Updated: May 16, 2022
Well, I became a writer. I am not the best writer I’ve known. I have two sisters who capture ideas oh-so eloquently that reading them feels like your brain is dancing on a cloud of pixie dust. But, here I am, starting a blog.
So, let’s cover the basics: Hi, my name is Nesma and I have suite of experiences with mental health disorders.
I got in the habit of writing when I was 11. My seventh-grade homeroom teacher required us to submit weekly diary entries. Imagine a pre-teen asked to pour her heart out and give it to an adult stranger. Puh-leeze! I ended up having two diaries. The first, which was submitted to my teacher, was emotionally bland. I would write some nonsense about what I did throughout the week. The second, however, was my secret-keeper. It had a cheap lock which you could easily undo by shimmying a pen in there. It was purple and had scented papers. I hid it in my desk drawer under my books, and I would only sneak it out to write when I was sure my family were busy elsewhere.
Being eleven was hard for me. I felt like the odd one out between my sisters. Geeky, sporty, over-achiever, goody-two shoes. Definitely the odd one out. Life was tough and we moved schools a lot, so, making real friends seemed next to impossible. My diary started to feel like a true friend. Little did I know that my true friend was my act of writing.
Today, I write to work out feelings. I write to make decisions. I write to express gratitude. I write to uncover my priorities. I write to feel inspired. And I write so that as my heart bursts from sorrow, my words offer a soft cushioning for its pieces to land on, and my ink acts like glue to put them back together.
Also today, and like many of us, I pause to look at my life and acknowledge that I have been through a lot, especially over the past couple of years. It’s like life gave me a break in my mid-twenties, and then it got real again soon after COVID hit. I also acknowledge that now and since forever, many of us struggle with mental health issues, and that there is an unspoken stigma associated with it. Despite the increased awareness around depression specifically (possibly because of the pandemic), there are a wide array of psychiatric and psychological issues that are unfortunately stigmatized, even if subconsciously.
I believe they need to be given more attention. They need to be spoken of more and to be understood with their nuances, so that we – those who struggle enough with our daily lives – don’t have to struggle even more by trying to hide them to fit in and avoid judgement or dismissal. This is not an educational blog. It is a personal outlet. I will use it to allow myself to speak my thoughts into this void and share what I’m going through. I am also happy to feature some of your experiences if you like (please reach out via email).
So, here I am. After being a non-writer and then becoming one in the shadows, I am finally stepping into a tiny spotlight. I will use this blog to share my experiences and struggles, and I hope this can stir some compassion and supportive conservations with your loved ones. I write about my struggles and my darkness to extend a hand to your darkness and say: I am here too.
I chose to name this blog D for Depression because, lately, I’ve been drastically underachieving and feel like I deserve a D (at best) for my overall performance in life. I’m hardly doing 15% of what my normal self would because I am in a prolonged major depressive episode. And I am trying to make my peace with it. (More on this to come in another post).
So, here I am, finally clicking “Publish”. I hope I’m able to write weekly entries, and might share a few old posts I’ve written in the past but have been too afraid to show them some light (and love).
I hope this becomes more than what I dream it would be…
Photo: My journals of the past three years.