I wrote this as a Facebook post recently. Everyone’s been going through a lot, and not many people are talking about it. I have also gone through a lot. I hope you can relate to what most of us are going through and empathise with us.

Mental what?! 🧠

Hi, I’m Debashish Reang. And I’ve probably waved at you when you saw me. This is probably gonna be the last long post that I write this year. I will attempt to articulate my thoughts on “mental health”. I hope my parents, relatives and friends would understand when they read this and choose to not pass on mean comments and I guess I am risking losing a lot of “good acquaintances” here.

Let’s start with the way we were brought up. Our parent(s)/caretaker(s) provided us with almost everything we ever needed and we really had nothing much to worry about. However, life is quite different once we get into college because we are out of that protective shell and the “shield” that you had is no more. For some of us (count me in), the freedom is rather overwhelming. I won’t say I misused it, but it made me venture into domains where I’ve never been to. This has it’s own ups and downs. We are at that stage of life where we question everything and draw conclusions to everything without considering past events or the brighter future. An example of drawing haphazard conclusion can be that you fail a test and right away conclude you’re worthless or stupid. It is important to remember that you’re among the brightest minds of the country in your age group and there is no particular way to quantify how better someone is at something than the other.

Many say that the society, parents, institutes etc. demand a lot from us and this forces us to sometimes undertake steps that the general consensus might consider strange or alien-ish. It is true that the expectations are there but please stop for a second and think, are you not part of the same society? when you grow older you probably are going to pass on the same practices that were imposed on you, because you see it’s much easier to forget about tough stuff than to confront them. Instead, at least at the individual level accept that yes things are expected of you but why must you listen to everyone else but yourself? for god’s sake please talk to your parents and tell them how you feel and how you are different. all that they want is your betterment. is the system flawed? yes, definitely but shouldn’t we try to fix it? blaming a particular institution or party won’t do anyone any good. instead we could be more accepting when things go wrong and be able to present our viewpoints to anyone especially our parents. we cannot lose any more loved ones. seeing posts about people taking their own lives and attempting to hurt themselves because of the societal pressure saddens me the most. your life is precious and you should realise it. you only have one life for god’s sake. why don’t you fight what’s eating you up from the inside and proclaim to the world that you exist for a reason?

I won’t blame anyone but when certain things did not go the way i expected them to i got pretty sad about it. have you ever been to oat at 4:30 in the morning because you felt like you needed air in your lungs because you thought you cannot breathe? I felt that. have you ever felt that bad from the inside that 11 degrees don’t seem cold but rather a summer morning to you, you get all sweaty and all? I felt that. did you stay in your room during fests because you thought that bumping into someone will make you feel weird or that you yourself aren’t that exciting tbh? I felt that lmao. the problem is that we feel that people must be nice to you just because you were nice to them or that they’ll feel the same way about you because your feelings were honest. what we fail to understand is that they might have their reasons as well. but we seldom make well-thought choices, why? like i said previously – we draw conclusions rather than reasoning rationally. none knew about this solely because I decided to not tell them. why did I not tell? you know the answer to this one. someone pointed out that saying i have toothache is easier than saying I had a heartbreak. on a silly note, i think toothache hurts a lot more than heartbreak. but the point being, we don’t admit certain things just because it would make us appear stupid or silly. well, since you got up to this point I suggest that from now on you speak your mind and heart out rather than framing everything to sound reasonable and politically correct! the world must have started appearing as this sort of place where everyone is behind something and most things are broken.

it always have been this way to be honest, it’s just that we did not care enough about these things when we were young. and the grown ups did not care much either. now when shit got too real everyone is trying to act like these things did not exist in the past and it’s the problem of this generation. i’ve come across arguments where one is suggested to drink water and pray when you feel sad or if someone has mental health issues because of broken relationships a marriage will settle him/her. well, it is not reasonable to label their views as right/wrong either. that’s a matter for another long writing. but the point i am trying to make here is that just because it wasn’t prevalent or wasn’t much spoken of does not mean that the issue of people facing mental health isn’t real. It is a good thing that mental well being is getting considered as seriously as physical well being. If you don’t acknowledge and talk about a problem how can you ever expect to solve it? at least feel good about yourself and love the life you have. there is only a certain number of days that can be bad in your lifetime. if you do the math it’s not that bad all things considered. if you will, pause for a few seconds and appreciate the gift that you have. i’m pretty sure whatever “best” thing you do someone else will be able to do it “better”. there is no point comparing yourself to others in that sense. how can you set someone as the “benchmark” when they are the state-of-the-art? and even if you are the state-of-the-art, you know a new SOTA will soon prevail.

I’ve often heard people going around saying that you should be more involved in other things to feel better. well sorry I only have 24 hours? What do you expect me to do? play for 10 hours straight, or study for the whole day or what else? The advise sounds so generic and baseless. I mean it’s just dodging the thing until you start feeling better. well you might start to feel better but what if it comes back, because it would if you don’t deal with it head on. you cannot keep on working the whole time. I don’t have a single “fits all” solution to any of the things i talked about above, but yes you cannot keep yourself involved the whole time. it’s just not possible! Too much ranting, eh? I just wish that you are happy, I mean truly happy about the current state of things because you know you’ve given it your all. and that you love yourself for who you are. please do not harm yourself that does not do anyone any good. accept it when you screw up and try to mend your ways to correct stuff. talk often to your loved ones and your parents. tell them when something is right or when something goes terribly wrong. you should pause for a second and also be grateful for where you’ve reached. i’m sure you will be happier and more caring about you and others around you.

and yes i’ll smile and wave at you if i happen to come across you.

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