Hi. What’s up. How are you doing?
I too ask these questions to others and I get asked the same in return. The small talk we all hear every now and then. Why is it that we cover ourselves in the safe space of “ all is well” and “as usual” etc. How hard it is to reply that “not feeling good“, or “ in too much stress”, or “feeling depressed because of all the things going around”, “working on myself and my mood swings this week”. Why can’t we share our fears and failures without the fear of judgement. The answer maybe that we dread the questions that come afterwards. Or the pain and struggle to explain ourselves again and again.. it’s a deadlock. Unless we explain no one is able to understand as they are not some therapists either. I attribute some of these situations to the societal conditioning of disapproving people who voice their opinions honestly. Or live their lives truthful to themselves.
The pandemic has made it worse. Initially there was all sort of activities to make use of time as if that’s what we were born to do. Earlier there was accusations that we are wasting time and have to keep doing “productive work” all the time. And trapped inside the house too, people are expected to do some DIY, cooking or learn new skills. Does it mean animals plants and other living beings are worthless and that they don’t contribute to the world environment. Yes we may be intelligent than other living beings, but shouldn’t we use that intelligence to live better and not take stress or tension and undergoing anxiety treatments. Unless my therapist explained this to me, I think we all took this fact for granted. That we are worthful even if we don’t achieve anything. Even if we just live and do nothing. Maybe it’s time to explore the nothingness. Being okay with doing nothing. Or for not having a job, or a child or a relation, or good health or slim waist or money. It’s okay.
The second thing that follows is the blatant advice which we don’t need; it’s as if no one listens. At times merely allowing to share and take it as they mean i, is so hard. And when things go dont well, it’s mostly because they don’t know themselves, or maybe they know but not able to. And at that stage what can advice do. More of compassion and empathy is needed. We all want to be seen, heard, appreciated, loved etc. and if the first two happens the rest follows. The main advice I get is to go out and walk or do exercise. If I were able to do that why would I even be writing this here!
The problem comes when we start comparison. It’s difficult indeed to not think of comparing, though we may brush it off under the carpet when we are confronted about it. Like what are you lacking? Look at others who doesn’t have money or food or shelter. Look at the afghans women! How do you explain that I don’t want to be compared or that I have the right to feel low even if I am the luckiest person alive in this planet! The problem of letting others be as they want to be.!
The only good thing I hope to come out of this is that more and more people are getting frustrated of the pandemic and the lockdowns and are able to identify how the reality and depressing news is bringing us all down mentally. Just like traffic has come down, pollution has come down, families have come together and other positives that came out of last year, I hope “I’m not okay” would also be “normalised” as a positive outcome. A sigh of relief for the future generation if that happens and I wish I could soon be as transparent to others as I am with the kid. Children understand mood swings way better than adults! And what more, they are clever enough to approach or leave you alone as you want it!
So now honestly, how are you today?