This is for the girls or the women who have not been themselves lately. I choose to address her/them as ‘sister’, as I believe the spirit of sisterhood is what we, women need, to lift each other.
My dear sister,
You have not been yourself lately. You don’t feel like you want to live anymore. Why? Because people you love and care for don’t understand you. Your family treats you miserably. Your lover, the one you love with all the emotions you possess, has chosen to walk away. Your lover has accused you of acts you never committed, making you feel miserable about your existence. Your world seems to have fallen apart. Your family is disappointed in you. No matter how much efforts you put in, it is never enough. You are never “GOOD ENOUGH.” And you are on the verge of breaking down. It feels the pain is a shark that will swallow you soon. Or, it is this vast ocean you are drowning in. And my dear sister, you don’t know how to swim. But don’t forget, you can also ask for a lifejacket if you can’t swim.
Maybe, you don’t have close friends you can confide in. Or maybe, you have friends who really care about you. They care you to the extent that they also stay the whole night awake, on those nights that you break down and cry hysterically. But now, you feel to push them away from you a little because you don’t want to inflict your trauma on anyone and scare them off. Nonetheless, irrespective of whether you have people to care for you or not, you yourself are not in a position to accept the help. But learn to lean on, without overwhelming others. We are human beings and complete isolation is something very few can deal with. Even if you are an introvert, my sister, there are moments when you need a shoulder to cry on. Do not feel guilty about. Please do not.
You try to remind yourself that you are a strong woman, but a part of you also doubts if you are really so strong. You are lost in a maze of confusion, pain, grief and self-doubt, and self-loathing.
My dear sister, maybe your mind is right now filled with suicidal thoughts. Maybe you are feeling that by ending your life you can end your pain. Please cut off those ideas! Easier said than done- I agree. It is easy to say, but difficult to execute. But, I, or many of us, have been in situations when we saw no ray of hope. But I survived sister, many of us survived. It is difficult, but not impossible- to not let grief paralyze us. Please believe me, you can still fight back. You were born with the spirit to fight back against all the odds in life, whether you are aware of it or not.
Love yourself first. Love yourself so fiercely that you set a benchmark for people in your life to understand that you will not tolerate any nonsense, that you will not allow yourself to be disrespected or pushed around. It is often a taboo- the notion of ‘self-love’. Please do not confuse it with narcissism. All I expect is that you learn to see yourself through the eyes of those who recognize your worth- that you are amazing, you are worthy of love and respect. And you do not need people in your life who fail to recognize your value. Or even if they are there, you have not shown them the door yet- at least their actions or opinions do not determine your worth. It is not worth, to end your life or to be shattered because of people mistreating you- whether it is your parents, siblings, friends, spouse or lover, or anybody else. The world has so much more to offer you, but you can only see them and embrace what life has to offer to you only if you don’t give up, only if you give yourself the love and respect you give to others.
But to help yourself, you need to love yourself first. You need to let go of the inhibitions towards the journey of self-love, of the fear of being tagged as a ‘narcissist.’ You need to love yourself and nurture yourself. You need to say to yourself “I love me too”- because often we decide our happiness based on the actions of other people, and unfortunately often those are the people who betray us, make us feel lesser. Because nobody can help you better than you. You need to love yourself, only then your life will take a U-turn.
The writer is working as editor of Women Chapter’s English site, and Researcher and Social Media Manager at Safety First for Girls Outreach Foundation, a not-for-profit organization based in Zambia. She is also working as a volunteer at the Hague Peace Projects. Her passion also includes inter-faith peacebuilding, refugee rights, women empowerment etc. She is one of the young leaders of Women Deliver Young Deliver 2018 Program.