Tell me I am human

It’s time to talk about what it means to be human.


Maddi Shinall

News Editor Fatima Kammona ’19 talks about mental health in her column.

“It’s going to get easier.” Lie. “You’re going to get through this.” Lie. Instead, tell me the truth. Tell me that there are going to be days when I pretend to be okay. Tell me that there will be times when I will be as dry as a desert from all the water I had shed. Tell me that there will be days when it feels as if the world hates me and other days where I will feel like a prisoner in my own body, suffocating because I forgot how to breathe.  

But don’t forget to tell me that there are going to be days when I feel like I can fly. Don’t forget to tell me that there will be times when I feel like the world has so much to offer and that there’s going to be times when my face will hurt from smiling. Don’t forget to tell me that there will be days when I say I am okay and that will be the truth.

The summer going into middle school was the summer I first took a blade to my skin. I didn’t know how to handle my emotions, especially those I associated with weakness. When I felt things that I didn’t want to feel I would hurt myself because pain felt better than feeling like I was weak. What started off as a way for me to not feel them became the only way that I could. I had to become so numb to everything that pain was the only thing left that I could feel.

Thanks to the help of my family, friends, guidance counselors, therapists and teachers I am happy to say that this summer I will be four years clean. I say clean because it was like a drug; I couldn’t live with it but I couldn’t live without it. In the words of Taylor Swift, “Just because your clean doesn’t mean you don’t miss it.” On the days that are really bad, when my anxiety feels like it’s going to consume me, I still find myself going to scratch the skin away on my arms. But those days are getting rare.

There are days when I am not afraid of the silence and the thoughts that fill my head, days when the weight that lives in me might just weigh too much, days when the quicksand that is making up the ground I stand on will engulf me. There will be days when I want to stop running, but if I do the darkness will swallow me whole. There will be days when I drown in the ocean inside of me, but if I try breathing I will shatter like glass.

…It doesn’t get easier. Instead, you get stronger.”

— Fatima Kammona '19

Everyone always wants to say that they healed me, that I am better and that I have moved on. To say that I’ve been there, it does get easier and you are going to get through this. All I have ever wanted to do is agree with them.

However, I’ve learned over the years that it’s not true. There’s always going to be something in your way that you have to get through and it doesn’t get easier. Instead, you get stronger. I’m learning that the darkness can be my friend. I am learning how to breathe underwater and how to fix what breaks. Learning that even though there are days when I break I am not broken, it just means I am human.

Being human means that there are going to be good and bad days. There are going to be days that you forget the war going on inside you and there will be other days when all you want to do is give up. Being human means getting back up when you fall, but also understanding that you are going to fall again and will still get back up. Being human means that it’s okay to not be okay.

So instead of feeding me all these lies of, “It’s going to get easier” and, “You are going to get through this” just tell me the truth: I am human and that I am not the only one.