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SAS-Anna“Aloneness is not merely an adjective or a description, but a place. It is a place devoid of everything and anything that you think makes you happy. All of the people you love do not exist there. The silence and emotional isolation are deafening. There is an insurmountable amount of pain. It is a pain that is so emotional, that you feel the pain physically. Your chest swells and tightens. You shake. You sweat. You cry.”

That is how Anna describes the way she felt just before her suicide attempt. In fact, she felt that way for awhile after she left the hospital. “You’re never really that OK whenever you get out of the hospital,” she says. In a group therapy session she found herself telling strangers about the depression that had burdened her for years, and she decided that if she could tell people she barely knew about her pain, she could open up to her family too. For Anna, this meant going against the social norms in her Filipino culture and talking openly about mental illness.

“You may not think that it will be helpful— but it also cannot hurt. More often than not, talking about your struggles and your attempt will help. You have to have enough love to talk about your struggles. They may even save someone else,” she said.

Today she is the mother of a son and proud of the strength she has found. Now she knows that whatever moment she is in, no matter how insurmountable, no matter how seemingly dark, will pass. “Time moves forward. Moments fade and the pain does too.”

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