Thanks to Bisharah Saeed for contributing this story! This article is about people’s experiences. If you or someone you know is struggling with loneliness, please reach out to us or read our page on dealing with loneliness.

“Mental health” is a word that I have heard at least 5-10 times since the whole world went into lockdown as a safety measure to battle the deadly coronavirus. A decade ago, when I was still in school, I came across this word in a movie for the first time. At the time, I thought it was used to describe a person as crazy. As I grew older, however, I came to understand the importance of mental health and how much it can affect our day-to-day activities.

"No matter how rich, beautiful, or successful you are, if you don't look after your mental health, you are already failing in life."

Today, I know for a fact that no matter how rich, beautiful, or successful you are, if you don’t look after your mental health, you are already failing in life. The most dangerous part is that you often only know it once you hit rock bottom.

Depression, anxiety, stress, etc. are mental health disorders that we see in school and college students nowadays. As a postgraduate student, I can understand why. There are introverted students with the fear of meeting new individuals because they worry that these individuals will hurt them later. There are workaholics who sit in front of their laptops spending hours and hours trying to meet every possible target that they have in front of them.

But let me share my experiences. When I was in 12th grade, I felt like a walking joke. I wasn’t a studious person and I was anxious and jumpy all the time. This combo is something that no student should ever face. But no one cared. All my teachers wanted were good grades and mine sucked. All my friends wanted was someone with their vibe but I was nowhere near it. All my parents wanted was for me to be happy but, in a situation like this, it was a little complicated.

Fast forward a few years and in 2019, I was backstabbed by one of my best friends. He cooked up a series of stories about me which were untrue and tried to spoil my image in front of my friends. To some extent, it worked. I was all alone in my college for a few months, I had to eat a lot of meals on my own, and worst of all, no one cared whether I was alive or not.

"You just have to be yourself."

I know that those of you reading this article might have had even worse experiences than the ones I’ve mentioned here. However, whatever the problems or issues may be, I just have one thing to say: “You just have to be yourself.”

When you are yourself, it might seem funny, foolish, impractical, etc. to others but as long as you believe in what you are doing, you don’t have to worry about anything else. I lost a lot of friends in college and, even to this day, I don’t consider that a loss because I always believe real friends will stay in your life no matter what.

If you find yourselves over-stressed in some situations, sometimes all you need is a 5-minute break to remind yourself of who you are. As a lonely person with poor mental health, it is quite natural that sometimes you might need to talk about your problems, cry out loud, hug, and so on. Never be ashamed to reach out. But at the same time, keep in mind that sometimes you may have to fight battles on your own.

I have fought a few battles of my own and am still fighting. It wasn’t easy at all but as a result, I overcame my stage fear, anxiety, overthinking, and most of the issues that I had in the past.

Personally, I believe that every single that happens in your life happens for a reason. There is a positive in every negative experience. You just have to figure it out, which I know is easier said than done.

And please keep in mind that if today is a bad day, there are better days coming. Make sure that your circle of friends are the ones who support you when you fall. There are no problems that don’t have solutions in this world. All you have to do sometimes is to cut yourselves some slack in order to figure it out.  

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