Embracing the bad in me.
Wouldn't it be easier to just forget it? To pretend that everything is okay? That you’re normal and this is just a bad day, week, month, year, life? Don't they say that if you don't accept it, if you don't think about it, then maybe it won't be real? What if they're right?
These questions have lingered in the back of my mind, for a long time. They came to life when I attended a talk and one of the speakers said something that changed a lot for me. Something along the lines of “only the plant that you water will grow." The way I understood this was that any thought, any belief, any lifestyle will only grow to consume you and become everything life is to you, if given enough time and care. With the right amount of attention it will grow to become your reality, even if it was only a part of it.
Life got harder as days went by and I was fed up. I felt weak, vulnerable, tired, hurt and I just wanted to let go. Not of life but of who I was. To let go of my problems, my worries, my anxieties, my mental issues, my everything. I wanted to live a life of pretense. I wanted to cut off the plant's roots and bury it deep under the soil, never to be thought of again.
In my vulnerable state I shared that feeling with someone. That feeling of wanting to let go. They said something amazing. Something that later on, served as the answer to my previous question. They said: “ If you shut the bad out then you’re shutting out the good as well.” So, basically, by cutting off the roots, I’m cutting off the flowers that go along with it. Just like how between every two hills there’s a valley, with every down there’s an up and with every bad there’s good.
That’s where my answer stemmed from. That's how I knew why I was watering the plant that is my mental illnesses. That's how I knew that doing that was better than the alternative of leaving the plant out in the open, forgotten, stored deep in the back of my mind. Because when winter comes and while the rain is pouring down non-stop and the snow takes days to melt off, I’ll be wishing the plant was in my house, in my mind, where I could control its water income. Where I could learn when it's enough water and when it needs more attention. When it’s enough sunlight and when it needs more spotlight.
You see, the plant exists and if you try to oppress that plant and question its existence, It’ll break through the soil it was buried under stronger than ever. It’s a reality. My reality. And I choose to embrace that part of me until I can use it to my advantage. Until I learn how to live with it and how to keep it in a contained state where it can’t get out of control.
So, yes. I will continue to water my plant and give it all the attention it needs, because if I let go of the bad in me, then I’m letting go of the good as well.
Nadia Kamal is a senior in high school. She aspires to leave her footprint in this world by leaving it a better place.