Everything was in turmoil

Back in 2015, I was diagnosed with depression by a family doctor. Believe me, I was in disbelief.As mental health was shunned upon, I remained silent about it.I partially believed the diagnosis because everything that could go wrong in my life, did. Studies, family, friends, CCA, practically everything that took up most of my life.

Things continued to be the same, or as I left it. I didn’t have the motivation or will to change it, because I thought it wouldn’t change. Everything was in turmoil and I chose the easy way out.

I took a penknife, and headed to the toilet. There was blood, the scar was not that deep, but still prominent till date. I headed to bed after and had a dream/nightmare. I was sprawled on the toilet floor with blood gushing out from the wound that I created, my mum at my side with tears down her cheeks, my blood smeared on her from head to toe, as she frantically try to stop the blood from flowing, even when I was already dead. I couldn’t even say sorry to her. My heart still aches when I think about it.

The feeling of losing someone who matters to you, I don’t want her to feel that too. And yes, she has seen my scar, and asked me why I did it, and said not to do it again. I don’t know the amount of hurt I had inflicted on her who painstakingly brought me up for me to mutilate myself.

I became more aware of my actions and when sober, I thought about why I did certain irrational actions that was unnecessary or detrimental to myself, in which I instilled in myself to stop. That’s when I stopped cutting. You’re harming yourself, but what do you get from it? Temporary avoidance from reality in exchange of your pain when you can think of something to solve it in the long run. Or if you’re seeking temporary avoidance, watch dramas, look up on facts, do something you’ve always wanted to but have been putting off, or exercise which causes healthy, physical pain.

I forced myself to think, act, and eat healthily which helped me in my overall well-being. I wouldn’t say I take perfect care of myself, but I have been making an effort to, and have seen an improvement in my health, confidence, and outlook in life.

With mental health being discussed publicly today, my traditional family has been exposed to more information, and has become more accepting and understanding.

I hope you can give your family time, as much as you give yourself. It took me 4 years of stagnancy to realise to turn around. I can’t get back the wasted time, but I can make use of what’s left.

More than a diagnosis


I was 18 when I finally clued in that something was wrong. My hands had forgotten how to be hands – instead they shook. I couldn’t breathe, often I ran into the bathroom during class in a desperate attempt to calm myself down. But the problems came way before that.

14 years old. I felt like the world was crumbling down around my ears. 15 years old. I couldn’t sleep properly anymore. 16 years old. I was suicidal. The sadness was constant. It sat on my shoulder daily and then it got heavier until it was a weight square across my back. It started to move into my chest, an empty weariness I couldn’t let go of.

And then came the panic, flighty, like a bird. As if the whole world had become a cage I was trapped in. At 19 I finally sat in my therapist’s office and asked for help. Shortly after that I was diagnosed with clinical depression and given anti-depressants.

Here is the truth: I’m hurting, yes. But I am healing. Growing. Blossoming. I’m not insane or crazy for needing medication. I’m a person, like you. I love books. I’d like to think I’m a bit of a writer. I name every stray cat I see and this life is something I’m still figuring out.

Depression is a part of me, yes, but not all of me. In fact this illness of mine has taught me empathy. It has taught me gratitude for the little things. It has taught me compassion.

I am more than just one diagnosis. I’m a human being.

Strength to stand back up again

I was 15. My parents were scheduled to meet with my high school principal the next morning. They were going to receive the news that I’d be repeating another year at school. I remember that night very clearly, as I traced lines on my wrist with a penknife. I didn’t sleep a wink, and left farewell messages on my friends’ voicemail. I was ready to pull the plug and let the blood drip out of my body, but I feared the pain and the long process it’d take before I met death.

Hours passed while I went back and forth about taking my life. I feared the pain. Eventually, the time came to leave for school, and I had to leave that penknife on my desk and hope that the mental pain that I was about to endure wasn’t going to be worse than the physical pain that I was afraid of. The news was delivered, and everything that happened after was a blur. I don’t remember how or when my parents left the school compound, but I remember being pulled aside by one of my teachers. She was the only one who asked me how I was doing, and how could she support me.

At that age, and with my given school record, no adult or friend had ever asked me that question with so much patience, love, compassion and empathy. The flood gates opened and I confided in her that I had almost taken my life the night before. She held my hands and looked at me in the eye and said, “Promise me, that you will never do something like that ever again.” I looked at her and remember seeing so much hope and love, her kindness made me believe that I’ll somehow find the strength and courage to walk out of the darkness with grace. I gave her my word.

And because of that incident, I got through high school in one piece – though incidents later on in my life would take me in other directions down the deep end again, but that teacher saved my life. She was there to support me – a troubled 15 year old. She gave me the strength to stand back up again.