Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay 

"You do not value what is given to you. You do not value that there is enough food on your plate, you have a place to sleep, you have a good lifestyle and your parents are working hard for you. There are thousands out there who cannot afford even the basics of things.", Mother explained to her 15-year-old daughter when she was behaving weird over the last few weeks.

But her struggle was different. She could have all the wealth in the world and loving relations in her life, she might still struggle for a few things. The struggles of people are often compared just the way success is. "He has a good job and owns a house, what have you achieved in your life?" or "He does not have enough money to pay for his school fees and here you are complaining about how you did not get into a prestigious school."

Our parents, friends, relatives, and society often belittle our success and struggles. But it does not make our struggles any smaller. We tend to keep aside our problems, neglect all the negativity which encompasses us and suppress it because it is not "big enough" to cry about. We tend to distract ourselves while trying to look at the good things in our lives and try to forget what we are actually going through. Optimism is required in one's life to live peacefully, but forced happiness is not being optimistic. You can fake a laugh or fake a smile, but cannot fake how you feel. Society teaches us to look on the brighter side, and search for content and joy even in the smallest of things. But all this can be done if one's mental state is fit and healthy. You can be sitting with your friends laughing about a joke and still do not feel the contentment, the joy of the moment deep inside your heart, and yet, we try to ignore it, try to label our feelings as mood swings or feeling unwell. But all we do while suppressing it is make it intense, making it more problematic for our future selves.

Over time, a person either becomes habitual of staying with their struggles or gives up after a certain period of time. The feeling of sudden sadness, emptiness and tendency to stay alone may not always indicate depression. It can be a lot of things. It can be anxiety, it can be an early stage of depression, or it can be OCD or bipolar or even ADHD. But since the stigma of depression is so rooted in our culture, we do not want to be one of those who seek help just to deal with their real-life problems. "You are an adult now, start dealing with your own problems. Why do you need to spend thousands just to nag about your problems to a stranger", "Do you realise therapies are for the high society people. You should not be wasting your time and money on such useless things", "We have spent so much for your studies and your wedding. Now you have a decent job and a family and now we find out our child is mentally unstable. Do you realise how people will react if they find out that our child is consulting a mental health doctor", "No problem is big enough to be dealt with? Start waking up early in the morning and meditating. You should pray every day to avoid such negativity from your life.", "You are so young. You should not think about going to the doctor this early in your life. You might get addicted to the medicines throughout your life." so on and so forth. These are general comments a child, or an adult generally gets to hear from their family and friends. Only if they could have said, that they are here to hear them, that they are here to support them with whatever they want to do. At the end of the day, all we want is to be heard, don't we?

Every person has their own set of struggles and their own set of happiness. They have the choice to decide the definition of struggle and success and they get to deal with it themselves. The world is full of motivational quotes, books, speakers, and gurus delivering various ways to live life peacefully and happily. There is no shortage of motivation or encouragement, but the world also needs to realise that every problem is unique just the way every person is. One can not always find solutions in the conventional ways of lifestyle. One needs to try and fail and try again to find what is suitable for them. Every mind is a different lock and requires a different key to it when it comes to dealing with personal struggles. Although the solution lies in one's hands, support and help can always be sought. One should not stop sharing if they are not heard but should change the way they share or to whom they are sharing. There are so many problems in each one of our lives, some in our heads, some in our jobs, some in relations, society or any other, but there are so many ears to hear and so many hands to lend help to.

The world is changing, and people are acknowledging the feelings of others. The world needs to be more empathetic towards each other, and also learn to share their stories. There are so many people who do not speak since they are bound by cultural norms or societal pressures but it is as important to let out your worries as it is to support others. I believe that the world's problems could be reduced to a large extent only if the listeners had the courage to speak their minds and the speakers had the patience to listen to others' pain too. Share your struggles, own your struggles. Because your struggle might be your own, but you are not the only one struggling.

Voice Matters!

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