Whenever one of my good friends rebuked my attempts to commiserate with her, she’d tell me I didn’t understand. It was frustrating, and infuriating. Every time she’d speak about how I was beautiful and loveable made me angrier. She’d belittle herself and enhance me. There was always going to be someone better, she’d say. She made me feel as if I was the reason for her gut-wrenching sadness. And while she was under no obligation to accept my own sympathy, the fact that she came to me for advice only to shake it away didn’t feel humble — it felt disingenuous. More than that, why would she always compare me to herself and why did I always feel sorry for her?
I know, she must have felt invisible, and for some odd reason, she must have believed as if she was living in my shadow. But sometimes, we forget that we are the ones with the contagious laughter and the personality that keeps everyone enchanted. It made me cringe every time she disparaged herself. And to hear from her lips that I was of more value left me in a state of dismay. I sat in tears with her, trying to convince her of her self-worth. To me she was perfect, smart, and generous, with a golden heart. But it was never fair for her to say that I did not understand the pain she feels.
I wanted to yell at her. She is not the only one who lives in a sea of regret and self-doubt. The girl who wakes up every morning wishing she could be someone else. She is not the only one who dreams of escaping her problems and arrive home when they’re all gone. She is not the only tired soldier who stays up all night because she has too many thoughts in her head to fall asleep. And she is definitely not the only person who cries too many tears when no one is watching. No one ever is.
And I told her this. I told her that I too feel the emptiness that she does. I did not want her pity, I desired her to believe that there are so many others who understood. There are woman who struggle every single day, but are strong enough to conquer these feelings. I wanted her to know that she had someone who stood by her side, every step of the way. And that maybe we could overcome these self-deprecating battles together.
Why do we always look at other people as if they have it easier? Sure, some people are born or luck into advantages here and there, but there is not one human being living on this earth who has never felt like giving up. How unfair is it to say that one has it better than another person? What is better? A problem is a problem. Something simple to one can be the most complicated to another. To make fun or to put aside someone who is desperate in need is shallow and cowardly. Stop. Hold their hand. No matter how much they reject it, tell them that they are not alone. Remind them of all the difficulties you have, too. In the moment, they may not believe it, but they will thank you later.
There are so many people who are trying to beat the same battle. Maybe, all we need to do is to stand by each other. List all of the beautiful traits each of you have. Talk about your situation. Help each other. Do not back away when things get tough. If you are able to bring someone out of their darkness, then I’m positive that you can do the same for yourself.
It may not be easy, but I swear you’ll get there. I know it may seem like you’re alone, but a helping hand is there for you to hold. Just stay strong, even if it feels like it’s taking so long. There are so many people who love you. You should be included in that number, too.