We are easily scared of life. The fear of living is bigger than the fear of life. Never ever make any fear bigger than your life. – Amna Raheel
“Because You Matter”, this is life motto of the fearless and courageous Amna Raheel. Her first priority is mental health. She suffered from it herself and now aims to break the stigma in our society by her platform Meraki. Keep on reading to get to know who Amna really is!
Mental health truly matters and Amna tells us why!
Get To Know Amna!
Amna was born with a disease called muscular dystrophy She was diagnosed when she was two years old.
When someone suffers from a physical disease, it not only takes a toll on one’s physical health but also on the mental health. “This is a disease which makes your muscles very weak and deteriorates over time. I could walk till the age of twelve, but afterwards my leg muscles gave up and the wheelchair became a part of my life. I went through so many struggles till the age of 12. With time, my parents started learning more and more about my condition and knew what my requirements are. They are my biggest support and motivation.”
“I am My Own Decision Maker”
Amna’s parents always told her she is her own boss and she can spread her wings and fly wherever her heart takes her.
“In 2013, a traumatic incident took place in my life and because of that I got an anxiety disorder. I was so scared and stopped going outside and cut off all my connections. We went to the doctor and carried out tests but they all came out fine. I started googling my symptoms and searched what depression and anxiety really are. I asked my parents if they could accompany me and take me to the psychiatrist. That time there was a taboo in our country on mental health. My parents used to advise me that I could talk to them or to my close friends.”
“I wanted to know why my body was reacting like that and I eventually went to a psychiatrist. I got diagnosed and the results showed I had an anxiety disorder. The psychiatrist prescribed anti-depression pills which I took in the beginning but I wanted to fight on my own and work on myself. I started journaling, painting, drawing and taking care of my body and mind. This was the point when I had the idea to create a platform which highlights mental health. Those activities were helping me, so I thought they would help other people too.”
Meraki – Because You Matter
“When I graduated and got a job at Unilever in the E-commerce field. I worked from and decided to launch my platform on Instagram. The response on my platform, Meraki, is until now very positive and overwhelming. I sell products that empower self care and love since we have forgotten to take care of ourselves in this busy world. People tell me my journal changed their lives or they tell me that the journal made their struggling phase easier. My main goal was to spread awareness. It is still a taboo in our society. People all over the world suffer from mental health issues without even realising.”
“The message behind Meraki is to love yourself. We are so busy in loving and taking care of others that we forget ourselves. We seek love in others, forgetting that no one has the ability to love you more than you can love yourself”Amna Raheel
From childhood we get taught that we need to be strong and we have to hide our weaknesses. “Last year I went to therapy and I discovered so much about myself. I am very outspoken and I do think that as humans, we are allowed to be vulnerable. We are allowed to show our pain, cry and grief. I make a conscious effort to take time to grieve and heal. Every day I put my phone and laptop away for two hours and practice introspection. I reflect about what is going well and poorly in my life and how I can turn the bad aspect into something positive.”
Dare To Dream!
To end her story, Amna shares golden advice with us:
“We are easily scared of life. The fear of living is bigger than the fear of life. Never ever make any fear bigger than your life. You need to find the courage to fight and to overcome your fears. My dreams are my strength because I am a dreamer. I envision all of my ambitions, wishes and dreams and that give me motivation. Be a dreamer!Amna Raheel
Watch Amna’s inspiration Ted Talk here:
In Noreen’s own words: “I’m an open soul who loves to write about women empowerment, mental health and fashion. Everything in this world fascinates me and I love to learn new skills and get knowledge”. To get to know her more, follow Noreen on Instagram at Noreen_Muhammad