Updated: Jan 8, 2018

I am in pain every single moment of my life. I feel pressure to accept my illness and cope with it. I am forced to continue living a ‘normal’ life even though ‘normal’ tasks require more effort and perseverance for me to accomplish, forcing me to push even harder. I have Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, and deal with depression.

There are so many moments in my life where I feel like I can’t keep pushing. There have been moments where I want to kill myself because it seems too hard to keep going, to face another barrier or overcome another obstacle. I remember every single doctors appointment where I was given another diagnosis, put on a medication with unfavourable side effects, or told that I need to make another lifestyle change.

Feeling powerless and hopeless is scary. Feeling alone and like you have no more life inside of you is daunting. In my own time, I came to terms with these feelings. My mindset shifted when I became comfortable in my discomfort and content in my unhappiness. I learned that it can be these moments where you grow the most and learn the most about yourself.

Right now, in this period in my life, I am depressed. This isn’t the first time I’ve gone through this and it won’t be the last. My unwavering support system, my knowledge of mental wellness, and my self-awareness are what will get me through this. I know that I will come out of this period stronger than before and I am okay with right now.

I have been able to accomplish so many things despite my illnesses, including graduating with a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration at SFU, getting into the Bachelor of Social Work program at UBC, working/volunteering with over nine non-profit organizations, and starting LUMEN.

Society pressures people to feel positive and happy all the time and stigmatizes poor mental wellness. My goal with sharing my story, and starting LUMEN, is to challenge people to break this stigma and to revel in their own chaos. Life is messy and sometimes we will feel happy and sometimes we won’t, the challenge is learning to be okay with that. I do this by choosing to ‘be visible, be vulnerable, just be’.

Author: Summin Dinsa

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