Edited by- Sanyam Garg
Stop. Breathe. Calm down. Take it easy.
Except sometimes, I forget how to breathe. The act of being calm? I’ve forgotten what that feels like. And no, I cannot ‘take it easy.’
The way our society reacts to mental illness is rooted from our lack of understanding; lack of understanding due to a lack of education. But how can you educate someone on an issue they don’t even believe is real?
They don’t see the suffering behind those bright eyes. My beautiful smile, something I mastered after hours of practice in front of the mirror. They don’t know the internal conflict I face every day. Every hour. Every damn second.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t blame you. But I do envy you. You’re the lucky one. The one who gets to laugh without hesitation. The one who can drink water in the middle of class without having to think about it five times. The one who doesn’t feel the weight of fifty pairs of imaginary eyes on your back, waiting for you to mess up. Waiting to point and laugh. But what hurts me the most about my anxiety, is the way I react to love.
You’re the one who can not only feel love but also accept it, and most importantly, you can act on it. You are able to tell the people that you love, exactly how you feel. You are able to show them. You are able to show them, unlike me. Do you even realise just how lucky you are?
It is the worst feeling in the world, when the person you love is right in front of you, not sure of how you feel. But so deserving. So very deserving. All I want to do is to hug them and let them know that they are not wrong to love me. All I want to do is shake them by the shoulders and scream at the top of my lungs, their value in my life. Except, I can’t. I just stand there. I watch them doubt me. I watch them wreck their brains for any signs of a good relationship. I watch the disappointment on their face when they don’t find it. At this point, I want nothing more than to embrace them. I can see myself walk over and say those words. I can see myself caress their face and wipe their tears away. But again, it’s all just something I see, never do.
I think the issue is that I don’t feel. Or to rephrase, I don’t allow myself to feel. In my head, feeling is a weakness. Being human, is a weakness. Don’t allow the world to see the raw you. Because if they do, they’ve seen everything. And now, you’re vulnerable. You’re real. You’re a victim. I don’t want to be seen as broken, even though I am. Because once people realise you’re broken, they will want to fix you. They feel like it’s their duty to fix you. They devote their time, resources and even life into fixing you. But what’s wrong with being broken? Isn’t there a beauty, in not being perfect? I think there is.