Mental health is one of the scariest health issues for me. Everyone has a slightly different situation they go through in life and so their mental illness differs depends on that.
In Phnom Penh, a small event held by a group of feminist and activities that is under the theme of Mental Health is a way for people to share their experiences through poems. Everyone at the event is allowed to sign up and share their work. Going to the event I wasn’t planning on sharing anything at all because everyone there was doubled my age and I just wasn’t ready to talk about me that deep in front of a crowd of people. But being at the event I changed but due to the fact that it was such a warm environment and everyone was so personal, I decided to share a piece. It was a song I wrote the night I came out to the whole cohort in school that I am bisexual. It’s a song of relieve. I’ve been hiding for a few years ever since I found out and it was extremely difficult. I would say that it was the hardest year of my life.
The years of me knowing my true identity and not being able to express myself, I wasn’t mentally stable. I struggled with making decisions and making connections/communications with other girls. I struggled just living life in general. Sometimes I even thought that things would be much easier if I was a straight person and I should just choose to live my life that way. But I learned to love myself as more opportunities hit. I was able to value life and understand that is it how it is. Love is something I can’t change about myself no matter who I love, I am still me.
As a 14-year-old sharing, an extremely personal background story behind a song I wrote in front of group adults was challenging. I didn’t know what was I putting myself into. I didn’t know who liked it or hated it, but I did not care. For the moment I was singing those lyrics, I was feeling myself in a very positive way and I saw smiles on everyone’s faces. Right at that moment, I realized that is really what I want to do in life. Sing. Perform. Share personal experiences. Stand strong. And have a voice.
It’s finally time for me to see,
Accepting the truth of who I’m supposed to be
Even though it’s not easy
I can’t escape reality
I’d like to say “I’m safe everywhere”
Being myself with no fear
why you falling and taunting me down
And I was drowning and drown
I was drowning and drown
I’ma be a warrior
Being the champion that I am
I’ma be a fighter
Show you just how I can
Do all these things, my own way
I’ll walk this path, here today
And finally, I say… I’m ME today.
Here’s a video of the performance: