Meraki ~ 8 (#1000 speak compassion)
Few weeks ago I had written a post on mental health. After that post I got a lot of "It's okay" messages from known and unknown people. Surprisingly we are aware that there are a lot of physical issues that we can suffer from and are willing to acknowledge it but when it comes to mental health we chose silence over anything else.
I almost fought with someone when I was told, " You are not the only one who has faced it. Its okay!" I was angry would be a small word. I was hyper ventilating. I wanted to scream. But then I realised it comes from someone who doesn't know my pain and is trying to be a judge when all I was looking for was a patient listener.
I have 2 friends in my life who suffer from serious mental health issues and I claim very proudly that I am their 3 am friend in every manner. Yes, it does get painful at times when they are at their lowest but I have a pact with them. It is WE - me and that friend, they are not doing anything alone. If they want to cry we cry together, if they want to do self harm I try and talk them out of it. The only solace is I know they are not alone and will not end up doing something they will regret. Many times it happens that I am unable to comprehend what they are bothered with but then I have never said It's okay because those two words are criminal to be said to someone who is in pain. It is NOT okay, if it would have been it wouldn't have hurt so badly. Though I have never met them till date I know that today I am in their trusted circles, so much that I am privy to even their worst thoughts which are borderline bizarre.I try hard to understand where they are coming from rather than apply my logic and to quite an extent I am successful.
I am asked how do we deal with such things and all I can say is BE, just be there with them in that moment. Nothing else matters! I wish we understood we all have different parameters for everything including pain. What is not bad for you, might be"Ouch that hurts bad" for me. Can't we just be a bit more empathetic and compassionate? Especially knowing that person is already fighting a fierce battle in life and that too all alone!
Perhaps this is how it has always been and will always be. We will not want to listen but want to be heard. We would want to be understood but refuse to understand. We would want others to feel our pain but never even try to imagine the plight and pain of others.