When I was first diagnosed with severe depression, anxiety and panic attacks 5 years ago, I never thought I would be writing this today. I never once believed I would find myself here. I’ve came a long way. I’ve been suffering in silence for years; enough is enough and now it’s time to get the hell out of me.

I was always so bright and full of joy, life and energy. But then, slowly, I started the other side of me that I was so insistent on hiding from myself and the rest of the world for fear of being found out. I started to feel sad, angry, lost, hopeless, worthless, lonely, tired… I couldn’t get out of my bed, or even take a shower, cooking a meal was a lot of work. I became an expert at ignoring calls and not answering messages. I stopped engaging in social activities or enjoying things I used to love. I was dragged inside my room for months.

 

My mental illness was never a choice. When I reached my lowest low, I was fighting internal battles on a daily basis but still managed to hide it but It was too much on my own. Life was too hard to the point I couldn’t handle fighting alone anymore. I lost my energy, my motivation… I even lost myself… that is when I was convinced to get hospitalized after rejecting and pushing everyone away. So I sought help, I sought help in the hope of one day feeling  better. And guess what? I felt better. It was very difficult at first to tell someone about my sufferings, scars, and pains but everyone around me made is smooth, the practitioners, nurses, psychiatrists, therapists were all understanding, and most importantly never left me, I felt safe and guarded.

 

Today is a brighter day. Therapy taught me how to cope with my problems, not to get rid of them. I have learned that there will always be days when I am down, days when I am not quite myself. I learned to fight, to fight with very atom in my soul, work every day, work to cope, work to carry on.

 

It still scares me. While my suicidal thoughts have calmed down, I constantly think about a day when they might reenter my life. But I know, that this time I will be ready, and equipped to handle the effects of mental illness. Despite all the challenges, mental illness will not impede my future, I am ready to welcome them head on.

 

To everyone fighting battles we know nothing about: Don’t give up! You’re not alone, reach out because talking saves lives.

Jana El Baba

 

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