Just a few days ago, I officially turned 22. The day compromised of me having a normal routine. There was nothing special done that day and no celebration. It was such a typical day. In all honesty, I even forgot about my own birthday before my mother wished me. It was hilarious as that I didn’t remember it myself.
Looking back at past 22 years, I reflected upon the things that I learned which shaped me into who I am today. Be it if it is a positive or negative experience, it has helped to form my perspective now. I couldn’t be where I am today and be proud of myself without all of these.
1. Things change, friends leave and life doesn’t stop for anybody
That is the hardest reality that I could ever learn. Before that, I have always thought that the friends I made in school will be my friends in life but ultimately that is not the case.
Most friends that you make in school are your friends because you are in the same class or same after-school activities. You tolerated with them as well as they tolerated with you. There might be connection between the both of you but once you are done with school, it is difficult to maintain that friendship any longer.
You will be busy with your own things and they will be busy with their own life too. You will no longer meet with them every day and you do realised that life still moves on and you meet new people and develop new friendships. Life doesn’t stop for you and you have to have the strength to move on.
2. True friends are like gems
Friends are easy to find but true friends are like gems. I know that I mentioned above that your friends in school are not necessarily your friends in life but there are instances when you know those few friends are your gems. To determine whether your friends are true is circumstantial but ultimately you will know it yourself.
I know that I found few true friends through the situation that I was in. I had to quit school due to my mental illness and only two of my close friends back then knew about it. I mentioned for them not to tell anyone as I didn’t anyone else in school to know.
Unfortunately, they didn’t keep their promises and the entire school knew about it. The ironic thing is that those people who want to know just wanted to satisfy their curiosity. Even after finding out of my condition, there were no texts, phone calls or social media messages to show their concern. Due to that, I deleted all of my social media accounts and changed my smartphone number as I felt betrayed by my “friends”.
However, few of my friends found about it and they tracked me down. They tried to message my deleted social media and my deleted smartphone number. Ultimately, they found out my new number after digging through lots of obstacles just to express their concern about my condition. They wanted me not to feel alone as they are suffering from mental illness themselves. That actions itself showed me how blessed I am to have those few who cares rather than a bunch of fake friends.
3. Depend on myself not others
Having mental illness taught me to depend on myself not others. While it is great to have the support system from your love ones, it is important to note that they are not always there for you when you need it as each one of them are busy leading their own life. That is a harsh reality that you need to get a grip on.
I know that it is difficult to fathom these but instead of hoping for others to save you, you need to be your own hero. I learned that the hard way by always being disappointed that no one came to the rescue when I needed it. I stand on my two feet now and learn to depend on myself through thick and thin.
I am not belittling the help and love I have gotten from my love ones. They have supported me through these tough times but ultimately I managed to go out of it by myself. I am proud to say that I learned to love myself and depend on myself now.
To greater things
With all of that said, I am thankful of the experience that I have that shaped me into who I am today. Without all of those, I would not be able to look upon the world with the new perspective that I have. Life always needs a balance of good and bad and through all of these; it had developed me into a better version of myself.