I’ve always had a habit of keeping my thoughts and worries to myself with the intention of ‘not bothering’ my friends and family. I thought it would be better that way. It worked for a while but then the stresses of college life started piling up – keeping up in class, drama with friends, managing different organizational commitments, & wondering what the future would hold.

Bottling up emotions & minimally expressing my inner fears and worries ended up being more detrimental than intended. I remember some days I would just feel like the world was throwing things at me left and right with no end in sight. I felt emptier and emptier; I would often reach points where I cried myself to sleep and neglected my responsibilities because I didn’t know what to do. The effects translated to my grades and mood. I lost count of the days where I forced a smile on my face and interacted as if everything was alright even though the anxiety and hopelessness was suffocating me.

My circle of close friends started picking up on my quirks and moods and I grew to feel more comfortable. I was more receptive to opening up to others and not shielding all the words going through my mind. The more they shared with me I felt I could start opening up. Who knew the first steps to calming the internal chaos would be to just speak about it, no matter how dumb you think it is. There is a sense of liberation when the words materialize and cease lurking at the back of your mind.

There is no shame in opening up and sharing your personal thoughts and feelings with those you love. They care about you. They want to be there for you – for all the good times and the bad. Isn’t that being human? Living, learning & growing together.




I’ve never shared my writing before but I thought it would be appropriate for this:

how else will the world see the light if your smile has disappeared
– radiance//nilam


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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