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”
What is strength, really? Who would you call strong?
I have been wondering about this a lot lately and came to a conclusion that I must pen down my thoughts which might give me some semblance or it might just confuse me more as it does more often than not. So, who could be termed as strong? We are way past the notion that it comes from just physical strength. Yes, physically active and well-built people are strong but only when accompanied by mental strength. Honestly, you need to be mentally strong to achieve physical strength too. For me, strength is an attribute I correlate with courage, endurance and bravery. A person who can do anything which I am scared of or I am incapable of doing is a strong person to me. My mom can cook meal for a dozen people without creating a fuss alongwith managing her job, a friend treks huge mountains almost every weekend, an acquaintance is staying alone abroad to build her career, and these are all very strong people to me. Very common examples but examples of ample strength. There has always been a lot of stereotyping around strength. Do we have to battle something to be categorized as strong? Maybe or maybe not. Isn’t every battle very subjective and personal? Definitely. What is a battle for some, could be a cakewalk for you. Foolish to generalize what can be categorized as strong. Plus won’t we always have that one person who thinks we are not strong enough, no matter what? Bahhh, so many right? Standing in a balcony of a flat on sixth storey requires strength for someone with vertigo and personally for me, presenting anything to an audience alone is scary and I feel very strong everytime I accomplish that. For introverts, even talking to people is everyday battle that they fight and win (hopelessly optimistic, effort is also a win). Every person who has the courage to love and commit is strong, even more so if they have had a bad experience in past. We are all surrounded by strength by way of amazing and strong people all around us. Yet, what do most of us choose to see? The triviality of the thing done, the lack of something that as per us is missing in it and oh my favorite, how we think they could have done it better. People around us lack tolerance and everyone battling their personal battles bears the brunt of it which makes one doubt their strength.
There are two other things that I believe need to be addressed. First, people’s obsession with wanting others to conquer their fears. What is the deal with that? Sure, if someone wants to do it we can motivate them. But people terming someone as pussy (don’t even get me started on how wrong the usage of the word in this context is!) because they won’t do something out of fear is downright intruding, impolite and unwanted. Someone being scared of something does not make them weak, it just means they love their life and don’t want to risk it. Respect their choice, it is literally basic etiquettes. Motivating someone is different from forcing someone or peer pressurizing them, understand the difference and know when to stop. Secondly, another misconception, which is thankfully fading away, is how a certain pedestal needs to be attained to be termed as strong. Who decides this please? Who is distributing the titles? Where is this panel sitting? Who told them they can decide? Who made them the jury? What are the parameters? Who agreed to them being parameters? Self proclaimed judgemental crap, that’s all it is. Whoever these people are, I hope you read this and know that every time I have managed to successfully carry off heels for a day, I have felt immensely strong and I can very well show my lack of tolerance by crushing your opinions under my heels should you choose to tell me otherwise!!!!
This is something I wrote long time ago and really needed to revisit because of something I am going through. Thought it to be worth a read for others as well. Whoever is reading this, you are mighty strong and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise 🙂
When someone is anxious, in distress, worried or just down, our first instinct is to want to help them. While the intention is noble, if we do it in the wrong way we might just be ruining it further. I am someone who is still learning how exactly can we help others or even ourselves in the correct way when having a bad mental health day or a week, because it is not the same for all. The entire internet is filled with slogans, videos, tweets telling you what you SHOULD do to fix what you feel. Even writing that sentence seemed wrong on so many levels. I could understand placing a “should” when you are talking of a black and white situation. Mental health is not black and white. It is big blob of grey or maybe blue (haha, get it?). Not all humans react to mental health help in same way, which is why we have professionals. These professionals have said we don’t know everything about our brain yet and mental health is evolving everyday. Yet, there are some people around us who will say “snap yourself out of it”. I suggest you snap them out of your life, for sometime atleast. While snapping out might have worked for some, it might not work on others. Nothing ever has to be “SHOULD”, even more so when you are not at your full capacity. Making it compulsory by adding a should we might just be adding to the stress. Hence, the title. I heard it on a random podcast and it is now my favorite line ever!!
Our body and mind don’t have to work the same way daily, ask yourself what you are capable of doing, on such days especially, and do not push it. Your mind is asking for a day off, allow it. It’s that time you need to show yourself some love. Do what works for you, whether it is as lame as watching garbage tv or as profound as journaling.
You do you!
PS: Watching garbage tv is the best! 10/10 I recommend.