What is “Not-I”?
Our lives are characterized by the influences around us, ultimately determining the choices we make and our character itself. People don’t have a say in whether or not they’re going to be brought out into this world. One’s parents, community, ethnicity, and natural appearance are all predetermined. People don’t get to choose how they grow up, and it most certainly has an effect on the person they grow up to be. In a world where everything is fixed by the influences around us and the opportunities we receive, there is not much we can control when we are teenagers still living under our parents’ roof. The one thing we do have a say over is the way we go about our mentality.
There undeniably will be obstacles in our path ever so often. People face setbacks, heartbreaks, and failures. Of course, those things will dampen our mentality and hurt our pride. Of course, we may want to let it all go and not bother with it anymore. Those are the bad influences that people often hear in the back of their heads, telling them it isn’t worth it anymore. The deeper we push the voice back, the more it eats out of us. We can choose to bottle these feelings inside of us, allowing it to consume us entirely, or we can choose to reach out to others. We might not have a say in whether or not depression affects us, but we do have the ability to cope with depression in a positive manner. We have the ability to say “Not-I.”
[Not-I] I will not be the one to hide my inner turmoil, faking a smile around my family and friends. I will not be the one to shut myself off, isolating myself from the people I love. I will not be the one to skip meals, allowing myself to become frail and unhealthy. I will not be the one to quit partaking in activities that I love. I will not be the one to ruin my sleep schedule due to loss of sleep or excessive sleep. I will not be the one to leave my friends and family early.
I will recognize that there are people who care for my wellbeing. I will reach out to the people who care about me for support. I will express my feelings with peers who may be experiencing the same struggle. I will remind myself that I am an appreciated member of this society. I will stand up regardless of how many times I fall. I will try my hardest to overcome my challenges. I will be resilient.