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There are a couple of moments each day, where a person has said something or possibly implied in any other way, that you don’t really matter. That thought hooks onto you like a leech and begins to drain you. Then there are times when you begin to reflect and come to the conclusion that you are but a tiny speck in this vast universe.

But, what I have learned is that if you perhaps alter the wavelength of the light that’s aiding your vision, you will come to a rather different conclusion. You are a tiny speck, but you are not the only one. All that your eye can or cannot see, is made of such tiny specks like you. Imagine, if all of them, one after another, ceased to exist because of the belief that their problems weren’t big enough to matter, that they weren’t important enough to matter; eventually, this whole universe would collapse.

Every little speck matters.

This dilemma is especially common for people who suffer from mental health issues. There comes a time when the pain overpowers everything else that’s good, and that energy drives you to believe that it’s not worth enduring all of it if you don’t even matter.

Sometimes, you get so desperate to find a way to escape the agony, but there’s nothing to be found, and you remain trapped in a cage of your minds creation, helpless. But if you think no one understands, that’s where you’re wrong.

I’m not a psychiatrist or a trained professional. But I am a fellow sufferer. I understand pain.

I have hit an extremely low point, after which I decided to turn my life around. I began to write, the one thing that I found freedom in ever since I was a little girl. I finally published my first ever novel, The Fire You Don’t See, just recently.

The book is fiction but is definitely inspired by my personal struggle with mental illness and bullying. It rides on two main characters from two entirely different countries. They come together unexpectedly, yet spontaneously; like an instant connection from an energy radiated by each of their chaotic minds. Their constant struggle to find happiness, stability and purpose hits close to home for me and may do the same for a lot of people.

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The reason for choosing a combination of two least expected nationalities was to show that it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what language you speak or what geographic location you belong to, all a tormented heart needs is another to find comfort and the will to live. I did a small 3 part series on my Instagram called #igotyou (a phrase that shows up in my book at a very crucial point), where I asked people around the world questions. The stories they’ve lived and the thoughts they nurture in their minds reaffirmed my faith in humanity.

The emphasis lay on finding happiness. I assure you, suffering from a mental illness does not and will not take away your right to be happy. I struggle every single day. I know most of you will hate to hear this again, but patience and perseverance are key. This is said so many times and has hence, somewhat lost its meaning, I felt so too. But I convince myself that the repeated emphasis is due to its importance. You have to fight for happiness, for a purpose, and it is so worth it. So don’t give up just yet.

Give yourself a break. Your physical exhaustion is a result of the war in your head. Take time to yourself, even if that means withdrawing into isolation once in a while. Do what gives you comfort, whether it is bingeing your favorite show, reading a book, exercising, music, art, dance, or anything else that comes to mind. You will find a way to cope.

I won’t paint an unrealistic picture where everything will be fine in the blink of an eye, because it won’t. But on the bright side, there’s one more person you now know of who is sailing on high tides just like you. You aren’t alone, there are so many more like us.

There is so much strength in togetherness. No matter who you are, or where you’re from, I urge you to speak, to reach out, and get help. Share your story, share your burden, and let us heal together. We will find happiness, all of us.

Your pain is acknowledged. Your strength is respected. Your story needs to be heard. Your burden needs to be shared. You are never alone. You deserve happiness.




 About the Author

project happiness author tazeen shaikh

 Tazeen Shaikh is a 21-year-old who has just taken her first step into the writing industry with her debut novel, The Fire You Don’t See. She also writes poetry. 

Tazeen's mission is to give hope and strength to people affected by mental illness. She too has been battling it for a while now, and wish to heal alongside the rest. She hopes to make a difference using the only thing that has kept her company and gave her comfort – words. Tazeen strongly believes in the power of togetherness. Different traditions and cultures around the world fascinate her, and she loves people. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter