It's very easy to avoid answering the question ‘how are you?’ - and to be honest, how many of us ask this question out of habit, not really expecting an honest answer? I know that I sometimes do and would be quite surprised if someone said, ‘I feel pretty rubbish actually’.
I know that I avoid being honest when someone asks me this question as I'm worried that others are not really interested, that I’m boring and that I may be perceived as weak and unable to ‘cope’. I blame my childhood and the fact that we had to display ‘a stiff upper lip’ and just ‘get on with it’.
Hi I’m Nayena, a young champion for Time To Change. I love writing, art, and music. Nothing makes me happier than good vegan food. My friends say I’m a calm, witty, and positive person. I’ve also been diagnosed with depression and anorexia. For too long, I’ve been terrified of speaking out about my mental health. But here I am, telling my story.
I can’t quite believe how much my life has changed since my previous blog in 2015. I left my science communication job to become a science technician (never leaving science education, obviously!), and my personal life has had some massive upheaval too.
After self-harming for almost a decade, next week will mark three years since I last self-injured. Before I sat down to write this (and unwrite some parts and write this again), I was reflecting on my experiences since my self-injuries became scars.
I remember when someone first spoke to me about my mental health. I'd had a panic attack in college, something that happened quite frequently despite me not realising what a panic attack was at the time, but this time a tutor noticed and advised me to visit a doctor. At this point I thought nothing of it since I'd put my anxiety symptoms down to a physical issue rather than a mental issue, despite struggling with it for two years already, and so I agreed to book a doctor's appointment the following day.