The events surrounding KPop superstar T.O.P this week (and beyond) highlight some important facts: we all have problems, we all need to live true to ourselves and we all need people around us who can help us do that.
We All Suffer
I have type 1 diabetes (T1D) and have struggled with depression and anxiety on and off my whole life. I know people with a laundry list of physical, emotional, financial and/or psychological hardships. It doesn’t matter how much or how little money you have. Money cannot buy you out of life’s bitter darknesses.
T.O.P is said to be dealing with some mental health issues. Mental struggles are just as painful as physical ones. Some have argued that they are tougher because they are invisible, therefore sympathy is not easily earned. Having an invisible condition myself (T1D) I can see this as possible. We sometimes want to pretend these things don’t exist. Sometimes we try to hide our weaknesses.
We All Deserve Truth
I’ve become more outspoken about my life, including my T1D, in recent years. Writing this blog is testament to my willingness to share my life’s truths. It’s frightening to me but I feel compelled to live (and share) my real life for both myself and others who may find themselves in similar situations.
We all live within a social structure and sometimes we feel obligated to mold ourselves to that framework’s customs. I believe people like T.O.P feel this pressure deeply. Whether it’s our personal, medical, professional, religious, political or sexual truths, if ours are in serious conflict with the framework we find ourselves in, it will lead to our destruction.
A little flexibility could go a long way towards easing each other's experiences.
We All Need Someone
With all my talk of pain and pressure, YES there is hope. It can be found in each other’s eyes and arms.
We all need a support system. We can all be a part of those support systems. We can express kind words and actions. We can allow others who differ from us to have their space. As long as they are not negatively impacting others, it’s their right. We can speak up and stand up with non-violent conviction when we see others being excluded and wronged.
We don’t need yes-people in our lives agreeing blindly to whatever we say and do. We need people living their lives fully and living their truths fully. We need people willing to actively try, fail and get back up again to try again. T.O.P needs that just as much as you or I.
Life’s about learning from our experiences. We can do that best when we do it together.