16th of March, a day to remember. I can still feel the glee from the news of our exam cancelation, given the outbreak. Knowing the situation of China and Italy wasn’t hindering my enthusiasm. I may sound foolish or even insensitive, but I was longing for a vacation. As I live alone in Dhaka for studying, I was happy to return home, to have some days with my parents. I used to crave this since I moved to Dhaka. I was spending the best time possible.
Little did I realize, the vacation of seven days wouldn’t even finish in seven months and would make me write a blog on my mental health. Thirty days passed, I was still happy; forty days passed, I was okay. But abruptly, I started feeling downcast. Situation was going out of control promptly; the headlines of 2:30 pm kept getting deadlier each passing day. I was still believing this will end soon and we’ll get to meet our close ones in no time. I used to talk to my friends and play online games with them quite frequently. After two-three months the scenario changed. I started noticing suicide news from our age-group alarmingly frequently; blogs, Facebook statuses and different forms of writing on ‘bad parenting’, ‘depression’, ‘fake friendships’ and so on started appearing on my social media feeds more than ever. I started feeling immensely disturbed. Some of our friends were opening up about their depression, frustration and the worsening condition of their mental health. I was feeling restless. I was trying to understand the pain my fellow buddies were dealing with. Whatever I felt from these incidents led me believing that this generation lack listener, someone to understand us, to support our dreams, to give us wings. All in all we have a lot of friends but then again, we don’t have friends at all.
After all these, I stabled myself and thought for a few days about what have kept me untouched from all these griefs and situations. The most vividly appeared answer in my mind: books. From my early childhood I used to read a lot. I always considered ‘books’ as my best friends. One stop solution to all my mood swings, sorrows and griefs.
I know books can’t be the solution to all problems regarding mental health, maybe it’s not even close. Nonetheless, I believe reading heals quite a lot. As I love to read and love to encourage people reading; I started book blogging, I went to social platforms to let people know about books and what books are capable of doing under a name of ‘Live On Books’. It’s been four months I started my journey and each day, I hit the sack with someone’s ‘thank you’ text for introducing them with books. I stood for a change as a part of keeping my mental health safe and sound. It brings me peace, a fuel to my happiness.