I was 16 when I visited my Maths lessons teacher Mr Sookan, to tell him that I’d received my GSCE grades (secondary school exams).
He was pleased with my grade B for maths but said I should redo the exam as he felt I could have easily gotten an A.
Then he started enquiring about my emotional well-being. I wasn’t surprised. My face looked drawn and my eyes were shadowed by dark circles. Just opening my mouth to speak felt like pushing against a heavy force that sapped my little energy. I grabbed the poll next to me for support.
“Alisha, go and read that note I have on the board over there and come back to me” he said.
I dragged myself to the board in question. It read, “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday and all is well.”
Mr Sookan, our well-loved maths teacher had always been a favourite amongst the kids attending his evening lessons from the top schools across our island. Not because he was an excellent teacher. He was caring and challenged us to think outside the box, frequently tickling our brains with trivia across subjects and conversations about life in general.
“Do you get it? he asked.
I wasn’t sure I had. My brain felt completely fogged up and processing thoughts were very hard. Two weeks prior to my major exams, which were the precursor for university, stress and worries had overtaken me. I had had a nervous breakdown and after hospital, laid in bed at home for that period unable to stand for even a moment without passing out. My teacher came to pick me up from home and exclaimed about my pale, ill appearance as she neared my front gates. I wrote my first exam lying on the desk with the adjudicator keeping close watch in case I passed out.
Mr Sookan helped me out, repeating the phrase again slowly until I got it.
“Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday, and all is well.”
I was sceptical. The truth was, I was going through a crisis and felt convinced that I wouldn’t survive. I felt like a zombie, hollow on the inside and weak. My entire childhood I thought I wouldn’t survive to see my 18th birthday.
But of course, as bad as things were then, I am still here.
I haven’t seen Mr Sookan in many years (I migrated) but recently I stumbled upon the phrase again on social media and it got me thinking.
It is true, that in the throes of life’s seemingly unforgiving storms we often struggle to see past our tunnel vision. But there is merit in that phrase.
Perhaps all might not be well, but yesterday we worried about today, and we are here, still fighting the good fight. In hindsight, if we made it this far, then I reckon as long as we don’t throw in the towel, we’ll be alright tomorrow.
Try not to worry too much.It solves nothing and makes us more sick, for those of us living with chronic health problems. It took me years to recover from that period, and for many years afterwards my health remained quite poorly. Do what you can to change your circumstances. Seek advice & pray if you have a faith. Conserve whatever energy so that you can continue your journey steadfastly tomorrow. You’ll be alright.
Gentle Hugs 🙂