Sometimes, the person who can help you the most when times yourself is, believe it or not, yourself. When times were tough, Sameeksha discovered that all she needed was her inner power, and determination to be better is all she needed to cope with her struggles.
We at One More Light had a chance to speak with her. To the questions we asked, here’s what she said:
What is your personal story of struggling with mental wellness in the past or present? Could you tell us how tough it was and what kind of support you had?
So the truth is, I have had a simple life since childhood and expected that it would remain the same. By same, I don’t mean stagnant or bland, but at the age of 13, I didn’t know much about the world, or astonishingly, even my own family. My simple world came crashing down one day when I lost one of my beloved family members. It has been years since their passing, but I still do not know what to think, remember, or even feel about this memory. It’s sad, hurtful, but there is something else associated with this memory. A weird, lonely feeling every time I think of it. Even amidst family and friends, I feel empty.
My family, like most stereotypical Indian households, did not believe in mental illnesses. There were (now they have a fair idea) only two extremities for them: you’re either normal or insane, nothing in between. Quite frankly, neither did I know much about mental illnesses. As days passed by, I became distant, detached, and weirdly inhuman. These were days when I surprised myself with the kind of things that I uttered(more like blabbered).
After all this, I put myself through hell (imagining more horrible situations) and now have a memory gap. I find remembering anything about these two years extremely challenging. What I did, where I went, or even something as trivial as what I watched on TV. Nothing.
I was thinking about this and how almost everyone has a different kind of challenge. So, being kind, and small gestures like saying: have a good day or a thank you to a stranger, is something I started doing and believing in. Many kids in the world have lost their beloved ones, I may not be able to do much. But it was this thought which motivated me to write this article and vent out a little.
Many people say that time heals all wounds. I disagree. It is the inner power or the drive to be a better version of ourselves that helps us thrive and grow out of the trauma. I have never been able to talk about my issues with anyone. I feel insecure that someone else might even know my weaknesses. So, I came up with self-motivating ideas to overcome my fears. For example, the thought of losing is a great drive for me. Thoughts like ‘I will fail in class if I don’t study.” Reading books helped me too (and by books I don’t mean self-help books).
Human imagination is very powerful, and books are a great source for enhancing imagination. With all these weird ideas, somehow, the 16-year old version of myself came out of this thinking she was a warrior queen.
In my defense, even though it sounds quite silly, it worked well in my favor.
What do you use the One More Light app for? Tell us about the motivation behind it and how you help people on the app.
I am active on the One more Light app as a listener. It is a great initiative, and I am glad that I got an opportunity to share my story here. Their contribution to making Mental Health accessible is significant. People need to be aware of mental illnesses for them to be openly accessible. These days with an increasing number of people understanding the importance of mental health, I think we are halfway there.
What would you say to those learning about your experience, to help them understand the importance of mental health?
One More Light provides the advantage of anonymity. I think that’s what makes it appealing. A listening ear that doesn’t judge. That is what I aim at too.
At some point or the other, all of us have experienced sad and troubling thoughts. Along with these comes the rush of further emotions, which either cause some kind of verbal damage (saying something you didn’t mean to a colleague) or even breaking things. After this upsurge of emotions, people tend to regret every word they uttered and their behavior.
Now imagine having a bad mood like this for days together. That’s what you call a manic episode (it might be either happy or sad). This is just one kind of mental health issue associated with Bipolar disorder.
Being mentally ill is as bad or even worse than being physically ill. And I believe our mental health is our responsibility.
To use the One More Light app, click here.
And follow us on Instagram to stay updated!