The past few years of my life have been quite an experience. Extremely humbling...to say the least.
It's amazing how prolonged exposure to debilitating mental health disorders can make you realize your fullest potential. How prolonged trauma and its acceptance can make you at peace with all the horrid possibilities in life. Three years of mental hell, that's how I recall it.
Periods of week to month-long panic attacks, periods of complete depression, periods of both of those together. Weeks of staying up all night and sleeping all day, doses of insomnia, no appetite, no sleep, heavy medication, its withdrawal and side effects, prolonged suicidal phases, board exams, getting into college, and leaving it twice.
Along with this, a chronic back injury I've had since I was 14 is a story on its own with a misdiagnosis and a bunch of undiagnosed health issues surfacing over the years related to it.
This is after the many years of undiagnosed mental health issues before my stressor in 2017. A year after which I received a proper diagnosis, initiating a domino effect of progressively horrible mental illnesses till a few months ago.
“You have to be brave!”
There was a lot more to life that I didn't understand for so long. I was trapped in a cycle of my own misery in trying to be "brave" and make the most of it. Unfortunately in today's society we are told or forced to keep carrying on despite having problems, instead of taking time and figuring out our problems to prevent them from coming back.
For some, it's a moral implication, for others it's about ego or pride, and for many, it's about social acceptance or rather to not seem weak. I did that till I could; I did not know anyone who would be aware of the consequences all this could have, to be fair.
That's all bullshit in my eyes now, along with most of society's moral code.
I feel people are unique to themselves and after all the advice and implications, one can only go far in life by listening to themselves and their analysis of the situation. Just a belief I have or perhaps a binding rationalization to life.
Shedding my past into purpose
I've been in my own space for the past few months. Putting effort day in and day out to improve my physical, artistic, and internal self while managing my mental health. I've done decently so far. I stopped taking medication with hard withdrawal, stopped smoking cigarettes completely, and have immensely reduced any sort of intoxication.
I work out every day for my back for a couple hours or so and once that's fixed I'll be focusing on building. I have a fixed diet and have been feeling my body improve every day.
I feel like I'm young again at the age of only 19, it's hilarious.
I've joined music school and started doing courses for scriptwriting. I spend my day reading, writing, learning, and have a vision-like goal for life. A beautiful purpose to underline all the tragedy I've faced.
I am on the bottom of the food chain right now when it comes to acting, writing, music, filmmaking, or any of the things I want to do with my life. I'm aware of my purpose though, and I'm constantly working towards a goal in life. A vision for myself with confidence that I'll get there by working towards it every day.
Trauma is the best teacher
My mental health is mostly in my control now and I know how to handle it well. But there was a time when none of this seemed like a possibility to me-Being healthy, being motivated, wanting to wake up every morning and live to become something.
I could never imagine myself following a daily routine and focusing on being healthy or even eating vegetables ever, nevermind eating them daily. A long way from having panic attacks for weeks together!
I don't know how I went through all of it, but I did. It made me so much stronger, intelligent and aware as a person. My eyes have been opened to the possibilities of life, how people work, the power of the mind, and most importantly the importance of taking care of it.
There are so many of you, whether aware or unaware, who are going through your own set of horrific mental health issues and struggles. I urge you to keep going on, because no matter how clichéd this sounds-everything does eventually get better and time does heal everything, no matter how bad it is.
Maybe things seem beyond comprehension right now or things are so much darker and worse than you ever thought they could be. But, you will have your life realizations, you will get it together one day and there is no rush.
How bad it is today will teach you and prepare you for how bad things can be. Learning about your own mind can make you go places and do things you never thought possible. If you're going through a mental illness, I urge you to never ever give up because you are unique, you are beautiful and you can be everything you ever wanted to be. If only you allow yourself to be.
There are so many things I can't repeat to myself, memories that are blocked, and times I can't comprehend how I made it through. Yet, I'm out the other side now and from a holistic perspective I can tell you, however dark it might be today is how bright you'll shine once you've made it through.
Love and peace
Read a similar personal account here: My Journey With Major Depressive Disorder; MDD as an Immigrant