Journey with Anxiety

Meet Jacquile, a film director from #Vancouver, BC. After completing his short film “Help Wanted” on #SouthAsian gang violence, his mission is to amplify others’ voices and stories through expression of the arts.

Here’s his story:
Growing up in a Modern South Asian family has some challenges of its own when it comes to my #anxiety and depression. I’m lucky my family is supportive, but sometimes it’s difficult. When things go out of hand, the back and forth banters were often my loneliness crying for help. And all too often, the tears are shed in the shadows.

My own name gave me anxiety as far as I can remember. Students and teachers mispronounce it as they laughed; other South Asians and Punjabis think I’m part French or women on dating apps thought I’m a fake account. I was afraid of what people thought of me, I felt I had to put extra effort into normalizing my name.

Going to school was tough on the body; to get up in the mornings, have breakfast and chase the buses and skytrains like Shah Rukh Khan. It was difficult to force a smile when things were feeling unwell inside. I avoided going to parties or social events because of the fear of fitting in. Internal questions that only fed the anxiety. Most of all, it was the fear of what the alcohol does. Not during the socializing part, but afterwards.

I never grew up with any particular role model or best friend. Most of them weren’t, but the ones that were I did my best to learn from them. I started connecting with others on social media. However, (anti) social media wounded my insecurities and drained my mental health. If I weren’t doing this, dating someone like this, or not looking like this or having that, I would shatter. It made me feel like I am doing something wrong.