I never get any joy out of hearing someone either has had to or is dealing with depression, anxiety, or any other mental issue. I would rather no one ever have to walk down those roads. I would rather everyone lead happy, peaceful lives completely removed from any uncertainty, distress, or sadness.
Unfortunately, that is rarely the case in life. The more I come to know about human nature, the more I see that even the most composed among us have some sort of hang-ups they’re dealing with. As first, this was sort of disarming to me, but after a while I began to take some comfort in the fact that the standard of perfection I had perceived in others that I was trying to live up to wasn’t unattainable after all. In fact, it didn’t even exist.
As a result, I feel a sort of odd kinship with anyone I run across who is open and honest enough to share a little bit about their struggles. It’s almost as if we simply understand one another better after we’ve been transparent with each other. I also feel a weird sort of excitement in finding someone I can relate to. I guess you might even say I’m … happy?
Happiness in this situation doesn’t come from rejoicing in someone else’s suffering. It comes from realizing I’m not alone. The kinship I spoke of earlier comes from the other person realizing they’re not alone either. In a way, it’s sort of a beautiful thing, being able to look at another person and say, “Hey, you’re like me!”. Neither one of you may have your act together, but you feel a whole lot better knowing someone else is on the same journey you are.
I had a chance to sit down with someone like this today, and I now have a so much better understanding of who they are as a person. I’m not sure, but I’d like to think they have a better understanding of me as well. I think I may have even said the words “you’re like me” at one point. We didn’t exactly solve all the world’s problems, but we didn’t have to either. That sounds like a pretty good recipe for happiness to me.