Last week while we poor Delhities were battling the heat wave and showing solidarity through funny takes at Facebook and twitter, I was made to book an appointment with my gynecologist on P’s behest (I know when the matter has slipped from my husband’s ‘to-do’ list to the shouting ‘urgent’ ones), which I was conveniently procrastinating for almost a month. Sealing the deal, I boarded the metro, updating him via sms and making me feel like a cantankerous child.If you are not in a mood of getting paid for your share of global warming, metro makes the best sense and avoiding the peak office hours can also reward you with a seat. Carefully avoiding the reserved ones, I got the most loved corner seat as I was planning to catch on some sleep during the one and a half hour journey.
But my plans were not going to work as I was joined by one of my closest friends at the very next station.Although I never mind sacrificing my sleep for a lovely company and that too when we were meeting after a long time, probably a year. After few doses of formal interactions, I heard her sobbing about the extremely distressing circumstances she found herself trapped in. I was a little surprised to know the situation as she had always been the confident one, usually the ones who seem to have solutions to every problem. We seriously used to respect and adore her for that.
As the sobbing continued, I heard her complaining how everyone around her was advising her to be ‘a little positive’ and that it was simply not working. I found myself spending the next thirty minutes explaining her why the mere idea of positivity will not work and she had to take some stand, and how the other people can keep the idea of her not being positive at bay. I pitied her for her situation, and I pitied her more for choosing the wrong counsel.For once and all, we have to understand that positivity may be a way or potential tool to nourish the broken hopes and dreams but definitely not a solution to anxiety or any distressing situations in life.Even after she got off the cart, it all kept looming on my mind.
Are we not being a little too decisive and hopping the fence immediately in spite of helping the person in question to do the same, when we simply say ‘try some positivity’?
My always brimming curiosity made me google the facts and I came to know that we females, are actually more prone to depression and other anxiety related issues which might be quite damaging to some souls than the other. Science blamed our erratic hormones and self blaming tendencies for the same. Very few would admit it, but we all are a little bit insecure and there lays the foundation stone of all stress and anxiety, which cultivated over a period of time takes shape of something more fatal for our core.
It can be anything- from academic and professional performance, need to get acceptance from in-laws, unstable finances, incompetence to manage professional and personal lives, or simply a non supportive work environment.
The fact is that life not only throws the losses but also the healing resources. Many of us are fortunate enough to have strong support systems which suck out the negativity creeping in us. A partner who steps in, a manager who understands that you can get sick at times or a reliable friend who does not advise positivity alone, but also shows how it is done and eventually hangs around.While some of us don’t have the fortune of those replenishing resources and self exhaustion takes over. Every missed opportunity and every snub from a relative force us to question our capabilities, often sending messages like ‘You are failing at it terribly’.
Listening “Try some positivity” acts like salt on the wounds. No matter how honest the intentions are, those words are like grief upon grief. Its like implying your vision is flawed, just keep on going until one day when everything would fall in place and you would actually start living.
It’s like being trapped in a dark room and people telling you there is light outside but not showing you how to open the window. The mere description of light won’t help. Saying to imagine it simply does not work, especially for someone who has lost the idea of light. Demonstrating the light of love is on the other hand, not just telling how the light actually looks like, but offering to absorb some of the exhaustion/darkness and actually leading her the path towards that window.
Merely pointing towards the ladder is not enough. It’s more of holding the ladder and keeping it steady for her while she makes her way up.
What did I do?
Well I saved her number and put it in speed dial and try to make time for at least a weekly chat about how she was progressing, and yes I made to that appointment and was advised for some tests and ultrasounds before the lady with stethoscope could come to any verdict. So that demands a second visit!