Life Lessons from Being Depressed, Heartbroken, Rebellious & Ignorant at 16
Our teenage years are meant to be full of mistakes, experiences, learning, realisations, crisis and changes or as Taylor Swift lyrically puts it, “Magic, madness, heaven and sins.” Natasha Kothari Basically, it’s a roller coaster where you have no choice but to go right down, upside down in order to come right back up. That is exactly how my teenage years were but there were just a lot of extraordinary big bumps throughout the way.
My maternal grandmother with whom I spent the majority of my time growing up since both my parents were working had recently passed away from lung fibrosis. It’s hard to comprehend death when you’re still trying to understand the world yourself, you know…
Somehow I insisted on going to the crematorium with my mother still trying to properly comprehend things. When I saw how they lit the body on fire and just how within seconds an entire being was up in ashes, it scarred me for life. I snapped and I just was not the same person anymore. It was all downhill from there, I started having issues at home, started having tiffs with friends that ultimately rendered me almost friendless. One bad decision led to another and I ended up drinking more than I should and getting hospitalised for it, all only at 16. I was a huge disappointment, for everyone around me, especially for myself.
Being a big Harry Potter fan that I am, what she (J.K Rowling) said always stayed in my heart,
“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of time if only one remembers to turn on the light.”
And boy did I turn on the light. I took my life in my control, jolted myself day and night trying to get back to being the person that I used to be. Not anything else, just being happy. Today after 4 years and repeated attempts to get my life back together it makes me proud that I am a teacher at an NGO that teaches underprivileged children, I run a blog advocating for mental health and I am exactly where I wanted to be in life, a better place.
Although those couple of years in the depths of despair were really horrible to deal with, they did teach me, as all experiences teach you, some very important life lessons. So here I am, sharing the same with you!
1) Don’t be in a hurry to live all that life has to offer and try to do it all, life experiences are meant to be enjoyed step by step only when due.
I got drunk for the first time when I was only 16, I had my first heartbreak to right about at that age. Because we are so eager to know “what next” and so eager to grow up we forget that we are missing out on the “now”. You won’t be young forever and especially not if you spend most of it trying to be older. If I was not so eager to try alcohol my first experience would not be so horrid, not worth recalling. Maybe if I did wait for enough to find the right guy and not jump straight into the first thing that came my way, I would have had beautiful memories instead of regretful stories. Time will make sure you experience it all but only when you’re ready for it. Don’t be in a hurry, it’s not worth it
2. Problems can always be seen in two different lights.
Usually, when you hear a story of someone else’s problem you never really can see the things they see or feel the things they feel, it is hard to empathise. It’s always different being the person on the outside as compared to the one on the inside of the problem. But being the “outsider” on your own problem sometimes can be really helpful, not only does it help you disconnect from all the negative feelings, you may even see things in a different light and not let the problem over power you anymore. When you’re not at the centre of it, the world looks very different.
3. What you feel in this moment is never going to last, feelings are fleeting.
Feelings are fleeting, they come and go and for the most part of life, never last forever. We don’t realise that, not when we feel positive. When we feel happy we wish and sometimes even expect for it to last a long time because we enjoy it so much but we also realise that nothing lasts forever. Why don’t we then apply the same principles to when we are full of negative emotions? The fact that nothing lasts forever.If you feel depressed about something today maybe in a day or two days you won’t feel depressed at all and looking back you might even think it was stupid for you to feel that way. Don’t let your feelings overpower you, it’s just a bad day, not a bad life.
4. In a room full of people sometimes you may be the most misunderstood.
When you’re feeling low sometimes you can’t be yourself and that may bother people around you. You may not think/act/behave the way you usually do because some or the other problem is weighing you down and that’s okay but sometimes not everyone will get it. It does not mean that people don’t love you or that they don’t care for you, it only means that there is a gap of understanding. Your actions may come from places you can’t control but to make sure people around you are aware of that, is in your control and if not then you know that some day things will improve, maybe then they will understand. It doesn’t make you a different or a bad person, it’s all because of the situation.
5. Bad experiences take away parts of you but not without teaching you something in return.
When you truly love someone and they walk away from your life, you find it hard to be the person you were with them with anybody else again. When in love you’re so vulnerable that you bare it all in front of that one person, sometimes your world starts and ends with them and when that goes, it’s all a big mess. But somehow we always tend to forget that if something was taken from us, something was given to us as well. The things we did wrong and the things they did wrong but we overlooked in the name of “love”, the times where we forgot to give ourselves importance and got carried away and so much more. All the things we know not to repeat when the next someone else, special enough walks into our lives. You win some you loose some, isn’t it?
6. We are all a bunch of addicts struggling with a drug of our choice
Take away marijuana from an addict and you’ll see all kinds of withdrawal symptoms. But in most cases, it doesn’t have to be an actual physical drug. All of us are addicted to something or another that keeps us going in life, it’s either our the need for a partner to feel secure, either the need to put other down in order to feel good about yourself or sometimes even the need to feel stressed over nothing as a sense of comfort if everything is going a little too well. Most of our conflicts occur because we as individuals are so dependent on people, objects and situations, we don’t realise it but it affects us in every way. It’s bets to identify these and get rid of our dependence, be your own boss, #BYOB
Views expressed are author’s own