of that person. We, as humans, want to be understood without having to explain. Empathy is not agreeing to people who are wrong but just understanding when people feel discomfort to express and just respect that. It can be an actual challenge when the other person is struggling to articulate and feel it is a pressure to explain and that is when most empathy might be needed.
There is a term called as “empathetic reactivity” and it essentially means “when too much empathy is bad”. It is also be termed as “toxic empathy”. When we are empathizing, we are taking on other person’s feelings and when it is so excessive that we feel them as our feelings that is where we need to step back and check ourselves. Such stream of emotions can lead empathizer to hopelessness and depression. Another prominent and known problem here is when you empathize with everyone, you could end up feeling drained and having no time for your problems.
Although I know world needs more people who empathize, there are also good folks who are doing overtime here and this is just for them to take a break and concentrate on their ownself.
I had zero motivation to write today. Yet, i just decided to simply start to write my thoughts and see where it goes. 70% of my brain is occupied by a scary fact that two of my closest friends in delhi have tested positive for covid. It is not scary just because they are ill, the fact is they have not stepped out in 20+ days, they do not have a maid at home since 3 to 4 weeks and they have met zero people, yet they caught the virus. I mean if people are not safe staying indoors then how else? Home, it is suppose to be a place of comfort, safety and a shell you retreat to. This virus is contaminating that sacred place too, so how else can we cope? I have been positive with them, asked them to take utmost care and recover speedily. But the thought of how bizzare and weird this is just won’t leave my head. They have fever and bodyache and are home quarantined. If all goes well, they will be absolutely fine in a couple of weeks. However, if by any chance this suggest that the virus is air borne, we are royally screwed.
There are some days, you just cannot stay positive or look at the brighter side. Today is one of those days for me. I just want to be lame and distract myself completely, push this ugly thought so far to the back of my mind that it doesn’t resurface but the day is over and the night is upon us and I know as I try to sleep, this demon thought will keep me up, God knows until when.
I am sure I have penned on similar topic earlier as well as this is one of the constant struggles I face and even something I am sensitive about.
Isn’t it weird that even though we know we are loved by our closed ones but we still need to feel loved? I am not entirely sure, if it is a want or a need. I am hoping I am not alone that struggles with this. Yes, it is amazing to have people who love you, knowing that they love you. It is a blessing. However, it’s only human nature to expect that feeling to be validated once in a while.
I don’t think it is the big fat gestures that do the deed, it is the genuine admission of love when least expected, it is making someone feel like they are a part of your life, involving them in those small things you do, sharing mundane thoughts that cross your head with them. It’s all this for me. People who yearn to feel loved always make others feel loved, isn’t it? However, the major disbalance occurs when the person who does this is taken for granted and there is nothing from the other side. People want you to believe that they love you and yet there will be no effort from their end towards the same, it is really hard to stick around then. You just need to hang on to the words that there is love. It is only when there is a revolt that they will rush to prove that they love you too, that is neither fair nor is it love. It is just the need for that person to continue showering love on you that is making you do this.
If you genuinely consider this human need to feel loved, it also stems from lack of self love. I don’t think this is true entirely, but to major extent it does seem correct. It is said that if you love yourself, you will not need others to show you love. While I agree that we can be happy if we love ourselves, I would still say we need other humans, their love and support. Self love is important as it is the only thing which will push you to know when must you step up and leave. It is that love for your own being which will help you place yourself over others.
It is so bitter to have to choose to either love yourself or love someone else as the two cannot coexist due to lack of efforts from the other side and if you are facing that choice between yourself and someone, are you loved by that someone and do you love yourself if you choose to stay?
It’s been a tough week and there is so much negativity around us due to covid. Anxiety and other impacts on mental health are more prominent now than they were earlier. I don’t think our generation has ever seen these many deaths and the condition of deaths is such that we cannot be around people to console them either. I think that is the worst part, not having anyone around for support.
Yesterday I was watching “Taare zameen par” and was reminded of the story of Solomon Islands. This story was first mentioned in the book “biology of life” and while there is no scientific fact behind the story, it does make one think and ofcourse the villagers stand by it. For those who do not know, the story says that in Solomon Islands if they want wood from the tree that is too big or thick which makes it impossible for them to cut, then the villagers gather around the tree and curse it, for 30 days, and eventually the tree wilts and dies. Lots of trees are cut daily around the world and yet this practice stands out. To brutally put it, while other trees are murdered this one is forced to commit a suicide. So it all really brings us to buddha’s saying “you are what you think”. If any living being is forced to think or believe they are worst and reminded of it everyday, it is only natural to start believing it.
It is a very scary yet an important story. What my personal takeaway from it is that when things go south, it is very important to be your own judge and believe in yourself. Seek people who support your energy, do things you love and just remember that there is a lot more to life than what others think of you. Life should be led with your own perspective as base. This does not mean ignore feedback or go on being wrong, it means it is okay to introspect but that should not lead to overthinking and over analyzing. Overthinking is the pathway to anxiety and we would not want to be anxious. Choose happiness, even when it is the most hard thing to do, choose it. Current scenario has showed us how tough things can get, count your blessings and be grateful for the comforts we have. Remember that you were in a better position than most when pandemic hit and use this as a motivating factor to lead your life, shunning away the negative thoughts that are stopping you from moving ahead.
Breathe and smile, it is a luxury these days too, breathe.
I have already been struggling looking at all the misery in India due to second wave of covid. Whilst am trying to help people, it is not systematic and sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. But you do what you can, so I am trying. What comes with it though is realizing how many people are suffering, how uncertain life is and how inadequate we, as country, are medically and structurally. While this is harrowing enough, things got too personal this evening. My friend’s mom is hospitalized and although she is doing better, the hospital has made us aware of shortage of one of the medicines she needs. Since then we have been trying to source this medicine with no luck. To imagine that a big portion of my country is going through this is simply terrifying.
There is no other thought in my head except that I need to help in everyway possible. If you heard my voice on call now, you would hear panic, hurt, fear and despair. I am scared and numb at same time. I am praying that my next lead pans out, praying she gets better. Lot of prayers and positivity for her. However, this is not how it is suppose to be for anyone. This thought is always there nagging at the back of my mind fighting with another thought that we cannot change what has already happened and we just need to work to fix the current situation.
While I continue this internal war, all I want is safety and health for my loved ones. Whoever reads this, please pray for health and safety of those affected.
Does everyone have that one memory/incident, or multiple even, the one we never talk about? It can’t just be me. It is a bad memory. Sometimes, I want to talk about it hoping that would make it go away, like it almost makes it’s way out but something holds me back from sharing. At other times, I just don’t want to talk about it. It will take everything down with it. It terrifies me, thinking of consequences if it came out? It’s been so long, I keep hoping it would fade with time. It doesn’t. Will it ever go away? I always wonder as an after thought to this dreadful memory. I am never trying to recall it, never. It is always an unwanted feeling, distasteful, sad and yet it is, maybe, one of the most consistent flashbacks. At 3am tonight, I am wondering when did I decide to keep this a secret? Why did I decide that? I know why I don’t want this out now, that is clear. But why even then? I could have shared it. Instead, I pushed the entire episode to the back of my system, locked it in an old memory box, threw it’s keys into abyss, filled my heart with so much love and other memories and yet it pops back, kind of like “remember me” by Jim Moriarty. Or like my head is being forced down the Pensieve. Weird how brain works, like me looking for an analogy for a memory I hate so much. Someday, someday I would like to question the other person, do they remember this the way I do? What’s their side? Does it make them sad too? Tell them what it does to me, maybe then I will be able to let it go. Maybe then, it won’t come back.
It’s my favorite month! Yayyy! I love January, I do think it is the best month. It is hardly to do with the fact that it is but my birth month. Maybe some part of it is related to the fact but majorly it is because January always feels so fresh. It indicates start of something new, we are all excited with high hopes and high spirits! Most importantly, I always have some trip planned during this time. That makes it my most favorite time of the year. That and ofcourse winter season. I mean, in bombay, we hardly feel cold but all the same I love it.
However, right now it is not cold and it breaks my heart that I have nothing planned, no trip in sight so far. It just makes me sad every now and then. I know there are bigger worries but a heart wants what it wants! Waking up anxious every morning even though I only fall asleep because I am tired of thinking and overthinking how this entire year could be a dud because of how it has started. There are some parts which are good but when what you love the most goes wrong, the other niceties just fade. You know what I mean? All I want is to not have my head so heavy and anxious all the time. It is starting to physically hurt.
Sometimes I think it is also because I expected this year to be extra special, every occasion of this year to be celebrated by doing what we like, doing what makes us happy. I hate celebrating my birthday, I do, which is why I always planned a trip and ran away to places where no one knows it’s my birthday. It served two purposes, I was traveling and no one around fussed about birthday. It was the only way I looked forward to my birthday, every year. Since last 6 to 7 years or maybe more. It was either that or I went to work where no one knows my birthday. That is the tradition. While 2021 is a small milestone for me personally, clearly universe has other plans. I dread each day as I get closer to my birthday about being forced to celebrate it. The anxiety is real and it makes me weep.
Ugh, this post is so sad, I hope I write again soon in this month itself and have something nicer to say. I really don’t want January to be like this. It sucks.