So Dark & Deep: A Story of Mental Illness It hits you all of a sudden. It’s the middle of the day, you’re surrounded by friends and the sun is out. But something isn’t right. There is this feeling, a very uncomfortable feeling in your mind, in the pit of your stomach. You want to leave and go somewhere that is quiet and dark. You are being consumed. Consumed by your own thoughts. So dark and so horrid, you are afraid. It’s wrecking you from the inside out. But what can you do? Suffer? That’s what many of us do and did. But sometimes the suffering gets too much. You can’t handle the darkness that’s pulling you into an eternal abyss and you decide that only way to stop the darkness is to join it. You take your own life. Suicide. Simple as that. I lost a very close friend of mine to suicide. It sent us, their friends and family, all into a cage. We felt trapped, we felt deep inside us this horrible, disgusting feeling and all you wanted to do is cry. That’s how suffering feels. This constant feeling of being trapped and not being able to do anything to stop it. That’s how people with mental illnesses feel constantly. It devours us. Fear eats our insides away until we are nothing but bones. Fear controls us. Fear puts us on autopilot and does whatever it wants. That feeling you have in the pit of your stomach when you are about to do something that makes you nervous? That’s how anxiety feels. It’s how living with a mental illness feels. It runs our lives and we can’t stop it. Admitting to someone that you have a problem is probably the hardest thing to do. Admitting to my best friend that I have anxiety, depression and OCD took me months. Every night I would run it around in my head, what and how will I tell my friend that I am crazy and I can’t control it? Will she be OK with it? Will she laugh? Is she going to stay being my friend? And that’s the problem I am trying to write about. Admitting you have a mental illness. It’s not easy to do and that’s why more than two million people are struggling. They can’t tell anyone. Lucky for me, I have an amazing group of friends that understood, while some aren’t so lucky. A lot of friends and family reject their siblings or children or friends because they don’t know how to deal with a mental illness. Dealing with a mental illness, whether you have it or someone else does, is like a tripwire. You have to be so careful with your words or one bad move and it can devastate someone. Do you remember the part where I mentioned a friend I lost to suicide? Well, her name was Abigail, but her friends and family called her Abby. Abby was obsessed-scratch that-dedicated to One Direction. They kept not only her happy, but everyone happy. Their music helps people, physically, mentally and spiritually. Abby also told me, before she passed, that One Direction was the only thing keeping her going. Now, you might ask, where am I going with this? Well, what I am trying to do here is get One Direction to notice Abby’s story, get them to talk about mental health and let people, especially young adults, to realize that they are not alone in this battle with mental illnesses. No matter what the illness, no one is ever alone, no matter how lonely it seems. “And here you are living, despite it all.” - Rupi Kaur A quote that that always inspired me, even through those dark days when I decided I couldn’t do it anymore, couldn’t carry on living. To all those suffering deep inside, pushing those feelings to the back of your brain, the bottom of your heart, please keep on living. Please remember that no matter how distant your future may seem, no matter how distant love may seem, it will always be there. Never lose hope; I know it’s easy to. We are rocks in a sea of chaos; we cannot let every storm knock us around. We simply mustn’t.