The first time I got to label the feelings I had had in me since childhood, I was 22 years old. I was told I was suffering from Depression and Borderline Personallity Disorder.
I was told it would be a struggle that I would overcome only if I genuinely wanted to help myself. It has been a decade long journey since.
I have seen good days. I have seen better days. I have seen days I shouldn’t have. But like they say, bad decisions make for good stories and I am a good storyteller. I am where I am because I decided to take the plunge and not shy away from the fact that I was living with a condition. A medical condition.
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What helped me personally was the fact that I had a physical distance from my family. There was no constant pressure or scrutiny on my recovery. I could take my own time. Also, my friends at that point in time respected my personal space, had their boundaries. The fact that I had so much to process about myself was at times overwhelming. People I have befriended or dated since have taken the time and put in that effort to educate themselves about my condition.
The most important thing that one can do is inculcate the three Es:
Educate yourselves about what mental illness(es) your loved ones are suffering from. You may not understand what exactly they are going through but you can empathise with them. You can enable and encourage them to seek help and talk about it. Give them that personal space to assimilate the information in hand. Be there. A lot of times we don’t say it, but we need you. Just be that strong calming presence. It is a lot of pressure for you but it will be met genuine heartfelt acknowledgement and affection.
There are days when I feel like a butterfly high on Cocaine and Adderall together. There are days when a sloth would seem like the fastest animal in comparison to me. There will be days when I will be a constant source of sunshine & rainbows. There will be days when I will have a personal gloomy cloud above my head. I have learnt to live with it and aim to channelise my energies into achieving more sunshine and rainbows. I refuse to give up. I refuse to give in. I refuse to be the stereotype.
About the Author:
Mehak Sabat is a 31-year-old movie marketing professional who comes from Bhubaneshwar, Odisha. She is currently working in Mumbai.
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Views expressed are personal. Material on The Health Collective cannot substitute for therapy or expert advice from trained professionals.