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I quit my full-time job a couple of years ago. At the time, I’d been working for three and a half years, with only one real two-week vacation to punctuate my hours at the screen. My last full-time gig was as a content developer for a nonprofit.

It was the sort of job, I had a sort of role, where you could work for 12 or 14 hours straight and yet not be doing anything that would be considered imperative for the organization. I was never bitter about that. I liked the work I did and loved my company. I’d…

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Over the past decade, I’ve been diagnosed with multiple illnesses including a personality disorder, a mood disorder and an eating disorder. But telling someone about my mental health is still a challenge.

I am careful about whom I share details with, only doing so when it’s relevant in the space between us. For instance, if I need them to support me through tough times, understand some seemingly irrational responses I have or if it affects the relationship we share, I believe they have a right to know. …

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When I heard my first mental health diagnosis of a personality disorder, I did not believe it. I told myself the doctors were wrong, they judged me too soon, they had no idea what they were talking about.

It took me years and a lot more pain to return back to the diagnosis, accept it and start healing.

Sometimes, I wonder if my life would have been easier had I been able to process what I heard sooner. Perhaps I would not have left yet another college or gotten into another toxic relationship. …

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There will be times when you have to move on from a relationship before you feel ready to. You may have to let go of someone you love, even though there’s no definitive proof that it could never work out. You may have to let whatever happened be without trying to piece together what it could have been.

There will be times you have to walk out even when you aren’t sure what went wrong or how everything fell apart. Even when you don’t know what you were supposed to have done differently. …

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A few days ago, on a particularly rough night, I decided to make a gratitude list. These lists are usually easy for me to make as I’m someone built to keep my sense of awe and wonder close. But this time, after penning a half dozen glaringly obvious points, I ran out of things to write.

It’s been a hard year, to say the least. But most years are hard in their own way. What has made 2020 this specific type of difficult — a type that you cannot gargle out like an infection, untangle with sufficient focus and persistence…

Picture credits: Kishore Amruth

Dearest one,

If you are a writer, an artist, or a creator stepping into the word with your bare heart for the first time, here are a few reminders to hold close.

Your art matters. I cannot possibly say this enough. You cannot possibly say this enough. Write it down as reminders in every space you occupy. Ink it on your brain and etch it into your heart. What you create is necessary. It’s a part of your life, your story, and your truth. And those are the only things any of us will ever leave behind in this world.

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The friendships I made in my late teens and early twenties were fiery, intense, and always a breakup or makeup away. For the longest while, I thought that that's what close friendships had to look like.

I believed that my people were those who had seen the worst of me. Who saw me ugly crying while making decisions I'd regret, drunk calling the toxic ex who broke my spirit, and walking out of every good thing life put before me towards all the wrong people and places. …

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I turn 28 this weekend. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the fact that I’ve somehow aged when the world is holding still in a pandemic.

There’s a part of me that feels cheated, I don’t want the new age if I didn’t get all the time that was owed to me to do and be and change the things I wanted to.

I’m more aware than ever of the amount of life left at to-be-continued, the conversations that have to happen in person, the projects that need a certainty this climate cannot offer.

But this stillness has…

A love story. Sort of.

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When FM first told me that he wanted to adopt a cat, I groaned. Why could it not have been a dog?

I knew why. He was religious and his religion didn’t allow for dogs as household pets. But I liked dogs and could see myself falling in love with my boyfriend’s dog easily. Cats, I could not stand.

It’s a family thing — my grandmother hated cats, my dad and all his brothers did too, and now I hate them. I’m convinced it’s genetic but no one buys that. So I try other ways to explain it.

It’s their…

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Living with mental illnesses is a different reality for different people across different times in their life.

There are those who are in treatment with wonderful therapists. Those who cannot afford professional intervention. Those who’ve been diagnosed but couldn’t follow up with therapy. Those who are struggling to accept their diagnosis. Those who’ve been scarred by being paired with therapists who were the wrong fits for them. Those who spend a large amount of time educating themselves and seeking their own ways of coping/recovery. Those who don’t have the strength to find a doctor for themselves.

There are those who…

Soumya John

Essays on love, loss, healing, mental health and identity. Read more on my IG:

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