• Soumna Nema

With Love, Me.

Trust yourself. You’ve survived a lot, and you’ll survive whatever is coming.

Dearest Amaira,


I had another anxiety attack today. I was in Geography class, where we were discussing climate change and something in me just snapped. Something, or everything, about the idea that everything I do on a daily basis contributes to a global crisis that is getting worse every second scares the shit out of me. I felt as if every breath I take contributes to making this crisis worse. And the thing is, we aren’t even the worst hit. We are too privileged. Some kids in our class groaned about how many times we have learnt “these things” over the years. I almost cried...


My stomach felt heavy. I thought my body was going to collapse into itself like a dying star. My entire body started to ache with the thought of how I forgot to turn on Power Saving Mode in my AC last night before bed. I couldn’t breathe. I asked to be excused so that I could go to the washroom, lock myself in a bathroom stall, put a hand on my mouth, and cry.



And I did.


Today it was climate change. Yesterday, I dissociated and had a full blown existential crisis after I saw a little girl at a traffic signal begging people for food and money. Last week, when we were visiting my grandparents, I had an anxiety attack. They had gotten older since I saw them last year and it hit me that someday the same would happen to my parents, someday I would be talking to them for the last time and I cried for an hour after I threw up. I want to throw up now.


I am so tired. Every cell in my body hurts. I can’t sleep at night now. If I do fall asleep, waking up is painful. Staying awake during the day hurts even more. And it gets worse every day.

I feel sad and miserable all the time. I feel like I don’t deserve anything good that comes my way. My scores at school are going down. That, I immediately told myself, is exactly what I deserve. “I don’t deserve the food I eat, the water I drink, the air I breathe, the house I live in, not even the parents who are giving all they have every day to raise me.” This is what goes through my head the moment I open my eyes in the morning, anytime I sit idle and, not to mention, when I close my eyes to go to bed at night.


See how messed up this is getting!?


I do too. And I have had enough.


I started to write this journal as a collection of letters to my future self to be a daily reminder that I am going to look back on this time in my life someday and be proud of the things I conquered. And right now, as I address these letters to myself as "dearest Amaira", I reinforce, little by little, the love I want to start feeling for myself every day. No matter dark my days get, I am not going to stop hoping. I am going to fight this. I am going to ask my parents for help now. Officially.

I was and I still am afraid that they might judge me or say something that completely shatters me. But what I do know, is that they have always had my back and they have always supported me. They can see me breaking and I know it breaks them a little bit too. They have always loved and supported me. I hope that their love is greater than the possibility of me losing their love. At this point, I am willing to take that chance. They are my parents and I have always had more faith in them than I have had in myself. And if that doesn't work out, I go to my school counsellor. I don't think it’s healthy for me to sit still anymore.


Social stigma and discrimination can make mental health problems worse and stop a person from getting the help they need.

I am grateful for my life. I am grateful that I get to wake up every day in a comfortable bed that I can call my own. I'm grateful I have a body that is healthy (and I intend to keep it that way). I am grateful for the food I get to eat. I am grateful for the luxuries I have in my life: my house, food, clothes, clean water, air conditioning, medical facilities and literally everything else I set my eyes on every day. I am grateful for my friends. I am grateful for my baby sister. I am grateful for my mom and my dad, who are the best human beings to ever exist in this world.


And I am grateful for my strength. And I will keep fighting. For the sake of everything and everyone I am grateful for. With Love, Amaira.




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