Sometimes I share details of personal struggles with strangers because I need the release, and other times I do so because I hope that they may avoid the pitfalls that I experienced. Nonetheless, the shedding of my veil of privacy is always sincere. More often than not I restrain myself because even I find it hard to swallow the volume of colourful experiences that I’ve had to endure. And when I place myself in the position of the recipient, I can only imagine how quickly they reach a point when they question the voracity of what I’m saying.

I guess I have yet to figure out the human psyche, especially within the context of interpersonal relationships. I can sense the anguish or regret, hope or passion and even optimism in the words of strangers, but I can never foresee being discarded. That always takes me by surprise. Every single time. Perhaps it’s representative of an over-inflated ego or sense of self. That would be a contradiction of note, given my grave insecurities about my ability to contribute positively in a manner that may be well-received. 

Hasn’t happened yet. Perhaps I’m plagued by both ingratitude and delusion. A fatal combination for one who desires to connect with others on a human level. I guess my latest experiences just reaffirms my hesitance to want to reduce the story of my life to a book. 

Zaid Ismail

Author, life coach, and mental health activist. We need to change the narrative from disorders, illnesses, and survival to accountability, understanding, and thriving.

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