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In the dark abyss, I kept falling. There was no life line. I was drowning.

I always thought suicidal thoughts were normal; they would drown me day and night. Tears would stream down my cheeks through the cold nights, my chest would tighten and my heart would leap.

I thought that this was something that everyone goes through. But it’s not.

After some time, I did what most people are afraid to do – I sought help. I was diagnosed with Depression and General Anxiety Disorder. I hated every bit of myself for having this “illness”; I kept telling myself that I shouldn’t feel sorry for myself. My “friends” told me that I was an attention seeker and that my illness wasn’t real. They distanced themselves and stopped talking me – I felt like I had the plague.

I cried and broke down. I lost sight of the light at the end of the tunnel. I attempted suicide.

On my road to recovery, I realised that people will never fully understand what you’re going through. But the tiniest acts of support and words of encouragement can go a long way – showing their belief in me in moments when I can’t.

Also, just because “people out there have it worse”, it doesn’t belittle the pain you’re going through. It matters. You matter.

I don’t allow my “illness” to define me. I know that I’m stronger than that. Life has its ups and downs, and I’m not giving up, because I matter. My illness will not be the weight that holds me down. I want to make a difference.

To everyone out there: Don’t be afraid, seek help. You’re NOT alone.

Now in my abyss, I see a glimmer of light that lures me forward – showing me the beauty of all that lies within; the lessons learnt, the stories that will unfold, and most importantly, the people who really care and provide support for me.

Mental illness is not the plague. We don’t need to be afraid, we can make a difference.

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