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Yasemin or Yasmine

My Name is Yasemin,

Im not sure what my last name is, if its my biological dads name Demirkol

Or my step dad’s name Wood,

I do know that neither of them deserve to be a part of my name, or part of the woman that is here today.


It’s very hard to describe mental heath and the darkness that comes with it but let me try.


My mums rain cloud formed when she was very little. It started off as evaporating the death of her mother and the neglect of her father. As she got older her cloud got bigger absorbing her child hood and adolescence. Eventually her rain cloud, her depression, got heavier and heavier. It became too hard to put up her umbrella everyday and she let it pour. She didn’t ask for help, there was no point, there was no services, no help no awareness. So she let the rain soak her and she carried the heaviness every day. This is the weight of depression.

She found the strength to put up her umbrella again after she had her baby the rain still poured on her but I was safe under her love. Sometimes she forgot to put up the protection... when I cried, when I made a mess, when I didn’t listen. This is when I would feel a splash, the raindrops on my face. How can she shelter me when she doesn’t have the tools.

After some time I got my very own cloud. It evaporated all of my parents arguments, all of my bullying at school, all of my failed boyfriends, all of my mistakes. It make me feel like I couldn’t go outside I didn't want to wet other people. I didn’t want strangers to judge me, I didn’t want teachers to talk about me. How could anyone love someone who would just rain on them all of the time? I forgot how to feel happy, I forgot how to feel sad, I lived in a constant fight or flight mode where everything was just absorbed by this massive black hole above me, inside me, in my mind, in my heart, in my stomach. I felt like I had clouds everywhere. It took all of my happiness, all of my rational thoughts. Replaced them with feelings of negativity and resentment and hate. And eventually nothing. Soon you learn to live with it and you forget about it after a while. it’s just a weight that you carry when you sleep, when you work, when you go to the bathroom, and shower, and cook and clean. ITS JUST ALWAYS THERE.


Then I had my Daughter.


Oh no.


What do I do


Im 17


I have a child


5 years went past until I acknowledged I suffered with depression and anxiety. 5 years of my daughter getting splashed by my rain cloud every now and then. I was very strong and I held my umbrella firmly over her, I was determined to keep her as dry as I could, but sometimes it was too heavy and she would feel the drops.


I found youth focus when I was 22. Ella (my daughter) was 5 years old. At first youth focus felt like it wasn’t real, I was so disconnected from my self and the word I didn’t even know what to talk about.

Then slowly, I started to dry my self off, I started to see small glimmers of sunshine through my cloud, and eventually even some sky.

Could you imagine being locked in a dark room for 22 years and eventually being able to open the door and see the sky. It was overwhelming.


Youth focus didn’t do this for me, they didn’t open my door, they just acknowledged I was in the room and It gave me the ability to help myself. It gave me the ability to choose to not get soaked by my cloud every day of my life! To not absorb everything and everyone around me, to not weigh myself down, and to to not splash everyone else around me and pass on my depression to my child.


Thanks to youth focus and the work I did with them, the work that you have made possible, I no longer feel the rain, I no longer feel the over whelming sensation of not wanting to wake up and get wet every single day of my life. I no longer feel that doing nothing, is better than living!


Thanks to youth focus, My Daughter will NOT GET HER OWN CLOUD! I will not let her be affected. You have not only changed my life, but her life, my grandchildren’s lives and everyone else who has access to these services.


I still don’t know who I am, a name is a powerful thing.. but every day I get one step closer.. There is no destination with mental health, only a journey.

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