Finding purpose in a life with bipolar disorder and various other mental diseases is not easy. I had no aim in life. I was born, grew up under the shelter of my parents like every other normal kid, and then was suddenly pushed into the real world when my mother passed away.
I gave up my college life, I gave up on my jobs, and I gave up on everything that should have given my life a purpose. That was the starting point of my downfall. I didn’t even know I had a mental illness. I attempted suicide and that’s when the first psychiatrist saw me and ruled that I have depression.
But it wasn’t until later that I found out about my diagnosis; life became harder as it became easier. Easier because I now understood what was going on with me, and harder because I struggled to find my purpose in life.
I remember the time when I said, and actually believed that I could not write. I had zero confidence in myself. Contrary to my belief, today writing is all that I do. I never thought I would actually find a reason to live life. I wanted to die every moment of every single day. But now I’m still here, and there must be a reason why.
I honestly don’t know why or how I wrote my first story. What came over me is still a mystery. When I wrote my first story on Facebook, I didn’t think I would get any positive feedback from people. I was afraid, tense, and anxious. But then I started receiving messages from people I didn’t even know asking me how to find a doctor and how to get to know their own diseases. I was surprised and shocked by the response.
I think, no, I know that in that instance, I had found my purpose. I knew that I wanted to help people suffering in silence like I did for so many years. I knew I wanted an opportunity to return the help and support I got for myself. I started writing about my own experiences, but did not feel that it was enough.
I saw that there is a stigma attached to mental illness everywhere. That people like us are not accepted like we should be. That people are afraid to come out and talk about what they are going through. I saw people in suits and dresses sitting in my psychiatrist’s office, but I didn’t know where they were going after that. There must be a reason for all this secrecy and a way to deal with it so that this silence doesn’t exist anymore.
This was my life’s purpose. I knew in my heart that I needed to put my foot down and do something to eradicate the stigma attached to mental illness in our society. Inspired by this belief, I started the website: www.facebook.com/hopeisgoodindia. I want to make a difference by giving back what I have received, the help that I got for myself.
This secrecy about mental illness is why we’re losing the bigger battle to this disorder. It is the reason why nobody comes out to talk about it. Well, it’s time to change that. It’s time for a brand new beginning!
Read more of Tannika’s writing at her Hope is Good page, and read her other posts for IBPF here.