For a long time, Myriam had trouble expressing her feelings. In her early teens, she tried to keep her dark thoughts a secret. At thirteen, she attempted to end her life. While in hospital, Myriam was diagnosed with depression. Even after this crisis, she preferred to deal with her thoughts on her own and had trouble asking for help. Not long afterward, Myriam realized she was in love with her female friend. Believing that her religion and sexual orientation were incompatible, she started up a very secret and exclusive relationship with this friend. Myriam found it difficult to reconcile the different parts of her identity, which made it even harder to regain her mental health. For many years, she repeated the same pattern over and over: she would improve with counselling, only to relapse into depression as soon as the therapy stopped. As she neared graduation, Myriam started to feel better. Life may not have always been smooth sailing, but she started to feel more confident about the future. This is when she took the first step in what would be a long process of building a mutual support system, the “Exprime-toi” program, which she founded to educate her fellow students about mental health issues and offer them support.
Looking back, Myriam realizes that she had been refusing to recognize and accept her darker sides. At the time, she would have liked to have met other people who were going through similar problems, in order to draw hope from their stories. This is why she is now actively involved in peer support organizations. Myriam shares her story with people she meets because she knows her struggles have only made her stronger and have allowed her to be at peace with the various aspects of her personality.