Written by Nitin, Proudly Former Hikikomori
India is not well aware of the word "Hikikomori", although many of us are living so.
In India, Hikikomori can be seen at many places. S/he is a person, who does not wish to work or who does not even try to get something positive. One who can not bring desired results or success. One who fails at different stages of life such as school, college, getting a job, failing in business, getting a promotion, unable to get married, unable to take care of family or unable to prove that s/he can be an asset too...
To me, I see one common thing in all of given explanations, that is not being able to show the worth of oneself.
Before I explain further, I wish the Hikikomoris to know that you are not alone, you are not a liability, you are not a burden.
Be it India, Japan or any other part of the world, we all live here, we all are a part of the society. We all are born to be strong. We all are here to be successful. It is just we need time to be "US".
The confidence, the respect, the success come if we accept ourselves first and know that it is never too late to have a start.
If it makes other hikikomoris better, I wish to tell that I was a Hikikomori too. Yes I "was" but I won myself back, now once again the society sees me as a normal guy. My winning is not for the society, actually it was never for the society. But this winning is more than a victory to me. How is it a big thing for me, I would like to share with you.
I am from a middle class family. In India, a middle class family can be described as a family who has limited resources to achieve all. We are neither poor nor the rich people. Here people want to be successful and wealthy and know that if we don't work hard, we will have to lose everything and be on roads. Here people put everything (what they got by working for years) on the educations, marriages, to build houses. But don't understand that happiness and peace is being sacrificed for running after all.
I am in my 30s. I have done my education from abroad. I have done many good jobs. But unfortunately I had lost all 7 years back . Politics at work, no promotion, inflation, the bills/ expenses broke me one day and I lost my job. Because I was living with my family (as many Indians do), they started being worried for my future, my marriage, for the loans they have taken to get me good work. It was not that these things were not bothering me but somehow I started being depressed and started seeing myself as failure.
I tried a lot to get new work and to get myself a business by putting families and my savings in the same, unfortunately nothing worked for me. I lost all my confidence and strength. I remember that I used to stay in my room, I stayed for many days in bed. My family brought me food and things I needed. I did not even care that if I need a bath or a shave, all I needed was to be in my room alone. Of course my friends also started being far, which hurt me even now.
For 6 years I failed in whatever I started. I had been to new courses, to motivational sessions but as I said, nothing helped me much. For 6 years I was seeing myself as a loser. My family was worried and we often had clashes. They thought that I am not trying to get new things. We all were losing faith in me.
Luckily it all ended, when I made my family understand one day that I need time to reboot myself and if they may stop being sorry for me. I told them to accept me as their son, brother, friend without thinking much about my future. They all got it and allowed me to find myself again. They helped me in getting my strengths back and ignore my failures, rudeness and anger.
Finally I got time to gain everything back what I needed for a new start. These days I am not earning as good as I was earlier, nevertheless it makes me happier now that I am back again. Now I see that I was a hikikomori once and by being true to me, my family and friends, I have got new things back. Surely, it may help me further to get all. All I needed was a little pause or reboot. So, to all hikikomoris please take time even if it is for many years. Accept yourself as an asset, get your strengths back and see how beautiful the world with your new powers can be. In case you need me, I would help you.
To the Japanese Version of this article