Let’s make up for lost time

Sat here, a little lonely; trying to plan the next big move that makes life more meaningful, but coming up empty. I’ve felt a lot of things in my life, in fact, I pride myself on being sensitive enough to accept them, but this one’s a little alien and I’ve identified it as defeat.

Let’s back up for a moment, and picture this. A 14-year old girl; a casualty of her own self-deprecating thoughts, put in a terrible situation with people around her; tainted by sadness, what does she want to be when she grows up? In one word: Happy. Fast-forward 11 years, the future is still bleak, heartbreak now is exactly like the heartbreak then, friends that left, still haven’t found their way back.

So defeat it is. Now it all makes sense, right? That’s the thing about growing up, we think that its a magical place where all’s well and all’s right; a fairytale land that always seems too far ahead. I thought that too; but, between all the late nights I carelessly let go; sometimes with a little too much work and others with a little too much whiskey, I’m struck by this realisation that life’s not what I wanted it to be at 25.

When you’re young, all you have is your imagination to keep you close to your dreams. As an adult with all the means to ‘make it happen’, I still seem to fall short. My imagination no longer cuts it, I can’t just dream a life I want for myself, I must live it. I’m not even sure if I get in the way of life or life gets in my way; but for now its a mutually destructive relationship. 

I can almost hear you say, “you’re too young to feel that way.” But, I do feel like I’ve defeated myself and that 14 year old who believed she would have the life she wanted by now. Back then, I hadn’t made as many mistakes, I had known loss but never lived it, I had touched sadness, but hadn’t felt it. With all that said, I also envy her. She had hope, she had a sense of reassurance from her future, like she could almost taste the victory of what awaited her. I’d give anything to feel that way now.

And I know I’m not the only one who regrets the things she’s done. And I know I’m not the only one in the world who has looked at her reflection and hated every inch of it. I get that; believe it or not, I understand that there’s a big picture with ups & downs. I just can no longer accept that that’s it.

It seems as if I’ve read every chapter over and over again, some regrettably more than the others, waiting for the big reveal. Praying that it lives up to my fantasy. I can no longer function without knowing how my story ends. Whether I get the guy or the aspiring career? Whether I finally make amends with people I hurt, or they come back seeking redemption?

I’ve watched my life flash before my eyes far too many times, the persistent heaviness in my heart prevails, feeling exactly like the 14 year old who sought after her future with fear and fearlessness all at once. I don’t think I have her big heart, or the passion to fight off anything the world throws at me. The only thing I’ve got is a desperate desire to fight defeat.

I could sit here and go on forever. I know there’s so much I have to say, so many words I haven’t written yet, some I haven’t even learned. But something tells me, I’ll be back for more because the story never really ends, does it?

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Its been 8 years…

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There are a lot of things I do not like about this month. It signifies so much and surprises so little. But most importantly, today’s the day 8 years ago; I was first inclined towards self-harm. Continue reading Its been 8 years…

Dear {Inserts labels} Girl…

Dear {Inserts labels} Girl…

What was the one thing you were name-called all of your adolescence, one thing that changed who you are, how you think about yourself… what was that one label that changed your perception about who you are? Continue reading Dear {Inserts labels} Girl…

Thoughts on Self-Harm Awareness Day

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It’s that time of the year again… Where I talk about self-harm and pray that I can change the way people look at depression, anorexia, bulimia, bi-polar disorder, anything and everything that ‘normal’ people use to classify the rest of us. Today will be different, I won’t talk about my experience, my repulsion towards the ignorance of the whole situation or what I think we can do to change that, I’m just going to tell you a story and if you’re interest is peaked, read on. Continue reading Thoughts on Self-Harm Awareness Day

YOU can change a life

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Beauty aside, this blog was suppose to be helpful to those of us who have touched the dark side and are surviving. If I were to be honest, as the blog started growing, I got embarrassed discussing my past, present and everything in between because now people had seen my face, they related it to someone and it was all too much. So it takes courage talking and discussing this again, so I do ask for some acceptance.

So to add relevance to the image in this post, I literally just found this on Tumblr. As soon as I saw it, I saved it to my desktop knowing one day I will address the words in this image, talk about the realities and explore my case as an anecdote.

Over a strong cup of coffee and a dose of Sia’s music, here it goes. Depression is essentially cancer minus the symptoms. There are literally no red flags, no heads up, something just takes over you and you react (In some cases, you don’t and suffer in silence with a numbing sensation). That is basically it. And just like cancer, it grows until you don’t address it’s roots. The mind-numbing question is – How do you address it? And that is a question I cannot answer. Each person is different and there are many different reasons why someone is feeling so down all the time. But, I can tell you something else. I can tell you how to support them. It’s a simple two-step program –

A. Don’t be a jerk – Mocking about someone’s issues is NOT funny. Even if they’re sarcastic or dry humored themselves, it’s only because they’ve just never seen the light in the situation. If you’re trying to help, try to change their negativity to positive affirmations.

B. Show that you care – When someone confides in you with their deep rooted depression, chances are they know, they’re closer to the edge of taking a wrong step. So hear them out, make it easier by being there no matter what.

I can vouch for this personally, those who suffer from depression hate attention, do not appreciate pity, we appreciate the truth, we appreciate people who see the light and accept us with our ‘issues’. Most likely, we’ve grown up with an insidious sensation of ‘not being enough’ or ‘why can’t I be more like her/him?’. Don’t judge, be yourself and let them be themselves. That is literally all you need to do to make a difference in someone’s life.

I know there are some who have made in mine 🙂

A year older, a year wiser

 

 

Last year I was 21, this year I’m 22. A lot has changed between then and now, including myself.

You see, till last year my world was un-tainted by deep loss and failure. I didn’t understand what it meant to lose something you knew was permanent. This was different, it was definitive and as time passed by, it was painful.

And then I went through the usual stages of grief- Denial & Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. I don’t remember understanding these classifications, but I do know, as months went by, I became tougher and started comprehending the bigger picture.

The bigger picture was simple really – You don’t stop living because of one person, one situation or one failure. Sure, some circumstances bring out the worst in you and sometimes leave you quite deranged. The only way to snap out of this is knowing the importance of attempts, confiding in close ones and making it through the day. Soon enough you will wake up without a heavy heart and the pieces of you that you believed went missing, suddenly start coalescing to create a newer version of your old self and the realisation is bloody darn amazing. You might be unable to forget as the situation becomes an inseparable part of you, but you do know how to live with this perpetual pain and that makes you stronger than most.

Coming back to my birthday lessons – this day was life-changing. In one word, today was un-familiar. And here’s why.

So far, I’ve had great birthdays, good birthdays and bad birthdays, I’ve never experienced a year where I was truly content in who I am, where I stand and the people I choose to cherish in my life. This is why I loved today. It wasn’t clichéd with cakes and parties filled with cocktails and dancing (Which I’m not opposed to btw, only making a point. Calm down haters!). It was filled with sweet conversations, caring words and emotionally fulfilling comprehensions. While a few months ago, I might be whining over spilled milk; now, I choose to embrace my gains, embrace my talents and embrace myself. And to everyone who heard my cries over the phone, stuck by me through the storm and heard endless stories of what I lost, you are awesome, and I love you.

Lastly, the message in me sharing this with you is in no way to show off about my lovely friends and family (although, they are truly worthy). My reasoning for this post is to explain why it’s important to have faith in the bigger picture. The saying if you don’t love yourself, no one else will, is absolutely true and if you’ve known me for a while, you know that I’m your case in point. Here’s to people who love me for who I am, I wouldn’t have made it this year without you.

You know who you are and how much I love you.

Xoxo

H

 

Self Harm Awareness Day

March 1st is Self Harm Awareness Day. And in light of this, I’d like to share a piece of journalistic writing I did back in university. This piece is very close to me as it was written when I was younger and in the state myself. I hope if anyone can relate to it, will write to me on heenamak@gmail.com and I will personally be available to help.

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“Picking up a blade was the worst decision of my life.” She says looking dejected at her wrists.

March 1st marked Self Harm Awareness Day, however the knowledge of this subject hardly surpasses most stereotypes of attention seekers, troubled souls and desperate teens.

The World Health Organization discovered that 121 million people worldwide suffer from depression; approximately 20 % of teenagers succumb into the disturbing realm of self-mutilation. What is causing this troubled adolescence and the lives that just began are already appealed by pain.

“I never though I had a choice, I picked up a sharp object every time I was bullied, mistreated or called a freak” she says, “I started cutting at a very young age, it felt bizarre as I was unaware that there were more people like me. I never knew this was a prevalent concern in many other countries.”

Sadly, it is true, self-harm is more than a concern; it is an addiction. A background in bullying, sexual harassment, troubled relationships, parent or peer pressures are the key reasoning for ‘cutting’ teenagers. Whilst organizations like ‘To Write Love On Her Arms’ and venture initiations like ‘Butterfly project’ are few support systems, trying to hear the cry of self-mutilators and help them quit, there are more who have found ‘solace’ in the arms of physical agony to deal with mental trauma and are not ready to let this craving go. 

I spoke to Clare Smart, Counselor at LifeWorks Counseling and Development Dubai, who broke stereotypes and gave an insight on the cognitive reasons for teenagers inflicting pain on themselves.

1. For people who believe, selfharm is a way of seeking attention, what would you say to them?

The majority of people that self harm do so in private and go to great lengths to keep it secret. To dismiss it as attention seeking is likely to have a massive impact on that young person seeking or accepting any help. The reaction of the first person to be aware/told about self harm is the most important one. The individual should try not to appear shocked but to be supportive and caring and offer to help that person to seek help.

2. How harsh is the status of selfharming amongst teenagers in Dubai. Can you share a story of a teen that has been a victim of selfharm?

There is a stigma attached to people self harming. I do not have any official statistics on numbers specific to Dubai but from clinical experience there are as many cases as in other parts of the world. I do feel that young people are often judged and told that they are attention seeking or simply to stop doing what they are doing. Tis does not help the young person as they need help to learn alternative ways of coping with the emotional pain that they are experiencing that is possibly the reason that they are inflicting physical pain on themselves.

3. How can one suffering from self-mutilation deal with the situation?

The first thing is to speak to someone that you trust, that could be a parent or teacher or someone else. Counseling can help enormously to stop you self-harming in a safe and supportive and non judgmental manner. There are lots of reasons that people may begin to self harm and it is important to talk about these and the associated feelings in order to move forwards to a future with healthy and safe ways to cope with distress.

4. What are the psychological reasons that one becomes numb to inflicting pain on oneself?

People often describe the physical pain of self harming as a release from the emotional pain that they are in. They might feel that physical pain is easier to cope with than emotional pain.

The reasons that people self harm vary. There may be a past trauma or past or current abuse in their lives. They might have a troubled home or family life. They might have symptoms of depression or anxiety that are difficult to cope with. They may feel that it is the only aspect of control that they have in an otherwise uncontrolled life. They physical pain of self harming may be the only thing that they feel when they are otherwise numb inside

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I hope there is something to take away from this. Personally, I’ve been in touch with www.samaritans.org  to help me deal with situations that hurt me or caused me pain. It’s been a long battle, but I have recovered and I hope that somehow, you feel inspired and loved to do the same.

Read my story here and if you relate, you know what you have to do. Next time you pick up the blade, think of me instead.

Thank you guys for the support every time I’ve brought up this subject.

Let’s talk Self Harm

In United States alone there are over 2 to 3 million self-injury cases according to www.teenhelp.com. What, why and how did things come to this? Why are so many youngsters becoming prone to self-destructive behaviour that they are failing to feel a sense of responsibility to their own bodies?

I’ve briefly touched my personal experience with a difficult past and resolving to cutting (a form of self harm) to deal with a troubling time. Which is why I’ve taken upon myself to learn and educate everyone who is going through a tough time to understand that the short-term relief is not worth the long term battles lost with oneself. Continue reading Let’s talk Self Harm

Happiness…

Happy Quotes
Happy Quotes

STOP BULLYING – Anonymous Share

This girl really touched me, she is the first one who shared her story with me and I am beyond happy to make any tiny difference. Read on to hear her story. If you come from an Indian background this is very relatable, and if you don’t then just try to understand through the cultural barrier. Be kind and careful with your words, as they hurt more than a sword.

“Hi Heena,

I would like to share my story with you too – I just turned 29 this June 14th 2013 Touchwood, Well to tell you the truth I have been on medication and I have been consulting a psychiatrist since the age of 20 and now I have reached a stage where the medicines have started taking a toll on me, I take my own cocktail of medicines now, I’m actually supposed to visit the psychiatrist every 15 days but I haven’t been doing that since 3 months as I have been on a shortage of money and plus the medicines he has been giving me are taking a toll on me and yes there are side effects such as body pains , I’m unable to think properly, I can’t work, I barely have energy, I’m so numb with all the sufferings now. Continue reading STOP BULLYING – Anonymous Share