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It was a Saturday afternoon when my dad called me and gave me the news: my brother had committed suicide. He was my brother, best friend, travel buddy, and confidante. He was my person.

I went into denial. The depression killed me slowly but steadily, and I started to cut my arms because I felt like I deserved it. I was just so angry about what happened. Those feelings got worse when I felt like I couldn’t remember his smile, the way he moved or our last moments together.

Over the years I disappeared a bit. I stopped calling my family back and seeing my friends. I developed a fear of getting close to people because I still am scared shitless that I will lose someone else.

I went to work less often, and there were days when I didn’t leave my apartment, let alone my bed. Simple things, like getting in the shower, felt like climbing Mount Everest.
I went to work less often, and there were days when I didn’t leave my apartment, let alone my bed. Simple things, like getting in the shower, felt like climbing Mount Everest. Sometimes I skipped showering a couple of days in a row, but it didn’t matter because I didn’t leave my apartment anyway. I was in constant pain.

The stigma on mental health issues stopped me from actively looking for help or talking about my depression and self-harm. Whenever the topic came up, people told me that time would heal the wound, that their grandpa died last year too and that I was just going through a rough patch.

In 2014, I eventually started to put my life back together. I moved away from a place with many painful memories, and focused on the things I love and value. I made a few really good friends and started to engage in various activities outside my studies. I will never feel okay about what happened, but over the past years I have learnt to live with it. I have proven to myself that I can push through.