At 16, I left Dubai and moved to London for my A-levels and higher education. Little did I know, this would be a decision that would shape me as a person for the rest of my life. Leaving my life and mama on the other side of the world was was one of the hardest experiences I’ve ever been through in my life. I was used to attending lavish events and being photographed weekly for Ahlan! magazine and OK! Middle East. I was used to being chauffeured around by a driver and having a housekeeper pick up after me on a daily basis. That was my life. It was a good balance between school, events and blogging. I loved it, however it was all too easy. I craved something more “real.” Don’t get me wrong, the Dubai lifestyle is beyond amazing. Yet I still wanted to do things for myself. That’s how I’ve always been: self-assured and independent.

I attended Ashbourne sixth form college in Kensington. I practically failed my first year. I was suicidal, started self-harming and was diagnosed with depression later that year. My wrists were absolutely wrecked. I used plasters to cover up the tracks I had made with a hot iron and made sure no one knew what I had done to myself.

I still remember standing at the far end of the platform of High Street Kensington Station, looking down on to the train tracks. I would watch the clock, timing when the next train was due to arrive and then tell myself to “just jump”.

I distanced myself from everyone closest to me. No one knew what I was going through. Every time someone asked me if I was alright, I’d shrug it off and say I was just tried.

As I sunk deeper into my depression, it was blatant to those around me that something was clearly not right. I was taken to The Priory Rehab centre where I was assessed. I was diagnosed with depression and prescribed anti-depressants. Even through my darkest times, I’d frequently get girls commenting on my Instagram telling me they “wished they had my life”. This is just a reminder that social media is not real life. We only post what we want people to see. I wouldn’t dare post a photo of my slit wrists. In fact, I’d do quite the opposite.

I made the decision to move to another sixth form college in North London. It was the only college that accepted me with my D’s and E’s. I had no choice but to I sit all my A-levels in one year. I focused on myself and my education and didn’t allow myself to get distracted. On A-Level results day, I got accepted at my first choice university. It was the most surreal day of my life. I could not be more grateful. I overcame my depression a year later.

It was undoubtably the most challenging experience of my life, however I came out so much stronger. It’s shaped me into who I am today and I’m so grateful for having gone through it at such a young age.

In July, I completed a Bachelors Degree in Journalism from City University (with a study abroad in Sydney). Yesterday, I graduated with a 2:1 and am so excited to share these photos as memories with you.

I wanted to share this with you to let you know that it is possible to overcome anything. No matter how dark the tunnel may seem at the time, there’s always a light at the end. Six years on, the scars on my wrists have begun to fade. I don’t see these as a sign of weakness, but instead a sign of strength.

Thank you guys for always supporting me through the good and bad. I’m looking forward to sharing some very exciting news with you all very soon! Watch this space.

Dress: Misha Collection shop similar here and here

Bag: Gucci shop here 

Shoes: Valentino shop here

Sunglasses: Ray Ban shop here

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