Hi, my name is Fatma, I’m a 22 going 23 this year. I am a sister, daughter, activist, blogger, fashion intrigued, clinically depressed, self-care, mental health creative writer who lives in Melbourne. Here is my story.
I was born and grew up in Kenya Nairobi, with both my parents one older sister, my younger sister and my baby brother. In 2002 we moved to Melbourne Australia. When I was 10 years old I was a shy kid that didn’t talk much and had one friend who I was with for a short time but after a while we drifted apart most of it is a blur which I honestly believe is a suppressing of my memory. When I was 10, it was the first time I had ever tried to kill myself, it was also around this age I had started writing, but to me it was just a way to express my feelings because I didn’t talk much or at all. I was bullied by one girl who up to this day will never forget her full name, and from here on out my life started to really take a toll on me mentally without me consciously realizing nor understanding. I started to feel as though I was just existing rather than living.
When I was in year 7, my mental health really plummeted. If you asked me about this year I literally have very little memory of it. I only remember finally having a group of friends in school, and being able to slowly talk and laugh but even up to this day I can’t remember if it was coping or compensating for my lack of visibility and isolation through out my primary school years and daily life from school and home. I also become more suicidal, and my family knew nothing of this. My routine at home consisted of me going to school, and living in my bedroom.
When I was in year 8 this is when I met my best friend who is still my friend up to today. She helped me with getting my confidence little by little, and slowly I grew into the person I am today. I am always very grateful to her, she has given me so much I can’t ever put it into words. Even with my personality starting to show I was still very caught up in my head and had all these unexplained emotions. But I figured everyone felt this way and that I would grow out of it as I get older.
I didn’t. As I got older, until I was 20 I was having recurring panic attacks mostly at night that I didn’t even know what was happening at the time, then after a while I realized something might be wrong. So it was this whole year that I started researching how I felt emotionally, physically and mentally to find out I might have major depression. I was in so much denial for a whole year and a half and this made my mental health worse. At this point, I had no motivation to do anything, even more suicidal, easily irritated, didn’t eat well, and shut everyone out.
Since then, I have made a blog for my creative writing, performed my first ever three poems on stage in Melbourne Afrocentric, made great friends, starting to network with beautiful creative souls in Melbourne, much closer with my sisters and brother, seeing a professional, and I am much more able to communicate my feelings now; And in the works of creating my brand for the organic skin care market.
My mental health is something I truly struggle with everyday, but it is also something I pride my time and care in. I am still learning about it and learning to take good care of it and my body in three cycles (emotionally, physically and mentally), to be much kinder to myself and know that my depression does not define me, it assists in molding me into a better person each day. Even when the really bad days make it feel like it can’t get any better, even so, this, is when I know I am the most creative.