I have not been diagnosed with a mental health disorder, but towards the end of last year and into this, I was not okay mentally. So much happened that affected not only who I was but also my ability to perform, show up, and participate.
I was a Law student before; now I’m a full-time writer. The decision to drop out didn’t come from any pressure at the time; neither was it directly influenced by any surrounding circumstances. Simply put, my mind and thus life, needed peace, and I sought it how best I thought to. I will perhaps, someday, share about the moment I decided that it was it, and I was done sitting there, listening, trying to act normal, while everything else around me crumbled.
The decision to walk out of those gates, however, did not serve me peace on a silver platter. It is hard sought, and among the things I believe saved me from my sinking wreck, was my persistence in seeking what I felt my life deserved most. Many times, I vividly remember, I would lock myself in my room and cry like a baby. Thinking about everything would just crash me within, and I would cry.
When I felt better about half a year later, I took a pen, a pad, and started to scribble my heart and mind out. I haven’t since mustered the courage to share all creations from this period, but many times I’ve read them and felt the weight overwhelm me. Enough of that; let’s get down to why we’re here.
Searching for better days before a better person. Lil Wayne, My Heart Races On.
I am no professional of the mind, and neither would I claim to provide the kind of help doctors would. They are trained at such matters, and the best I can offer roots from my experience, and reading. In this post, we were going to discuss how we can help you help you, and I will begin in one statement, and end in some more: I understand you.
I have for long found sadness to be a great obstacle to life. See, sometimes the sadness becomes too much, the cause of it becomes irrelevant with time. It becomes small with every shrink of your person, your heart, your strengths, and your life’s pillars. You become a sad person living a sad life. Getting up in the morning feels horrible, your heart feels heavy–there’s nothing more to life but sadness.
Duties start to feel depressing, the thought of thinking becomes exhausting, cumbersome. Seeking help feels pointless, because you’re probably at a point you don’t understand yourself. How would you begin explaining it? From what point even? You brood, swim in sadness, mostly alone; company sucks. You start to drown in your own lake, one that grew a little at a time.
But life is brutal; it doesn’t care for you or your sadness. Daily challenges come and wash you off your tiny feet of illusory progress. You get to a point of quitting, no more strength to clutch at straws. No more strength to fight to live. What for?
We are all battling something different, small or big. Daily, hourly, every second of every minute. Some people manage to look through the obstacles; pain, challenges, and even troubles that the mind imposes on us with no will of our own. Do not pressure yourself.
It is okay not to be okay.
See, our lives are all unique, and I see that as a beautiful thing, because it could mean that the way to life is not a one-shoe-fits-all. Healing is a journey, not a destination; often best walked with one foot in front of the other. But even that is not the only way to live. It is a way to learn to be patient with yourself.
In the next article, I’d like to share my journey towards a better mental state. It may or may not help you. As I said, however, uniqueness in our being is where the beauty lies. I hope to show you that you can help yourself.
Benson Langat is a poet, fiction writer, and freelancer. A dreamer, he realizes a world of possibilities through stories and explores life in poetry. Benie is a dad and lives in Nairobi, Kenya.