“Be confused, it’s where you begin to learn new things. Be broken, it’s where you begin to heal. Be frustrated, it’s where you start to make more authentic decisions. Be sad, because if we are brave enough we can hear our heart’s wisdom through it. Be whatever you are right now. No more hiding. You are worthy, always.

S.C. Lourie

(trigger warning)

We often ask people, ‘How are you?’ but we never really know how they are.

Have you ever seen someone who’s always lively gone sometimes extremely quite or detached for long hours? Ever came across someone who has sudden changes in moods or someone who reacts differently when you mention something/someone in particular? Someone who is extremely scared, frightened or anxious? Ever seen or felt extreme irritation, irregular sleep or just feel sad? Have you ever come across social withdrawal? Wanting to be left alone or seen someone who pushes people away or doesn’t feel like socially involving themselves at all? You never know what’s happening in one’s mind and awareness of that fact is extremely important.  Our thought space is a place of unexpected whirlwinds. Anything can happen.

This is a very-much needed say on awareness of mental health which everyone today must know about. What makes us what we are what we feel. All of us are fighting different battles within us, feeling a lot of things. But sometimes because of what we feel or because of what is happening to us there is a disturbance created in brain. Things don’t feel right anymore, you feel like a part of you is lost, there’s chaos in our minds and we don’t feel or react the same way, don’t cope the same way with ordinary events.

Mental Health is much deeper than you would think. It affects one in ways you wouldn’t have known. Even something small might trigger a whirlwind of emotions inside someone and you still wouldn’t know. Someone may look happy and fine from outside, may look alright but you may never notice what really is going on.

It’s okay to not feel okay, you see. And when someone isn’t feeling okay who are we to go and tell them, ‘itni choti si baat par itna sab kyu?’, ‘depression jaisa kuch hota nahi hai’, ‘ab yeh anxiety ka kya drama shuru kiya hai?’ or ‘you are alright dude, you are just overthinking about something that is not even there!”.

Don’t. Don’t say things like this. You don’t know what they are feelings, you can’t feel what they are going through, you can’t hear the thoughts in their mind and you can’t experience what they do. You do not get the option of judging someone on what they feel, you do not get the liberty to tell someone that it is something stupid when you do not know why they feel what they do and you shouldn’t tell them that it’s just something because once you do put yourself in their shoes it isn’t just something. Everybody feels things they don’t want to, goes through crap when they didn’t ask for it, fights battles when they are in war with themselves and lets their mind wander where it shouldn’t. And when that happens, when someone is feeling low you don’t just let it slide away. Instead you be there with them. Sometimes you don’t even need to say words, just be there.

Respect and accept them when they are feeling what they do. Hear them out. Don’t pity them but make them feel that they have the power to get through it. Know what mental illness is and help them through it. Don’t let it become a stigma. This is as important as any other well-being for you.

And if you are feeling it, hold in. Because you know soon it will be okay and that this too shall pass but for now, stay strong and heal. What you feel doesn’t make you any less. It makes you much more courageous because here you are, something magnificent finding a way out. And this might be the toughest journey or the hardest fight. But it’s all worth it. There is a dusk awaiting you.

So the next time you ask someone ‘How are you?’ mean it. If you feel there is something, ask again. And when someone asks you ‘How are you?’ and you aren’t okay, reach out. Nothing beautiful will ever grow without a little rain and nothing bright will ever shine without a little pain.

‘there are stars you haven’t seen and loves you haven’t loved there’s light you haven’t felt and sunrises yet to dawn; there are dreams you haven’t dreamt and days you haven’t lived. And night you won’t forget; and there is more to you than you have yet to know. So break this stigma. You’re you.’

– With love, Just Another Sparkle