“After my parents’ divorce, I began to face anxiety and depression. When I started getting known for my music, I also faced bullies who teased and called me names. As a result, I’d get angry easily and talk back to my teachers even while they were being nice. Once in my fit of anger, I noticed that I’d hurt someone badly with my words. Putting myself in their shoes, I began to feel sorry. There on, I became more conscious of my emotions and anger. I’d started seeking professional help but my mental health kept getting worse. I’d also tried self-harm. To cope, I started talking to people and found out about their problems in life – It comforted me somehow. My father would tell me it’s hard being out in the sun, and I found great inspiration in his resilience.

I started relying on my experiences for guidance. Minding my own business, at the face of trouble, I always said sorry first. At ELC High, my new school, I observed my schoolmates first before interacting. Some were nice, but with the mean ones, I focused on their good parts and complimented them. Slowly, I made a lot of friends.

ELC offers a program called The Four Pillars of Wellbeing. When I first joined the Wellbeing sessions, I thought it was going to be boring. We watched a video and practiced mindfulness meditation and listened to the Wellbeing Teacher. She taught me that like all of us, she too has her ups and downs in life. I saw adults there who were ready to listen to us and help guide us towards broader perspectives in life. While meditating, I felt sleepy at first, but I kept at it. Once, I found myself transported back in my memories, sitting with my family. Feeling the sadness inside, I silently cried. Slowly, I learned my anxiety was reducing due to mindfulness and I started taking it seriously.

In school, time passes fast with classes but when I come for the Wellbeing sessions, it is my ‘me time’. I pat myself on my back and tell myself, ‘you did it, you made it through the day.’ This is also the time when I can think of all the things I want to do in the future and I can make my father proud. I can do it, nothing is impossible.”

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