Real-life with ups and lows.

No one prepares you for what comes next. No one says that hey it's fine if you won’t succeed immediately, or it's okay if you quit that college or job, or mental health is above all. Playing the piano was one of the things I did best. I grew up with it; started playing at 7. I attended professional primary & high school of music, had numerous performances, concerts, classes, and workshops. I got accepted at University in the Faculty of Arts, Piano Performance and it quickly became one of the worst periods in life would start. The first signs of anxiety started while I was a senior in high school, but I didn’t pay attention to it. Too busy, too ambitious, too many things to handle at that time. So at 18, I started my first year of University and the first couple of months everything was going pretty well. The little signs of anxiety which I kind of also refused to accept or acknowledge to myself, began becoming bigger and more persistent. I couldn’t play anymore, or at least that’s what my mind made me believe. I didn’t feel like I was able to move my fingers like I used to, I was convinced my hands didn’t work as they did before, I couldn’t remember pieces and so on. I wasn’t able to even practice alone.

Long days and nights of crying in silence and out loud, afraid to be alone.

The thought of a few hours, tomorrow or whenever I had to start practicing again I would feel scared, panicked, and depressed. While I was going through all of this, I still kept going to other classes, getting the highest grades, going out, smiling at people, and not even a single person, not even my closest friend knew what I’m experiencing. Just continuing my life as always, while deep down I was basically dying. Although my family and circle in general (especially my parents) have always been supportive of everything, I still felt I couldn’t tell anyone out of fear of disappointing them; I was already disappointing myself. I kept thinking “My parents do all they can for me, they've work hard so I can achieve something in life.”, “If I don’t succeed then I've failed them, and their trust” etc., and that ate me alive. I wasn’t used to “failure”; if that’s what you would call it. I was always so ambitious, busy, and doing something successfully. So I felt like if I told people, no one would really understand, I tried talking to my professor, “We all experience stress sometimes but we should keep practicing right?” she said. I responded, "yes, sure.” and managed to get out of the classroom. I convinced myself that I’m not doing anything with my life, and that I’m failing. Surprisingly, no one asked what was going on when I stopped performing; that's when the migraines showing up. My anxiety caused severe periods of migraines. I went to see a doctor with my father and finally opened up about my issues. I can't describe the relief, the amazing words, and support as a result; It took a whole year for me to talk about it. Somehow after I opened up everything got better. I managed to play again after a few months, and the whole program, in front of a jury, cannot describe the feeling, I was so proud of myself. Overtime, I decided to quit studying piano. I realized that I wanted to do something else, I still love playing the piano but it is not my main goal. I am still in the performing arts and learned a lot from that experience. I was suffocating but now I breathe freely again. Whenever I told this story to anyone even months after I’d cry, but it definitely made me stronger and more prepared for life. I accepted to myself that it’s okay for plans to change, it’s okay for us to try different things, it is okay to “fail” and have anxiety as long as we get up, reach out to others, and keep living our beautiful life.

Artemisa Morina born in 1997, in Gjakova (Kosovo). Comes from a family of artists, started performing since 5 years old. Finished professional music high school and went on to study piano at University of Prishtina. After two years she started studying in Skopje(North Macedonia) to study performing arts- contemporary dance & applied music(vocal interpretation). She also dances other genres of dance, dances also at “Tika Dance”, beside piano she plays harp and flute, has also acting experience, choir member-soprano etc. Performed in numerous concerts and shows inside and outside of the country.