On My Mental Health

I have always kept my hair straight, though it’s naturally curly.
I don’t know how to sketch, but I’ve perfected the art of drawing lines.
I’m an onion with layers, but someone told me the best part lies at the center.
I’m a control freak, but it seems to help people around me (or so I like to believe).

These are some of the statements that comprise my “self”, but they’re not me. They’re just extremely important parts of me.

As licensee of TEDxLAU, I’m usually working on a number of tasks, but my favorite is always the curation of ideas. A “curator” in TED lingo could be a fancy word for the person who decides on the talks, speakers, and overall theme of the event. And this time, I knew it. We had to talk about mental health.

They say one in four people suffer from mental distress, and I could easily identify the people around me who were the most vulnerable. But undoubtedly this led to a lot of self-analysis (just ask the rest of the organizers!): though some people are obviously in need of support, others are so much better at hiding it and putting on a “brave face” – a mask.

Why do we mask our feelings? why do we draw these lines? why do we find it so hard to let go and open up? to show that supposedly sweet core?

I, for one, am scared to death of that possibility. I’ve lived my whole life in a state of transition – with very little stability save for my mum’s presence by my side (Yep, I have daddy issues, but who doesn’t?!).

Is my onion layering causing me distress? I guess a therapist might tell me I do have plenty of bugs to work out. But since I’m a control freak, I’ll be my own therapist for now. My layering helps me cope. My layering helps me remain strong enough to support everyone around me when they need it. But my layering doesn’t allow me to live the moment to its fullest potential.

Though I would like nothing more…

I cannot seize the day for I may not know what tomorrow may bring.
I can only analyze the day in anticipation of what may occur tomorrow.

Does my story have a happy ending?
Well.. I’m a fully functioning member of my community, and despite my many hurdles, I’m blessed in so many ways! And this self-assessment due to our upcoming event has allowed me to realize that I seem to surround myself with people who wear their hearts on their sleeves – watermelons who open up and show you their core, and there’s no mistaking who they are after that – and it is these lovely souls that allow me to soar high from time to time… only to quickly get back down to earth (for you never know what might happen!).

Yours sincerely (very sincerely),
a realistic dreamer – AKA the onion.

photoshoot1Photo taken during a TEDxLAU photo-shoot promoting the mental health salon by the lovely and talented Zayna B. Ayyad.


About Reine Azzi

An instructor who teaches so many different courses at university! Best way to remain passionately challenged! I'm also the licensee, curator, and host of TEDxLAU which adds so much excitement to my life!
This entry was posted in Purpose, TEDxLAU and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to On My Mental Health

  1. Vivian says:

    Well said. I like!

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