While growing up, people around me had the misconception that the life of a “single child” was all about unicorns and rainbows, but alas! It was not how it was. Of course, I never had to share my toys or my room, and my privacy always remained uninvaded. At the same time, I never had anyone to share my feelings with. For a long time, I’ve been dealing with my feelings by myself. Right from high school up until now, it’s been a roller coaster ride and here I am, slightly better than yesterday, and a little less than tomorrow. Bits and pieces follow like a shadow, even in the dark. The classic irony.
Feeling lonely at times is maybe a normal thing, but getting used to that in a way, where you build a wall for yourself so that no one can break in? I believe that can be very toxic for your mental health. It took me a lot of years to realise that. I believe that suffering is a given. No one can have a full cup of happiness throughout their lives. But ever since I was 15, I have perpetually felt lonely.
People think I am a bubbly person with more friends that I can count. But unfortunately, that wasn’t true. In 2017, I got out of a horrible, physically and mentally exploiting relationship and that was it. My anxiety had hit the roof. I went through something that no one should ever go through (and most definitely not at the age of 15). I was unable to socialize with people, as that guy had me cut myself off from every group I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve never talked about this openly, but now I feel like I’ve gathered most of the strength I need to voice my feelings out. My anxiety continues to affect me, yes, but in fewer situations.
When I became more conscious of my anxiety, I researched methods and practices that would help me with it. I started by getting out of my comfort zone. It was an extremely difficult task as I had eased into the cocoon that I had created around myself (of course, I wasn’t happy, but at least no one would hurt me). With that move, I managed to connect with the people from my past and later, it helped me find more real relationships. In addition, working out became an important part of my life. I started to feel more confident about myself (and not only in terms of my looks). Lockdown has helped me grow through all of this as well.
And yet, neither my friends nor my family had realized I was going through something (although I must take a moment and acknowledge two of my college friends and that one special person we all need and want in our lives for consistently helping me get through all kinds of challenges that life threw at me). It’s tough to believe that good people do exist and they might only want what is best for you.
It hasn’t been a complete cake walk. Naturally, it was hard to reconnect with people and trust again. Getting out of bed every morning and never giving up on yourself is vital for your progress. The more progress you see, the better you will feel and you’ll never look back.
I think people need to stop being more materialistic and connect over things like emotions and tiny gestures instead. They’ll still judge me, but I don’t think it matters to me anymore. I have realised that I have great people around me who deeply care and are there whenever I need them. I am eternally grateful for everything they do for me.
And I can safely say I’d do the same.