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A Soulmate is Not Easy to Find

A Soulmate is Not Easy to Find

“ I cannot handle her. She is too much for my mental health”

                                                               -A certain someone

 

Have you seen a crocodile cry?

I have.

That person used to be my friend. A close one. I thought I had found a lifetime of friendship in that person.

Oh, how wrong I was.

No, I am not here to tell a love story.

I am here to signify the matter of how a so-called “sane” person stigmatizes someone with mental health ailments.

I suffer from bipolar disorder. I have obsessive compulsive disorder too but that is now under control.

 

All of my life I have suffered in silence. I had OCD since I was 10 years old.

I kept washing my hands in the hope the germs will go away. After a few years of torment, it did go away and I kept praying to God, please do not let it come back. But it did in various intervals. I stigmatized myself because I did not know what was happening. Still, I managed to maintain a fantastic career and bubbly social life.

Nobody knew. No one.

I suffered in silence.

Then eight years ago everything hit me like a clap of thunder and medical intervention was needed.

My family was scared. Me too.

Thankfully I found a good doctor and the pharmacotherapy started working.

 

Now let’s get back to my relationship with that friend.

 

We have been in school together. We loved the same things, shared the same interests. Whenever her schizophrenic mother would cause a tantrum, she would come crying to me. I did my best to console that friend despite having my own struggles with depression and other related comorbidities.

 

If you want to save a life either as a professional or just a friend, then you must do the active listening part. A depressive patient just wants to be heard, not to be advised to go “shopping” or “just chill” or “read self-help books” etc. Unless you can do the active listening on your part there is always a chance of losing a patient or a friend who is suffering.

 

As a student of psychology, I put up with that person, because I felt obliged to.

I should not have.

Because I was allowing toxicity in my life without knowing.

And I also thought “This person can take my s*hit”.

I was so wrong.

Even the amygdala that is responsible for love and other emotions can bring toxicity in the disguise of a relationship to your life and make it miserable.

 

While I felt negative emotions, I did talk about it to that person, but I could see the person was not inclined to listen to my problems.

 

Slowly and in a methodical way, that person excluded me from her life and later cried to my best friend that she “sincerely wishes I let go of my emotional baggage” but that person does not want me back since I have a mental illness.

 

To recite my personal story, I have a point to make to those with mental illness and struggling every day, no matter how much we scream “end the stigma” surrounding anything, it will not go away. Probably never.

It all depends on who you chose to be with and how you find a place in this world.

I know living with a chronic mental illness is very hard.

So do not be afraid to ask for help.

  • Go to a social worker.
  • Visit a psychiatrist or a psychologist for your problems.
  • Lower the intake of alcohol and tobacco and caffeine.
  • Psycho-educate yourself.
  • Limit smartphone screen time.
  • Take your prescribed medications.
  • Cut off people who are toxic and can cause emotional harm.
  • Stand up for yourself.
  • Remember it is a disease of the brain, it is not you.
  • Most mental illnesses are chronic but manageable.

 

You are not weak. Neither incompetent. Asking for help is a tremendous sign of courage. Those who tell you otherwise are afraid of their own so-called “sanity”

 

“Speak yourself”.

 

On a serious note, if you are feeling things like “what is the point in staying alive?”

Do immediately call the suicide hotline of India such as:

AASRA- 91+9820466726

 

Kurt Cobain once said, - “I was tired of pretending that I was someone else just to get along with people, just for the sake of having friendships.”

The truth is every relationship matters, both the good and bad ones.

When you identify what is bad for you, you are out of the woods and can live a prosperous life with sound mental health.

 

It is better to be imperfect than pretending to be perfect.

I hope my story helps you.

 

Writer

Ishani Chakraborty

BSc, Studying Masters in Counselling and Family Therapy

Ishani is a very curious person whose unrequited love is medicine. She loves medical dramas and good music. She aspires to be a Neuropsychologist in future.

 

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