25 Things I Learned in 25 Years

On a gloomy Wednesday 9th in 1994 at 12:15pm, a star was born to two young parents.

She was their second born and the apple of their eyes.

25 years later, that baby girl grew up to be…

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A letter to those suffering in silence (mostly aimed for teenagers)

Dear sufferer,

My battle with mental illness began at some time in my preteens – don’t know the exact year or age – but I know for a fact that by the time I was in my mid-teens, I had the whole nine yards. What I also know is that by the time I was fifteen, I was already questioning my purpose for living, and whether I wanted to be alive or not.

I’m now 24 years at the time of writing this, so it’s been a few years since I was a teenager, but I still remember what it’s like to be young and struggling with mental health problems. It was hands down the hardest thing I had to endure in my life.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

I’m no professional, so I won’t assume what you’re going through or say that I know, because I don’t know the details. But as someone who went through a bunch of crap, I wanted to write this for assurance: that it’s okay and you are not the only one because I’ve been there and done that.

Being a teenager with mental health problems (undiagnosed at the time but I was so sure of what I had) was the loneliest feeling ever. I was told time and time again that I was “doing it for attention”, or playing the “victim”, or being “crazy”. They also kept telling me I was “too young to know what mental illnesses were”.

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Photo by Lukas Rychvalsky on Pexels.com

Let’s get one thing straight:
Your suffering is real, and if you ever tell me you are hurting, then
I will believe every word you’re saying
and I will believe your hurt and agony.
Your pain is real.

There are people who will be in denial (been there) or won’t understand what you’re going through. And I feel sorry for those who don’t get it. There will however, be people who get it, just like me and many, many others. There will be people who will listen to you and acknowledge your struggles.

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Photo by Kat Jayne on Pexels.com

When I was a teen I felt this unexplainable empty it of agonising sadness in my core. I didn’t know where it came from because I hadn’t suffered from any kind of trauma back then. I felt hurt and physically and emotionally heavy (to properly know this feeling, the song ‘Heavy’ by Linkin Park explains it down to ta T). That’s all I knew. I’d also go nights in a row of crying myself to sleep, or just lay awake contemplating ending my life. Sometimes both at the same time. I couldn’t explain the pain, but it seemed like a default thing for me to be in this kind of pain.

Despite all this pain, it took me years – over 10 – to reach out for help. I didn’t trust my parents enough to tell them when I first started seeking help from a psychologist. I only told them after several sessions. Whenever I did tell people about my treatment, they shrugged me off at first, telling me I seemed fine back then and I’m too young to know what depression and anxiety felt like, and that I didn’t fit in the physical description of a depressed person (whatever that description is).

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Photo by Kaique Rocha on Pexels.com

But let’s be real: who knows you better than you? Not me, not anyone else. And who knows me better than me? Not you and not anyone else. We know when something about us is off. Whether it’s anxiety, depression, the feeling of numbness, mood swings, whatever your sufferings are: it is REAL and I know it is.

Getting help was the best thing I had ever done in my life. My biggest triumph. But I didn’t feel like it was at the time. I knew what to expect with my depression because it was predictable. But I wanted to learn how to live my life one way or another, and how to cope and get better. It was a pretty big deal, but it was scary as fuck.

Was it worth the risk? HECK YEAH! Because eventually, I did start getting better. I got the diagnosis I expected I had – depression and anxiety – and this helped me understand what was going on. With both a psychologist and psychiatrist by my side, eventually joined in by my family and small circle of friends, I fixed things and my life made sense once more.

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Photo by Min An on Pexels.com

What would I say to teenagers reading this who are struggling with mental health? You don’t have to do this alone. Suffering in silence is not an option. You have choices, some of which are difficuly and risky. I made those difficult choices myself, and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t be here writing all this. I’d be dead. I would have done The Deed.

You need to know that your life can change  in the blink of an eye. Everything your thought you knew could be wrong the following day. Your life changes as time goes by, and you deserve to experience this change.

Since then, I have found a good job, made new friends, gave a speech at the local University, wrote a hit article about my mental health for a successful local website and appeared on TV. I’m also in a very great relationship with someone I can call The One and not be uncertain about it. I have touched hearts and changed lives over the past three years.

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Photo by Carl Attard on Pexels.com

This is why I talk openly about my struggles, being able to help others not to repeat the same mistakes I have. Our journeys may not be the same, but  I believe we all have something inside us that’s in common and by unleashing that, the world would be a better place.

So if you haven’t reached out, do so as soon as you can, befor eit’s too late. You don’t have to speak to a professional: a teacher, family member or friend would suffice. Hang in there, and remember the life you’re living now won’t be a clear indication of your future so do something about it.

If you’re reading this, consider it a victory: that you have lived another second, minute, hour, day, month, year. I hope you will be here to read this in years’ time, or even for your children to read it in their teens.

I believe in you. You are a survivor. You have PURPOSE. YOU MATTER.

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If you our someone you know displays any symptoms of mental health problems, please contact your local suicide hotlines, which you can find below.

Image result for suicide hotlines around the world

Second Year of Blogging: The Brutal Truth

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This is a post on my second blogiversary. Simple? Well literally speaking yes, but the backstory is a tad bit more complex than that. But let’s not get into that just yet. Last year, I had lots of ideas round this time – my first blogiversary – and wrote two posts about the celebration: My 1st Year of Blogging in Numbers and What I’ve Learnt during my First Year of Blogging. It was, for me, all sunshine and rainbows because look for far I’d come! From very few views to hundreds of them every month!

This year round, I decided to take a slightly different route.

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Should I go back to studying…?

This is something I have been thinking about for a few weeks now…

Should I go back to studying?
Or should I stick to my work?

These are subjects I would definitely give up my full-time job for given the opportunity:

  • Film studies
  • Criminology
  • Psychology
  • Journalism

The downside of actually studying one of the above is that they might not be offered at part-time, or I’d have to have certain subjects and/or degrees and sit for the course as a post-grad student, something will probably never happen in this lifetime.

Another thing that worries me is the money. Books, resources, photocopies and such are very expensive, and if I have to leave my job, then I would have to start a new job as a part-timer and work in the weekends or evenings (if time is permitted).

I recently researched part-time courses offered in the evenings on the MCAST website (MCAST, for the foreigners, stands for Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology). I found some really interesting ones, but the one that aught my eye is Filmmaking: An Introduction. Why filmmaking though? Aren’t I an LSA? And haven’t I done a 10-week course for said job? Why yes I did, but I want to expand my knowledge of films further. It’s why I did the 10-week course and the Mental Health First Aid in the first place: to learn new things.

I am currently also learning a totally different language: German! I only knew very few words, but now I can say basic words and greetings! And can understand a little too! I am super proud of myself… the FIFTH language I am learning! I actually might do an exam for it when I’m ready.


So the rant is over, thank you for listening (well, for reading). This is a reminder to all of you to follow your dreams. Do NOT let anyone – parents, friends, strangers – tell you what you should or should not do with YOUR life.

AAAAAAAAND that’s it for me! Take care and spread peace XXXXX

“It’s what I want to do.”

I have probably said this sentence so many times in my life that I actually do not know if it – whatever ‘it’ could be – actually is what I want to do.

Hello everyone, sorry for the absence. I’ve been having some few thoughts on what I want to do with my life… is it too soon for a 23-year old to have an existential crisis?

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I’m Sorry

I know those two words seem small, and they actually are. They are nothing more than seven letters, but I don’t know where else to start. So I’ll start with:

I’m sorry.

There are, obviously, things I am not and can never be sorry for. I’m not sorry for my illness. It’s something beyond my control; it is a physical disorder as much as it is a mental one. But I am sorry for the years I’ve wasted feeling sorry for myself. I’m sorry for the years I’ve tried to hide my illness, to keep it a secret.

I’ve pushed you away, though you never knew why. You may not have even realized I was doing it, but there were cancelled plans and social gatherings I forced myself to go to, resentfully and begrudgingly.. even just recently.

It wasn’t your fault. I was too broken to hold it all together, but because I was also too scared to tell you the truth, I would just sit there, forcing an awkward smile and some bland conversation. I would excuse myself from social events and I would withdraw to a corner and watch while you laughed and had a ball.

You thought I was a buzzkill (and you were right), but what I’m most sorry and hurt for is that you thought I was too good for you. But that was never the case. The truth is I wanted to be happy. I wanted nothing more than to laugh beside you and enjoy myself the way you do, but I felt disconnected. Sure, there are moments of happiness and joy, but most of my life is about just getting by. So instead of pretending, I pulled away.

I’m sorry for not being present, for not celebrating your successes and joys. Please know I wanted to, but sometimes the pain held me back — the pain of seeing everything I wanted but would never have, could never have. It’s selfish, I know, but I didn’t know how to handle it.

I’m sorry for the times my temper has been short, and you’ve been the recipient of my rage. Anger has been the most unexpected symptom of my sickness. When I was a teenager, and even now in my 20s, my depression was marked by melancholy. But as the years passed, the symptoms shifted. It’s the anger I cannot ignore and scares me.

And I’m sorry for all this.

It’s embarrassing and scary to admit you need help, to admit you are not OK. You know once you let your secret out you’ll have no choice but to follow through with therapy. You’ll have to talk to friends and family about your illness, even when you don’t want to. You know you can’t close the curtains and hide anymore, and that thought is terrifying. God knows how scared shitless I was, which is why it took me over ten years to seek treatment.

Sometimes, we “find the light” and make it out. I have, but depression is a lifelong disease, and may return, guaranteed. There is nothing I can do to stop it. The only thing I can control is how I handle it when it does. And for me, handling it means not hiding from it.

So, to everyone entangled in this mess with me, I’m sorry. I never wanted to hurt you or drag you into this nightmare I call my life. I love you for standing by me, and hope you still can.