It is okay to talk, someone will hear you

By DECCAN CHRONICLE | L. Pavani Kodati

2 January 2023

As the title suggests If Anyone Could Have Saved Me the book delves inside the psyche of a person suffering from mental illness

Mental health is still spoken in hushed tones or overlooked as a disadvantage of an individual’s lifestyle. Despite various initiatives, wellness discussions, and efforts to focus attention on the subject, mental health often takes a back place and is ignored. Khushboo Aneja, author of If Anyone Could Have Saved Me, tells us that it is normal to discuss and to utilise social media as a platform to express ourselves and to create a safe space.

Inspired by dialogues sparked by her fans on her Instagram photo captions, Aneja attempted to convey through her book that it is alright to talk, and that someone out there will understand and support you. “They would tell me that reading about what I was feeling made them feel less alone. That’s what pushed me to pursue it,” the author explains adding, “My captions are mainly spontaneous, like at night when I notice something about myself or discover a feeling and write it down in the form of a conversation and then publish it... after which others leave comments telling me how much they could connect to it. So I wanted to take them a step further and put them in a tale all together because that’s what a lot of people asked me to do on Insta.”

The book revolves entirely around the protagonist’s dialogues. The main character is suicidal and is attempting suicide, but she meets this person and they have these conversations where she is talking out loud and the other person understands why it is okay for her to talk. “So with the book I am just telling people that there is a safe place and you are okay, whatever you are, whatever your thoughts are, it doesnt mean you don’t deserve to be heard,” says Khushboo.

The book discusses a lot of mental health, the author points out that, “As the majority of them that texted me were teens. They were unable to talk to their parents or peers about mental health issues they were experiencing, or they were labelled as the ‘sad person’ or the ‘weird person’. They were labelled and called out for their thoughts, so in my book I am not giving them advice on what to do, but rather showing them that there is a safe place out there. So, whatever I write are things that I have seen or gone through."

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