[Before I begin, I must tell you this post will be a tad long – sorry in advance.]

Everyone has their fears. It could be a phobia, a personal lack of confidence or anything of that nature that holds them back from unleashing their full potential. It can be debilitating and cause you to stagnate during your journey of self-discovery.

I was up till 5 a.m. last night (or rather, this morning) after a long 4-sector flight duty during the day, trying to calm down a close friend of mine when he texted me saying he was suddenly hit with an agonising fear of dying. He failed to turn up for work and pretty much went AWOL the entire day, sparking concern in me. I sat with him, gave him a shoulder to cry on and tried to assist him in figuring out the root of the problem as well as any possible solutions he may find useful.

He spoke of having this nagging fear of his days being numbered and that he doesn’t wish to have this burden follow him wherever he goes and that he’d rather end it all before it ends him. I was just afraid he might do something foolish and premature. I stuck around to ease his nerves as he drifted in between states of ‘zoning out’ and willingness to share every detail with me.

All I knew was that I had to be there for him. His own fears reflected my own experience with a sense of loss of who I was, and the dread of waking up every single day wishing I never did wake. That was years ago, but I completely understand how it feels to be in a position where hopelessness is the only thing you really feel, every single day.

It spurred me to write this post today because I know how hard it is to overcome, to battle and to come out stronger than before. It could be trying to deal with a loss of a loved one, a physical disability or even just simple shyness – but it’s a struggle, no less. I will come out right now and say to all of you that I battled with depression and thoughts of suicide a few years ago, which led me to going through therapy for 2 years or so.

Sadly, the only reason I had to stop going was because financially, I was unable to continue. But whatever my therapist taught me during those 2 years, I really took away with me. I adopted some of the techniques and slowly started building myself up again. It was tough, doing it alone. But something in me wanted to fight. I was tired of feeling crappy. And useless (as easy as it was to feel that way).

Today, I tell myself everyday to never go back to that. As life-changing as it was, it was also the darkest years of my life, rehashing and reliving memories in my dreams and having flashbacks almost every waking moment. What I’m trying to say is, everyone has their inner wars, and it’s easy to run and hide. But it’s even more amazing when, in spite of the hardship, you’re able to tell yourself “No, I will not fall today”.

That sort of achievement is indescribable, and beyond priceless. Apart from my personal will to keep going, I must attribute fitness to helping me find the way. Rediscovering what my body can do for me has done what no therapy or medication could possibly do; I feel a sense of liberation I’ve never felt before. That’s why I hope my dear friend finds his way through his personal storm and if anything, my words of comfort and encouragement will help him on his journey.

Note: As I type this, I just found out he didn’t show up for work again today and remains uncontactable. I pray for his safety and that he’ll talk to me or someone that he trusts.

Whatever your demon, you are stronger than it. You will fight for another day for the right to be happy. You deserve it, you are worth it.

Love,

Wani

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