Dear Best Friend…

I am writing directly to you and no one else.

One piece solely dedicated to you is not enough to show how much I value you and your presence in my life.

I met you for the first time 3 and half years ago. Never did I think then, that today I would be writing to you and be grateful of your existence to the extent that I am.

I wanted to take this opportunity to Thank You. I do not know where to begin, but here goes…

1) I want to thank you for being the person and performer you are, and making me fan-girl over you since the day I first saw you on stage 11 years ago.

2) I want to thank you for being the vibrant sole you were when we first met in November 2013, and making that 20 year old girl, crush over you even more.

3) I want to thank you for creeping into my life and talking to me at times when I least needed the attention from another boy.

4) I want to thank the boys and girls of both my and your pasts respectively, for teaching us what we really need in a relationship – to be loved unconditionally and un-materialistically.

5) I want to thank you for being there for me and bringing out the confidence I never knew I had.

6) I want to thank you for unlocking my own academic and artistic potential.

7) I want to thank you for making me value my ability to write the way I do, and making me fall in love with writing endlessly.

8) I want to thank you for helping me hone skills which I never thought I would be able to do.

9) I want to thank you for tending to all sides and versions of me with care, and love which I never thought I was worthy of getting.

10) I want to thank you for being you.

Of course I have more to be thankful for especially with regards to everything you have intentionally and unintentionally done for me. Whatever our future holds does not phase me, because right now I am so thankful for you and the life you have made me discover. So thank you!

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‘The Secret – Daily Teachings’

The whole purpose of The Secret – Daily Teachings, by Rhonda Byrne, was to read one page a day. It had quotes and sayings which would take one through the whole year. Naturally, however, I sat down and read the whole thing in no more than 2 hours!

I am not using this space to provide a break down of the all the quotes with in depth analyses, no. I wanted to describe the three most important take home messages which I believe everyone could benefit from.

1) Be grateful. Every minute of our lives, the universe gives us something which we should be grateful for. Therefore, the prime mantra to get used to fully practice using is ‘Thank You.’ There are so many things each day that we should be thankful for, yet because of the nature of our lives, we never give ourselves the opportunity to fully appreciate it. If we took 10 minutes a day to think about the several things we were grateful for that day, we will realise that each day is actually an amazing one.

2) Replace the ‘If’ with ‘When’. The word ‘if’ communicates a sense of doubt. The word ‘when’ has a level of certainty. You start believing in your aspirations, and therefore your present actions become that much more important. Ultimately, you start to believe in yourself.

3) The Universe provides you with what you need. If you are faced with any bad happenings, believe that it is because the Universe is providing you with an opportunity to learn and develop yourself: only then will you be able to appreciate the positive things the Universe hands to you in the future. Therefore, learn to appreciate and search for good in all the bad; that way you are at peace with your mind and therefore in balance with the Universe.

Just remember…’Good thoughts, good words, good actions’!

The Unspoken Truth

Depression is a very touching topic and especially within our Tamil community it is quite a taboo.

My 4th year audit was on the identification and management of depression in type 2 diabetic patients at a local GP practice. I decided to do my project on this topic because evidence suggests that patients with a chronic health condition such a Diabetes are at an increased risk of developing depression. Therefore as part of National guidelines’ diabetes management plan, patients should be regularly screened for depression. I was hence able to explore the management of physical and mental illness side by side, which I surprisingly have never before had the opportunity to do.

I loved doing my audit and the results were shocking. However, I am not here to discuss my results and provide you with a summary of my study. I wanted to use this space to raise awareness for depression within our society, and in particular within my Tamil community.

Depression is real

I can be certain that when one of us goes to our parents, aunts or uncles saying that we may be depressed, they are likely to dismiss it completely by saying something along the lines of ‘Oh no, don’t be silly, it is all in your head’, ‘You can do this’, ‘Don’t come up with silly excuses’, etc.

There are so many unspoken truths in my community – depression, and other mental health problems, are some of them. All I can say is that depression is real and I have seen it amongst my patients, my family and friends, and myself.

The moment you see someone dear to you constantly having a low mood, reduced self-esteem, is isolating themselves from the world, has changed patterns of eating or changed sleeping patterns; do not be the one to neglect them and their emotions. Talk to them or try and ask for help. Do not push them away, and most importantly do not make them feel as if the depression they are suffering is not important enough or real enough.

Depression is one of many mental health conditions, which are all equally as important and as serious as physical health conditions.

There have already been many attempts to raise awareness about depression in our community, so let us all come together to do the same. Let us turn the taboo into a spoken truth.