Burning All The Stress And Troubles

This member story was featured in a mental health exhibition in Malaysia titled Return To Light.

This photograph was taken during a bonfire with my friends in the cool air last summer. We had the brilliant idea of burning last school year’s papers to feed them to the fire to make the flames brighter and the heat warmer.

It was therapeutic; in a way, we were burning all the stress and troubles that we went through our junior year. I felt liberated, as if a weight from my shoulders was lifted. It was a peaceful night.

I know that high school is just high school. There’s a whole lot that I haven’t experienced in my life and there’s a whole world out there that I still need to explore.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that every obstacle I go through will have its ups and downs, but no matter how minute or daunting this obstacle might be, I will always get through it.

— Irisha Banal

Here are some of the personal notes the attendees left for Irisha!


“I love the way you handle it.”

“Life may be a struggle but you are strong enough to rise above.”

“Clear target. Never Give Up.”

“No matter how much you try to contain a fire, it will always burn the way it sees fit.”

“Life is a journey, tiring sometimes it may seem to be but with your positivity and outlook, each step, each lap, each moment will be awesome! Live Life!”

“Brave Trisha, I’m glad that you had gone through the high school tough time, yet, memorable, wasn’t it? May you find your way through the long journey, which includes challenges and happiness. ?”



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The One Project is a community of passionate creatives, advocates and caring friends or family members working to support each other and change the conversation around mental health issues like depression, anxiety and more with therapeutic photography.

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