It was like parts of my soul were hurt that I didn’t even know existed at that point in my life. Physically, mentally…it was all a blur but somehow still a vivid nightmare that I couldn’t seem to wake up from. I was 19 years old and I had seen more than I had ever wanted to already.

Yes, of course some days were better than others but back then, it never changed the fact that life had spun into chaos. From far away, it was possible for people to think that everything was okay.

But if someone had tried to look closely, they would have seen there was lots of pain, and not enough love. But here I was, nineteen years old…depressed and extremely anxious, and extremely thin, hoping someone would notice the hurt behind my carefully constructed smile.

There was never a certain day, or moment where everything suddenly got better. I didn’t just wake up one morning happier and more loved than I was. It still isn’t that way.

There are still days where I have to tell myself to get out of bed, to eat. To do simple things, that so many others do without even thinking. Here I am at 22, still somewhat broken. I am broken but I have survived.

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In alignment with our mission to encourage others to #SpeakUp about mental health, we’ve created this blog – a passion project highlighting those who wish to share their stories with the world.

Open to anyone, the series features personal anecdotes from members of the South Asian community who have struggled with mental illness – and the stigma that comes along with it.

To submit your story, click here.

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