A little about me
Hi, I’m Garima Johar. I’m 20 years old but you can’t tell because I still have managed the teenage me alive inside. I am a writer and a poet stuck in an engineering college. Nevertheless, I wrote a book called “Color Outside the Lines – Let’s double tap our imperfections” which revolves around the idea of self-love. I love baking and of course eating the freshly baked.
I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder, social anxiety and Endogenous depression 2 years ago. I continuously seek therapy and medications to be at the right place. But, 5 months ago, I was diagnosed with Bipolar 2 Disorder. The shock that my depression was something bigger terrifies me till date and this is probably the first time I’ve said it out loud.
Journey with Depression and Anxiety Disorder
After changing several psychologists and psychiatrists, I finally found the right ones whom I could trust. I used to feel a dip in mood anywhere and anytime. I roamed around with a heavy head, breathless and restless. okay. I was neither able to get a sound sleep nor was I able to eat anything.
My health was declining rapidly. I vividly remember I used to struggle hard to say “present” in a classroom filled with students while the teacher was marking the attendance. The acts of self-harm and suicidal thoughts keep entering my mind uninvited. There are days when I act like the happiest person around and then there are days when I find it impossible to get myself out of bed. The worst part being, this vicious cycle repeating itself every week.
Rightly said, “the worst part of having a mental illness is that people expect you to behave as if you don’t” and my story is no different.
No matter how much I’m pulled back, I choose to talk about it which makes the process easier; not just for me but for people out there who are struggling as well.
My Coping Strategies
The coping strategy that has helped me the most is writing and talking about my mental health. Although I get negative comments like “asking for attention” or a person even commented on my post to pass on my Psychiatrist’s phone number. These things do put me down but I see myself as a person who dares to talk about it and giving the strength to the ones who are still suffering silently.
Writing has always been my passion. I write poetry out of the things I go through and that gives me peace. I wrote a book about self-love and the importance of therapy. Along with it, I maintain a journal in which I just scribble anything and everything. Trust me, it’s one of the best ways to cope up.
Lastly, I keep myself overworked. This keeps me and my thoughts separate. Being productive again gives me a sense of satisfaction and a will to live.
Road to Recovery
It’d be a lie that I am healed or I have it all under control now. I still have anxiety attacks and nightmares. But I am trying to get better each day, Surviving and living. Accepting myself the way I am and rising above the medical terms attached with me was the most vital step. From a girl tangled with her over thought thoughts, to being an author, I’ve come a long way and I hope I have strength to pick up my pieces even if I fall down. I have accepted myself the way I am with or without anti-depressants!
A message to others living with a mental health condition
Living with a mental illness can be hard as it still is a hush hush topic. But think about it, would be ashamed if you had diabetes? No, right?
Then let’s together try and make mental illness treated in the same way. Seeking help is necessary. Just the way people have medications to treat their insulin levels, so should you to balance your serotonin levels, right?
Surround yourself with the people who love you the way you are. Reach out to your close friends and family. Find the right therapist and believe me, you’ll be alright.
Happy healing! ✨