Q: ‘How can i feel happy?’ Mental health check time!

Hello, 

You can call me Xakkai (Zak-Kai). I am a 17 year old, autistic, transsexual student diagnosed with a rare soft tissue sarcoma cancer during the first UK lockdown in the global pandemic caused by: SARS-CoV-COVID19. If you’re concerned with symptoms of COVID-19 please visit this website: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiiwdGyp-zvAhUvgf0HHXhtA40QFjAAegQIAhAE&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nhs.uk%2Fconditions%2Fcoronavirus-covid-19%2F&usg=AOvVaw31YEAK6jm3VLF6HVN80MtD

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I have friends who are having treatment  within hospital, and they have asked me more than once, “How can i feel happy?”. At first i was flustered and just vomited any word i could think of to try to help them. 

Looking back on that very, very awkward situation, and thinking about it very,very,very deeply, i have come to a conclusion. 

For me in my situation the thing that made me happy, was linguistics. Give me a dictionary for Vietnamese and i will be happy for hours. (I am normal! ^^). Heck for Christmas last year I asked for numerous phrase books and language dictionaries, (i got 3). Another thing that allowed me to escape my H3ll was art, since the diagnosis i was given an ipad, i used a painting app i found called: ibis paint X (https://apps.apple.com/us/app/ibis-paint-x/id450722833) and just drew. I also through learning a lot of Asian languages was able to find Kpop, Jpop and Cpop. I enjoyed listening to kpop and studying the terminology they used, memorising the meaning and finding BTS. 

BTS was probably a big part of why i was happy. Not only do their lyrics inspire, they declare also! Now that might not make sense, but they’re demanding you remind yourself that you’re Human. You will break, you will fall, you will get hurt, but that is You!. 

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i am not saying, STAN BTS! Or BECOME A KPOP FAN TO BE HAPPY! That’s not entirely true, if you like R’n’B and not kpop fine thats okay!. That’s what makes you happy. But what i a saying is, without something to distract yourself you’re suck in your own head.

You ponder on things you have done wrong, you bring up every mistake you ever committed, blame yourself and then compare it to your cancer. You give that blame entirely onto your own chest. Being stuck in your head at a time like this, is only going to make you feel more depressed. - you dont need that.

I cant sit here and type exactly what you need to be happy, to keep smiling. But instead i can advice. Your situation is going to be different to other peoples, therefore your needs will be different and by joe your hobbies and the things you like will be different. And this might not be the post you want to hear, read. I may not be saying the things you want to hear. However you definitely didnt want to hear “You have cancer” yet youre still fighting. I mean look at you, warrior! Whether your cancer is killing you or just scaring you, you’re a warrior. 

Now without making those any more cheesier!. My advice concludes at this: 

- Find a time where you are in a stable mindset. Not feeling sick from treatment or are just inspired to do something. 

- Try to find things you enjoy or used to enjoy. E.g if you used to ride a horse, but cant because of your cancer, then still be interested in your old hobby, but hit it at a different angle. Try to draw a horse, then try to improve the sketch, design your own horse, design your own stable, maybe even your dream farm. 

- Don’t stay quiet. Dont hide how you feel. If you’re scared even writing it and showing someone will relieve you of fear. 

 Finding something you like, that you want to do, attempting  it, maybe even failing at it, MAY relieve you. Like i said i cant tell you THIS WILL WORK because the outcome is it might work for me and not you. Butt allowing yourself to drown in your thoughts can be both damaging and empowering. But its up to you how long you ponder. 

This is not something you can control. And as a scary as that sounds, neither can the medical professionals. So dont blame yourself. Cry for sure, be upset, DO ponder on the negatives in your life, but also set a boundary as to how much pain you’re willing to take. Because even superheroes need help, even if you’re not wearing a cape with a mask and fighting villains, you’re a superhero in your own story, and every lovable, inspirational, relatable and powerful superhero has a painful backstory, you just need to decide when its your time to shine!. 

Anonymous