This inspiring woman’s story shows how empathy and kindness can go a long way
To go through depression is not easy, and everyone fighting it is truly an inspiration! Here’s one true story to motivate you and show you how far empathy and kindness can take you.
"2 years ago, I slipped into depression; I was going through a personal loss. I’d ask myself, ‘Why did this happen to me?’ and constantly compare myself with others. Nothing was inspiring me anymore. Finally, I sought therapy to motivate myself. There, I started journaling; that helped me express myself better and ultimately helped me heal.
During that period, I started writing motivating and inspiring letters to myself. Each one would be addressed as ‘Dear Paromita…’; It allowed me to reflect on where I needed to improve. And then, I started writing to my friends too. They’d write back, ‘You’re capable and special!’ We’d look forward to writing and motivating each other.
Through my process of healing, I’d often think about people who were suffering as I had. And so, in March 2019, I came up with the idea of writing letters to strangers just to hear what they had to say and to motivate them and make them feel better about themselves. I put up a post asking strangers, ‘Don’t feel shy to tell me your troubles; I won’t judge. Instead, I’ll send you a special letter!’
My inbox was filled! People opened up about failed relationships, troubles with addiction, trauma, etc. Reading what others were going through made my heartache feel trivial; I made it a point to reply to each one of them. In one of the letters I received, a man wrote saying he was frustrated from not having a life outside of work. It read, ‘Society has conditioned me to not cry–I feel trapped doing the same work!’ When I started exchanging correspondence with the man, he felt heard. He’d tell me, ‘Your words and positive affirmations motivate me to work on myself.’ And today, that once frustrated man seeks therapy, makes time for himself, and has found love, too. I’m so happy for him!
Then there was another one that said, ‘I’m going through a divorce, and I don’t know how to go on anymore!’ I wrote back, reminding her that she was capable of moving on. She wrote back to me saying, ‘Your letters have been my solace because they give me the feeling of having been heard!’ At times, I cry reading what people have written to me because I empathize with them. It has taught me to respond appropriately with empathy to their situations.
Today, I have a team of writers, and we’ve written over 1000 letters to people across the globe. The letters my friends exchanged with me when I was at my lowest helped me pick myself up again. And I want to do the same for others. I want to reaffirm to those struggling to believe, ‘You’re incredible. You have so much potential and so many things left to do. Better things are coming your way, so please hang in there. You can do it!
Humans of Bombay is all about bringing you extraordinary stories of ordinary people. In sharing such inspirational stories, we hope you get some hope and feel inspired enough to make a difference in someone’s life. If you’d like to read more such stories, check out our book and dive into the diverse tales of Bombay.