|Be a Beast and face your challenges head-on! Picture by: Saumitra Newalkar|
Most of you might perceive this blog as a dedicated “Travel Blog” but I wish to change that. I plan to start addressing many incomprehensible topics like mental health, mental illnesses and the false banalities that surround them.
Yes, I’m going off the beaten path and into the wilderness (couldn’t resist using a travel-related platitude!) to do something unconventional.
Why this sudden drastic change in my writing you ask?
Certain incidences in my life and in the lives of those around me over the past year have greatly affected me. It has dawned upon me that the harshness and adversity with which life treats you ultimately reflects in your way of life. I am getting a little personal here but only because it is of importance that these discussions take place. My motorcycle accident, losing my grandfather, undergoing 6 major surgeries, partial paralysis of my dominant hand, the uncertainty of complete recovery, multiple restrictions while walking, unemployment, dependency on parents and learning about the passing away of someone who I knew very well; all this has happened in the past 10 months.
Coming across even a couple of these situations can easily shatter a person’s will and uproot their life, but I don’t scare easy or truthfully, I never. Such experiences can induce anxiety, depression, frustration and emotional turmoil that isn’t very appealing. To add to this, a person suffering from any mental illness can find it tumultuous to stay motivated and positive.
Personal Experience is the greatest teacher
I am tough as nails with a robust willpower, but since my accident and the events that have followed, at times even I get this uneasy feeling as though there’s a huge void in me and the end is nigh. Over the past couple of months, I have realised that when faced with situations similar to those I’m facing, one needs nothing but HOPE. We need something to hold on to. I have noticed that the sources of inspiration and motivation to keep a positive outlook are scant in this rather self-centred world.
It is YOU who must want to keep fighting
When you realise that there’s nothing to hold on to, that makes giving up on life and dreams seem like the best and only option. THAT’S NOT TRUE! Quitting or surrendering to the circumstances should never be an option, irrespective of the severity of one’s circumstances. Everything may seem to be crumbling down to dust as though the world in its entirety is shattering and there’s nothing but pain to look forward to.
It is easy to get demoralised and lose all hope when you can’t even walk to the supermarket or when you have a mental health issue and everyone else treats you like an outcast. They can’t comprehend your problems and the degree to which they torment you. To further complicate things, the stigma that plagues the discussions about these topics at times engulfs even those closest to you.
You talk and let others listen rather than the opposite
If you have met with something tragic like me or if you suffer from mental illnesses like Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder (BPD) or Attention Deficit/Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD) and feel like giving up, I would only say to you what Gautam Buddha taught thousands of his students: “This Too Shall Pass.” Open up about your troubles to those you feel comfortable with or you think might understand and listen to you without any judgement.
Even though it might be unprecedented, take to various social media platforms or online forums that dedicate themselves to serious and genuine conversations about these sensitive topics. A healthy discussion online will always seem much more effective than spending a couple of hours in a place that makes you uncomfortable. But Beware! Doing this can make you a target of innumerable cynics and bigots who will make it their mission to knock you down. You must master the art of Filtering out these pessimistic conversations and make do with what comes out the other end. Denzel Washington once said, “Give other people’s opinions their right significance. Take advice if it is constructive, and learn from it. But do not build your life based around the opinions of others. Trust yourself and trust your choices.”
I ain’t giving up and neither should you!
Many of my relatives and friends are under the impression that after going through such treacherous times, I will give up the thought of travelling and stay affixed to one place. They couldn’t be more wrong! Travel is my way of life, it is what I live for and nothing, not even a permanent handicap can stop me. I think this is applicable to everyone who has conflicting notions about their present and future. If you love something that makes you happy, or rather makes you who you are, then don’t let it go. Just jump in with both feet, to hell with the consequences.
NEVER GIVE UP!