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When life gives you lemons - Brijesh Jani

"When life gives you lemons, turn it into lemonade” , I am a professional choreographer, Zumba instructor, model, theatre artist and male belly dancer from Ahmedabad. My journey began when at the age or 10 or 12 I realised that I was different. I accepted my homosexuality and identified as a member of the gay community. My story of survival and struggles with depression and anxiety spans across 33 years. Battling depression and anxiety alone for so many years has lead me to understand the importance of mental health and I do not hesitate to accept that I still feel depressed at times. With immense inner strength, I was able to come out an 8 year long abusive relationship without the help and support of my family and friends. Believing the saying that “When life closes one door, god opens a window”, I pursued my passion for dance, and it was this passion that gave me strength to turn my life around and come out of the deep abyss of depression. My other source of strength were motivational videos and articles uploaded by celebrities on various social media platforms. I strongly believe that at the end of the day, it is ones positive spirit and motivation to fight against obstacles that helps one cope with the difficulties in their lives. The pursuit of finding oneself and discovering their talents, according to me, helps boost one’s quality of life and changes ones perception towards it. My homosexuality poses new challenges and obstacles for me every single day of my life, but my experiences have taught me how to fight against these obstacles and come out as a survivor. Life is short, and we should live it to the fullest. We all face obstacles at some point or the other, these obstacles can break us and depress us. But it is important to seek for help and talk about your problems to someone who listens to understand. Hopefully, my story inspires you to come forward and be heard.

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