I was born and raised in India amidst ancient traditions and a large loving extended family of twenty –three – grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. My happy childhoo, however, gave way to a traumatic adolescence. By the time I was 18, I was debilitated by generalized anxiety disorder and panic attacks. At 23, as a young mother in America, I struggled to free myself from the death-hold of depression. Over the years, my life became a blur of doctor visits, medications, hospitalizations, ECTs, and failed suicide attempts. Like millions of people struggling with mental illness around the world, I eventually gave up hope for recovery. I felt alone, afraid and ashamed.
But, in April 1989, a stranger came to visit me in the most unlikely of places, a psychiatric ward, and gave me the gift of HOPE that changed my life forever. Her name was Aida. In the short time we spent together, Aida held me in her arms and shared her struggles with depression, and her relentless pursuit of recovery. Although Aida’s visit was short, she gave me the gift of HOPE that has sustained me for a lifetime.
On October 10th, in celebration of World Mental health, my nonprofit organization, ASHA International, launched the You Can Recover Project.
The You Can Recover Project’s mission is to give HOPE to people struggling with mental health issues around the world, and inspire them with personal insights on how to recover and rebuild a healthy, meaningful, productive life.
I sincerely hope that the stories shared in the You Can Recover Project will give HOPE to people struggling with mental health issues around the world, and let them know they can recover, just as Aida’s story inspired me to recover and rebuild a healthy, meaningful, productive life.
To learn more about the You Can Recover Project and share your recovery story, please click here…
The stories featured in the project is evidence to the fact that while mental illness has no barriers, hope and healing have no boundaries.