Mental Health: Bridges & An Open Letter to Parents

As it is said by Mehmet Murat, “Bridges symbolize change and flexibility! They show us this simple philosophy: When you are on one side, you can easily move to the other side!”

Life is an illusion. To which love is a soulful part. Loving and following your dreams through a bridge or path to your destination. Falling in love with a soul and having that soul to soul connection through a bridge of bond. The love between mother and child through the bridge of the womb. There is more to a bridge than a physical connection between two ends.

Bridge of life starting from birth, connecting it to death. But crossing a bridge isn’t that easy. It needs purpose, strength, and determination with peace of mind and heart. One of the ends of the bridge will always be easy or difficult, and you have to push yourself out of your comfort zone to walk through the bridge to the other end of your destination or your dreams.

The bitter part of life is the obstructions and situations you have to go through on the bridge you’re walking on. Sometimes, some part of that bridge is difficult, hard to move and you wanna end it in between or jump of that bridge to different times flowing like a river, or to another obstruction or pain like a rock. You try to develop another pain to escape from the pain you’re going on which is stopping you from moving forward on that bridge to your destination.

As said, “if you have to be strong, you have to fight alone”. You have to find a distraction from your pain rather than finding another pain or obstruction. Face that pain with your distraction and move forward on that bridge to see the other part. Future is waiting for you with happiness and sadness both, with difficulties. Let your heart decide which time was a difficult one and who were the people who stayed in your worst time.

So, when you’ll reach the destination, you will have those people with your soul to enjoy your best time of life. There can be both worst and best times throughout your life. But in the first bridge of life when you will face your worst times alone, you will remember how you survived and developed that ability to face another bridge of life, another worst time alone, and who stayed in that time forever with you.

When you will be on your death bed, taking your last breath, you will have those people by your side who stayed through the worst time, walked with you through the bridge of struggles, and enjoyed your best time. You will feel so satisfied with your bridge of life and you will accept death happily to reach the other end of the bridge of your life you chose to walk. 

An open letter to parents on mental illness

Dear Parents,

As Glenn Close said, “What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candour, more unashamed conversation.”

Parents often disregard mentally and emotionally weak people and praise mentally and emotionally strong people. They tell you the qualities of a strong person, or how to be emotionally or mentally strong, what to do to achieve success, but they never tell you about the qualities of weak people who have tried to be strong in bad times or struggle …

They say that failure is a part of success, but if you fail, they don’t consider the effects of that failure. Most parents assume that their child is so capable to face failure or their child is mentally or emotionally strong. Parents often try hard to make their children strong without considering their capability and the way they can become strong. For example, why does the child need to study in the afternoon only when the child can study better in the evening or at night? 

Parents don’t think that they can affect their child’s mental health. I don’t understand why parents ask for reasons when mental health starts affecting or when their child is suffering from mental illness. They don’t ask reasons for physical illness like a common cold or fever, they just consult a doctor for medication. Then why do parents want to know the reason in case of mental illness, can’t they do the same, go to the doctor (psychologist or psychiatrist or neuropsychiatrist) and take therapy or medication, whatever is needed based on symptoms. And mental illness isn’t gender-specific, any gender can suffer from it. Maybe your child is vulnerable or sensitive or emotionally weak or mentally weak or not that strong. 

Like it is said in the movie Dear Zindagi by Dr. Jehangir Khan, “When we suffer from physical illness (say jaundice), person can tell family that they are suffering from that illness, but if a person is suffering from mental illness (say depression), then family ignores it or discusses it in such a way that the said person may feel bad and blame themselves for suffering. As if the brain is not a part of the body.” The brain which sends signals at the right time and runs our body isn’t considered part of the body when it becomes weak. 

In the end, I just want to request you, parents, please don’t disregard our mental illness, perpetuating a taboo. Our brain is one of the integral parts of our body. Start considering it as such. It can affect us mentally and emotionally too. Don’t waste time in making your child strong. Instead, teach your child to deal with it by being strong during struggles and if it affects their mental health, then teach them how to cope with it.

Don’t ignore it for the sake of your reputation in society. Mental illness doesn’t destroy anyone’s reputation but will destroy your child’s life for sure. At least start considering your child’s mental illness and try to support them. All they need sometimes is your support.

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Akshita Gupta

Akshita is always trying to normalize taboos in society. She prides herself on being a lifelong learner. She has completed her B.Tech. in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Banasthali University, Rajasthan. Currently, she is preparing for further studies in the same stream. She is a co-author, writer, artist, and blogger with her weblog “Shayarana Safar” on WordPress. She is the co-author of anthologies like “Integrated Dreams”, “Siyaahii”, “Khamosh Alfaaz” and “Ankahe Alfaaz”.


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