The suicidal thoughts. The incessant worrying. The ceaseless panic. It’s been like this for over 6 years. For the first 4 years, I suffered on my own, without telling a soul. It took me this long to get the courage to finally seek professional help.

Why?

I didn’t know how life was supposed to be.

I thought it was just “normal teenage angst” as everyone in my life told me it was. That it would just subside with time and I would finally be normal. But that’s not how it worked. I slowly realized that everyone around me was genuinely happy.

Being happy with a constant uphill battle I had to fight, where it was just a way of living for everyone else.

You see, people always knew me as the girl who was always smiling and giggling and talking.

People even called me too happy and would tell me to tone it down. Little did they all know, forcing a smile on my face everyday is one of the hardest things I ever did.

Maybe if I continued to force the smile, then I could believe that I was happy. I kept telling myself, that if I continued to fake the happiness, then one day, it might be real.
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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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