“That’s a really cliched title”, my head keeps telling me.

”But it’s okay”, this new found voice replies back. “You are you, after all and no one else”

I grew up with the words; depression and anxiety, in part due to being surrounded by doctors in family and then eventually becoming one myself. I was never sure what these words actually meant. What it really meant to be depressed or anxious. I mean sure, I have my ups and downs. I get sad after a breakup, I get jittery before a final (exam).But it never really dawned on me; the realisation of being a survivor.

That sadness after every breakup wasn’t the way everyone got sad. Because they didn’t contemplate self harm and suicide. Those jitters before an exam weren’t the regular jitters. They were panic attacks, where I felt like I was having a heart attack, the oxygen around me was running low and I couldn’t see clearly. Being alright with being emotionally, psychologically and physically bullied until the age of 24 wasn’t just what you did.

But depression is like a cloud that encompasses your every sense, your ability to fight back, your mind. It’s a fog that won’t let you wake up in mornings, won’t let you sleep at night, it’ll make you overeat, not able to hit back when you are being beaten into a mass of black and blue; every single day.

Recognising the symptoms is important but not as important as accepting yourself and what you might be suffering through. Unfortunately, mental health is still a stigma in this country of mine (Pakistan).

Depression is considered as something you just shake off, it’s not an actual illness according to my society. Anxiety is labelled as histrionics instead of an actual illness. Things that helped me survive; buddhist philosophy, was one of the most peculiar things that became my saviour. It helped alleviate that fog, one self actualisation a day.

I hope one of these days, things would get better. Even better than they are right now. I hope I find acceptance in myself and around me for my illnesses.

Submitted by Beelzebub (a pseudonym of a girl who survived and was courageous enough to speak up)

If you’d like to submit anything regarding mental health or a personal narrative, feel free to inbox it at dairyofananomalousmortal