In this unpredictable world, I play many roles in real. Sometimes I am an educator trying to make my students identify problems and find realistic solutions. Some days I become a researcher who is learning to question policies and argue in bringing humanistic changes. Certain times I become a responsible counselor trying to guide my clients in looking internally for thoughtful answers. Other days I become a volunteer serving my community in getting better. Lastly, I suddenly become a responsible daughter after reflecting some amount of indifference towards the family system. In between all these roles, there are instances when I lose myself, I question my purpose, my identity, and my weaknesses. Sometimes negative emotions shout at me and the positive just whisper and yes, I am unable to track them.
Amidst all these unknown experiences there is a pandemic ruling over the world at the moment that makes all of us unprepared for the present and the future. As I walk with all these above roles, I see myself among a lot of friends, colleagues, students, mentors and I still stand alone, lonely, anxious, and withdrawn. Every morning before my class I see myself in the mirror and wear a smile that I need to show to my students as I greet them. I wear a layer of confidence so that I can illuminate the same in my counseling sessions. I cover myself with a sense of calmness when I am in front of my mentor and parents. They all are unable to see the tremors that are happening inside me as they believe what they see that is so vibrant and colorful.
In whatever phase we are in, all of us have a changed pattern in our mental health. There are times when we feel like reflecting alone, walking in isolation, and reading our own set of books. There are times when I like sitting in the library and just be on my own. I feel like mourning about my problems and giving myself that time to grieve. I also ponder over the outcomes and the approaches in transforming the state of my mind. In my journey through this pandemic when I sat alone, I was defined by peers as indifferent, incapable to deliver at work, cunning, and unstable. Relatives thought I was self-centered and irresponsible. Siblings saw me as an intellectual filled with pride.
I realized that with all these turmoils the only person who knew me well was ‘Myself’ and it told me that, it’s perfect to fail. This failure makes me a human and gives me the power to fight back and draw towards ‘Resilience’. My mental health constitutes my weaknesses that I have transformed into my strengths. I am a professional who can still have burnout, I can also face insecurities like all human beings, I can too feel like being on my own. If I see myself through the lens of others then I will get into that whirlpool and will never be able to make me return to where I want to go.
Negative mental health is on the rise in every age group at the moment. It’s up to us if we want to dwell on it or get back to ourselves. Therapeutic help is normal and necessary and unless we open up our platforms, we cannot help ourselves. Also, the world that we are in includes our parents, colleagues, partners, peers, children, those who will never understand our subjective feelings. It’s only us to recognize what we are going through and uplift our strengths and move on. In whichever profession we are in, we may have times where we feel low and it’s needed. These will make us grow stronger and teach life lessons. Those who remain with us through this journey will walk with us and for those who leave us, we have to let them go as we embrace our mental health, for now, tomorrow, and the near future.
Every morning when I wake up, I use positive affirmations for myself saying, ‘I am stronger than I think. I am here to learn and deliver. I see myself through my lens and not others. I grow into a human every day with the failures that I convert into success. I am proud of myself and I will accept myself as I have embraced my mental health’. Let’s start early and start soon, otherwise, everything will progress but not us. Tell to those who define you saying, ‘You all are not important as my priority. I am important to myself and I will bounce back’. So, reflect, refresh and evolve.