For the next few months, I will be sharing a series of posts centred around an amazing campaign, which I’ve become a part of, as an Influencer. Choma (a South African-ism meaning ‘friend’), a project of HIVSA NPO is focused on empowering young women. Their recent campaign, #DoneWithSilence, is an inspiring initiative which aims to break down silence and give women (and men) the courage to be able to liberate themselves. My role in the campaign, as a self-proclaimed truth-teller, is to share my story candidly, in the hope that others follow-suit. I hope to begin the conversations that truly matter.
There are people who are not dead, and then there are people who are alive.
I realised this recently when I found an old photo of myself taken about six years ago – when I was in the throes of despair and contemplating whether I should leave my second marriage or, stay to save face. A picture tells a story, and my photo of six years ago revealed a woman who was not dead, but merely existing. I looked lost and alone and more especially, the light and soul from my eyes was completely gone. It broke my heart to see this.
Depression for me was all-encompassing. It rode shotgun with me wherever I went, demanding attention from me when I wasn’t even prepared to give it. This depression consumed me for many reasons – some circumstantial – but mostly because of my choices. I was too scared to be myself in a world that demanded I be a certain way. I was too terrified to deviate from the expectation of what a ‘good Indian girl’ is supposed to be, so I tried desperately to conform and fit in. Until death became the only option for me.
Fast-forward six years, I hardly recognise that woman, and never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that I would become the woman I am now. But I can still feel the feelings that I carried with me all those years ago and I know how easy it is to fall back into a dark hole. My salvation came when I fully embraced and accepted myself. I went on a workshop that changed my life forever, because it finally gave me the permission I was desperately seeking, to step into the light of who I truly am, and to accept my purpose in this world.
My purpose is to be a purveyor of hope and that means sharing my story candidly. It meant finding my voice and my truth. It meant deviating from what I was told to be, and instead ‘unbecome’. I spent the last few years ‘unbecoming’ until I could finally see myself through the lens of my own eyes. It was where I found my freedom and most importantly, my peace. I was meant to be a wildfire. I can’t be contained. And my voice will never be silenced again. I am finally alive, and #donewithsilence.