There is nothing in life that you cannot get through - Vatsala Bharti
Growing up in hostels away from parents, I always felt like I needed somebody to talk to. Anybody who could just listen to the things that go in my mind, when I failed to find “that somebody” for me, I started writing. I began journaling everyday - writing about my days, about my friends, from nothing to everything. Those diaries were my one true hiding place away from the world. Just when I got used to writing and being okay in life, I had to move back to my parent’s place which felt like an estranged place to me. Unable to connect back to my roots, it got almost next to impossible for me to survive. I felt disconnected with people, and not being able to adjust in school and with friends pushed my grades so low that I stopped caring about them altogether. Even writing couldn’t help me this time. At 16, Living and fighting with Mental Health issues wasn't exactly easy. Spending months feeling low, I decided to start an Instagram page along with my then best friend dedicating it for our writing. And there it was, An Instagram page, Full of poems and long articles which nobody except for me would read. One day, it dawned on me that others my age might also be feeling the same- lonely, thinking of their situation as an end point, and it occurred to me that what if I can be that somebody for them? What if I become that person that I wanted all my life for me?
And that breakthrough came as an ultimate u-turn in my life. It felt as if I finally found the light I was desperately searching for. And that is how Intellectual Ink was born. Intellectual was an Instagram page turned into non profit organisation that gave people a platform to come and talk about anything. Because sometimes, you don't need the solution to your problems, and as Lori Gottlieb Says, we all have the key to a better life, all we need is somebody to show us where we left the damn thing. And that was what I wanted to be for people - Somebody that helps them show where we left the key to a better life. Intellectual Ink was more for me than for anybody else. By being there for others I was trying to be there for myself. And that's how I learned to navigate my way through life. For the first 1.5 years Intellectual Ink gave hope to people who were regular with interacting with me. I like to think that at 16 even if I did not know how to save myself, I might have saved somebody else by showing up for them and this makes my today better, more hopeful. We went on to conduct 2 Offline Support Groups for Mental Health in the year 2018 in which more than 50+ people participated. Intellectual Ink has not only saved others, but it has also saved me.
At 18, Things Changed for the better. I was living a very independent life, I also started working with TEDxGurugram, which by the way felt like a dream come true for me. Working with TEDx not only changed me, but also shaped me to be this incredible human in life and gave me hope of becoming anything that I could dream of.
In September 2019, I had to shut down Intellectual Ink due to some personal circumstances. But before that, Intellectual Ink lived a full life. What started as just an instagram page, Intellectual Ink gave me a purpose in my life. My reason for being in this world.
Today I am 20, in a much better place, still struggling with Mental Health Issues on and off still facing bad outcomes, and still trying to be that somebody for others. If I learnt anything in this whole situation, it's this- Bad days, and even bad circumstances are bound to come, you cannot control them and you certainly cannot stop them from coming, but what you can do is choose how to react when they come. There is always a chance that things get better, and things always get better in the end. Because at any given point in life, you only have two choices, either you can let situations write your story for you, or you can take the damn pen and write it yourself. What do you choose to do? Which story do you want the world to know?