When it comes to mental health issues and being different, there are a lot of things that can get complicated. Sometimes it is the simple things. Ever thought about how a task is easy for the average Joe, yet for you, it can bring so many complications? How do you deal with this? Recently I have felt the struggle with this, but funny enough, Superman taught me a mentality that helped me and can perhaps help you as well.
To elaborate on how Superman helped me, in Smallville (2001-2011) Clark Kent starts playing football. Playing football is something the average Joe can do, but Clark is different. Clark has to be conscious of everything he does on the field as he is superpowered and has to adapt. He needs to be conscious of not breaking someone’s leg with his strength, not showing off his powers, and trying to save the day when a villain tries to ruin the game.
This is something people who are different due to disabilities or mental health conditions go through as well. A typical person will be nervous about a job interview, but a person with social anxiety or autism has a lot more things to worry about. Studying or being productive can be so hard for someone with depression or ADHD. This applies to me personally — I have a stutter. Lots of social interactions can become a challenge. People next to me have no trouble raising their hands in class or in a group setting, but I have to hear Rocky’s motivational words in my head just to gather the courage to say one single sentence. Things that could be easy to say for a fluent person get a lot harder for me. There is a load that gets added to the table.
Seeing Clark struggle with this as well is a comforting thought, but the mentality that gets displayed in the show regarding this is an incredibly great mindset. In one episode, things get extra complicated for Clark and a villain tries to kill his friend. Yet, he still wins the game, keeps control of his abilities, and saves the day all at the same time. His dad, Jonathan Kent, tells him, “When I was there on the field, all I had to worry about was completing the next pass or getting sacked. We’re very proud of you.”
This is something we can pat ourselves on the back for as well. As Clark’s dad said, things get more complicated for people who are different. Yet we are still able to come through even when it’s harder than usual. For us, this could be relevant in a lot of ways. People with social anxiety can be proud for putting in the extra courage or aspiring to when they perform a social act that is scary. The same goes for people with depression when it comes to performing tasks. Whatever the form of being different is, for you being able to come through even though the odds are against you, is a necessary thing to be proud of. Because putting in extra courage or effort even when it gets more complicated, mentally or physically, is a strong characteristic. One that doesn’t show we’re different, but that shows we’re special. So give yourself some praise, see how much things are harder for you, and what a great achievement it is when you persevere!
If you’re interested in hearing more, I made a video for my YouTube channel that showcases this mentality of Superman. On my Youtube channel, I talk about messages from comic book films that you can use to improve your well-being.