To my dear readers,
I’m back! Sorry for not posting last week. I was very unwell. Fortunately, I feel better now. 🙂 Anyhow, today’s post is based on one of my real life interactions with a friend.
A few weeks ago, I finally caught up with my friend Nathan (fake name) after four years of not seeing him. Back in the days, we used to go to events and parties together. But due to my autoimmune disorder, I had been too ill in the past few years to attend any of his parties.
Nonetheless, we still stayed in touch via facebook and would update each other from time to time.
When we met up, Nathan was telling me how he had been going through depression and wanted to kill himself. Here was part of our conversation:
Nathan: Grace, you know, last year was so hard for me. I wanted to kill myself because I felt like my life was not worth living. My job contract ended and I didn’t get extended. I turned 30 and I am still living at home. Everyone on facebook seems to be doing better than me. I thought by now I would have a place of my own. I thought by now, I would have my own family.
Me: Oh my goodness, Nathan! Stop comparing yourself to what people post on social media! You know, people only show you the good stuff. Their life may suck but they’re going to show you the 2% of the time when they’re having a blast. Plus, you have accomplished so much and you’re constantly trying to improve yourself!! Stop thinking about how behind you are, but think about how far you’ve come!!!
Nathan: Grace, you know, I have a learning disability. Not only that, I’m a visible minority and I’m gay. It’s already hard enough to have one of the following. I have three. I feel like such a disappointment to my family. It doesn’t help that I’m an only child. Oh, and someone told me the reason why I wasn’t getting a promotion was because I wasn’t white. It didn’t bother me too much, but I do think it was a factor.
Me: But despite everything, you still managed to persevere and have 3 degrees?! MBA, a Science degree and a teaching degree!?! How many languages do you speak? 3? 4? Plus, your family has accepted you for who you are now. Please, be proud of your accomplishments!! By the way, out of curiosity, what stopped you from killing yourself?
Nathan: I was afraid I wouldn’t die properly and end up being hospitalized for life or something. I’m scared of pain. And when I expressed my depression on a status, I received so many calls and msgs from friends and family. I realized I am very loved and it was stupid. There are still days when I’m really down, but I try my best to stay positive.
Anyhow, the entire conversation was too long. But I wanted to share because I feel like a lot of people I know can personally relate. Today, our news feeds are constantly filled with people being in relationships, getting engaged, getting married, starting families, getting their own places, and so on. It’s almost impossible to not to compare when it seems like everyone else is doing so well. But remember, that’s only what they choose to show or tell you.
In conclusion, I just want to caution you all to be mindful and not assume. Everyone has problems you can’t see from the surface.
Always be kind.