Updated: Jun 28
Story by Zara Hedlund
“I hope you would die in your sleep tonight,” they said, as they brutally bullied me everyday. Have you ever been hated just for existing?
My days as a child were tough. Bullying was regular. And the more I was bullied, the more I grew angry, and terrified of not being perfect. I was bullied because I was a foreigner to Sweden. I was born in Morocco.
That was the only fault of mine.
Towards the end of school, no matter what I got involved in, what I laughed at, I was internally depressed all the time. I soon left home and started living alone because the environment at home was bad.
I wanted to run far far away from my emotions. Drugs gave me the temporary relief my mind needed. They seemed to help me smile at least.
Though no matter how much I ran away from my emotions, no distance was far enough. Escape was never the solution.
Throughout my life, I had been made to believe that to look beautiful, you need to be thin. This idea had destroyed my body. Obsessively being terrified of imperfection according to other people, I grew anorexic, and my bad eating habits, combined with the drug addiction, started to take a huge toll on my body. I was growing thinner, and weaker. Medicinal pills were the only thing which kept me going.
Along with an ill mind, I was also growing an ill body now.
I was helpless.
In 2019, I took a drug which made my mouth turn blue. I grew extremely sick. My boyfriend helped me by giving me CPR. I started having heart problems, and I used to visit the doctor twice a week just to be sure that my heart would be okay.
I thought I was going to die.
This is when I stopped taking drugs, out of a fear for my life. This is when the hardest part of my life began.
Since childhood, the only thing that kept me going always, was the thought that things will be better someday. I have always been a very hopeful person, even though people around me were not.
However, this hope was lost for a few months, when I stopped taking drugs. For 4-5 months, my body and mind were helpless, and the hope in me was just slipping away.
It was time, I made a decision. End this miserable life, or put in everything to come out of the situation.
I am proud that I chose the latter.
I put in regular effort to help myself get better. Focusing on changing my eating habits was very difficult, but consistency made the change in habits become a lifestyle. It took about 4-5 months, which was the darkest phase of my life, because there was little hope. But gradually, with consistent efforts, the hope I had lost, grew once again from the ashes.
I vowed never to leave myself helpless again, and to grow.
Within the next two years, I did a university course to become a mental coach, and opened up a small company for that. As a mental coach today, I help people understand themselves mentally and to love themselves. I am also training to be a yoga teacher, and also learning about nutrition.
Today, I see my prior self in my clients all the time, which makes me understand them so well.
I want to bring light to people’s lives. I want them to understand that it is not necessary that things will always stay the same, and that they can change their lives for the better.